Get the exclusive (almost) Weekly Digest.

    Other Thoughts

    Thoughtworthy (Theology Book, School Planning, Big Kids & More!)

    July 3, 2020 by Brandy Vencel

    This post contains affiliate links.

    :: 1 ::

    While I had heard good things about it, I put off ordering The Wonderful Works of God because it’s over $40. However, in my end of the year interviews with my children, they let me know what they wanted to read and think about more and it became very obvious that something like this book would fit the bill — and if something like it, why not the actual book itself?

    So I ordered. At almost 700 pages, it’ll last me a couple of years of Circle Time, if not more, so that’s something.

    :: 2 ::

    I’ve dabbled a bit in school planning this week. I finally realized that it wasn’t that I “hadn’t had time,” which is what I’d been telling myself, but that I have been avoiding planning because then I would have to admit that I’m planning a year without my oldest for the first time.

    So I bit the bullet and took my first step: mapping our calendar for the year.

    I always print the one-page annual calendar (the academic style that goes from July to June) from Plan Your Year. My basic approach is this:

    1. Mark off known time off. Some things are non-negotiable — think Christmas or Thanksgiving. (I put this in green.)
    2. Mark off known travel time. I don’t travel to speak like I used to, but I still have a couple things that will happen (like the Scholé Sisters annual retreat). My children are old enough that I may or may not need to have them take that time off when I’m gone, but I still want to consider it when I plan school dates. (I put this in purple)
    3. Note family birthdays and other special dates. We aren’t the kind of family that takes the whole day off on birthdays as a general rule, but I still want to remember them when I’m planning the calendar because if it works really well to take that day off, we’ll totally do it. (I put this in pink.)
    4. New this year: note the college calendar dates. I want to coordinate of much of the time off as possible, which means it needs to be marked. (I put this in blue.)
    5. Highlight the 36 weeks of our school year. I try for a general Sabbath schooling approach (six weeks on followed by one week off), but I’m not super strict about it. If it makes more sense to do seven weeks on followed by a week off and then five weeks on followed by a week off, I do it. (I put this in salmon.)
    6. Mark whatever remains as time off. Basically, I add more green and then I’m done.

    Now that this is done, I can start with more formal planning. I’ll probably begin with high school science since I’m trying a different schedule with my second than I did with my oldest.

    :: 3 ::

    You know your kids are officially Big Kids when they stop asking for tape. For years during our annual review, O-Age-11 has used “tape” as his reply to my question about whether he needs supplies for anything. Sometimes that was the only thing he requested and sometimes he had a long list of things, but always there was tape.

    This time he asked for a thousand dollar drone. (Um … NO.)

    Sigh. He’s about to turn twelve and I’m going to miss his tape-loving version.

    :: 4 ::

    This month in 2018:

    I stand by this.

    :: 5 ::

    Podcast episode of the week:

    :: 6 ::

    This week’s links collection:

    :: 7 ::

    Covid reads:

    • SARS-CoV-2 T-cell epitopes define heterologous and COVID-19-induced T-cell recognition from Research Square (HT: Nick Walker aka “Uncle Nick”)
      • I have been following this idea for a while, and this is an interesting study. The bottom line is that if you had something in the more recent past that had enough cross reactivity with Covid, you might be so immune that you don’t even produce antibodies — because you don’t need to produce antibodies if your T cells take care of it first.
      • This sort of thing is why I like to see moms reading in the health and physiology categories. It pays to have some basic understanding of how the body works, even if you are a lay person and not a medical professional.
      • This article is a preprint so it’ll be interesting to see what happens to it during peer review.
    • Genomic epidemiology of novel coronavirus – Global subsampling from Nextstrain
      • If you are a geek, you’ll find this page to be super fun.
      • You do know there are many strains of Covid, right? (Of course, not every mutation is significant).
      • I’ve wondered if we have a really mild strain going through the neighborhood. All the positives are truly no big deal, children entirely asymptomatic, and we can’t seem to catch it no matter what we do. Not that we’re trying; I just mean we’ve been exposed repeatedly and nothing happens.
    • UK researchers warn of only ’50 percent’ success for COVID vaccine trial from Fox News
      • Why?? “[T]he virus may be disappearing too fast for the studies to produce ‘meaningful results.'”
      • Turns out, this coronavirus acts like other coronaviruses. Raise your hand if you’re surprised.

