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    Educational Philosophy, Other Thoughts

    Seven Quick Takes on 22 Pick Up, Cinderella, Writing Curriculum, and More!

    March 27, 2015 by Brandy Vencel

    Seven Quick Takes

    :: 1 ::

    Afterthoughts will be closed next week for Holy Week. We take a break from school, and I also try and take a bit of a break from blogging. It’s become a tradition for me, and I hope you all enjoy your week next week!


    :: 2 ::

    22 Pick Up is saving me these days. We used to do this a lot when the children were younger, and then for a while picking up was habit enough that I didn’t feel like I had to say anything beyond the occasional “clean up the living room, please,” or what have you. But this spring — oh my! It seems everyone is leaving everything everywhere … and I’m as much a guilty party as the rest of them. I tend to not notice my surroundings until it gets really bad, and then I seriously do not know what to do. That’s when it dawned on me that a return to 22 Pick Up could be my solution. I may not know what to do on a larger scale, but I can definitely pick up 22 things and put them where they ought to be.

    So, that’s what we started doing. Each day, everyone has to pick up 22 things and put them up. My house is oh so much tidier since we began. I’m wondering why we ever stopped. I suppose perhaps we got so good at it that there weren’t enough things to put away? Anyhow, if you think about it, this is a pretty quick fix. Five people each picking up and putting away 22 things means 110 things were tidied up. Not bad for a few minutes’ time commitment!


    :: 3 ::

    I think I mentioned that we went to see Cinderella on Enrichment Friday last week. Can I just say that I fell in love with this movie? I want to buy it, and I rarely buy movies. It was just so. great.

    Here’s the trailer:


    :: 4 ::

    This week’s links collection:


    :: 5 ::

    So I’m reading aloud more … and also less. Basically, the timing of everything has changed, what with baby goats and puppy training and all that. I’m reading The Fellowship of the Ring aloud to my children for the second time. The first time I did this, all but the oldest were really too young to appreciate it. This time, it is just too. much. fun. I love the way A-Age-Ten can’t get enough. I love that all of them are finally meeting Frodo and Sam and Tom Bombadil and Strider and all the rest.

    The problem with me is that I could read these books over and over, to the exclusion of most everything else.


    :: 6 ::

    We completed two lessons from our Leviticus study this week. Not sure if that was too fast, or just about right, or what. I’m still experimenting with how to do it. Anyhow, it is a hit with the children, which is what I was hoping for. A-Age-Ten in particular is asking a million questions. {She is basically stuck in the three-year-old “why?” stage.} It was exciting to see her face as she listened because it betrays many of her thoughts.

    After our first reading, she asked why we don’t do that anymore — why we don’t sacrifice animals. Instead of answering, I told her to think about it, and that the reading would tell us more the next day. I’ve been breaking the lessons into two parts, so far. The first is more descriptive — what the part of the law we’re reading was like, what it required, and a bit about why it was required. The second part {and there aren’t formally “parts” quite like this — it’s just a transition I’ve noticed in the first two lessons} focuses on how Jesus fulfilled that part of the law. On those days we are usually reading some passages from the New Testament that complement the portions of Leviticus we read the previous day.


    :: 7 ::

    Answering your questions:

    • Question: You mentioned “Lost tools of writing” I am contemplating using this and I am wondering if you have any experience with how it might be used with AO/CM. Or, are you are planning on sticking with James Selby?
      • Answer: For this coming school year, I plan to move on from Selby to The Lost Tools of Writing. I am glad I waited longer than I originally planned, and I think I am more ready than I was before, plus the new edition is supposed to be a lot more teacher friendly. It helps that I also bummed Jennifer Dow into saying she’d help me if I got confused. It’s not cheap, though, so I’m currently saving up!
    • Question: Why Plutarch?
      • Answer: The best answer to this question I’ve ever seen is from Dr. George Grant. He graciously allowed AmblesideOnline to host his answer so that we could all read it over and over as needed. 🙂


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  • Reply Michele July 3, 2015 at 2:05 pm

    On your ipod 🙂 Sorry you were sick! I hope you’re feeling better. I can’t find the Yahoo group. Do you happen to be a member?

