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    Home Education, Other Thoughts

    Seven Quick Takes on Technological Ineptitude, Inside-Out Socks, Homeschool Burnout, and More!

    January 23, 2015 by Brandy Vencel

    Seven Quick Takes

    :: 1 ::

    Are any of you technologically capable? 🙂 What I mean is, I have a technology issue that I’d appreciate some advice on. Last year, I gave a talk that was recorded. I’d love to make it available, but the problem is that it really requires the accompanying PowerPoint slides for it to make any sense because I’m mostly discussing a painting. So, I have an MP3, and I have the slides. Is there an easy way for me to put them together? I mean, I know I’ll have to record myself clicking the slides forward at the right time — in time with the talk — but once I have those two things, how would I fuse them into one thing? Any ideas? I’m all ears!

    :: 2 ::

    I have finally solved the inside-out socks issue! My youngest has been the latest culprit. Just when I had the others trained, I started finding all of his socks inside-out in the laundry. I knew this sort of thing was a habit training issue, but the question was how to train it. After all, I am not always present when he’s removing his socks! What I did, then, was call him to fix it every. single. time. they appeared in the laundry. If I was starting a load, no matter what he was doing, he had to come fix his socks. I made sure to only start loads when he was at home and awake.

    After a couple weeks, I noticed there were no more issues. He was definitely sick and tired of coming to fix his socks everyday, so I guess I can say that it worked! Problem solved.

    :: 3 ::

    Here’re some of my favorite links from around the web this week:

    :: 4 ::

    Wanna see my latest kitchen gadget? This awesome cast iron griddle covers two burners on my stove top. We cooked turkey bacon on it last night. Do you know how many strips of bacon fit on this thing?? It was amazing! My oldest is begging to make pancakes soon so he can try it out. For me, I’m excited to try out the ribbed sides to cook hamburger patties.

    :: 5 ::

    Rumor has it that February is burnout season for homeschool moms everywhere. I’m going to write a couple posts on the subject, if all goes as planned. But today, I’m pointing you to Sarah Mackenzie’s discussion with Andrew Kern on the subject of teaching from rest. She’s giving it away for free right now. This is one of the four recordings that Sarah did for the audio companion to her book, Teaching from Rest, which I also highly recommend.

    :: 6 ::

    In Module 3 of her self-paced course, Simplified Organization, Mystie talks about the concept of ubiquitous capture. Now, Mystie has tried to convince me that I needed a ubiquitous capture system in my life for yeeeeaaarrrssss now. Ubiquitous capture is the idea that you get everything out of your head and onto paper. In her course, Mystie asks us to build the habit of writing everything down, right away.

    My issue has been that I’m not too bad at writing everything down {though, admittedly, I could be better}. It’s that I constantly lose my lists after I write them. I had a huge issue with not having a set place to write things down that I could keep track of. And while the mere act of writing things down does help me remember better than if I don’t write it down at all, I was still losing and forgetting {or remembering at the last minute}.

    I’m pleased to announce that I now have a system. I started the rudiments of it in January of last year, and I’ve been working on refining it and adding to it to make it really work for me. My system has two ubiquitous capture “devices,” and both of them require a pen, not a gadget. Mystie is great at going paperless, but without paper, my brain stops functioning.

    1. Large daily planner. I bought mine at Target. It’s wirebound and 8.5 x 11 inches. {It’s also pink. ♥ } Each week has a two-page spread. This means that each day is large enough for me to write any appointments or plans, and also a to-do list or a shopping list. There is also a 2-page spread for a month-at-a-glance spread. So I write daily to-dos on the specific day I need to do it, and anything more long term on my month pages. Everything, that is…except the blog {which started overwhelming my planner}.
    2. Bullet Journal. This is where I organize my work. Anything for Afterthoughts or Teaching Reading with Bob Books, anything for talks I’m going to give or newsletters I promised to send — all of it goes into my bullet journal. And oh my gosh is this working well. In the past, I’d think of an idea for a good post, but forget about it by the time I got to my computer. Now that I always have my journal and my pen, I have more ideas than I know what to do with.

    Mystie doesn’t know it, but she’s basically my life coach.

    :: 7 ::

    Speaking of Teaching Reading with Bob Books The quarterly newsletter is going out next week, so those of you who are still teaching children to read might want to sign up for that.

