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    Home Education, Other Thoughts

    Seven Quick Takes on Living Science, Swimming Lessons, Buying a New Bag, and More!

    June 19, 2015 by Brandy Vencel

    Seven Quick Takes

    :: 1 ::

    a new addition I ordered for third grade, thanks to AO’s science

    The school books I ordered are slowly trickling in. I’m not in full-blown planning stage yet, but I find that ordering the books at the start of the summer break is a must if I want to be able to plan when the time comes. I remember that one time I waited to order books, and then the planning stage was somewhat frightening because I necessarily had to start before the books had arrived.


    Being able to look at the books while planning is sort of important.


    :: 2 ::

    We survived Week 1 of swimming lessons. Have I mentioned how much I love this time? I love going somewhere every day, and sitting in the sun for over an hour reading a book just for fun. I love spending time on my tan hobby while chatting it up with an old friend whose children are taking at the same time, who I haven’t seen every weekday since we were in college. I love the feeling of a substantial transition to summer.


    :: 3 ::

    This week’s links collection:


    :: 4 ::

    This month in 2010:

    Lessons from Charlotte: Governing the Kingdom of Mansoul {Part II}

    I had been blogging my way through Charlotte Mason’s sixth volume. This one was published on June 19, 2010, so it’s exactly five years old today, which is fun.


    :: 5 ::

    I bought a new bag on Amazon the other day. My beloved purse, which I bought a few years back at Target on sale for $20, finally died. It isn’t that I have to buy everything online, but I’d looked around while I was out and about and I couldn’t find what I liked at a price I wanted to afford. {I’d rather buy books, as you know.} So I asked myself what I really wanted, and realized that a heavy duty canvas messenger bag would fit the bill better than a purse. Often, when I leave the house, I am carrying two bags, if not more, because I have so much stuff with me.

    It dawned on me that the bag I carried in college would still suit me better than a purse. Knowing what I wanted made it easy to do a search, which meant it was easy to find, and then Amazon made it easy to order. So, two days after my purse died an ugly death, spewing its guts on the garage floor, my new bag arrived. Hip hip.


    :: 6 ::

    Did you see that AmblesideOnline debuted its living science curriculum for Year Eight? It’s very unassuming on the website, just sitting there on the Year Eight page as if it’s always been there. But if you’re like me, you remember when they just suggested a couple textbook options because there was no such thing out there as a Charlotte Mason living science curriculum for the upper grades. I’m so excited that it came out in time for me to use it with my oldest. A big thank you to Jeanne Webb and Kathy Wickward for heading up the Living Science team. They have done an amazing job!


    :: 7 ::

    Answering Your Questions:

    • Question: I was really wanting to listen to your talk Memorization and the Soul from the Memory Index, but could not get it to work. Do you have any ideas or access to it somewhere else?
    • Question: I’m wondering if there is any way to get my hands on the “back issues” of Newbie Tuesday. Yes?
      • Answer: Right now? No. 🙁 Hypothetically, there ought to be a way, but I cannot seem to figure out how to do it. So … the plan at the moment is to wait until the end of the year and then compile all the issues together into one volume and make it available that way.


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  • Reply Karla (clay1416) July 20, 2015 at 6:54 am

    Hi Brandy! I wanted to follow up and ask how is it going with the new bag? Do you like it? Does it get too heavy? I’m looking to purchase one but wanted to hear your review 🙂

    • Reply Brandy Vencel July 20, 2015 at 9:17 am

      I still love it! It is very resistant to dirt, so that gets extra bonus points from me. 🙂 Only once has it gotten too heavy, but that was when I really weighed it down with a binder and a bunch of books — my own fault. It is very roomy, so I can basically bring anything I like. That’s dangerous! 🙂 Anyhow, I’m super happy with it. It’s large enough for a laptop, so I suppose people who don’t carry as much stuff with them as I do might find it too big, but I feel like I always have books and notebooks with me, so it’s really helpful.

      • Reply Karla (clay1416) July 20, 2015 at 10:20 am

        Thanks! I will be getting one today then! How exciting 😀 it doesn’t take much to make me happy. I’m ready to carry everything in one bag instead of 2 or 3.

        • Reply Brandy Vencel July 20, 2015 at 10:22 am

          Yes! Oh, how I know what you mean! I have only carried more than one bag one time since I bought this thing, and that was because I was bringing tons of stuff to a meeting — a definite exception.

