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    Thoughtworthy (Flourish is Back, Book Titles, Earthquakes, and MORE!)

    July 12, 2019 by Brandy Vencel

    :: 1 ::

    Flourish is back for ONE WEEK ONLY! Why? Because we’ve been getting lots of requests for it — some people forgot to buy it, some didn’t know about it on time, some only decided to buy it later. Whatever the excuse, we’re having mercy and re-releasing it starting TODAY for, as I mentioned already, one week only. After that, it’s really truly going away until November.

    So … if you or someone you know still want it, grab it while you can!

    :: 2 ::

    Yesterday was a reading sort of day for us. The kids had karate belt testing at night, so everyone was taking it easy and saving their energy for those critical hours. Here’s what they read:


    The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky


    Christy by Catherine Marshall


    Ben-Hur by Lew Wallace


    The Chestnut King by N.D. Wilson

    :: 3 ::

    Let’s talk about curly hair shampoo in the summer months. Hot and sweaty tends to mean something more, shall we say, aggressive is needed. Many shampoos designed for curly hair don’t leave hair feeling clean in the summer months. I’ve met a number of ladies buying really expensive shampoos for this time of year. You mileage may vary (as I live somewhere decidedly not humid), but I highly recommend the inexpensive shampoo by Kinky Curly called Come Clean.

    :: 4 ::

    This month in 2018:

    I still set timers and I still think it’s a healthy habit.

    :: 5 ::

    Yes, we had an earthquake in our county last week. Two, actually. Yes, we really felt them — especially the 7.1. No, we weren’t hit hard. We’re about 80 miles from the epicenter and we’re fine. Our city is fine. The people at the epicenter? Some of them are decidedly not fine. We have high building standards here, and they work. Mobile homes? Older homes? Not so much. Folks in that area living in mobile homes were some of the worst hit. Other issues were gas leaks. Trona is still without water.

    Overall, it’s a best case scenario for earthquakes this big, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t people who need help.

    :: 6 ::

    This week’s links collection:

    • The Reason Anxious People Often Have Allergies from The Atlantic
      • “If you have allergies and anxiety, and you ignore your allergy symptoms, it might be challenging to treat the anxiety.”
    • Liturgy of the Ordinary Counterfeited — And how to respond! from Tish Harrison Warren
      • I don’t have this book … but you might. Is yours a counterfeit?
    • Solzhenitsyn’s Prophecy from First Things
      • “Solzhenitsyn … warned America and the West that we had become too focused on rights and needed to refocus on obligations. We had come to embrace a false idea of liberty, conceiving of it as doing as one pleases, rather than as the freedom to fulfill one’s human potential and honor one’s conscientious duties to God and neighbor.”
    • The End of Mad Magazine from Cranach
      • “The magazine declined from its glory days in the 1960s. Some say it jumped the shark in 2001 when it moved from New York City to beautiful downtown Burbank. Whereupon it started taking actual advertising — as opposed to the hilarious parodies of advertisements that it had become known for — and concentrating on politics.”

    :: 7 ::

    Scholé Sisters is back today with the first of our special two-episode summer season!

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  • Reply Keri July 14, 2019 at 6:10 am

    Maybe it’s just a state by state thing, but I always struggle to understand why graduation requirements matter for a homeschooler. The colleges we have looked at have their own list of admissions requirements which may or may not match our public school graduation requirements. If a student is going to attend school in a different state, even more reason to wonder how it matters. I’m truly asking, because I have always wondered this.

    • Reply Rebminn July 14, 2019 at 2:51 pm

      Agree with you. What’s up with this? The homeschooled adults I know had no problem entering college and their highschool work was mostly irrelevant…

    • Reply Brandy Vencel July 14, 2019 at 6:55 pm

      I suppose it varies by state, but I cannot issue a California high school diploma LEGALLY if my child hasn’t met the requirements set by the state. So it’s not about getting into college; it’s about having a valid high school diploma. Most colleges we’ve looked at require more than the state does for high school in order for admissions.

      • Reply Keri July 16, 2019 at 10:19 am

        Brandy, is it more because your child will most likely attend college in CA then? Because I haven’t found a reason yet where we would need a diploma necessarily. As far as colleges go, they have asked for transcripts and test scores. I’ve not seen one ask for a diploma. In fact, almost every college I have looked at has a homeschool section.

