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    Seven Quick Takes on Traveling, Free Live Webinars, Testing Grammar Programs, and MORE!

    September 25, 2015 by Brandy Vencel

    Seven Quick Takes

    :: 1 ::

    I’m traveling most of the day today with my dear friend Hayley {of Sunshine Days fame}. We’re on our way to the Northwest Charlotte Mason Educator’s Conference. Pray for safe travels for us, and also for our husbands while they fend for themselves! 😉

    :: 2 ::

    We got away last weekend for the first time in a year! It was very kind of my parents to let us tag along to their villa in Newport Beach, where we were able to enjoy this stunning view each day:

    Newport Beach

    The villas have a huge campus — multiple pools {Daughter A’s favorite was a salt water pool} and lots to do. I tried to teach three of my children to play tetherball, but the only thing that really happened was that I hit them each in the face at least once with the ball. We learn through failure — can I get an amen?? I sort of want one for the backyard now. Maybe Si would play with me?

    I think the {unexpected} highlight for me was singing Karaoke with Siah — he played John Travolta to my Olivia Newton John. I had never sung Karaoke before, but it was a blast, especially once the giggly high school girls showed up.

    :: 3 ::

    This week’s links collection:

    :: 4 ::

    This month in 2011:

    Playing it Safe

    I was comparing the book Raising Real Men with Howard Pyle’s Men of Iron. I can’t believe it’s been so long since I read those books!

    :: 5 ::

    homeschool-plan-pinMystie-My-Pretend-Life-Coach and I are doing a free LIVE webinar on Friday, October 9th called Work the Homeschool Plan. It’s at 1:30 PM, and I hope you are all going to go sign up because I think it’ll be a lot of fun. We’re going to take Mystie’s general get-it-done principles and apply them to homeschooling. Click the image to go reserve your spot!

    :: 6 ::

    Here’s something exciting: a new grammar program to test out! You all know I regularly have angst over grammar. Not being taught grammar well myself, I never really feel like I’m doing it right. I always resort to KISS because it’s simple to do and makes sense to me.

    When CAP contacted me and asked me to do a test run on this new curriculum, I was a little nervous. What if I can’t do this? I have bombed all grammar programs except for KISS, people! But then I read the subtitle: The Curious Child’s Guide to Grammar. That sold me on at least trying it. It might be wrong to judge a book by its cover, but I almost always judge one by its subtitle, don’t you?

    Well-Ordered Language

    We’ve just finished up our midterm break, so I’ll be incorporating this into Circle Time beginning next week {if all goes well and I don’t have too much of a conference hangover}. I will let you know what I think once we’ve done it for a while.

    :: 7 ::

    I don’t have a question for this week! {Unless I forgot something … hmmm … } Since I find myself with an available Seventh Take, it seems like a good time to mention that I bought this funny math book to read aloud upon the recommendation of the QoC. It’s called The I Hate Mathematics Book and all I can say is that sometimes we have to do extra things to woo our children into loving good things. Right now, this is my extra thing.

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  • Reply Catie September 27, 2015 at 12:25 pm

    Does it sound weird to say I can’t WAIT to start grammar!? 🙂

    That view is gorgeous! I love vacations! Which makes it sound like it happens often, but we go about once every 10 years. Ha!

    I have that math book on my shelf (think I picked it up at a library book sale) but have never opened it! Maybe I’ll give it a go this week. 😉

    Looking forward to the webinar!

  • Reply Melissa September 27, 2015 at 4:39 am

    I just signed up for the webinar Brandy! I will also link it to next week’s Friday Findings on our blog.

    I look forward to the grammar review. I really want to try KISS, but it looks grueling to implement. Michael Clay Thompson was a hit for us, but it’s quite advanced so we’re taking a break to let our brains catch up. This year, we’re trying Simply Charlotte Mason’s new Using Language Well….so far, so good 🙂

    Hope the conference went well,

    • Reply Brandy Vencel September 29, 2015 at 8:10 am

      Melissa, honestly, if I could afford MCT, I would probably do that! I have heard so many good things about it {and also the same comment about it being advanced}. Every once in a while, I look around for it used.

      This year, I’ve been using KISS a bit differently. Just putting a few sentences on the white board and doing the KISS version of diagramming while chatting about it. It’s been nice because it is simple enough that I’ve been more consistent. 🙂

  • Reply Dovey September 26, 2015 at 12:07 pm

    I can’t wait for the webinar! That will be so wonderful! We have a Siah too, only he’s our youngest boy. 🙂 Hope you enjoy(ed) your time at the conference!

  • Reply SarahD September 26, 2015 at 11:17 am

    Love the blast from the past on the Raising Real Men and Men of Iron books. I had not seen this one before. I read the RRM book a few years ago and really liked most of it.

    Can’t wait to find Men of Iron. It sounds great. Though I’ve always been pretty relaxed, I had an overly worrisome summer (could be that a 7-year-old’s badly broken arm had something to do with it? maybe having a 14 year old exerting some independence?) and felt myself freaking out a little more often than was necessary, I suppose. I think my perspective is getting back to center, though, and I should really re-read RRM and find MOI.

    Also, Brandy and Mystie, if you’re reading this–did you ever find some good books on raising girls? I can relate to Mystie’s conundrum about what to do with girls’ fussing. I have a very strong but very girlie girl–I’m girlie, but I was much more yielding and compliant…she must take after her dad. 🙂

    A list of great books on girls would be awesome. I’ve read Dr. Sax’s books on boys and girls, but nothing more about girls, specifically.

    • Reply Dovey September 26, 2015 at 12:08 pm

      I’m commenting because I think it’s a great question, and I want the response too!

    • Reply Brandy Vencel September 29, 2015 at 8:16 am

      Sarah, I have to break it to you that so far my best resources on raising girls have been two older moms I know that have managed to raise girls in a way I admire. If I ever come across a book I love on girls, I will be sure to mention it!

      With that said, I think that CM’s 2nd and 4th volumes give a whole lot of great guidance to parents — her second volume has become my favorite parenting book ever! A couple of the chapters are more locked in their own time, but most of them dwell on universal wisdom and have proven SO helpful to me in general.

  • Reply Rebekah September 26, 2015 at 5:24 am

    Haha! It’s true. I always judge a book by its subtitle.

  • Reply Olivia September 25, 2015 at 11:35 am

    Oooo … a CAP grammar program … can’t wait to hear more!

  • Reply dawn September 25, 2015 at 5:48 am

    I’ll be interested in the CAP grammar. We’re using Memoria press’ elementary grammar during circle time and I really like it.

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