    • Reply Brandy Vencel July 3, 2015 at 2:54 pm

      Ha! I looked it up and no wonder you couldn’t find it — weird name: LTW Mentor

    • Reply Brandy Vencel July 3, 2015 at 2:55 pm

      And…haven’t checked the iPod yet. That explains it! 😉

  • Reply Michele July 3, 2015 at 1:47 pm

    That’s a good idea. I will look for the yahoo group. Did you see my message about Latin!? Excited 🙂

    • Reply Brandy Vencel July 3, 2015 at 1:49 pm

      No! Where? I was sick all day yesterday and slept an embarrassingly long time last night, so now I’m trying to catch up…

  • Reply Michele July 3, 2015 at 1:36 pm

    I have the opportunity to buy the entire 4th edition of LTW for $20. It would save a ton money. But the changes sound great and like it will be a lot more accessible… Decisions!!

    • Reply Brandy Vencel July 3, 2015 at 1:38 pm

      That is a hard one because $20 is a GREAT deal! You know, there is an LTW Yahoo group. I wonder if you could join it and ask the opinion of people on there who know about both…

  • Reply Catie June 12, 2015 at 7:24 am

    Hi! I just wanted to pop on and say that I miss you! 🙂 Hope you’re having a great Spring/Summer, Brandy! Looking forward to new posts!

    • Reply Brandy Vencel June 12, 2015 at 9:10 am

      Uh oh…Are you not getting my new posts?? I only took a week off…let’s figure this out. You tell me how you receive new posts and I will look into it.

      In the meantime…you have some catching up to do! Sorry! 🙁

      • Reply Catie June 12, 2015 at 9:19 am

        I’m not! ack! I get the newsletters…maybe I just need to update my Feedly account. I’ll keep you posted. 🙂

        • Reply Catie June 12, 2015 at 9:21 am

          Ok. Well, apparently something was wrong with Feedly? I had you in my feed, but when I searched for Afterthoughts, it let me add you again. WEIRD. *whew*

          I can sleep now. ;o) (Not before doing some reading! HA!)

          • Brandy Vencel June 12, 2015 at 1:40 pm

            I’m glad that worked. Sorry about that! I really don’t know what happened — it was like all of a sudden there were two feeds, but only one was working!

        • Reply Brandy Vencel June 12, 2015 at 1:39 pm

          Oh, that Feedly! I did hear from one other person that theirs wasn’t updating, and the only thing we could figure out was to unsubscribe and then resubscribe…

  • Reply Jennifer April 6, 2015 at 7:16 pm

    I can’t wait to see Cinderella. I have heard so many great things about it. And yes! Of course I will help you. Along with the new LTW edition, you also receive access to a host of new videos on the website. You will do just fine!!

    • Reply Brandy Vencel April 6, 2015 at 8:01 pm

      I think you will LOVE Cinderella, Jennifer! And also: thanks for putting your commitment to help me in writing. 😉

  • Reply Herbwifemama April 6, 2015 at 8:47 am

    Tell me about your Leviticus Study. I have the Genesis book, which sounded good, but when I got it, I couldn’t imagine doing so much per lesson. How do you use it?

    • Reply Brandy Vencel April 6, 2015 at 9:34 am

      I have heard that about the Genesis study, which is why I never bought it. I don’t know if this is actually better or worse because I haven’t actually seen the Genesis study myself. What I’ve been doing so far is breaking the chapters up over a couple days, and any Bible reading we do for the chapter IS our Circle Time Bible reading. So far, I don’t feel like it is taking too long, but we shall see. I’ll do a fuller review once we’re through it. 🙂

  • Reply Catie April 1, 2015 at 1:54 pm

    Love the 22 Pick Up idea–am I the only person who doesn’t know why “22”? 😉

    I’m so out of the loop-I’ve not seen anything about Cinderella! It looks so good! We just watched Malificent and I’d give it a… meh. I think they should’ve just called it something else; it wasn’t really Sleeping Beauty. I know that was the point, but I don’t like it when they change stuff. Just call it something else! 🙂 Have you seen that?

