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    Seven Quick Takes on Bug Mist Giveaway, Math Tool, Disappearing, and MORE!

    May 6, 2016 by Brandy Vencel

    Seven Quick Takes

    :: 1 ::

    Bug-MistLast week, we talked about Lyme-disease prevention in the comments of my Friday post, and that’s when I learned that Third Day Naturals makes a very effective bug mist! I contacted Sarah because I thought it’d be fun to do a giveaway, and she was up for it, so here we are! Use the form below to enter to win!

    a Rafflecopter giveaway
    Entry form closes at midnight on Thursday, 5/12/2016. Twitter entries can be done daily. Oh! And most important: there will be TWO winners!

    Also, if you just can’t wait, you can use the coupon code MOM15 to get 15% off from now until the end of May 2016!


    :: 2 ::

    Another of my can’t-do-without homeschooling tools is a bucket of Cuisenaire RodsI bought these almost ten years ago, and they are still in great condition and I am still using them. In fact, they came to mind because I pulled them back out this week in order to help a child straighten out the concept of tens and ones and adding or subtracting double-digits. This child was counting 16 as 16 ones — even though I had tried other ways to explain that it was one 10 and six ones. This was the visual I needed. I think things are starting to come together now for this child.


    :: 3 ::

    This week’s links collection:


    :: 4 ::

    This month in 2014:


    Still some of the best advice I ever received.


    :: 5 ::

    I am going to be posting inconsistently — followed by disappearing — in the near future. I hope to get one post up next week {for The Low-Energy Mom’s Guide to Homeschooling}, but we’ll see. We’ve had and continue to have a lot going on, and of course I’m headed to Dallas in 11 days! I need to spend more time refining my talks for the conference.


    :: 6 ::

    There were some problems with the shop last week. A couple times, someone notified me using my contact form, but didn’t include a name and email address so that I could reply. I want you to know that all the issues — and there were a couple things going on — have been fixed, and so any downloads for previous purchases that were not working ought to be working now.


    :: 7 ::

    Answering Your Questions:

    • Question: Regarding Plutarch’s study, or any historical fiction, how can I discern fact from fiction and prevent my child from learning the later as fact, especially if I don’t know myself? My 8yo asked “did he really do” such and such thing? I couldn’t answer him. How do you address this?
      • Answer: Imperfectly. That’s how I address it. He he. With Plutarch, he usually tells you if what he is saying is disputed, so that tends to be fairly safe. He is more of a primary source. Now, of course, certain things are interpreted through his culture — so, for example, he might say that something was the judgment of a god. While the thing — the earthquake or what have you — really happened, his interpretation is often strange to us. So my children and I will talk about that and about how Plutarch viewed the world differently. Otherwise, I do look up individual instances when needed. Sometimes, I just say I’m not sure. I try to remind them that we don’t learn history from a single book — we learn it through reading many books over a long period of time. So, we keep refining our idea of “what happened” and as we read more accounts, we tend to discover what is considered fact and what is considered disputed. If anyone else wants to share how you handle this sort of thing, please feel free to do so in the comments! I’m sure you all have great tips to add.


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  • Reply Virginia Lee Rogers May 7, 2016 at 3:19 pm

    Hi Brandy! I have not been receiving the Newbie Tuesday for a few months now. I had been recieving them no problem. I’ve checked junk mail, although they never came there before. I even went back and re subscribed, but nothing. Just wondering if that was one of the problems happening you spoke of, or if I need to do something else?

    Thank you!

  • Reply Amber Vanderpol May 6, 2016 at 2:51 pm

    And that sword in the stone church in Italy? I’ve been there! I had forgotten all about it until reading the article and seeing the pictures and thinking… “now wait, why does this look so familiar?” It was the last picture in the article of the church without a roof that really made me remember. I did a little searching in my mind and online to confirm it, and it started to come back. My memory of it seeing it in my early 20’s was that I thought the sword in the stone was a gimmick and couldn’t possibly be real, which is probably why I dismissed it from my mind. But the church without the roof was hauntingly beautiful and extremely memorable.

  • Reply Amber Vanderpol May 6, 2016 at 2:39 pm

    I’m not even waiting for the giveaway to close – that bug spray looks awesome! I’m also picking up some of the Wonder Balm while I’m at it. 🙂 We are having such a terrible time with mosquitoes right now – and we’re seeing way more ticks than we usually do as well.

    I’m looking forward to hearing about the AO conference – I’m sure it is going to be fabulous!

  • Reply Tom May 6, 2016 at 11:04 am


    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on Plutarch. I’m not a Charlotte Mason Mom (so, not your target audience), but a father of three daughters and a teacher by trade. I’m preparing a course for my eighth graders that will integrate History and Literature in a combined period taught by one teacher. One of the goals of this Integrated Humanities approach is to bring in more primary sources to help my students see History not as one, long, cut-and-dry series of causes and effects, but rather a narrative we can piece together only imperfectly. Literature often parallels this phenomenon when the author just won’t answer certain questions about a character, or won’t give all the background we, the readers, may think sufficient.

    On my blog, I’m currently exploring what the Historians (Greek and Roman) say about their own histories. I’ll probably end with Plutarch since he will be an important primary source for us. In the introductory paragraphs to his Life of Alexander, he explains quite well what he is doing (biography) and why and how it is different from the historians that came before him. The class I’m designing will focus on Greece and Rome for three quarters, but will also cover Mesopotamia and Egypt in one brief quarter.

    I’m excited to embark on the project and love to learn from other pedagogical methods, so I’ve been following your blog for a while now. Thanks for sending out the recent Newbie Tuesday on History and enjoy yout time in Dallas!

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