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    Seven Quick Takes: From the Mailbag Edition

    June 6, 2014 by Brandy Vencel

    I am way behind on lots of stuff: projects, blog comments, contact form submissions, and on and on. I’m behind on stuff that has to do with the blog, and behind on stuff that has nothing to do with that blog. May is always crazy for us, and I always end it by being Way Behind on Stuff.

    Such is life.

    So one purpose of this edition of Seven Quick Takes is to catch up on some of that…

    — 1 —

    When you  mentioned that sensitive scalp {aka “screams when hair is brushed syndrome”} might actually be a sign of magnesium deficiency, I wanted to know how to supplement a child.
    I don’t know The Way to supplement a child, but I can tell you what we have experience with. Here’s a short list of options:

    • Magnesium oil. Someone mentioned this in the comments of that post, I think. We use this all the time. It helps with growing pains, too! I explained how to make in my Top Three Health Tips. Sometimes, you need to water it down a bit for children who are sensitive to the alkalinity of this solution. If the skin gets a bit red or too itchy, add a bit of water until the child can tolerate it.
    • Natural CALM. This powder comes in a number of different flavors, and it basically tastes like punch or lemonade, depending on the flavor you choose. Children that can’t swallow pills do well with this product.
    • Standard Process Magnesium Lactate. I wouldn’t suggest buying this on Amazon unless you are desperate. If you can find someone near you who sells it {usually an alternative practitioner or chiropractor — my husband sells it at his clinic}, you will pay significantly less than what they’re charging online. We love Standard Process products, but this will only work for children who can swallow pills.
    There are other ways to do this, of course, but we generally stick to a combination of pills and magnesium oil. We used both in the beginning to correct the deficiency, and now using magnesium oil in the evenings before bed is enough to maintain.

    — 2 —

    What program do you use to create your Circle Time Schedules and Average Day Charts?

    This question is an easy one to answer, hence my putting it off. Remember: procrastination is never logical.


    I use Microsoft Excel. The cuteness factor is managed by learned how to format borders, shading, fonts, colors, and all that other stuff, and inserting a clip art image also helps.

    — 3 —

    Can you suggest titles by Comenius I should read?

    I’ve mentioned the Charlotte Mason / Comenius connection enough that I’ve received a couple emails about it lately. What you want to read to start with is The Great Didactic.

    — 4 —

    I read your allergy posts; how do I contact your doctor?

    I wrote those posts years and years ago. And then I was pretty much silent about the subject. During the past few years, my husband went back to school, got an M.S. in Holistic Nutrition, apprenticed under our wonderful doctor, and is now himself an alternative practitioner. He and Doc now share a clinic. You can find my husband’s contact information on Facebook, and if you want to see Doc instead of him, his contact information is mostly hers as well. The main difference between the two is that my husband is trained in nutrition, while Doc is a chiropractor.

    — 5 —

    You are CM, but you use Sequential Spelling — why?

    For us, Sequential Spelling is really a backdoor to doing more phonics. At some point, my children get burned out on phonics lessons because they can read well enough, but they really need more understanding of phonics. SS gives them what they need, but in a different form.

    CM really used dictation to teach spelling, but I didn’t have an understanding of what that was and how it worked until recently. I look forward to adding in dictation in the upcoming school year!

    — 6 —

    Tell me about your CM reading group? How does that work? How did you get people to come? What do you do there?

    I love my local CM group. Love. We actually have two groups. One is for the leadership team, and one is the main group. The leadership team has four people on it. This team was our original CM reading group. All of a sudden, after a couple of years of meeting together, we had so many people want to join us, that we decided to just form a new group.

    The leadership team meets at a local restaurant. We discuss a chapter or two of what we’re reading {usually one of CM’s volumes}. We plan dates and locations and details for upcoming meetings of the main group. We fellowship. It’s great.

    The main group wasn’t planned. It just happened. It is a huge, huge blessing in our lives, but it is purely an act of God and not of us. People just started asking. Occasionally, one of us will meet someone who is obviously interested in CM, and so we’ll invite them, but we’ve never done any major advertising or anything. It’s all grown very organically as the years have gone by.

    The main group is doing topics right now. This summer we’re going to cover nature study/science, math, and habit training. When the school year starts back up, we’ll read through a book together. We meet at a host home, we drink too much coffee, we eat cookies, and we gab for almost an hour before we even start our meetings. We stay up far too late into the night. It’s great.

    My main thought on CM groups is that you should enjoy them. Period. If it’s only you and one other person, enjoy that. If there are fifty of you, enjoy that. Take what God brings. Study and encourage one another. Enjoy. Don’t stress about it.

    A lot of the other stuff in the contact form files have to be taken care of via email. But this is a good start!

    What are you behind on right now? Please tell me I’m not the only one!

    And that is all for this Friday. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

    For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

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