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    June 22, 2018 by Brandy Vencel


    :: 1 ::

    This comment from last week brings up a good point:

    I laughed out loud, as did my husband when I told him why, about The Self-Driven Child being considered moderately easy. I cracked it open last weekend and it has changed our lives. While the boys are working on improving their manners this summer, Mama will be working on reigning in her own anxiety and letting them have more control over their lives. I have been shocked by how ridiculously difficult it has been for me. And yet we have already seen improvement in behavior and attitude. Our oldest just got his driver’s permit as well which was also a challenge on the first and second practice drives. I had a great list of books to read this summer. But then decided I needed a light, easy, beach read for the time being to alternate with The Self-Driven Child.

    First, I wanted you to know how wonderful someone else thinks The Self-Driven Child is, too! ♥

    But also: what is a Moderately Easy book for one person might be a stiff book to another. Never feel pressured to categorize books the same way someone else does. There are books on my Moderately Easy list that would have been Stiff had I read them 5-10 years ago. Other times, a book where the reading level is easy enough for you might still need to be categorized as a Stiff books because of what it demands of you — for example, reigning in anxiety is some major work!

    For me, The Self-Driven Child is Moderately Easy because I’ve spent the last six months traveling and speaking about Charlotte Mason’s concept of Masterly Inactivity, which dovetails SO much with The Self-Driven Child that it’s amazing to me at times! Because I’ve been working with these ideas for a number of years, it’s different than if this had been my first encounter with them.

    Make sense?

    The bottom line is use the categories in a way that makes sense for you. Don’t worry about how anyone else has them labeled!

    :: 2 ::

    Episode 16 of AfterCast came out last week:

    Of course, the best way to listen to it is to find AfterCast in your favorite podcast player and subscribe. 🙂

    :: 3 ::

    Also last week, I finished up my last GHC of the season! Is was wonderful and amazing and all the good things GHCs always are, plus exhausting, which is something else they always are.

    While I could go to all seven GHCs next year, I am not choosing to do that because I don’t think I can pull that off and still be a good headmistress for our homeschool. I will still do Texas and California because … I love you, Texas and California! But after that, how about a vote? Tell me where I should go: Ohio, South Carolina, Missouri, New York, or Florida? I can only do one or two of these, so tell me your opinions now before my husband decides FOR you. 😉

    :: 4 ::

    This month in 2016:

    This was part of The Low-Energy Mom’s Guide to Homeschooling (which, technically speaking, I am still writing).

    :: 5 ::

    This week’s links collection:

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  • Reply Corinne June 30, 2018 at 12:25 pm

    Missouri please!

  • Reply Lindsay K June 30, 2018 at 11:40 am

    Missouri!!! 😉

  • Reply Becky Beck June 29, 2018 at 4:15 pm

    Ohh! Who really wants to go to a conference, come to Montana for a visit!

  • Reply KElty June 23, 2018 at 7:29 am

    South Carolina!!

  • Reply Randi Timmons June 22, 2018 at 8:34 pm

    GHC vote:
    South Carolina ☝?
    Florida ??
    Pretty, pretty please!

  • Reply Stephanie Napper June 22, 2018 at 7:43 pm

    South Carolina please! I loved hearing Pam speak but would really love to hear you two together! And also to have an AO element at the conference would be wonderful! Besides, the rest of the country is the same every place – the South is special, dahling!

  • Reply Cherryl Rushing June 22, 2018 at 5:44 pm

    Please come to South Carolina!

  • Reply Virginia Lee Rogers June 22, 2018 at 5:36 pm

    If we have to vote for a GHC conf, then I love Dawn, so add another Ohio vote to the mix. But if I can vote “Other,” then I vote CM West. Either Seattle or Cali are fine. You pick. ? Both are just a hop, skip, and a jump by plane from Colorado. Although I’m going to AO in April, so I’ll get to see you there. ?

  • Reply Rebecca Tighe June 22, 2018 at 4:03 pm

    Ohio!! Come to Ohio!! ❤️❤️❤️

  • Reply Sheraz 2011 June 22, 2018 at 3:52 pm

    You seriously need to come to Missouri. I was so disappointed that you weren’t coming. 😉

  • Reply Amber Vanderpol June 22, 2018 at 3:38 pm

    I have really resisted doing the habit tracker this summer, even though I think it is a fabulous idea. I have several reasons 1) I would have to owe up on how many books I am currently reading 2) I would have to recognize how ridiculous my “read this summer list” actually is 3) I would have to make decisions and prioritize 4) I would have to make agonizing decisions about what categories books should go in.

    I find it terribly amusing to have this kind of book and reading list angst. Well, when I’m feeling amused and not angsty, that is… 🙂

    And how about a CM West conference in 2019? *ahem* And I must admit I am getting a little curious about the GHC in CA… it seems too huge and overwhelming, but on the other hand it is a neat opportunity to hear some great speakers and meet up with great people too.

  • Reply Ann-Marie June 22, 2018 at 3:06 pm

    Oh, please come to New York…pretty please with sugar on top!!! I would love to see you speak in person. I have been trying to get people to come speak in the north, but, nobody seems interested. That book sounds great too! Will be looking into it. Fwiw, I could have written that mom’s comment 🙂 Hope you are having an awesome summer, Brandy! Still missing CMBC and about to watch the entire 6 weeks again as a refresher course (part of my plan for Mother Culture this summer).

  • Reply dawn June 22, 2018 at 1:04 pm

    I’m selfish enough to say the great state of Ohio needs a return visit.

  • Reply Amanda Venema June 22, 2018 at 11:51 am


  • Reply CO girl June 22, 2018 at 11:14 am

    Have you ever considered attending a non GHC conference…like Colorado’s wonderful CHEC conference? Plus, it’s in beautiful Colorado! Who doesn’t want to see God’s amazing creation? 🙂

    • Reply Brandy Vencel June 22, 2018 at 12:22 pm

      I have never been invited to speak in Colorado, but it sounds amazing! Of course, now that GHC wants to hire me for so many, it limits my time, but I am not against being hired by other conferences. 🙂

  • Reply Shawna June 22, 2018 at 9:44 am

    I vote Ohio! I hope to actually get to drive seven hours and go to it!!

  • Reply Sharron June 22, 2018 at 6:33 am


  • Reply Nicole June 22, 2018 at 3:53 am

    The South Carolina GHC! Please!

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