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    Thoughworthy (Why So Busy, Book Charts, Annual Review & More!)

    June 19, 2020 by Brandy Vencel

    This post contains affiliate links.

    :: 1 ::

    Wow, what a week! So much to do, so little time. I feel like that’s been my theme all week. I’ve had my head down working overtime. Charlotte Mason Boot Camp sold out within 48 hours of opening (sorry if you were meaning to do it this summer — the next session is in September), but the Liberty of Logic course is still open. Prepping for that has involved hours of formatting that I didn’t anticipate, but on the bright side I got a glimpse of all the great stuff we’re going to cover!

    :: 2 ::

    I finished a bunch of books last month, which means I started a bunch this month. I feel like I could make a hobby of starting books. (Perhaps I have?) I decided to try and organize myself a bit, so I made charts to track my progress:

    I’ve never set up a chart like this before, but it felt a bit therapeutic drawing all those boxes.

    For many years, my reading has been wide and varied because of all the pre-reading I was doing. Now that I’m mostly done with pre-reading, I’ve been trying to determine how best to encourage myself to be the reader I want to be (instead of just the reader I am by accident). We’ll see how this goes. I still use my Mother Culture and 5×5 Challenge charts, but these are the only ones that help me visualize my progress inside of individual books.

    Here are links to the books, for those of you who love such things:

    :: 3 ::

    The Flourish Charlotte Mason Homeschool Annual Review is still available. It goes away June 30th (until Thanksgiving). The theory behind Flourish is simple: in order to look forward and plan the coming school year effectively, we first need to look back effectively. So many year-end reviews are focused on whether we checked all our boxes, but Flourish is different. In this three-session workshop, I lead you through a homeschool annual review process I designed to take a philosophical view and really assess whether what happened in the school year aligned with Charlotte Mason’s philosophy and goals.

    Purchasing Flourish gives you access to the two main sessions that teach you how to do the assessments, the goals mini-session that helps you sort and prioritize your assessment data, downloadable PDF guides to lead you through the processes and procedures we discuss in the sessions, and MORE! All of this is designed to help you put the lessons into action right away.

    The best part, I think, is that the program is designed for you to use year after year, building a review tradition that keeps priorities straight and strengthens your relationships with your children. ♥

    :: 4 ::

    This month in 2014:

    This one was interesting to re-read, especially since I mentioned being a “few years out” from having a 15-year-old (and now I’m on my second one). I can say this: I wasn’t wrong.

    :: 5 ::

    Podcast episode of the week:

    • The Tom Woods Show: Ep. 1664 On Looting and Police Brutality, With Eric July
      • I actually meant to listen to the episode on defunding the police (I thought it would be interesting because the Libertarian Party has had a version of that they’ve promoted for years), but ended up with the looting episode on accident. (It was late and my queue is too full.) It was actually a very interesting discussion.
      • I’m not a libertarian, but I am a sympathizer because most Republicans promote much bigger government than I’d like. I enjoy the creative ideas that often appear on this show. Much better than the usual libertarian approach of Complaining About Everything.

    :: 6 ::

    This week’s links collection:

    • 16 charged in child pornography investigation in Polk County from WFLA
      • This is just a brief one because, honestly, some of the more detailed ones were stomach-turning. But why are Disney people always involved?
      • Also: when some people say they want to defund the police, I always wonder what happens to this kind of stuff? Who is supposed to police child trafficking or pornography if there are no police? I have yet to hear anyone (even libertarians) offer a good alternative.
    • An Economic Theory of Whiteness from Areo Magazine
      • Prepare yourself for logic class with this read.
      • This really should be titled, “Why White Fragility Theory is a Classic Kafka Trap” and if you don’t know what that is, well … it’s sort of like a sophisticated version of the “When did you stop beating your wife?” question.
    • The 1793 Project Unmasked from Reason
      • “Safetyism” really comes into play when we talk about this virus, too, don’t you think? I feel like the underlying issues are evident there, too.
      • Was it Paul Johnson who talked about factors that would destroy honesty in conversation? Maybe? I’m feeling fuzzy on the reference for this thought, but the underlying factors appear in this article for sure.