    • Reply Brandy Vencel April 1, 2015 at 2:19 pm

      I did see it! I had mixed feelings, sort of along the same lines as yours. I really enjoyed the story and I thought it was beautifully done — and yet I really wish it had been a different story entirely. There was too much twisting — making the evil fairy good, making the good king bad — for my taste. I like retellings, but I don’t necessarily appreciate recastings. On the other hand, Angelina Jolie did a fabulous job, I thought. 🙂

  • Reply Julia March 30, 2015 at 4:28 am

    Brandy, after vacillating back and forth about LToW for 5 years, I finally bought it and have been using it for the last month. I am finding it very easy to use. Due to my situation, I am not using the video support and it is still easy to use. I am using the ANI charts and the book discussions with all of my kids (15, 14, 12) but am only requiring my oldest to actually write the papers. We are all enjoying our time with it.

    • Reply Brandy Vencel March 30, 2015 at 10:01 am

      I am relieved to hear you say that you find it easy to use! That was really my biggest fear about it! I’m excited to try it next year, and I like that you are finding it a good experience, even when some of your students aren’t doing the entire writing process.

  • Reply Mama Squirrel March 28, 2015 at 5:01 pm

    22-fold-up is my laundry solution.

    • Reply Brandy Vencel March 28, 2015 at 5:07 pm

      Ha. 22 baskets…or items? 🙂

  • Reply susan in st louis March 28, 2015 at 12:56 pm

    Question on Cinderella – do you think it would be appropriate for an almost-6-year-old who has never been to the theater and watches very little in terms of videos/movies (with no TV)? I’m just wondering with the PG rating if it’s intense or scary at all for someone not used to movies? My kids can find Veggie Tales overwhelming/scary at times.

    Thanks to anyone for input! 🙂

    • Reply Anna March 28, 2015 at 2:11 pm

      Well, several parents die during the movie, nothing violent, but sad.

    • Reply Brandy Vencel March 28, 2015 at 5:05 pm

      I agree with Anna! 🙂 I wouldn’t call it scary, but sad in parts. I actually cried twice! {Of course, I am a sucker for movies.} My children don’t have very much experience with movies or TV, either, especially my little guy who is 6, but they all did fine in the movie. However, if *sad* is specifically a trigger for one of your children, you might want to watch it first, just in case.

  • Reply Virginia Lee March 27, 2015 at 7:23 pm

    My daughter and I went to see the Cinderella movie this afternoon. It was her first trip to a movie theater, she’s 6.5. Our family never goes to the theater (prices, younger kids in part of the mix, lack of quality movies), but we recently decided that it would be great for special time with the older kiddos now and then. What a lovely first movie in a theater to see! What a wonderful movie for young ladies to see. I wish all Disney movies were of this quality. So yes, I can see why you loved it.

    This is the second movie recommendation we’ve taken from you, Brandy. The first was About Time (husband and I rented it). We LOVED, LOVED that movie. Cinderella was very good, About Time was excellent. You are now 2 for 2!! Keep those recommendations coming. I gotta say I prefer to watch all high quality movies and not waste time on the duds. Ha. So thanks a bunch. =)

    • Reply Brandy Vencel March 28, 2015 at 5:07 pm

      Oh, I’m so glad you loved it, Virginia Lee! I think this was the first time that all of us {well, husband wasn’t there, but the rest of us were, plus my mom} went to the movies together, and it was so. much. fun. 🙂

      I try to be very careful what I recommend since I know you take me seriously. 🙂

  • Reply Anna March 27, 2015 at 6:25 pm

    My daughter and I went to see Cinderella tonight. Just a beautiful movie in so many ways, and yes, I’ll be buying a copy when it comes out!

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