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    Mother's Education, Other Thoughts

    Get Some Inspiration: Mere Motherhood

    August 24, 2016 by Brandy Vencel

    [dropcap]P[/dropcap]eople! Have I sung the praises of Cindy’s book, Mere Motherhood, enough yet? It was balm to my soul, I tell you.


    So here’s the deal: if you meet moms who started homeschooling their kids in the mid- to late-80s, you will notice that they all tell you the same story: they heard Raymond Moore interviewed by Dr. James Dobson from Focus on the Family on the radio (because people still listened to the radio back then). After that, they stumbled upon For the Children’s Sake in some dusty corner of their church’s library, and the rest is history.

    This is how it went down in the 80s. For reals.

    I once told Cindy that she was Raymond Moore to my generation, and I wasn’t joking. Those of us who are about 10 years into homeschooling, give or take, all started out reading Cindy’s blog, Ordo Amoris, one of the five homeschooling blogs on the internet at the time.

    And she changed our lives. She changed my life.

    Reading this book was great fun because it was a chance to put all of the wonderful (and funny) stories I’d heard over the years into a broader context. It was like I was remembering the things that happened in the book. If you were reading Cindy’s blog back then, you will love this book, if you don’t already own a copy (which  you probably do).

    But beyond this is something else.

    It’s encouragement and perspective. We all need it. I found her words very stabilizing as we leaped into high school this year. It was the reminder I needed of what I will look back on and cherish … or regret. I was encouraged to continue the things so easy to drop, like Circle Time, memory work, and reading aloud.

    I laughed and I cried and in all it was like group therapy, except that I was alone, which is how I like it.


    ** This giveaway is now closed. **

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  • Reply The 2017 Afterthoughts Book Awards | Afterthoughts January 2, 2020 at 5:35 pm

    […] don’t walk, and get yourself a copy of this book if you don’t have it! You can read my thoughts on the book here. The short version is that I read it all in a short period of time and it felt like a vacation. […]

  • Reply Melissa Greene August 27, 2016 at 7:08 am

    I’ve been hearing nothing but fabulous things about Mere Motherhood. Oh, how I would love a copy to read 🙂

    I’m entering my 10th year of homeschooling as well. Didn’t it fly!

  • Reply Karen @ Living Unabridged August 26, 2016 at 4:03 pm

    Smiling at your Raymond Moore example. That was definitely the catalyst for my parents back in the day. I didn’t find Cindy early in my homeschool life but when I came across her blog she did help lift some of my preconceptions of Charlotte Mason and her acolytes. 😉

  • Reply Sherri August 25, 2016 at 10:29 am

    I can’t get my Instagram to share the info, so I feel that one of my entries must be disqualified. 🙁 It’s been acting crazy for a week!

    Had to be honest. 😉

    • Reply Brandy Vencel August 25, 2016 at 10:51 am

      I will let it slide. You get an E for effort. 😉

  • Reply Mary August 25, 2016 at 9:18 am

    “…it was like group therapy, except that I was alone, which is how I like it.”

    Hahaha. Yes! As a rather shy introvert, I’ve often thought, “There needs to be a support group for this.” And then I remember, “Oh yeah, no one would come.” 😉

  • Reply Phyllis August 25, 2016 at 4:41 am

    I laughed a little at your Raymond Moore example, because that is my parents’ story. Cindy, though… I didn’t start reading her blog until just before she closed it down. 🙁 I loved the glimpse that I got, and lately I feel like I’ve been getting to know her through podcasts and conferences.

  • Reply Amber Vanderpol August 24, 2016 at 4:12 pm

    I actually have a copy already, but I haven’t read it yet! (I’ll wait while you pick yourself up off the floor) I just started the school year and I afraid if I start reading I’ll just keep reading and that would be a bad thing for all these back to school habits and such… like going to bed at a reasonable hour, doing work with the kids, that sort of thing. 🙂

    And it’s funny – I have been homeschooling for the same amount of time as you, but I started because of reading For the Children’s Sake. But I did hear about it in a Yahoo group, so at least there’s some sort of nod to the Internet age… what’s really funny about it though is that I ordered FtCS at the same time as a certain purple CM book and unfortunately started reading the purple one first. I hated it, thought CM was a fluffy Victorian tea-party extravaganza, and ignored her philosophy of education for at least another year or two. In a moment of desperation I noticed For the Children’s Sake on my bookshelf and decided to give that one a try. And as they say, the rest is history! 😀

  • Reply Laura August 24, 2016 at 3:59 pm

    I follow your blog on Feedly

    • Reply Brandy Vencel August 24, 2016 at 5:18 pm

      Great, Laura! Make sure you put that into the entry form. 🙂

  • Reply Karen August 24, 2016 at 3:27 pm

    I was a teenager in the 80’s but I listened to him on the radio and read all the books as they were published or afterwards. I had decided I would homeschool my kids by the time I was 16 or 17. Yep, Raymond Moore was life changing for sure.

  • Reply Karen August 24, 2016 at 3:21 pm

    I think I already get your newsletter but just in case, signed up again as I am not sure.

    • Reply Brandy Vencel August 24, 2016 at 5:19 pm

      No worries — you shouldn’t get two copies. 🙂

  • Reply Angelique August 24, 2016 at 1:46 pm

    I am intrigued. :). Yes, please enter me.

  • Reply Jennifer August 24, 2016 at 12:55 pm

    Interesting how different generations’ journeys are similar, yet with distinct catalysts. I’d love to win a copy!

  • Reply Brandy Vencel August 24, 2016 at 12:25 pm

    What is killing me is that want ALL OF YOU to win and I only have 2 copies to give away! 🙁

  • Reply Deltra August 24, 2016 at 12:07 pm

    oooh, hope i win 🙂 Just shared on facebook!

    • Reply Brandy Vencel August 24, 2016 at 12:24 pm

      Great! Make sure you enter that in the form as your social media entry for the day! 🙂

  • Reply Patty August 24, 2016 at 11:56 am

    I’ve been wanting this! I didn’t find Cindy at the start of my homeschooling journey. I found her maybe 9 years into it(10 years ago).

  • Reply Nicole August 24, 2016 at 3:26 am

    I’m excited by this. I’ve really been wanting this book but it’s not in the budget at all. Maybe I’ll win it. 🙂

  • Reply Erin August 24, 2016 at 12:55 am

    Not sure how I wasn’t already subscribed to your newsletter, but just did. Already read you in feedly. Yep nodding away, Raymond more was my first homeschool love in the 80s, I was only a teenager but planning to homeschool my future kids way back then. Mere Motherhood sounds like a wealth of wisdom and inspiration, something us long haul mamas need.

    • Reply Brandy Vencel August 24, 2016 at 7:33 am

      “My first homeschool love” — Ha! That made me laugh. And I am impressed that you were planning for your homeschooling in high school. I was mainly planning for prom. 🙁

      • Reply Carol August 25, 2016 at 6:48 pm

        I have Mary Pride (The Way Home) to thank for my first introduction to the fact that homeschooling existed. My future dh and I read this when we were engaged. I read For the C. S just before I had our first child & knew that this was it & lived off the ideas in it for years before I discovered CM’s own writing.

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