  • Reply Jenny June 28, 2015 at 8:59 pm

    Ok, so maybe this would be more appropriate for a Newbie Tuesday newsletter… would love to hear more thoughts on how you plan with your books in hand. We only have one year of AO (Y2) under our belt. I followed the schedule on the website, but I’m a bit nervous about next year. The scheduling thing has been daunting to me. It makes my head spin, and we’re just at the beginning. I will be adding a Y1 student in the mix, but even more than that is working it all w/ my preschooler and almost-toddler, all while being new to CM and AO.
    Love reading your blog. I learn so much!

  • Reply SQT: Books, Benadryl and the Beast | Crossing the Brandywine June 19, 2015 at 3:52 pm

    […] before how I love Youtube (with prescreening and an ad-blocking program). This drawing by J-age-12 (I’m stealing that notation from Brandy) was done after we watched a few video tutorials about drawing dragons. For physical books, Drawing […]

  • Reply Virginia Lee June 19, 2015 at 11:20 am

    We just finished Y3 in middle of May. Boo hoo, that they added the new Science book after the fact. But YAY for me that I still have 3 more kiddos to hit Y3! So it’s going on the list to look for. LOVE seeing the additions to AO’s science. I think we’ve only ever read one book (so far) that we absolutely did not like at all from AO.

    Also, since it’s planning time and all, what did y’all think of the Ganz Bible study/commentary? She has one on Numbers I’m considering. How’d it work for multiple ages in MT? It looks like I’d need to break each chapter into different MT sessions because of length. Did y’all do this and if yes, did that work with how she’s written it? Jeanne recommended her so highly, so now my interest is peaked. I’m not really interested in the activities it seems to say it has at the back, more the actual commentary and verses part. Maybe I just need to get it on Kindle since it’s cheaper to really check it out, but thought I’d hit you up for some questions first. =)

    • Reply Brandy Vencel June 21, 2015 at 3:34 pm

      I don’t have my copy of Drop of Water yet, but maybe you could just read it aloud for fun to your Y3 student this summer? I was thinking about doing that with A-Age-10 once it arrives…

      As far as the Ganz study goes, I am still super happy with it. I had planned to continue it over the summer, but that has happened yet because my husband has been reading something else to them in the morning. Anyhow, YES I definitely had to split up each chapter over a number of days. I haven’t done ANY of the activities in the back — we just read and narrate. I tried to break up the Scripture assignments so that we read a bit of Scripture before each Ganz reading. It has worked well. And honestly, I don’t plan ahead at all. I just open it up and decide what we’re going to read for the day each morning…

  • Reply Mariel June 19, 2015 at 7:46 am

    Regarding AO year 8 living sci book “Phineas Gage” – I read that with my 4th graders the year before last and we all loved it. It’s fascinating, has excellent diagrams, and makes one want to learn more! Really great example of narrative nonfiction.

    • Reply Brandy Vencel June 19, 2015 at 10:12 am

      Ooh! That excites me. The front cover sort of freaked me out when it arrived. 🙂

  • Reply susan in st louis June 19, 2015 at 4:33 am

    I think I have all or most of the Newbie Newsletters…I would be happy to forward to someone if I had an email address to send them to.

    • Reply Brandy Vencel June 19, 2015 at 10:19 am

      Thanks, Susan!

      • Reply Paola Collazo June 19, 2015 at 1:40 pm

        Thank you both, Brandy and Susan. I would appreciate the first 3 issues. My email is
        Hope you both are having a great summer.

      • Reply Jenny June 28, 2015 at 8:28 pm

        ooh, me too, me too!!
        jennyandben AT gmail DOT com

        Thanks, Susan!

  • Reply Karen@The Simply Blog June 19, 2015 at 3:56 am

    I agree…being able to look at the books is important when planning out the schedule. Well, unless you can see the table of contents on a sample of the book online. That can be very helpful. But having the book is much, much better. 🙂

    • Reply Brandy Vencel June 19, 2015 at 10:22 am

      Agreed. With just the online TOC, I still make bad calls. I guess I just need the visual aid. 🙂

      • Reply Karen@The Simply Blog June 19, 2015 at 4:16 pm

        Oh I definitely prefer to have the book in hand! 🙂

        • Reply Brandy Vencel June 21, 2015 at 3:35 pm

          Glad I’m not the only one. 🙂

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