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    Seven Quick Takes on Broken Refrigerators, Bedtime Routines, Nature Books, and More

    April 8, 2016 by Brandy Vencel

    Seven Quick Takes

    :: 1 ::

    Before I forget, Compass Classroom is having their annual spring sale — these are the best prices you’re going to see all year, I think! Their new subscription options are a cutting edge approach to online classes.

    If you’re looking to buy, this is a great time to snap up Grammar of Poetry {good for junior high ages}, Visual Latin {which I love, you know}, or Old Western Culture — I use The Greeks for myself. A little scholé on the side, if you will. I adore Wes Callihan. I feel like he should be smoking a pipe in his videos.

    :: 2 ::

    In addition to the flood we had in our house less than two weeks ago, our refrigerator also broke. There is a repairman coming later today, and I’m hoping for good news. My parents were kind enough to watch my kids for hours and hours yesterday while I spent time going from store to store in order to discover what I already suspected: refrigerators are out of my price range. There is a chance we could have been able to afford one if we hadn’t had the flood, but as it is, we aren’t even 100% sure what repairing that damage is going to cost us.

    On the up side, I got my hair cut. This is important, because it only happens once or twice per year. If the appointment hadn’t been made before the flood and before the fridge’s demise, it wouldn’t have happened. I’m thinking this was Providential.

    :: 3 ::

    This week’s links collection:

    • Scholé :: A Reconciliation of Self from Between the Linens
      • This one from Ashley wins the Post of the Week award! LOVE.
    • Much Too Early from EducationNext
      • This was really super interesting to me but I first had to get over being offended that the author referred to being hyperlexic as a developmental disorder. I was hyperlexic, as were a couple of my children. I don’t think we were permanently damaged by having early blooming abilities. With that said, I do not advocate teaching children to read when they are young unless they are begging for it — and even then, I’m skeptical. In my experience, true early readers teach themselves with minimal help from others. The rest is done because we have it in our heads that children are “ready” when they’re really not.
    • NOT DUFFERS, WON’T DROWN from First Things
      • The “not duffers, won’t drown” comment is one I have remembered the most from Swallows and Amazons.

    :: 4 ::

    This month in 2013:


    I was on a Latin kick. The specifc post is titled What Does Declining Mean? This was supposed to be a much bigger series, but the parts I did do were alright, I think. 🙂

    :: 5 ::

    Does it take 5 million years for your children to get ready for bed? It does mine, and the problem has been exasperated by our lack of a second usable bathroom. Everyone remembers their need for a shower, for example, at the same time. For a while, my husband tried the micromanaging approach, but then he was just angry when he tucked them in. I tried the negligence approach, but {no surprise} it took them 90 extra minutes to get ready for bed.

    After a few awful days, we got off this rollercoaster and decided to do some adulting. We now call them to get ready for bed thirty minutes before bedtime. If they need a shower {and they usually do}, they are responsible to remember before then and work it out amongst themselves — only the teen is allowed to take showers later. If they aren’t ready for bed by bedtime, the next day we add ten minutes to the process — they are called in forty minutes before bedtime. If they aren’t ready on time, we add another ten minutes. You get the idea. I told them I don’t mind if they have to start getting ready at three o’clock in the afternoon — they are going to get ready on time, without arguing, and without us prodding them to do it.

    Problem solved.

    :: 6 ::

    I’m pretty sure it was Anne White who recommended this book. I bought it, of course, but I didn’t really need it in the curriculum, so I just put it on the coffee table to see what would happen. Naturally, A-Age-Eleven picked it up and she’s very excited about it. It’s caused her to be particularly interested in daddy long legs spiders.

    Anyhow, if you are looking for a new naturalist type book, this was is fantastic.

    :: 7 ::

    Narration and Synthetic ThinkingI’m excited about all of the talks planned for the AmblesideOnline conference, which is coming up in May. But this talk by Karen Glass? It’s the talk I’ve been waiting for.

    I adore Karen and the hard part will be not acting like a total fangirl when I finally meet her after all these years!

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  • Reply Catie April 12, 2016 at 9:10 am

    Sorry to hear about your fridge!! 🙁 Sheesh!

    Glad we’re not the only ones whose kids don’t *love* going to bed! :/ Love your solution! 🙂

  • Reply Tara April 10, 2016 at 7:22 pm

    Hi Brandy, if your fridge can’t be revived, what about checking Craigslist or whatever local classifieds you might have in your area? In our area we use Nextdoor, a community social networking site where neighbors notify others of any safety concerns in the area, dogs that have escaped the backyard fence and are on the loose, etc, and there is also a Classifieds section on the site. And there is another online classifieds site in our area we can check when looking for used items. I’ve noticed that sometimes people sell things like fridges because they moved in and the home already had a fridge and they don’t need two of them, or because they got a fridge in a different color (or they moved in and the one they brought with them to the home doesn’t match the other appliances), or they just wanted a larger/smaller one, or whatever. Perhaps you could find one in good shape for a steep discount versus buying a new one.

  • Reply Amber Vanderpol April 9, 2016 at 9:19 pm

    Yes, 5 million years, definitely. It is particularly bad when my husband and I don’t want to deal with 4 yo drama and we just sort of ignore the whole issue while kind of pretending to try and move things along. Ahem. And it is particularly bad when I serve dinner late…

    I listened to your most recent Scholé podcast today and wow that was good!! So much good food for thought there. I’m so glad you talked to him – after hearing him on the Delectable Education podcast I definitely wanted to hear more too. Between these two podcasts and the Delectable Education one about the Bible I am very eager to make some changes to our Bible study. I think I’m on the right track at least, but I have some great ideas for how to make some improvements. And I’m very excited to use Savior of the World with my daughter next year.

    BTW, there is something wrong with your book link in #6 – it looks like you have some extra text at the beginning of your link.

    (And it was a bit of a jolt to hear you say my name on at the end of the podcast – but fun too *grin* Thanks!)

  • Reply Erin Day April 9, 2016 at 1:18 pm

    We had a flood in our kitchen in February. To the casual observer you could see nothing wrong. But!! It cost over $10,000 to fix it. So thankful for homeowner’s insurance. We were able to do some work ourselves and so covered the cost of the deductable and didn’t have to come out of pocket at all.

  • Reply Ashley April 8, 2016 at 7:21 pm

    Shoot! I didn’t prepare my acceptance speech! 😉

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