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    July 13, 2018 by Brandy Vencel


    :: 1 ::

    I’ve been pestering my husband, Si, for a while about contributing here at Afterthoughts. Years ago, when we ran our local homeschool conference, he spoke on children’s health (he has a master’s degree in holistic nutrition), and the moms ate it up. They loved it. I figured you all would love it, too, especially since he also has read Charlotte Mason. Anyhow, I have finally persuaded him, and he’ll be joining us as a monthly contributor starting next week. I just read his first piece … I can’t wait to share it with you!


    :: 2 ::

    TOMORROW is the end of the early-bird pricing for the Growing Charlotte Mason Communities live event, so don’t forget to register! Everything is really coming together now and let me just say that this is going to be fabulous.


    :: 3 ::

    Yesterday, we published another new episode of AfterCast:

    Remember to subscribe in your favorite podcast player! ♥


    :: 4 ::

    I take this slow reading thing seriously, which means it takes me just about forever to finish a book. Imagine my surprise when I realized I’ve already finished two books this month! I guess my mother culture habit is working. (Plus I cheated and gulped a novel down in three days around Fourth of July.) Here’s what I’ve finished:

    The Awakening of Miss PrimThe Self-Driven Child

    I recommend both of these titles. The Awakening of Miss Prim is pretty perfect — I mentioned this last week. The Self-Driven Child is great because it incarnates a number of Charlotte Mason’s principles and practices — specifically principles regarding how to motivate and practices such as Masterly Inactivity — in our modern world. Especially helpful were the chapters on Autism, ADHD, and learning disabilities as well as dealing with technology/screens.


    :: 5 ::

    This month in 2014:

    This was one of the first things I ever wrote for Scholé Sisters!


    :: 6 ::

    This week’s links collection:


    :: 7 ::

    Answering your questions:

    • Question: I’m watching the Growing Vibrant Charlotte Mason Communities with some friends, do we each need to register?
      • Answer:  Yes, you do. The cost for GVCMC is per person. 🙂
    • Question: I am traveling the day of the Vibrant event — can I still purchase it and watch the replay?
      • Answer: Yes! Absolutely! We knew that this would be the case, especially since it is summer. We will try our best to have the replays up within 48 hours of the event. If you are planning to do this, you might as well register now before the early-bird price ends.


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  • Reply Catie Newby July 14, 2018 at 5:39 am

    Can’t wait to hear from your husband! Exciting stuff!

    It’s school planning time, (as you know!) so I’ve been poking around your blog a bit more than usual lately and I’m so thankful for it! 🙂

    That article on Joel Davis is indeed sickening. Come, Lord Jesus!

  • Reply Mrs. Crawford July 13, 2018 at 10:00 am

    Unfortunately, the media reporting on the Odyssey fragment is rather sloppy. You might find this examination of the find and its reporting to be interesting:

    • Reply Brandy Vencel July 13, 2018 at 1:47 pm

      Thank you! I’ll be sure to check this out. 🙂

    • Reply Lucy barr-hamilton July 19, 2018 at 3:09 pm

      As an English person I am so saddened and ashamed at the quality of reporting by the BBC. I don’t think any of their writers were given a Charlotte Mason education.

      • Reply Mrs. Crawford July 20, 2018 at 4:15 pm

        My little brother (who is an officer in the Air Force and is wont to loftily inform me that it’s his job to know these things) generally recommends the BBC highly for geopolitical reporting. In this case, evidently the original release was poorly written and translated, and no media outlet I have seen bothered to do any delving into the matter. It is a fascinating find — but unfortunately not for the reasons reported.

  • Reply Amber Vanderpol July 13, 2018 at 7:27 am

    Yay, I am looking forward to reading Si’s posts!

    And I am still shaking my head over Miss Prim. Really?? LOL I found it pedantic, wooden, two-dimensional and pretentious. It was hands down my least favorite book I’ve read in quite awhile. I feel like we must have read different versions of the same book or something!!

    • Reply Brandy Vencel July 13, 2018 at 1:46 pm

      Hahaha! I’m trying to remember — I think you might have had one of the negative reviews I encountered? Maybe!

      I really did enjoy it, but I also think I was REALLY in the mood for it. And I enjoyed all the IHP connections. I think it felt to me like meeting a friend in the author — someone who had read the same books. I don’t know that the story itself, without all the references to other books, would have held water with me. Admittedly, the part where she tries to briefly incorporate Bible apologetics into a random conversation at the end (with the Homer fragments) is just over the top! I totally get what you are saying, but I still felt a connection. ♥

    • Reply Dawn Duran July 14, 2018 at 4:18 am

      Really! Amber, I can’t believe it! I adored this book!!!

      Just last night I was having a conversation about it with a CM dad, who referenced it in a talk he gave – along with John Senior’s emphasis on good books before great books. After the talk as I was chatting with him he mentioned that he learned that the author had some connection to Senior’s program in Kansas – and that an actual reference is made to the program in the book where a character states something along the lines of, “I had to go all the way to Kansas to learn this.” It actually makes me want to read it again!

      • Reply Amber July 15, 2018 at 12:49 pm

        Dawn, this is really funny! You must have read the same version Brandy did. 😀

        In suspect what a lot of this has to do with is how genuine you find the author’s voice. She struck me as a name dropper, one who was trying to cover up a banal plot and two dimensional characters with lots of literary allusions and quotes. Like if she could heap on enough greatness from other people, it would somehow make her work shine more. Kind of like fan fiction for the Great Tradition? LOL I think I should probably just stop now.

        • Reply Brandy Vencel July 15, 2018 at 2:25 pm

          “Fan fiction for the Great Tradition” — Hahahahahaha!

        • Reply Dawn Duran July 15, 2018 at 3:40 pm

          Ha! Don’t stop – it’s okay to disagree, and I love “hearing” your thoughts. I was surprised because it was the first negative review of this that I read, and then I talked to Celeste about it, since we were at the retreat together, and discovered that SHE read the same version YOU did! It’s so interesting how we can all experience books so differently.

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