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    Home Education

    The Belated Fall Mother Culture Habit Trackers are Here!

    September 8, 2020 by Brandy Vencel

    If you get my newsletter, you know that my computer died a couple weeks ago and it was pretty much a disaster. No, I wasn’t smart enough to back up my data. Ugh. Saying that aloud is humiliating, but it is what it is: we’re three weeks into the school year and I’m winging it while an IT guy is mining my corrupt hard drive for salvageable doc files. (Here’s hoping I don’t have to rebuild my 180-day school plans from scratch!)

    All of this is a long-winded excuse explaining why, even though Brooke totally had these designed and to me on time, I am just now giving them to you. (Sorry.)

    Get Your Mother Culture Habit Tracker Now!

    What are we tracking?

    I like to remind you each time. What exactly are we tracking with these Mother Culture Habit Trackers? Since we can’t track nebulous things like “personal growth” or “feeding the soul with ideas,” we choose instead to track habits that lead to these sorts of ends. We define Mother Culture here according to the original article in The Parents’ Review: 30 minutes per day of reading. Maintain a stack of books (at least one of each) in three categories: stiff, moderately easy, and novel. When it’s time to read, pick up the book you feel fit for.

    It’s that simple!

    Here are the books I’m working on this fall:

    Stiff Book:

    The Liberal Arts Tradition by Kevin Clark and Ravi Jain

    I’m leading a local (Zoom … sigh) book club through this book. It’s different than groups I’ve done before because we read smaller chunks and meet … every week. I like it, though! Much easier when breaking it own like this.

    This is the revised edition of the book. I love the first version, as you know, but I love this one even more. Be prepared, though. The samples in the quadrivium section are intimidating! This version is 40% larger and everything added is truly a wonderful addition.

    Moderately Easy Book:

    Becoming Whole by Brian Fikkert and Kelly Kapic

    I’m a few chapters in and trying to be patient with this book. So far, it falls under “does not meet expectations.” I bought it because I heard an interview with one of the authors and was intrigued. I intend to finish; I rarely quit books. But I’ve been a bit annoyed and their view of what is and is not inherent to being “Western.” Yes, yes, I completely agree that the materialist ideology is problematic. But is materialism the only possible outcome of the tradition of Western thought?

    I always find it annoying when people think “the West” started sometime during the Enlightenment. (And also when those same people seemingly ignore Church history.) I still, however, have hopes for their application of ideas. We’ll see. I might have to come back and repent when I’m done!


    A Study in Scarlet by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

    I’ve owned the complete set of Sherlock Holmes for ages but never bothered to improve upon my one reading of The Hound of the Baskervilles from childhood. My children, however, inspired me, and this is my next title.

    What is there to say? It’s Doyle, so it’s wonderful.

    Here is a glimpse at this season’s Mother Culture Habit Tracker and coordinating tracker collection:

    Happy fall reading, friends!

    Home Education

    Don’t Look Twice: Critical Advice to Give Our Children

    August 31, 2020 by Brandy Vencel

    I love the little gems Charlotte Mason drops concerning purity in her fourth volume, Ourselves. She would likely be astounded at how very needed her words are. In a world where pedophiles and abusers are hunting down child victims, we have to teach our children how to protect themselves. Don’t look twice isn’t just sage advice; it’s critical protection for our young. When I was a child, pornography usage among the young was often deliberate. What I mean is, they Continue Reading…

    Educational Philosophy, Home Education

    A Divine Curricular Appointment

    August 24, 2020 by Brandy Vencel

    Unless the Lord builds the house,those who build it labor in vain.— Psalm 127:1 I don’t know about you, but I am not a grand composer orchestrating my homeschool curriculum. I use AmblesideOnline, which means I mainly schedule a week using assignments planned by Other People. Occasionally I tinker with it. Sometimes this is because a child has already read a book. Other times, I’m combining students. But whatever I do to alter it, it’s not really my creation. I Continue Reading…

    Other Thoughts

    Thoughtworthy (Big Project Unveiled, Recommended Reading & More!)

    July 31, 2020 by Brandy Vencel

    :: 1 :: This week, my husband finished a project that was many years in the making!! I read the proof copy and offered some final corrections last week and now … it’s up on Amazon already. I’m so excited for him. Funny story: the plot of this book started out as a very exciting dream. I still remember him telling us about it at breakfast years ago. The first draft was read aloud to the kids — I remember Continue Reading…