        • Reply Brandy Vencel July 16, 2019 at 10:28 am

          Not all of my children are college bound. Kids on career tracks need valid (legal) diplomas. Otherwise they can’t get jobs. 🙂 For the college bound children, I don’t really *want* to see them have to go to a public college (especially here) but I want them to have the option. For them, not adhering to the A-G requirements mean they *have* to do junior college and cannot directly enter a 4-year state school. So for them, yes it’s about the transcripts, but ultimately the diploma represents what is on the transcripts so I still have to make sure they have college prep diplomas.

          • Keri July 16, 2019 at 11:13 am

            Quote: ” Kids on career tracks need valid (legal) diplomas. Otherwise they can’t get jobs. ” Maybe. But it seems that a diploma can also be an “official” diploma that was written and signed by the parent.

            Anyway, I’m only asking because I hear so much talk in homeschool circles about state requirements for graduation, and I can’t find a reason yet why it applies, at least in Florida.

          • Keri July 16, 2019 at 11:15 am

            One more quote from HSLDA: “Homeschool programs are valid under state law, and although in most cases are not accredited, have equal standing with public and private school programs. A high school diploma is simply a document issued by the administrator of the program verifying that a student has completed that program’s course of study. For homeschoolers, the administrator is usually the parent; thus, parent-issued diplomas are legal and valid documents. The Higher Education Act of 1998 affirms this by clarifying that a homeschool diploma does not need to be officially recognized by the state or accredited to be valid, or for the student to qualify for federal financial aid.”

          • Brandy Vencel July 16, 2019 at 11:50 am

            Perhaps it is because, legally speaking, I am not a homeschooler? My legal status is unaccredited private school.

            I suppose you could think of what I do as just one way to start when mapping out a course of study. In my opinion, every school (even a homeschool) should have definite requirements, especially for high school. I have met too many homeschoolers with substandard educations to think otherwise. (I acknowledge that many public and private schools are also giving substandard educations, by the way. 😉 ) When I talk to these graduates (who are usually aware of their deficient educations), they are almost always unschoolers upon whom no actual requirements were placed. There was never a definite course of study and graduation was determined by age rather than accomplishment.

            This also comes in handy with the student itching to grow up and leave home. If you have already mapped out your school’s requirements, they know what they have to do to be done.

            So in addition to using a curriculum (AO is mine), I like to also look at standards. In this case, the A-G for state schools (hard standard to meet) and the minimum state requirement (super easy to meet). I don’t adopt either of these as *my* standard, but use them as additional tools to set my own standards. For my college bound, they exceed the A-G requirements. For my non college-prep, I still require much more than the state standard.

          • Rebminn July 16, 2019 at 7:05 pm

            Wow- has not been our experience. Guess I should tell all the colleges and employers they shouldn’t have hired us without a diploma. Sometime CA seems like a whole different world to me. ?

          • Brandy Vencel July 17, 2019 at 12:34 pm

            Well, our leadership here is actively working to create a communist/socialist government, so nothing really surprises me anymore. 🙁 It really is sad!

          • Keri July 17, 2019 at 5:33 am

            That makes sense. 🙂

            I was only clarifying for myself, because I so often hear newer homeschoolers claim that you “have” to follow the state requirements and not realize that you have some choices over what your students can study. I’m definitely not thinking of the unschooling families that I know. Just the ones who are panicking a little over trying to meet detailed requirements when they don’t actually have to.

            I do think California is different. And I completely understand your rationale.

          • Brandy Vencel July 17, 2019 at 2:37 pm

            Good point about the detailed requirements! I am amazed at what the charter school-at-home students are put through. Instead of using general categories the way the law is written (i.e. “government” or “economics”), they are stressing about every little point in the state *curriculum.* It’s crazy!

            I appreciate you raising the question because it is always so good to think through why we’re really doing what we’re doing…

  • Reply Ann July 13, 2019 at 1:39 pm

    How is Brothers Karamazov going? When I finished the book several years ago I said, “I can’t wait to read this again with my sons.” Since it has been a long time since I read it, I can’t remember what age would be best for them to read it. I don’t want to scare them away from this treasure!

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