Other Thoughts

Thoughtworthy (Book Finished, New Episode, Last Chance, and MORE!)

October 4, 2019 by Brandy Vencel

:: 1 ::

There are only a couple days remaining to register for the Autumn session of Charlotte Mason Boot Camp! I hope you join us. We always have such a rich time of growth, but I find autumn to be a particularly good season for deep study.

Come and join us! It pays dividends to your children when you invest in yourself as their teacher.

:: 2 ::

Speaking of Scholé Sisters, we had an episode out last week!

We talked about Pam’s Scholé Salon and then the group therapy hit. Sometimes, groups have hard times. It pays not to give up.

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On Sunday, I read a whole book in what would have been a single sitting had I not gotten chilled on my patio at the end and been forced to relocate before I completed the last chapter. People! It was sooo good! Mystie had mentioned this book in a recent Scholé Sisters record and, as we like to say, it’s not a real episode until someone buys a book. This time, Someone was ME.

I’m so glad I bought this. It had an especially good chapter on the Lord’s Day. We’ll be discussing it further on the show in a future episode. Highly recommended.

:: 4 ::

This month in 2017:

I still agree with myself:

What do I mean by justice?

I mean doing right by each child. What does it mean to do justice to this child right here in front of me? It starts by not short-changing him. A big temptation in homeschooling is to teach to the middle. Sometimes, this works. Other times, the older students are not appropriately challenged and the younger students are lost. Combining is great, but it’s not a hill I’m willing to die on because I believe it’s unjust to not give an appropriate education to each individual child, as much as is humanly possible.

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Charlotte Mason uses the phrase “the joy of living” a number of times in her volumes:

  • “The children should have the joy of living in far lands, in other persons, in other times — a delightful double existence; and this joy they will find, for the most part, in their story books.” (Vol. 1, p. 153)
  • “His nerve centres and brain power have been unduly taxed, some of the joy of living has been taken from him, and though his baby response to direct education is very charming, he has less latent power left for the future calls of life.” (Vol. 1 pp. 190-191)
  • “[W]e succeed in bringing up the unobservant man (and more unobservant woman) who discerns no difference between an elm, a poplar and a lime tree, and misses very much of the joy of living.” (Vol. 2, p. 182)
  • “I appreciate to the full the joy of living in days characterised by childlike frankness, openness to conviction, readiness to try all things and choose that which is good.” (Vol. 5, p. 156)

I think it’s interesting that a good education can build a full, enjoyable life — that the tragedy of being badly educated isn’t just the small income or boring job, but the inability to enjoy good things to the full (or even to notice them).

This is an fascinating way to think about education, isn’t it?

:: 6 ::

This week’s links collection:

:: 7 ::

Answering your questions:

Question: If we sign up for Charlotte Mason Boot Camp, do we get lifetime access?

Answer: Short answer is YES you get lifetime access. About a month after Camp ends, I archive the group. This means that no new content can be added (even by me as the admit) but that everything is still accessible to everyone in the group. The only thing that would change this is if Facebook deleted the group, but we’ve been doing this for years and that’s never happened. (And if it did, we’d try to come up with a solution, not just leave you hanging.)

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4 Comments

  • Reply Claire Lawrence October 13, 2019 at 2:48 am

    So your contention is that ‘matching observed reality’ is the authority for mathematics? It’s my observation that many mathematicians would not agree with you on that…

    • Reply Brandy Vencel October 13, 2019 at 8:44 pm

      For arithmetic, yes, the calculations are correct when they match observed reality. This a a K-12 curriculum written by a non-mathematician, remember. I get that at the highest levels, math becomes theoretical.

  • Reply Claire Lawrence October 5, 2019 at 12:31 pm

    ‘“Who gets to say if an answer is right?” Um … I’m guessing the people in the room who can do math.’ – Why are you (and the author) assuming that’s not the correct answer? I agree most of the oppression stuff around it is overkill – although we certainly should have more history in our maths courses, which would allow those conversations to happen naturally if/when appropriate, which it sometimes is. But those questions about authority and Rightness are actually really important to consider in understanding the nature of proof and what mathemstics actually is.
    Meanwhile, the questions about what makes someone a mathematician, which I’m betting the article author thought were fluff, are great. I want my kids to feel like mathematicians as they explore the ‘landscape of ideas and wonder’ (James Tanton) that is mathematics.

    • Reply Brandy Vencel October 11, 2019 at 7:37 am

      Sorry I didn’t see this comment before, Claire! I agree with you that the question about what makes some a mathematician is a good one. There was one other question I liked, too, though I need to look it back up to remember what it was.

      My issue with the thing is that she’s obviously taking a Marxist angle and defining all relationships as power struggles. THIS is what I think is problematic. Well, that and that she seems to not acknowledge the objective nature of mathematics — the question “who gets to say” is phrased in a way that assumes someone *is* saying rather than that math is observed to be true or not — “right” or not (“right” meaning matching observed reality).

      I went to elementary school in an inner city black neighborhood where *I* was the minority student. They were well served by the principal, who would have rejected this sort of thinking. He thought they were best served by mastering actual math rather than viewing it through a Marxist lens.

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