Get the exclusive (almost) Weekly Digest.

    Other Thoughts

    Thoughtworthy (Awesome Artist Study Resource, Swedish Drill Reviews, and MORE!)

    July 6, 2018 by Brandy Vencel


    :: 1 ::

    Next week is my big school planning week. Three of my children are attending a horse camp, and so E-Age-16 and I plan to bum around the house and Get Things Done!

    I’m beyond thrilled to not be getting my own picture study materials together. After ten years, I’m throwing in the towel and letting someone else do it for me: Rebecca from A Humble Place. Rebecca has done what I’ve always done — grabbing images online based on the titles from the AmblesideOnline artist study selections and putting them into a nice, printable document — but way better because she has a few of her own thoughts on each painting (she has an art history degree) whereas I had almost no thoughts!

    Check out these amazing resources she’s put together for those of us doing AO!


    :: 2 ::

    Did you use Swedish Drill Revisited this year, with your children or in a co-op? If so, we’re looking for some reviews! Dawn is coming out with a second level soon, and we are getting requests for reviews from people who are looking at Level One. It seems perfect to us to give you a 10% off coupon for Level Two in exchange for an honest review of Level One. (Yes, you have to have actually bought it and used it for this to work!)

    Click here to go leave a review!


    :: 3 ::

    In case you missed it, another episode of AfterCast came out last week. This time, I talked about “short lessons” — what Charlotte Mason meant by this term, how it changes over the years, and how we can adjust for our own children as needed.

    Click here to listen. Or even better, go to your podcast player and subscribe!


    :: 4 ::

    When I looked at the finished month of June on my Mother Culture Habit Tracker, I noticed something conspicuous: no novels. This was mostly purposeful. Novels are something I have a hard time putting down, and during most of June I was finishing up school and preparing for and traveling to speak. I wasn’t really on break yet, and novels are most definitely break books for me.

    At the end of June, I bought The Awakening of Miss Prim on a whim. I didn’t have a novel on my shelves I was in the mood to read, and I’d been meaning to pick up this title for years.

    I had heard some great reviews, some good reviews, and some less-than-enthusiastic reviews, so it was with fear and trembling that I turned the first page. After all, I wanted to like it … and I was so afraid I wouldn’t.

    There was NO reason for me to be afraid. The author is obviously familiar with my favorite writers and thinkers — not just Chesterton, Lewis, and Tolkien, but also greats like John Senior and Cardinal Newman. She also seems to equate homeschooling with the possibility of reenacting the now defunct Integrated Humanities Program from the University of Kansas — and if you’re familiar with Poetic Knowledge, you’ll be a fan of that.

    I’m giving it two thumbs up and I highly recommend it. She’s writing from a deep well, which I appreciate, but it was also a fun little tale.


    :: 5 ::

    This month in 2017:

    Not very old, but a fun one to write.


    :: 6 ::

    This week’s links collection:


    Get the (almost) weekly digest!

    Weekly encouragement, direct to your inbox, (almost) every Saturday.

    Powered by ConvertKit


  • Reply Mignon July 7, 2018 at 9:36 pm

    It’s so encouraging to see you mentioning the IHP under John Senior, a program near and dear to my heart, since so many of my friends at UD had parents who studied there back in the 70’s! So much good came out of that program, it’s no wonder it got shut down. But its fruits live on in many places, including a couple of great boys boarding schools, St. Gregory the Great ( ) , and a new one in Kansas, St. Martin’s Academy ( ). I think your Wikipedia link gives a good overview of those other legacies, including a college and a monastery that is dear to the hearts of many! It’s really neat to talk to people who were in that program and to see just how the role of poetic knowledge shaped their minds and spirits and their whole way of living in a sort of radically counter-cultural way, not in order to withdraw from society but to be, rather, an agent of change within society. So fascinating! Cotillions, star-gazing, memorizing poetry, and listening to fascinating discussions on the Great Books….. I can’t think of a better college experience.

    • Reply Brandy Vencel July 9, 2018 at 2:18 pm

      The IHP has always sounded like something out of a dream to me. But also, I think the Torrey Honors Program at my university (Biola) was not the same, but definitely similar. My big regret in life is not understanding what it was and so opting out…

  • Reply the.china.lady July 7, 2018 at 1:57 pm

    I love Rebecca’s art study packets. She has saved my bacon in that area.

    You know, there might be a general inclination to get us to “be okay” with the Carthaginian child sacrifice, b/c we sacrifice our children regularly by the millions. At the alter of convenience. For the pleasure of the god Ourselves.

    Have you seen the news about the round ups in western China? That is crazy and sad. Unfortunately, genocide has been going on since sin entered our world, but our moder news abilities make us more aware of us. I understand better my Dad’s “please come back soon, Jesus” prayers.

    • Reply Brandy Vencel July 9, 2018 at 2:19 pm

      Point taken about the Carthaginians. I think you might be right.

      I have NOT seen the news about China, but my word! It seems like persecution is getting bad again … 🙁

  • Reply Ann-Marie July 7, 2018 at 12:33 pm

    Brandy, I just wanted to pop in here and tell you how much I adored your thoughts on silence in your weekly digest!!! I have suffered for months (probably years) from the lack of the sweet sounds of silence, but, this past week, I was home alone *gasp*!
    My husband and sons went away for the week and it was just me and it was lovely with all of the silence. I don’t get much silence in a normal day with three boys and a hyperactive Border Collie! Now don’t get me wrong, I love the boy noise (most of the time), but, I do miss my silence. I took advantage of the silence and stayed in and read and contemplated and it was wonderfully good for my soul.
    I need to do that more often.
    On a different note, I do want to read Miss Prim, but, am reading The Two Towers now. What are your thoughts on reading two novels simultaneously? I do it all of the time with the kids for school in Morning Time, but, not sure that I want to do it for myself leisurely as I am worried I might savor them together the same as I would separately.
    Would love to hear your thoughts!
    Hope your summer is going well!

    • Reply Brandy Vencel July 9, 2018 at 2:22 pm

      You know, I was technically reading two novels at once. I hadn’t thought about it that way, but I was reading Fellowship of the Ring aloud to my family on the same days I was reading the novel. Does that count? 😉

      I found I followed along okay, but admittedly Fellowship is a re-read for me. I think I’d just try it and if you find it too distraction, you can always put Miss Prim back on your pile.

      I often read numerous non-fiction books at a time, but it is interesting to me how much more difficult it is to read multiple novels. At least, for me it is, and it sounds like it might be for you, too.

  • Reply Rebecca July 6, 2018 at 4:04 pm

    Wow, this was a surprise when I loaded your page today! 🙂 I am honored that you’re using my picture study aids, Brandy! And thank you for the link! Also, Miss. Prim has been patiently waiting on my TBR pile for a while now….I think it’s time I dusted her off….

    • Reply Brandy Vencel July 9, 2018 at 2:24 pm

      Well, I was very happy to share them. Thank you so much for putting them together! ♥

  • Reply Cristina Reintjes July 6, 2018 at 11:04 am

    I’m not even sure what to say about the comparison of child sacrificers to the Pilgrim fathers escaping persecution for their beliefs. Yes, I suppose it’s just like that ??

  • Leave a Reply