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    June 23, 2017 by Brandy Vencel


    :: 1 ::

    We survived the Great Homeschool Convention in Ontario last week! (I say “we” because my husband came with me.) It was fantastic. I love seeing my people in my talks and at the booth, and I also love the chance to see the glorious variety in homeschooling.

    The volunteers at the AmblesideOnline booth — Brittany, Glenna, Hailey, Helen, and Naomi — were a complete delight (and way helpful).

    It was nice to connect with some people outside the conference as well, so I did dinner with Ashley Woleben (from The Classical Homeschool Podcast) and then my husband and I had breakfast with Sarah Mackenzie (from Read Aloud Revival) and her son. It is always nice to see Voxer buddies in real life — plus the rule is that once real-life contact has taken place, my husband has to stop calling them my fake friends. Victory!


    :: 2 ::

    The summer session of Charlotte Mason Boot Camp began bright and early Monday morning. I’ve gotten a lot of questions about the next session, so let me allay your fears. First and foremost, YES we plan to have a fall session. I don’t have exact dates yet, but it will be over before Thanksgiving week.

    The goal right now is to have camp three times per year: spring, summer, fall.

    There have been a lot of requests that I make it bigger. I’m not sure what to do about this! On the one hand, I totally get it — it sells out in a little over an hour, so we need more slots. But on the other hand, the intimacy of a smaller group is part of its charm and I feel like I’m pushing it at 50 members.

    So we’ll see. One thing we are considering is having two groups running at the same time? Maybe it won’t feel crazy if we add a whole additional group rather than crowding one group with more people? That’s a possibility.

    I’m mainly saying all of this as (1) therapy and (2) a way of letting you know that I really am listening to these requests.

    If you want to get on the Charlotte Mason Boot Camp interest list, sign up here. This is the only way to find out when the new session opens for registration.


    :: 3 ::

    On Monday, I bought all of our school books for next year! This isn’t as big a deal as it might sound because I almost only buy for my oldest — everything is handed down over years. I think I purchased one thing for my 12-year-old. Still, it felt like progress.

    You probably know this, but it’s really helpful to already have the books in your possession when it comes time to make a school schedule. I don’t plan to work on weekly schedules for a few more weeks, but ordering the books now is a way of preparing for the future.


    :: 4 ::

    Speaking of school schedules, I always start by making blank templates. Here is my first attempt at a template for Year 10 (morning hours only):

    I still need to create these for my other students, but since Year 10 is the year I’ve never done before, I did it first. It required a lot more thinking than the others. Once all of the books arrive in the mail, I’ll be able to use them to plug in reading assignments.


    :: 5 ::

    This month in 2016:

    Yes, I still loooooove AbeBooks. Once again, Abe sold me half of my school book purchases at excellent prices.


    :: 6 ::

    This week’s links collection:


    :: 7 ::

    I really do plan to start writing real blog posts again. I wrote quite a bit this week, but unfortunately it was a rough draft of a talk I’m giving at the Scholé Sisters Retreat and not anything I’ll be posting here.

    Speaking of the Retreat, I’ll be chatting it up on Facebook Live next week, so if you have any questions about it, feel free to ask!

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  • Reply Jenni June 25, 2017 at 12:47 am

    Hi Brandy: I saw a link saying the emissions article data is bunk: I wonder still about the one you posted on wind generated electricity. I can’t find it now, but we live in Portugal, and it is amazing how many homes are taken care of through this here. I don’t have the data, but it made me a bit sad that day to see that link.

    On the other hand, I am thankful for all you do and the example of a leader and teacher that you are!

    • Reply Brandy Vencel June 25, 2017 at 10:09 am

      I read the link and I’m not sure I agree with his math, but I’ll keep it in mind as I read further. I don’t know about wind energy worldwide, but here in CA it really *is* nonsense. My best friend’s husband works for the power company — the wind energy is completely inefficient compared to other means of production (of course you have to count all steps of it — they only put it in in order to abide with state laws and then the company lobbies for mandates in order to keep other companies from being able to afford to compete in the market because wind energy is so high cost). This may be because, where we are, the oil is in the same place? I’m glad it’s working in Portugal, though!

      The whole “climate change” thing is always interesting to me. When my father was a child, the next ice age was coming. When I was a child, it was getting too hot. Now, it’s just “changing.” When I was a child, they were concerned about nitrogen. A little later, it was methane. Now, it’s carbon. And of course, since people are carbon-based life forms, that causes me more concern — because the climate movement has always been used as a means of encouraging people to have fewer children, including promotion of abortion.

      All of this is to say, please don’t think I post links like that likely (even if we disagree, which is fine ♥). This isn’t actually new news — Wired magazine was questioning the efficiency of the Tesla car over a year ago.

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