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    Thoughtworthy (Break Week, Reading, Special Event & More!)

    March 12, 2021 by Brandy Vencel

    :: 1 ::

    This week was our first break week of 2021. For those of you who are newer around here, we tend toward a pseudo-Sabbath schooling schedule. I say “pseudo” because I’ve never been strict about it and I often let weeks float around and land in places that make the most sense. Sabbath schooling in the strict sense is working for six weeks and taking the seventh off.

    This break week hasn’t been as much fun as usual. Q-Age-Fourteen broke her wrist a couple weeks ago. It was a very small break (they decided no cast even), but even so I cancelled our beach day trip. We’ll do it eventually, but I figured now was not the time for rollerblading and sand! There is still something nice about slowing down the pace. We bought our favorite allergy-friendly donuts, had a movie night, and messed around at the park (not all in one day).

    :: 2 ::

    Last week, we had a new episode of Scholé Sisters come out:

    :: 3 ::

    Reading Update:

    I haven’t spent as much time reading this week as I would have liked, but mostly when I’ve read, I’ve read in The Revolt Against the Masses by Fred Siegel. It’s turning out to be a very interesting book, vaguely reminiscent of Thomas Sowell’s The Vision of the Anointed, but with much more history. I’m enjoying the crash course in early 1900s politics. I read Paul Johnson’s Modern Times last year, but still feel like I know almost nothing about the 1900-WWII era.

    In other news, we finished Wilson Rawls’ Summer of the Monkeys as a read aloud. I give it 2-3 stars and an almost. As in: it had potential, but in the end, it was an almost. So let’s talk about the art of this little novel real quick. Sorry for any spoilers. The story of the crippled sister works, though she’s not nearly as endearing as she could have been. But then we essentially have two plots instead of one. The crippled sister would have worked with either but because it’s trying to work with both, it’s a bit of a flop.

    The novel begins with escaped monkeys and the main character, Jay Berry, trying to catch them. It’s decent fun and fairly believable. But right before he catches them, there is this fairy ring that appears, with attendant weird superstitions. The mistake the author makes is getting distracted by his own fairies. If they had just been mentioned as an interesting aside, that would be one thing. A forgivable mistake, not a colossal one. But instead, he lets the fairy ring hijack the remainder of the book. Now, instead of a book about monkeys, it’s a book about the rarity and power of fairy rings. The book ends with the main character as an adult saying he’s looked all over a bunch of continents for fairy rings and never seen another. For a book about catching monkeys, the ending is completely incongruous. Also he can feel free to my front yard, which grows a fairy ring about every single time I overwater it.

    We also finished Sir Walter Scott’s Waverly. It is obviously a wonderful work of art, but O-Age-Twelve gives it zero stars. Let’s just say he was too young to appreciate it. It’s hard being the youngest child sometimes, folks.

    :: 4 ::

    This month in 2017:

    Solving math difficulties by applying our educational principles to pubescent brains.

    If you want to think about how puberty affects the brain, this post is for you. Puberty issues are just like all the other issues: we need to apply our principles to deal with them properly.

    :: 5 ::

    This week’s links collection:

    • Indiana Senate Passes Bill To Let Government Steal Stuff From People Suspected of ‘Unlawful Assembly’ from Reason
      • What could go wrong?
    • The Miseducation of America’s Elites from City Journal
      • “The atmosphere is making their children anxious, paranoid, and insecure—and closed off from even their close friends. ‘My son knew I was talking to you and he begged me not to,’ another Harvard-Westlake mother told me. ‘He wants to go to a great university, and he told me that one bad statement from me will ruin us. This is the United States of America. Are you freaking kidding me'”
      • Obviously, the real problem is that getting into the “right” school is an idol.
    • In the Beginning Are the Words: Language & Liberty from The Imaginative Conservative
      • It’s a basic principle: you can’t think about an idea if you don’t have the language to express it. Our capacity for pondering is limited by our vocabulary. (This is one reason why learning a second language can be so powerful.)
      • “Since this is so, one of the primary goals of education should be the enrichment of students through their acquisition of words.”

    :: 6 ::

    We’ve got a great event coming up with Steven Rummelsburg on March 27th. It’ll be a whole wonderful session on choosing the best books and then a full 45 minutes of Q&A afterwards. I can’t wait!

    Books & Reading, Educational Philosophy, Other Thoughts

    Real Leaders Get Buy-In (Plutarch Commentaries)

    February 22, 2021 by Brandy Vencel

    Like so many generals before and after him, Julius Caesar had to deal with men who became fearful of the coming fight. For Caesar, these were “young gentlemen of the nobles houses of Rome.” When they began to follow Caesar, they went for the fun of it. They thought they would likely benefit from the plunder. My guess is they were bored in the way peculiar to rich young men and this opportunity seemed a fun adventure right up until Continue Reading…

    Educational Philosophy, Home Education

    Charlotte Mason Boot Camp Has Left Facebook (and Registration Is Now Open)

    February 18, 2021 by Brandy Vencel

    Are You Ready for BOOT CAMP?? Woot woot! Registration is now open for the Spring 2021 session of Charlotte Mason Boot Camp! If you’re already ready to register, click here to purchase your spot! If you want more details, keep reading! Perhaps the most important change compared to previous sessions is that we have left Facebook. Many of you have been requesting this for a long time; I was just trying to figure out how to do it in a Continue Reading…

    Educational Philosophy, Home Education

    Reading Charlotte Mason’s Ourselves with Many Teens

    February 15, 2021 by Betsy Farquhar

    He didn’t have integrity in how he used his time,” my son added. Like all Charlotte Mason mothers worth their salt, I’d been listening to an oral narration … while simultaneously making dinner and, ahem, only sort of paying attention. But I was struck by his phrasing and his mature assessment of the historical figure in question. “What do you mean, he didn’t have integrity in how he used his time?”  “Well, like the book said, he was cribbing time Continue Reading…