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    August 24, 2018 by Brandy Vencel


    :: 1 ::

    Speaking of reading aloud, it took the whole summer, but we finally finished The OdysseyWe also finished The Fellowship of the Ring. (We always have at least two read aloud selections going.) We went straight into The Two Towers, of course. I have the young people’s edition of 1493 sitting on my table, but I wan’t ready for another history read, so we grabbed Boys of Blur, which I’ve been meaning to do for about a year.

    I am going to recommend this book to you, but first please remember that my youngest is ten. This is not for small children, and when my oldest was ten, I would have been horrified by the violence and palpable evil.

    But seriously? Beowulf in a Florida swamp? So cool!

    Unfortunately, I didn’t read Beowulf to my children as planned last year because the copy I bought went missing. I knew, as has been the case with all other missing books in this house, that our house elf who borrows our books would eventually return it. This happened last week, so my copy of the Burton Raffel version is standing by.


    :: 2 ::

    How’s school going? (Have you started yet?) This was week two, and honestly not as smooth as week one. I keep coming back to the thought that the so-called smooth and easy days depend upon habit, yes, but, more precisely, upon my habits. Turns out everyone stays on task better when I do.



    :: 3 ::

    Episode 21 of AfterCast came out yesterday! This one is called How Education Is Like Sandpaper. I think you’ll like it. 🙂


    :: 4 ::

    There are only a couple days left to get your copy of my Masterly Inactivity talk for the introductory price of $3.00. Don’t delay! I really think masterly inactivity, properly understood and applied, can help us achieve homeschooling greatness.

    Charlotte Mason: Masterly Inactivity


    :: 5 ::

    This month in 2013:

    That face says it all, hm?


    :: 6 ::

    This week’s links collection:


    :: 7 ::

    Unsolicited homeschooling advice: You may have already seen this on Facebook, but just in case…

    You are not obligated to answer the phone (or email or texts or front door or or or) during school hours. In fact, you answer at your peril! If you want school lessons proper to only take place in the morning hours, you must defend those mornings hours with lots of coffee, diligence, and discipline.


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  • Reply Ann-Marie August 29, 2018 at 7:30 am

    Hi Brandy,
    So good to hear that school is off to a good start!
    We are beginning next week, which is a little late for us.
    Were you reading The Fellowship of the Ring and The Odyssey simultaneously?
    I always do a bunch of read alouds too. How long did it take you to read The Odyssey? Do your children have a previous understanding of the story? How did you younger son enjoy it? I was thinking of possibly reading it this year too, since I am dying to read it again myself (whole two birds, one stone thing 😉
    I am almost done reading The Return of the King. I spent my summer in Middle Earth and loving it so much. Many rabbit trails ensued as a result. If you are ever interested in a great philosophy book about Tolkien, I highly suggest Peter Kreeft’s The Philosophy of Tolkien. It is fabulous!
    Have a great weekend!

    • Reply Brandy Vencel August 30, 2018 at 10:25 am

      Ooh! Peter Kreeft on Tolkien? Color me highly interested!! ♥ Thank you for the recommendation.

      When we started reading The Odyssey, I *think* I was still reading The Hobbit? Maybe. After that we started The Fellowship — so yes, simultaneously. The Odyssey was our lunch read, and I read half a book at a time, for the most part. The long ones I divided up into three. It took most of summer. We started in June and ended in August, so maybe a little over 2 months? The youngest enjoyed it, though some of the talking he thought was boring. Ha! It really was great to read it aloud together! I would do it again — in fact, I probably WILL do it again in a couple years.

      I did edit a slight bit when it came to some of the most obvious stuff about Calypso since he was only 9 at the time. 🙂

  • Reply Phyllis August 27, 2018 at 3:31 am

    Have you Schole sisters read Soul Custody by Stephen W. Smith? I’m just starting into it, and I’m already thinking of you. 🙂

  • Reply Sharron August 25, 2018 at 9:02 am

    I always love these, but #2? Ouch! Why does this have to be true??? I’m having the hardest time this year!! Going to read the other links now and give myself a proper kick in the pants!

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