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  • Reply Amanda January 25, 2015 at 5:27 pm

    LOL. I swear, no matter how long it’s been since I’ve made it over here to read, we’re always thinking about the same things when I return. 🙂 I am DEFINITELY enacting your almost too-obvious sock-training ASAP. And yes, bullet journal and weekly planner it is! Except… that I don’t just lose my lists. I’ve lost two notebooks in two weeks already. 😛 I think we have a notebook-eating boggart in the house. And I’m on my second planner because the first one’s layout didn’t work well with my brain, and the second was too small. Still haven’t found the right one to replace them and everything is sold out or super-expensive. I’m not giving up, though!!! 🙂

    • Reply Brandy Vencel January 25, 2015 at 7:06 pm

      Oh, I feel your pain on the planner layout! I bought one with big, blank squares this year and it freaks me out a little just because I think my eyes were used to the lines. 🙂 Change is hard. But finding ANYTHING was difficult. Last year, I was a kid in a candy store at Target in the planner aisle. This year, I had one to choose from that suited my needs — take it or leave it. I’m sorry you’ve lost notebooks! Do you put your contact info in the front? That is one thing the bullet journal guy says to do — that he actually had one returned! This is the first year I’ve done that. I can’t afford to lose my brain!! 🙂

      ps. I miss seeing you!

  • Reply Erin January 24, 2015 at 10:52 am

    It wouldn’t be very gracious of me to call my husband to fix his socks, would it? I wish he would though!

    • Reply Brandy Vencel January 24, 2015 at 2:34 pm

      Ha! No, I suppose not. Actually, that is what I told my husband: I am doing this boy’s future wife a favor! 🙂

  • Reply Kansas Mom January 24, 2015 at 6:31 am

    Kansas Dad says he can combine your audio and video in about five minutes if you do a little prep work for him (some time and uploading to Google Drive). Send me an email if you’re interested and we’ll talk details.

    • Reply Brandy Vencel January 24, 2015 at 8:02 am

      Oh my goodness! That would be wonderful. Tell him thank you! I am attending a conference all day today, but I will email you soon. Thanks, KM!

  • Reply Cassie January 23, 2015 at 10:50 am

    I’m so jealous of your sock problem being solved! I’ve been doing this for YEARS with my 10 year old and socks still inside out every laundry day!!! Making him come and make them right has done nothing for him. I guess he thinks it easier to do it when called rather than when he takes them off. So, I guess for him it is.

    • Reply Brandy Vencel January 23, 2015 at 11:01 am

      Oh, bummer! How frustrating. 🙁 I guess some children really do have to have someone sit and tell them to take them off properly. I’m sorry. 🙁

  • Reply Melanie January 23, 2015 at 9:50 am

    The inside out thing used to bug me but then I read somewhere that it’s better for the clothes to wash them inside out. Now I wash them as they come to me, but I let my children turn them right side out when they put them away. And if they want to put them away inside out that’s ok too. They will need to turn them right side out when they wear them.

    • Reply Brandy Vencel January 23, 2015 at 9:51 am

      It is was clothing, I’d be okay with it, but typically his socks are…disgusting. 🙂

  • Reply Amy January 23, 2015 at 7:35 am

    I might have to use your socks approach on my epidemic of winter coats/jackets/shoes/socks/snowpants that seem to magically grow on the floor between the front door and the bedroom of certain children who shall remain nameless.

    • Reply Brandy Vencel January 23, 2015 at 8:28 am

      Let me know how it goes! I was toying around in my brain today with various applications of this and wondering how it might work…

  • Reply Mystie January 23, 2015 at 6:51 am

    What do you mean I don’t know it? 😉 Are you sure, though, that you want a life coach with mother’s brain 5-times-over? Your planner & bullet journal system, though, sound great! How do you make sure they’re always handy?

    I love our stovetop cast iron griddle! It came with the range and the previous owner left it with the house. I don’t know how many electric griddles we’ve burned through, but now we have one that always works and won’t break down. 🙂 It cooks evenly, too, which the electric one never did.

    • Reply Brandy Vencel January 23, 2015 at 8:27 am

      You are a great life coach, even with your mommy brain. 😉

      I make sure my planner and journal are handy by carrying them with me everywhere, to my husband’s great dismay. 😉 I do leave it in the car sometimes. SOMETIMES. 🙂

      We had an electric griddle that we used almost every day. And it *was* wonderful. But my children were always getting stomach aches after we ate anything from it, and after I read an article on how those off-gas and can cause tummy troubles I connected the dots. This is a bit bigger, anyhow, and it *does* cook evenly! You’re right! So tummy troubles solved plus more room plus even cooking. Awesome. 🙂

  • Reply Mariel January 23, 2015 at 6:07 am

    Wow. That article on the mother’s brain is fascinating. Thank you for sharing 🙂

    • Reply Brandy Vencel January 23, 2015 at 8:24 am

      You’re welcome! 🙂

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