The Summer 2024 Mother Culture Reading List (Plus Summer Reading Habit Trackers!!)
Afterthoughts
by Brandy Vencel
22h ago
This is one of those “better late than never” situations. I have written two annual posts to kick off summer for many years, and they’re usually published by the end of May. May found us traveling to Tennessee twice! Once for our son’s college graduation, and once for his WEDDING. (Yes, I have become that dreaded thing: a mother-in-law. ) So I knew this would be delayed, but it was extra, extra delayed when we were in a car accident (NOT my fault, ahem) and my car was totaled. Needless to say, I’ve had a lot going on. But BOOKS. We still need these lists, even when they are late. It’s just ..read more
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Who Benefits Most? CM and Learning Disabilities
Afterthoughts
by Brandy Vencel
2M ago
I have tried to write this post for a long time. I looked it up. My first draft began back in 2020! I don’t know why it’s taken me so long. I’ve been talking about this sort of thing in Charlotte Mason Think Tank for years now. Perhaps I just needed a little more confidence in saying what I had to say. Perhaps I needed another graduate under my belt before I knew for sure that I was correct about this. Perhaps it just wasn’t fully formed in my mind. Let’s compare two fictional little girls, sisters: Susie and Jenny. Susie was a born tattle-tale. She loved to talk, to express her opinions. Sh ..read more
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Spring Reading Recommendations (Plus: Reading Trackers are Here!)
Afterthoughts
by Brandy Vencel
3M ago
I know it’s embarrassingly late (March is almost over, after all), but I decided to post this anyway because I figured that you enjoy some reading inspiration, no matter when it’s given. Personally, what with a long-distance move in January and a child getting married in May, I’ve decided to read more fiction than usual. I find it comforting and calming (well, as long as I choose titles that have that effect on me). That doesn’t mean I’m neglecting other categories, but sometimes all my fiction reading is what I read aloud to my children. This year, I’m reading fiction for myself. I even made ..read more
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The 2024 Afterthoughts Book Awards
Afterthoughts
by Brandy Vencel
5M ago
This past year was wild. I’m surprised I finished as many books as I did! (As usual, the book awards only includes books I read on my own. I’ll create another list that contains all our read alouds from this year, so stay tuned.) Somehow, in the midst of scoping out a new town in a new state, selling a house, and buying a house, I still got through 23 books. (Thank the Lord for audio books!). Reading keeps me sane, I think. The list below isn’t broken down exactly into my Scholé Sisters 5×5 Reading Challenge categories, but it’s close. If you’ve never done the 5×5 Reading Challenge ..read more
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The Fall 2023 Mother Culture Reading List (Plus Fall Reading Habit Trackers!!)
Afterthoughts
by Brandy Vencel
9M ago
I don’t know about you, but I always have to figure out how to fit in my reading this time of year. It’s not that I can’t do it — it’s just that I can’t do it the way I’ve been doing it when there were no school lessons and very little football practice. This time of year isn’t actually busier, but it’s different, and I have to strategize with my calendar to make things work. A habit tracker helps immensely. I often imagine myself to be better than I am (more consistent than I am) and it’s only when stark reality is revealed to me by the mirror of my habit tracker that I face what I am actual ..read more
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Introducing the New Spanish Edition of Swedish Drill Revisited!!
Afterthoughts
by Dawn Duran
10M ago
I am thrilled to announce that Calistenia Sueca Version Revisida is now available! Born out of a desire to provide more Charlotte Mason resources for the Spanish-speaking community, I hope this version of Swedish Drill RevisitedTM will allow more families to effectively implement Swedish Drill in their homes. I’d like to share a little family history with you that explains my interest in bringing this project to fruition. My husband grew up in a Spanish-speaking home in a Texas border town. Laredo is one of the least ethnically diverse cities in the United States: its pop ..read more
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11 Books I Assigned for High School That Aren’t on the AmblesideOnline Lists
Afterthoughts
by Brandy Vencel
10M ago
I love, adore, and have always used AmblesideOnline as our homeschool curriculum. Also, I have always collected books. In the high school years, when AO takes a pick-and-choose salad bar approach, I can’t help but consider not just the books on the lists, but also the books on my shelves. They have been waiting their whole lives for this moment, and so have I! As much as I adored my littles, the teen years are my absolute favorite. I’ve also come to believe in the power of the perfectly chosen book. I’m not saying students should have a completely customized-to-them curriculum — in fact, I wo ..read more
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Morals? Yes. Moralizing? No. (OR: Did Charlotte Mason Read the Moral of a Fable?)
Afterthoughts
by Brandy Vencel
1y ago
“I hope the reader is not among the naughty children who read the fable and skip the moral.” — Charlotte Mason, School Education, p. 167 This issue came up recently in the Scholé Sisters classical writing class during a live Q&A session. The question was about the morals in Aesop. Some of us were under the impression that Charlotte Mason forbid the reading of the moral in an Aesop’s fable (and some little children strongly disapproved of this practice). My knee jerk reaction was that this was incorrect, but I didn’t say so because I thought I might be wrong. I’ve been reading Charlotte M ..read more
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The Summer 2023 Mother Culture Reading List (Plus Summer Reading Habit Trackers!!)
Afterthoughts
by Brandy Vencel
1y ago
If you aren’t familiar with the term “mother culture,” I’m actually referring to an article that appeared in Charlotte Mason’s Parents’ Review Magazine way back in 1892. The Mother Culture article does a couple important things. First, it reminds us that books are a way to wisdom — that a solid reading life is imperative if Mom is going to gain the maturity she needs to be a good mom to her older children. Second, it gives us a way — a simple habit-based approach — to help us build reading into the busyness. The habit involves three simple steps: Always hav ..read more
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Mothers’ Education Course 2023
Afterthoughts
by Brandy Vencel
1y ago
How do we make ourselves better teachers? Better mothers? Better persons? Once upon a time, Charlotte Mason had a course that did just that! The Mothers’ Education Course (MEC) was a three-year (and later a two-year) program Charlotte Mason put together to educate moms who were educating their children. (If you want a more detailed history of the program, read this.) The program assigned books in four subject areas: Divinity Physiology and health (with an emphasis on caring for children) Mental and moral science and education Nature lore and the elements of science Doing the full course (o ..read more
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