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    Educational Philosophy, Home Education

    Swedish Drill Revisited: New Expanded Edition

    March 7, 2023 by Dawn Duran

    Introducing the New and Improved Swedish Drill Revisited Expanded Series

    It is with great excitement that I announce the expanded Swedish Drill Revisited series!

    QR Codes!

    What makes the series “new and improved”? I’m glad you asked! Beyond its fresh new look (thanks to my friend, Rebecca at A Humble Place, for the new cover design, and the incredible skills of my friend, Hayley, for the update to the interior pages), each manual in the series now contains QR codes for quick access to video demonstrations (while maintaining the hyperlinks in the original version for those who prefer them), expanded content (including information about the value of crossing midline to optimize neural development and how to adapt exercises in each level to accomplish that goal), plus sample lesson plans with “cheat sheets” to use as a handy guide for each lesson.

    And there’s more!

    Flash Cards!

    Each manual now comes with a set of flash cards (also updated with QR codes and previously sold separately) and mp3 files of the commands for each movement in each routine. Why the addition of these items? The physical aspect is only one part of why Swedish Drill is valuable – what makes it unique in the physical education realm is its emphasis on engaging the mind along with the body.

    One of the great benefits of Swedish Drill is its requirement for students to pay close attention in order to perfectly execute each movement. Unfortunately, once children (and instructors!) become very familiar with one routine, they tend to lose focus because they believe they can perform the routine by rote like automatons. This mindset spells disaster and is to be avoided at all costs. What is the solution? Mixing up the order of the commands so that the student must pay close attention to learn what comes next rather than merely anticipating what the instructor will say. Enter the flash cards: by shuffling these cards prior to each drill performance, the instructor can mix up the order of the movements to keep the routine fresh and the students engaged.

    Playlist!

    That brings us to the playlist element of the new product, which provides another way that a robotic performance of routines can be prevented. We have already established that, by performing Swedish Drill on auto-pilot, students lose many of its benefits. Each product purchase is now accompanied by a collection of audio files, each one a recording of commands for individual exercises in each routine. The leader can introduce this audio by playing the tracks in the order given, and then the playlist can be shuffled so that students do not know which movement is coming next. The only thing that will be consistent will be starting from the Attention position, and ending the routine with Breathing as a cool down. These commands will still need to be given by the instructor. Their position in the routine must be fixed, but the shuffling element prevents them from appearing at the beginning and the end of each routine.

    Another benefit of these audio files is the ability to combine routines into one playlist, thus generating a longer routine that incorporates all of the movements from multiple routines. It is still important to progress through the series in the order written, however, as the complexity level of movements increases with each routine. Once a new routine has been mastered, though, it can be added to a “master playlist” with which new drills can be led.

    In addition, the audio files provide an opportunity to have another “instructor” lead the students through the routine so that the leader can either 1) participate herself, or 2) provide more guidance for the students in order to help them fine tune their execution of each movement.

    Finally, the recorded files demonstrate the authoritative, commanding tone in which drill should be led. This is necessary to solicit attention and respect from the student, which mothers in particular often have difficulty achieving. However, the concept of authority and docility is a key aspect of the Charlotte Mason philosophy, and developing a child’s ability to cheerfully submit to parental authority is a habit that will bring them success in life. I do not speak of unquestioning obedience, as when authority is applied with a hammer; rather, the ability to obey because it is right and because the parent acts in a manner worthy of respect and obedience will bring a child great joy as he learns to command his own body to likewise obey his authority as he controls his movements. Most importantly, the audio component will demonstrate to mom how one can demonstrate this tone of authority while still making drill fun and engaging for her students.

    The first manual in the series is available now and remaining levels are coming soon. To celebrate the launch of this new product in a new year, the revamped Swedish Drill Revisited Expanded Edition will be available at a discounted price through April 14.

    I have another surprise in store, too, that I think many of you will enjoy. I’ll be sharing the news here in the coming weeks, so be on the lookout for another announcement soon.

    One more thing: some of you might be thinking “I already purchased the series. I want to have the benefit of these additions, but I don’t want to pay for an entirely new product just for the new items.” Never fear – I have thought of this, too. I have created a special deal available for a limited time for previous purchasers to upgrade to the latest edition. You will soon be receiving a special code via email that can be used for this purpose, so keep an eye on your inbox. But remember: this is a limited time offer. If you don’t use the coupon with 90 days, it becomes invalid and cannot be reactivated.

    Next up: an article highlighting the benefits of using Swedish Drill Revisited in a group setting, including the formal integration of this program in schools as well as its use in co-ops of various sizes. Stay tuned!

    Books & Reading

    The Official 2022 Afterthoughts Read Aloud List

    January 19, 2023 by Brandy Vencel

    Reading aloud when children are young is imperative. Many treat the older years as optional. I’m so glad no one convinced me to stop! It is so much fun now that my children are older. Reading aloud to them doubles as reading for myself — so many of these books are on my personal list and I can shift titles to the read aloud stack to get them done. I’d much rather share books with people I love than read Continue Reading…

    Books & Reading, Mother's Education

    The 2023 Afterthoughts Book Awards

    January 10, 2023 by Brandy Vencel

    This felt like an odd reading year to me. My categories were a bit different from normal, and I did a lot more whim reading than I intended. (I really think whim reading is the only solution during times of high stress!) But I’m happy I read what I did, and I do have a number of gems to share with you today. As usual, the only contenders for these awards were books I actually finished in 2022. I read Continue Reading…

    Home Education

    Detective Mom

    December 12, 2022 by Brandy Vencel

    I once had a daughter who refused to apologize. Not for everything, mind you, but for a very specific category of offenses: accidents. If she stepped on your toe, scared you so that you dropped something, or bumped your arm while you were underlining something in your book (and turned your underline into an unsightly scribble on the page), you knew you could expect nothing from her. No sign of remorse. Definitely no apology. As a Christian, I believe in Continue Reading…