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    August 4, 2017 by Brandy Vencel


    :: 1 ::

    Our current read aloud is brought to you by the letter A. As in ANDREW PETERSON. As in I am loving On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness.

    Sometimes, I can be a chronological snob. It’s really a matter of efficiency — I don’t want to be the person who wades through all the bad books to find the good ones, therefore I usually read older books. When books have been around for a while, time has already decided which ones are good or bad for me.

    But enough people were raving about this book that I decided … well … how bad could it be?

    Um. NOT BAD AT ALL! In fact: quite good. I’m really enjoying it, and it reads well aloud, which cannot be said for many modern books (which read more like movies and seem like they are meant to be like Victorian children: seen and not heard). Anyhow, if you’ve been wondering about this one, I recommend it.

    And yes … we already bought the other books in the series!

    :: 2 ::

    The Scholé Sisters retreat in Portland last weekend was a huge success! I kept waiting for the technological shoe to drop, but nothing major happened (which is a good thing). We’ve been asked a number of times if we plan to do something like this next year. The answer is: yes! We certainly hope to, we’ve been brainstorming already, and we think it’ll be even better than this time. I get excited just thinking about it!

    :: 3 ::

    Here is an announcement I put up on Facebook, in case you missed it:

    Please note that I only notify the interest list when the doors open because … well … there are a lot of people in line.

    Still only able to take 50 people. I know, I know. This is disappointing to some. The reality is that I want this to be personal, and even though not every one of those 50 people is going to participate in a personal way, there isn’t a way for me to scale it any further without losing the essence.

    :: 4 ::

    Are you starting school soon? I’m doing something I never thought I’d do: I’m starting a week earlier than I need to. The reason? My youngest son. He is Just Done. He’s bothering people for fun. He’s bored. While I think boredom is helpful and can foster creativity, sometimes it’s a sign of a need. In this case, it’s a combination of a need for more structure as well as more going in — the daily read alouds aren’t enough for his little demanding soul.

    So we’re starting early. It’s okay. It’ll give us a chance to take an extra week off somewhere else along the way.

    :: 5 ::

    This month in 2014:

    I wrote this back when Scholé Sisters was a website and not a podcast.

    :: 6 ::

    This week’s links collection:

    • Notre Dame Prof: Our Schools Are Committing ‘Civilizational Suicide’ from Intellectual Takeout
      • Not that you didn’t already know this.
      • “[H]e writes that modern students’ ignorance is the education system’s ‘crowning achievement… the consequence of a civilizational commitment to civilizational suicide.'”
    • Scary strangers, children, and boundary setting in the grocery store from The Cornered Cat
      • You know what? Whether you carry a gun or not, it’s good to have a plan. We were followed by two men in Costco about a year ago, but we made it out okay because we had a plan beforehand, and when they came running into the crowded parking lot looking for us, all of us were already locked in the car — they didn’t know where we’d gone or which one was ours. These days, my children are all aiming for their black belts; what I appreciate most about karate has been the self defense training.
    • Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation? from The Atlantic
      • It’s an interesting essay, but it’s possible blaming it all on phones is like blaming the disease on the symptom. To say “it’s the phones” seems overly simplistic to me.

    :: 7 ::

    Answering your questions:

    • Question: I’m new to Charlotte Mason and am wondering what teaching history looks like in high school. I understand they will be reading and narrating harder and denser books. I don’t want to say “Is that it?” But is that it??? Thanks!
      • Answer: Mostly, yes. But not quite. First off, if they haven’t already started, in high school a Book of Centuries should be added. We had always made our own until recently when we bought this one. Beyond this, though, are a number of options: Discussion, of course. Written narrations in which you ask your student to compare one person in the reading with another in the reading (or another in a different reading). Written sketches describing the characters of certain historical persons. Drawn illustrations of events. But in general, yes: a Charlotte Mason education really is as mind-bogglingly simple as it seems. If you want to read more about the BOC, I highly recommend Laurie Bestvater’s book, The Living Page.

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  • Reply Mama Rachael September 13, 2017 at 8:10 am

    Hey! I got a t-shirt last month, and ordered a Medium. Well, sunfrog’s mediums are a bit on the small side! So, be warned, I’m thinking I’ll order another one, though I’m bummed to be out this one. Anyone want a medium Schole Sister shirt? It’s been washed a few times, but is still in good shape! And only a month old. 😀

    • Reply Brandy Vencel September 13, 2017 at 8:51 am

      Will they let you exchange, Rachel? Or maybe not since it was washed? I’m so sorry! That IS a total bummer!

      • Reply Mama Rachael September 13, 2017 at 9:10 am

        I didn’t even ask… but I should. Thanks!

  • Reply Shanna August 7, 2017 at 4:04 pm

    Love Wingfeather even more than I thought. We are listening as an entire family at night, 6-12, I did ask a couple times if it was too scary but they say no. We are a little sad the narrator changed on the second book, it is the author, but we were used to the other guy! Many times I have been so impressed with his beautiful prose, I wasn’t expecting it, and the heart issues are so well done, he really does an amazing job.

    • Reply Brandy Vencel August 15, 2017 at 4:03 pm

      I don’t know about you, Shanna, but I find my younger children handle scary so much better than my older children did at their ages.

  • Reply Hevs August 7, 2017 at 9:41 am

    We first heard about Andrew Peterson when he visited the UK to perform a few of years ago and have since loved both the Wingfeather series and his music (I have to admit to loving the latter even more…!). Enjoy the rest of the series, they just get better and better (and hard to finish without a few tears…!).
    Hevs in the UK

    • Reply Brandy Vencel August 15, 2017 at 4:03 pm

      Tears! I am afraid of the tears! It seems they have to be coming in a book like this! 🙁

  • Reply Sarah August 5, 2017 at 8:05 am

    What ages would “On the edge of the sea of darkness” be good for? My 4 kids range from 4-9 years.

    • Reply Brandy Vencel August 5, 2017 at 11:00 am

      I’m reading it to 8-15 — my youngest could have tracked with it at age 6ish, I’m thinking…

  • Reply Brenda August 5, 2017 at 4:31 am

    I would also very much like to hear what your plan was.

  • Reply Kristi August 4, 2017 at 4:03 pm

    That Costco experience sounds terrifying! I too would like to know what your plan was if you can share. By coincidence, I just this morning had one of those reminder conversations with my young kids about not leaving a store with anyone except mommy or daddy, even if the person says we’re outside waiting for them (for example).

  • Reply Sharron August 4, 2017 at 6:29 am

    I’m hoping to add the Peterson books to our list if read books this year! Your experience at Costco? OH My Goodness! What did you do? My family would stick out like a sore thumb. My 17 year old beautiful daughter is 5’11” and my 11 year old is a beautiful Chinese girl. We’d be hard to miss! Lol. But so would a family of four or five!

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