    :: 7 ::

    Corona reads:

    That’s all I’ve got this week; I really have been busy. 🙂

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  • Reply Lara Madill June 25, 2020 at 9:33 pm

    I am probably not your typical reader. I am black, British, an unschooler and not a Christian. Over the years, I have enjoyed reading your blog, chiefly because I enjoy different points of view and have no wish to live in an echo chamber. The past 3 1/2 years have been difficult ones for my family in America. I have 6 children and my oldest in now driving. We have had to have the heart breaking conversation about what to do if you encounter the police. My 10 year old told me last night he has trouble sleeping at night because that’s when all the “dark thoughts” come out. He’s afraid the police will kill him because his skin is brown. I don’t know if you care but there are a lot of Black people hurting in the world right now. Would it kill you to acknowledge the murder of George Floyd? Would it kill you to extend a kind, compassionate hand to those in pain? Honestly, I thought that is what Christianity is all about.

    • Reply Brandy Vencel June 27, 2020 at 7:37 am

      Hi Lara,

      It’s true you’re not my typical reader. Almost all of my readers are Christians. I am very sorry that living in America has been hard for you. I’m not sure where you are, but I’m increasingly aware that some states and cities are far more difficult to live in than others. I did acknowledge the death of George Floyd in a few places. I think this is the first place? Maybe. It’s hard to remember.

      I’m unsure why you think I haven’t or wouldn’t “extend a kind, compassionate hand to those in pain” or that I wouldn’t care about people who are hurting. Have I done something unkind to you personally? I’m not sure how, when we have never met (unless I’m wrong about that) you could know this about me.

      I think it’s a common misnomer that Christianity is about “being kind.” Love is definitely the result of being what we call *saved* or *redeemed.* It’s hard to unwrap all of my faith in this small space. What I can say is this: what we call the Gospel isn’t about kindness (which comes much later), it’s about sin and salvation. The essential pieces are that man chose sin, which subjected him to death and separation from God, and he is therefore in need of a Savior. Salvation requires a blood sacrifice of a perfect substitute, which is what Jesus Christ provided when He died on the Cross. In rising to life again, He provided the beginning of new life for His people. His people (who are not divided by language or ethnicity or nation but are all one family in Him) are the Church, and — perhaps most important for this conversation — the Church is the pillar and foundation of the Truth. Sometimes, when Christians are speaking truth, we get a bad wrap for being unkind, but I have two thoughts on this. (1) If our faith is real, we must speak truth regardless of what people think because it is our job. And also (2) one type of kindness is truth telling.

      Now, I’ve been writing this blog for 15 years. I have been wrong before and I’m sure I’ll be wrong again. I would never blame the Church or my Savior for a time when I said what I thought was true and ended up being wrong about it. So please don’t mistake my defense of truth telling as a license to say whatever I want. 😉

      I don’t know you, but I will pray for you. I have an 11yo son and I feel for your little one who has trouble sleeping at night. ♥

      If you want to discuss any of this further (especially the Gospel part), please feel free to contact me. I would especially love for you to become a Christian and therefore my sister. ♥

  • Reply Susan Everett June 23, 2020 at 8:25 pm

    I really like your book chart idea. I bet it would help me get a handle on all the non-fiction I have going at the same time. (Only one fiction at a time – I have no problem sticking with those!)

  • Reply Kara June 21, 2020 at 1:32 am

    What do you think of Antifragile so far?

    • Reply Brandy Vencel June 23, 2020 at 9:14 am

      I absolutely love it! I’m a fan, though. This is the fourth book by Taleb I have read.

  • Reply Valerie June 20, 2020 at 5:53 am

    Thank you! What a mysterious and fascinating reference.

  • Reply Valerie June 19, 2020 at 9:34 am

    Where can I read more about these “three lustres” mentioned in your article from 3 years ago linked here? This is new to me. Thanks!

    • Reply Brandy Vencel June 19, 2020 at 2:19 pm

      I hate to disappoint you, but that quote is the only place where she mentions this! With that said, I think the best way to flesh out the idea is to search for where she discusses synthetic and analytic approaches to learning.

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