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    Seven Quick Takes on Girl Legos, Free Kindle Editions, Reading, and More!

    February 13, 2015 by Brandy Vencel

    Seven Quick Takes


    :: 1 ::

    Girl LegosGirl Legos are all the rage around here right now. Q-Age-Eight was given some by her great grandparents for her birthday. It’s become a bit of an obsession, I think. O-Age-Six likes to bring his Lego box out, too, but his are emphatically not allowed to touch hers. “Pink means they are for girls,” she explains.

    A-Age-Nine owns the Lego horse show set, so she gets in on the action as well. I so enjoy watching them play together nicely!


    :: 2 ::

    This past weekend, I finally got Siah to watch Mom’s Night Out with me. He gave me a lot of grief over the mommy blogger theme, but I forgive him. I had forgotten how hilarious that movie is. And more to the point: I get tired of sappy Christian movies.

    There. I said it.

    I’ve decided Christians should make more comedies. Seriously, it’s a better use of our time and artistry.

    Have you seen this movie? What’s your favorite line? I’m leaning towards the time when Trace Adkins starts telling someone about something he saw on Pinterest.


    :: 3 ::

    This past week, The Green Ember was free for Kindle. I don’t know if it is still free today or not. I haven’t checked. But I’ve heard this book mentioned around the Internets and have been wanting to know what all the fuss is about. I hesitate to purchase hard copies of unproven books, so this is a chance for me to decide before buying. If it’s good, I’ll need a copy for the family library, of course.

    But I thought I’d tell you that this is a good reason to watch my Facebook page. When I find stuff like this, I share it there right away. If you want to see everything I put on Facebook, you’ll need to not only like it, but hover over the like button and click “get notifications.”


    :: 4 ::

    This week’s links collection:


    :: 5 ::

    Mystie and I were talking the other day about how some books help you read other books. I remember when I first read Charlotte Mason. I started with Volume I: Home Education. And, oh, how I got mired in the chapter on life out-of-doors! I mean, yes, I got the point: going outside is good and even important for young children. But it felt like it went on and on and I had just had my second child and the combination of Mommy Brain and not having read much over the previous three or four years meant that much of it was also over my head.

    I read the whole book, but remembered very little other than the necessity of going outside.

    But then I read Poetic Knowledge. It was actually a much harder book, but it struck a chord. To this day, Poetic Knowledge is my very favorite book ever ever ever. And when I read Poetic Knowledge, I suddenly, all in a flash, got Charlotte Mason. I got what she was about. I finally understood.

    It’s important to keep reading, and to revisit the hard books again. We never know what can happen.


    :: 6 ::

    So we’re done with the preventing homeschool burnout series, and I thought I’d add one last thought. Another thing that starts to give me that burnout feeling is too much isolation. This sort of ties in with the Vitamin D thing we talked about last week because often winter isolation is caused by sickness in either myself or my children {this year has been another good year overall, praise the Lord}. In 2013, we were isolated for a very long time because my children came down with chicken pox in November, which meant about three weeks of isolation, and then after that they seemed to catch everything.

    Anyhow, a big help for me is going out with friends. Sometimes, I have met friends at the park with children in tow, and other times we go out in the evening. My local CM groups are an outlet for this. Simply being with others is a great relief, I think.


    :: 7 ::

    Some questions you’ve asked:

    • Question: I am confused on how much a year 1 student is suppose to memorize each week?
      • Answer: I think of memory work as something we do term-by-term instead of week by week. My family does not do as much memory work as Charlotte Mason did, but I’m okay with that. We can look at old PNEU programmes to get a glimpse at what Miss Mason expected of her students in terms of memorization. So, for example, one says: “To recite two poems, to learn three hymns, and a passage of six verses each from (a) Judges, (b) The Acts, in the Bible Lessons.” I have used this sort of thing to help me choose our selections. Other than that, though, we just flip through our memory binder each day at Circle Time and whatever sticks, sticks. I don’t worry too much about it.
    • Question: How do you step away from all the individual subjects and textbooks/workbooks?
      • Answer: When I first began, I think I accomplished this in the simplest way, and that was to do AmblesideOnline as written without adding much of anything. If I added something, it was not workbook or textbook related, if that makes sense. After a while, it becomes a habit to do school this way, and then you feel shocked adding in a grammar worksheet in Year Four. 🙂
    • Question: My kids seem to rely on me heavily. Even the oldest who is almost 13, tends not to be diligent in his work and does not tend to thrive independently.


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  • Reply Mommy Chickadee February 15, 2015 at 9:01 pm

    I just looked up Poetic Knowledge, and it is now on my Amazon wishlist!

    And Girl Legos are a major item here at our house, too. My daughter constructs the craziest-looking buildings I have ever seen, all in pink and white and purple. 🙂 Even my son wanted some of the cute animal sets! (Just don’t tell anyone that those pink and purple blocks are actually HIS…)

    • Reply Brandy Vencel February 16, 2015 at 7:48 am

      My younger son is envying the animal sets lately, too, so I completely know what you are talking about. 🙂 It’s definitely in my radar for his birthday this year, purple or not! 🙂

      And yay for Poetic Knowledge!! 🙂

  • Reply Kathy February 13, 2015 at 3:30 pm

    I also linked to your series through a post on burnout – ’tis the season, you know. Like Linda, I stuck with the big picture.

    • Reply Brandy Vencel February 13, 2015 at 4:56 pm

      I just love that you say you CM’d your marriage!

  • Reply Brandy Vencel February 13, 2015 at 8:52 am

    Thank you for sharing your post, Linda! I’m sharing it on my Facebook page. 🙂

  • Reply Linda February 13, 2015 at 8:47 am

    Just wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed your series on homeschool burnout, something I will never experience again …. I’m retired, and no longer homeschooling! LOL

    I also wrote a post on homeschool burnout, but it deals with the big picture, more of a philosophy of the concept so to speak.

    I love that you gave such wonderful specifics on how to avoid it altogether!

    Thanks so much for sharing!

  • Reply Melissa February 13, 2015 at 8:35 am

    Oh, I’m adding Poetic Knowledge to my list! I think I’ve seen it somewhere else, but had forgotten about it.

    Thanks for the burnout series. I actually just linked your series in a post I did on a variety of homeschool burnout resources.


    • Reply Brandy Vencel February 13, 2015 at 8:55 am

      Poetic Knowledge is a wonderful book! Just be prepared to read slowly — there are so many ideas to ponder. But I think you will really like it!

      And thanks for the link. 🙂

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