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    Seven Quick Takes on My Favorite Dinosaur, Field Trips on Mondays, and an Audio Download

    April 24, 2015 by Brandy Vencel

    Seven Quick Takes

    :: 1 ::

    We started off the week with a field trip! It was Homeschool Day at the Los Angeles Museum of Natural History, and this means I, along with five children {yes, we had a tagalong}, got free admission! And my mom let me borrow her {more reliable ahem} car. It was so great. If you ever get a chance to go, the dinosaurs alone are worth it.



    :: 2 ::

    The thing with starting off a week with a field trip is that the rest of the week is all downhill. This is why I usually have Enrichment Friday rather than Enrichment Monday. It’s just better. My son was trying to describe to me how he felt on Tuesday and so I ended up teaching him the word lethargic. See? I was pushing through it. 😉


    :: 3 ::

    The stegosaurus has always been my favorite dinosaur. I cannot tell you how happy I was to meet this guy! He does not, by the way, have little hands. There was a T-rex next to him.



    :: 4 ::

    This week’s links collection:


    :: 5 ::

    If you’re not really a video person {like me!}, the audio file is now also available for the Principles Are Practical discussion that I had with Mystie. It’s still free to all of you who subscribe, and if you don’t subscribe, what are you waiting for? Use the form below:

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    :: 6 ::

    Last weekend, we went to the theaters and saw InsurgentI tend to like dystopian action flicks, so I was happy. I was also happy that we still had gift cards leftover from Christmas to cover the cost. Even. Better.

    Since Friday is Movie Night for Si and me, I might as well mention that tonight’s selection is The Giver. Never seen it before, but I’ll probably like it, seeing as it fits with our theme of Fake Ideal Worlds.

    We’ve also scheduled our next 11Up Club movie night. We’ll be watching Night at the Museum. We thought it was particularly appropriate in light of this week’s field trip!


    :: 7 ::

    Answering your questions:

    • Question: Why not Greek instead of Latin if your goal is reading the Bible?
      • Answer: It’s hard to give a short answer to that question, which tends to be based upon the fact that the New Testament was mostly written in Greek. First, I suppose I ought to say that we haven’t ruled out Greek for some of our children, but we would consider this an endeavor for high school rather than junior high. Another consideration is that Latin is something I take to easily, and since I’m the teacher and all, that does actually matter. But one thing I think is important to think about is that Latin was the language of the church for at least a thousand years. The Vulgate was translated in the late 300s because that was the common language of the church. The truth is that we don’t just want to read the Bible. When our pastor stands up in front of our church and says that a really important book we need to read is Athanasius’ On the Incarnation, we’d like to read it in the original. {In an ideal world, at least.}
    • Question: How does narration mature over time?
      • Answer: How I wish we had a book just on narration to refer to for questions like these! The short answer is that I don’t know for sure because my oldest is only in 7th grade. With that said, I have written a number of times on blending the progymnasmata with narration and using that to help them grow up a bit. You can check out those posts here.


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  • Reply karen in ky April 26, 2015 at 6:07 am

    My students are always shocked when I give them the sad news that those gorgeous, pristine, unblemished sculptures of ancient Greece are not what the Greeks themselves saw when they went-a-looking in the agora…and then their disillusionment is furthered when they learn that there are few extant Greek works – the ones we think of as Greek are actually Roman copies. Fun stuff, learning – but sometimes ignorance is bliss, right?? Nice link. I’ve got to get your posts piecemeal b/c I can never seem to read through the newsletter in completion….

  • Reply Rebecca April 25, 2015 at 5:57 pm

    Brandy, we have Big Hero 6, if you want to borrow it for an upcoming movie night. Read the plugged in review for it- I thought it was pretty accurate. It is intended to be a super hero origin story and it’s from Marvel, so think Avengers and X Men but for a younger audience and a bit of anime style.

  • Reply Kansas Mom April 24, 2015 at 7:44 pm

    I hated the third book of the Divergent series so much I haven’t been able to force myself to watch the movies. Maybe someday. I keep meaning to watch The Giver. I’m requesting it right now so I don’t forget again. We just got Big Hero 6 from the library. The kids have seen it, but Kansas Dad and I have not. I’m anticipating a movie night tomorrow.

    As for Latin, for Catholics, it’s still the official language of the church, so that could be a benefit. Maybe someday I’ll read St. Athanasius in the original Latin. (He’s our family’s patron saint, so that would be appropriate.)

    • Reply Brandy Vencel April 25, 2015 at 2:57 pm

      Oh really?? I will admit I haven’t read the books — only watched movies. But I found myself feeling like it should have ended with that victory in Insurgent, so I now wonder how in the world they will keep it going. Now you have me curious!

      I would give The Giver only about 3 stars. It was only OK. Again, I haven’t read the book. My understanding is the book is really good? Do you know? All I could think was that the author of Divergent got all of her cultural setting ideas from The Giver!

      Is Big Hero 6 any good? I somehow missed the boat completely on that one and only heard of it recently.

      • Reply Kansas Mom April 25, 2015 at 4:18 pm

        I have no idea how they’ll handle it in the movie, but in the third book, they head out of the city to see what’s beyond the walls. I wrote a review of the trilogy on my blog ( and I think managed it without any spoilers.

        The Giver in book form is wonderful, definitely worth reading for yourself and your kids. There’s a quartet. The middle two are adequate, but the fourth one (Son) rivals the first. It’s excellent. I reviewed these books on my blog, but there are spoilers so I won’t link it here.

        A movie version of Unwind is supposedly coming out in 2016. That’s a movie I’m excited to see! (I reviewed that on my blog, too, somewhere.)

        We’re paused half-way through Big Hero 6, but so far it’s looking good. I missed it, too, but some good friends who watch a lot of movies themselves but are very particular about the ones they let the kids watch saw it in the theaters and loved it so much they bought a copy the day it came out. So we let the kids watch it there even though we hadn’t see it.

  • Reply Karen @ The Simply Blog April 24, 2015 at 3:26 am

    My hubby and I went to see Insurgent at the theatres not too long ago. I liked Divergent…but I think I liked Insurgent even more. My hubby has read the whole series so he could fill me in on things not in the movie, how it was different from the book, etc.

    And we like the Night at the Museum movies too. 🙂

    I believe Simply Charlotte Mason recently published a book on narration. Let me see….I’ll look really quick….yep…here’s the link:

    They also have a free resource on narration as well:

    I haven’t read these…but I did read their blog series on narration that they did before they published the book.

    • Reply Brandy Vencel April 24, 2015 at 7:11 am

      Thank you for those links, Karen!

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