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    Other Thoughts

    Thoughtworthy (Recommendations Edition)

    January 18, 2019 by Brandy Vencel

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    :: 2 ::

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    :: 4 ::

    This month in

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    Podcast episode of the week:

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    This week’s links collection:

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    Answering your questions:

    First recommendation: the What Have You podcast. For reasons:

    1. Loads of truth about Christian motherhood,
    2. With a *good attitude* about reality and
    3. Copious amounts of laughter.

    Look, Scholé Sisters gets a lot of flack about the laughing, but we’ve got nothing on these two, so if you want more laughing while we’re on break, go here and get wise and jolly all at once.

    :: 2 ::


    Second recommendation: get 5,000 steps by noon. I already said this on Instagram, so maybe you’ve already heard this obvious wisdom of mine. The day, you see, has two halves. If I don’t get 5,000 steps the first half of the day, it’s almost impossible to get 10,000 by the end of the day, especially since I don’t want to spend hours of my afternoon walking when I have Things To Do.

    The photo, by the way, was taken a little after 10:00 PM on Wednesday night. I didn’t quite hit 10,000, but I was close enough to pat myself on the back. This is a mechanical pedometer. I had a FitBit for years, and it was very nice, but when mine died, I chose a non-EMF device because my husband said my arm was going to fall off from all that Bluetooth.


    :: 3 ::

    Third recommendation: get steps while homeschooling. This sounds like the same advice as my second recommendation, but it’s a little different. When the weather is fine, I will read aloud to my youngest and then we will walk together around the backyard while he narrates. Yesterday, I would give math instructions to my daughter, do a lap in the house, and return to see how she was doing. I got hundreds of steps doing this, and returning to her again and again meant she felt like I was still available if she needed me.

    I have been known to hop on the treadmill to receive narrations when I’m feeling especially desperate.

    How do you stay active during the homeschool day?

    :: 4 ::

    Fourth recommendation: subscribe to AfterCast! Ha. A new episode came out yesterday, so it’s on my mind. But seriously: next week we’re interrupting the series with a great one-hour discussion I had with Brittney McGann. Subscribe in your favorite podcast player so you don’t miss it!

    :: 5 ::

    This month in 2018:

    This approach is still working well for us (grade 11). This year, our focus is on learning to write an essay, so we’re slowly working our way through The Lively Art of Writing, applying the ideas as we go. The book has been so handy. When my oldest had an 8-10 page paper due for a class he was taking, we used it to help him write the paper, yes, but also to go back through and help him edit as well.

    :: 6 ::

    Recommended Reading Assignments:

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  • Reply Emily @ Planned Spontaneity January 24, 2019 at 5:07 pm

    First, please don’t stop all the laughing on Schole Sisters – that’s part of what I love about the podcast! I’ll have to check out out What Have You and I’m already a fan and subscriber of AfterCast. 🙂

    Also, the article from Circe re minimalism was a great read. I’m planning to share it with my husband, who will likely find it interesting as well.

  • Reply Victoria January 23, 2019 at 11:37 am

    I’ve been thinking a lot about movement during the day recently. When you’re doing the Charlotte Mason thing and making sure your kids get 4+ hours per day of outdoor time in the Spring, Summer and Fall, Winter rolls around and trying to squeeze in even a full hour can be daunting–and the irony is that your kids’ bodies have acclimated to being extremely active and using all of their muscle groups and full voices for hours per day and now you’re trapped with very noisy, active kids who are getting grumpier and grumpier….
    So, blessedly, we had enough money in the budget this new year to get a gym membership for the whole family: rock wall, pool and indoor playground, here we come!!!!
    NOT that this replaces outdoor time, which we are still going to do. It’s just going to supplement it once a week so we can really let off some steam.

    • Reply Brandy Vencel January 23, 2019 at 12:09 pm

      Oh, wow! That is SUCH a great idea. We honestly have outdoor weather year-round here, but even so my kids were given gift cards to one of those trampoline places that have obstacle courses, dodge ball, rock walls, and such and it was SO good for them. They’ve gone twice this month and it’s been amazing, and I can see how it would help in places where it gets too cold to go out. ♥

  • Reply Leslie January 20, 2019 at 11:22 am

    Perhaps those who are giving flack for laughter on the Schole Sisters podcast have implemented a little “too much” minimalism in their lives…….?!;-)

  • Reply Angelique January 19, 2019 at 6:49 am

    I’m also using Lively art of Writing with my 7th grader. Such a gem! And so cheap!

  • Reply Carol January 18, 2019 at 7:33 pm

    Hi Brandy, I’ve tried to comment a few times to over the past month or so but they haven’t been published??
    ‘Of course, minimalism is really just another kind of thing you buy.’ I’ve read a few pushbacks on the minimalism idea lately, one of them was:

    I think the word ‘Joy’ is misused. Some things don’t bring me joy (well, not initially; sometimes not for years) & I don’t think it’s always a valid reason for doing whatever.
    From a large family perspective – I’ve been hanging on to things for years thinking they’ll be of use down the track. Often they are, sometimes they’re not.
    We moved around lots when I was a child and I got rid of so much when I was in my teens, especially, that now I’m a bit sad that I didn’t hang on to some things.

  • Reply Julie Zilkie January 18, 2019 at 5:48 pm

    I absolutely love What Have You BECAUSE they laugh so much! It makes me realize how often I am not laughing, and how it would be good for me to do more of it. I love their relationship and how easy they are with one another. They are a breath of fresh air!

  • Reply Amber January 18, 2019 at 11:43 am

    Oh no, another book about writing that I have to get! 😀

    And I keep chuckling about that 10 year FB meme. I logged into FB for the first time in almost a year because of something I was trying to look up… and was very quickly reminded why it had been that long since I had logged on. *shudder* But what a great evil idea to use memes like that – if someone wasn’t doing it already, I bet they are trying to get that started now!

  • Reply Sunflower January 18, 2019 at 10:34 am

    I love that Gibbs makes the Marxist connection to minimalism. In Plutarch’s Lives – Life of Lycurgus, the citizens are encouraged to eat communally to avoid being influenced by wealth in private homes.

    • Reply Brandy Vencel January 18, 2019 at 1:12 pm

      Ooh interesting! I haven’t read Lycurgus yet. ♥

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