    Get the (almost) weekly digest!

    Weekly encouragement, direct to your inbox, (almost) every Saturday.

    Powered by ConvertKit


  • Reply Jenny July 7, 2020 at 2:05 pm

    Would love to hear your science changes!!
    I’m finding it’s the most difficult to make choices with the oldest. After that, it’s easier to adapt to the child better.

    • Reply Brandy Vencel July 7, 2020 at 3:07 pm

      Ha. I dragged everything out today and now I’m doubting myself. Not that I’m going to ditch my plan and return to what I did with my oldest, but just that I don’t think what I was imagining will really work, either. Hmmm…

  • Reply Libby July 6, 2020 at 8:06 am

    I love your weekly emails.
    I believe they have all they need from ms maxwell. I find it slightly unbelievable that all this time of looking for her and they just found her in New Jersey. If I was hiding from the fbi, I’d be out of the country. I’m hoping that she was working with the fbi since her first interaction with them and they’ve been collecting data. But that’s all just me hoping.

    I plan out my homeschool very similarly but I try and do 3- 12 week chunks instead of your 6 weeks. I’ve planned out our sequences of learning in each subject for each child, but that’s as far as I’ve got so far.

    Oh and by the way, your summer tickets are working wonderfully! The house is really looking better with each child taking responsibilities each day.

    • Reply Brandy Vencel July 6, 2020 at 8:41 am

      I hope they DO have all they need. And I agree! I know the house was bought in a round about way, but seriously? Can’t they find people who are way harder to find? I don’t know. I just hope justice begins to be done with this whole child trafficking issue! (I shouldn’t say that — it has already begun, I know, but the Epstein thing was next level).

      Oh! And I’m so glad that tickets are working for you! ♥

  • Reply Christina Lyon July 4, 2020 at 6:00 pm

    One of my absolute favorite thing, about the blog, is that you don’t shy way from things that may be controversial (i.e. COVID and Epstein (love, love, love how you said “ Can you believe it’s been a year almost to the day since Jeffery Epstein didn’t kill himself?”! I know that this may be a silly comment, but it’s so refreshing to read your blog! By the way, this is only one of my absolute favorite things, about your blog, my absolute, absolute favorite is the homeschool content! Thanks for being “real”!

  • Reply Stacey Kemper July 3, 2020 at 10:01 am

    If a mama wanted to start educating herself on health and physiology, where would be a good starting point. Do you have any books you’d recommend to begin with? I’ve gone through some of the past Mother Culture lists, and even many of those that I’ve seen seem a bit beyond where I’m at now.

    • Reply Brandy Vencel July 4, 2020 at 11:11 am

      Hmmm … good question! One of my favorite books is How to Cure Your Child with Food. “Cure” is a strong word (my guess is it was chosen by the publisher, not the author), but the book is a good introduction to how nutrition and some common childhood issues dovetail.

      For me, the gateway drug to health books was an old book from the 1980s called How to Raise a Healthy Child in Spite of Your Doctor (I wrote about it a bit here if you want to read my thoughts). It’s such a good book and I think the *principles* in it are still helpful today, even if some of his concerns are a little outdated (for example, he spends some time on childhood leukemia but none of autism). I think either of these might be a good book to use to dip your toe in the water. ♥

  • Reply Rebecca Pearce July 3, 2020 at 9:27 am

    Brandy, I LOVE your collections of thoughts and links in your Thoughtworthy posts.

  • Leave a Reply