Seven (Minus Two) Quick Takes

I started a Seven Quick Takes post, but only made it to five. And didn’t finish it on Friday. So here are some random takes on Saturday.


As a committed bibliophile, I’m not much for tv. But Wayne and I do like to have an ongoing show, something we can enjoy together. It’s hard to find a clean show that’s interesting to us both, though. And most shows are out of the question due to explicit content or the glorification of all that’s dark and twisted. I could go on for awhile about that, but I’ll refrain.  The point is, Poldark.

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Wednesdays with Words: The Intellectual Life

I’ve been slowly reading through The Great Tradition: Classic Readings on What It Means to Be an Educated Human Being – a collection of writings about classical education by a variety of writers, from Plato to modern authors.

Yesterday I read a selection from The Intellectual Life by A. G. Sertillanges, a book that’s been on my “to read” list for quite awhile.  It moved up the list after reading this selection, which was so encouraging to me.

Sertillanges says that the intellectual life is a calling, whether or not it is your main calling. From the beginning of the passage, he asserts that even if one is “not entirely free to give themselves up to study”, they might still have an intellectual calling.

As I have worked to educate my children, I have repeatedly seen the lack in my own knowledge and understanding, and been frustrated that – at least in this season – I am not able to throw off all my responsibilities and do nothing but read and study all day long. I love to daydream about a life of intellectual pursuits – how I would order my day and the things I would study if I had no other responsibilities. (In this daydream, I am also independently wealthy and don’t need a paying job, so that helps.)

But Sertillanges encourages me:

One does not need extraordinary gifts to carry some work through; average superiority suffices; the rest depends on energy and wise application of energy. It is as with a conscientious workman, careful and steady at his task: he gets somewhere, while an inventive genius is often merely an embittered failure.

What I have just said is true of everyone. But I apply it especially to those who know that they have at their disposal only a part of their life, the least part, in which to give themselves to the labors of the mind. They, more than others, must be men consecrated by their vocation. What they cannot spread out over all their years, they must concentrate in a small space. ..

If genius is not necessary for production, still less is it necessary to have entire liberty…The very constraint will make you concentrate better, you will learn the value of time, you will take eager refuge in those rare hours during which, the claims of duty satisfied, you can turn to your ideal and enjoy the relaxation of some chosen activity after the labor imposed by the hard necessity of getting a livelihood…

You, young man who understand this language and to whom the heroes of the mind seem mysteriously to beckon, but who fear to lack the necessary means, listen to me. Have you two hours a day? Can you undertake to keep them jealously, to use them ardently, and then, being of those who have authority in the Kingdom of God, can you drink the chalice of which these pages would wish to make you savor the exquisite and bitter taste? If so, have confidence. Nay, rest in quiet certainty.

More posts about meaningful words and reading at the linkup at ladydusk.

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My favorite son is EIGHT today.  Eight.  That sounds so big.

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Wednesdays with Words: Gifts Differing

I’ve been interested in Meyers-Briggs type for a few years now.  At first I thought I was INTJ, but after learning more about type, and testing again, I realized that ISTJ is a better fit.  I’m a little sad about that; the memes are funnier for INTJs.  Oh well, we ISTJs may be boring, but we keep everyone on schedule and in order. Wayne hasn’t taken the test, but I have typed him as ISTP.

Mystie has written a number of posts about type, and she recommended the book Gifts Differing, by Isabel Briggs Myers.  I had to request it on interlibrary loan.  I’m glad I took the trouble; this stuff is fascinating.

As an aside — according to the publisher’s foreward, the author was homeschooled, then went to college at 16 and graduated first in her class.  Three cheers for home education!

I enjoyed the book, but I thought a few things were confusing.  First of all, in Chapter 5, Effect of the SN Preference, I identified more with the N characteristics over S.  Maybe that means my intuition is fairly well developed?  Throughout the book the author asserts that sensing types have trouble with language, with words as symbols.  On page 59, she says outright, “sensing children have less scholastic interest than intuitive children.” Apparently, S types generally make lower scores on intelligence tests, because their native language is “reality spoken by the senses.” Since tests use the symbols of language and metaphor, “the sensing child has more translating to do.”  As I’ve always been a reader and considered language a strong point, this doesn’t ring true for me.

I was surprised to read that S types “will not skim in reading.”  Well, I skimmed parts of this book, so how about that?😉  I don’t have time to read things that aren’t of interest to me.  This is also why I prefer reading to watching a video.  I can skim a book or article; videos take too long.

In contrast to my experience in that regard, the book talks quite a bit about how S types take a long time to ponder questions on tests and therefore score quite low.   She believes that we need more time to process symbols of language and numbers, while N types are in a hurry.  I am always in a hurry. Again, maybe I have a well-developed N side, even though I am predominately S?  Or can I go back to claiming INTJ?  Because the memes, y’all…

Chapter 7 discussed the Judging / Perceiving preference.  Oh my goodness.  The J description is me, completely.  The P description is Wayne, completely.

“Inclined to regard the perceptive types as aimless drifters.”  “Inclined to regard the judging types as only half-alive.”  Can you feel the love?!?

Also in this chapter, Briggs-Meyers suggests that the early American colonists were more likely to be intuitives – the appeal of possibilities in the New World would be felt more strongly by N types, while the S types would rather stick with what they know, the old customs and traditions of England.  This might explain some of our American characteristics such as individualism and ingenuity – we were probably top heavy on intuitives from the get-go.  That makes so much sense.  So interesting, right?

But I did feel like she understood me when discussing ISTJs and ISFJs in chapter 9, where she says it is “impossible to know what droll and unexpected associations of ideas take place behind their outer calm.”  I’ve never been the life of the party, but it is droll inside my head. Quite droll.

But it is true that as a child I preferred realistic toys.  I never was much for dolls; they obviously weren’t real.  For my first birthday, I was given a toy pitcher, the kind where liquid moves between the plastic to make it look like it is going to pour out. I turned it upside down and when nothing came out, my mom says I gave it a disappointed look, tossed it down, and moved on.

Towards the end of the book, Briggs-Meyers cautions that “falsification of type robs its victims of their real selves and makes them into inferior, frustrated copies of other people.” (p. 189)  I do wish I had understood my introversion earlier in life. I think back to college, when everyone around me wanted to be with people 24/7, and I felt like an unsocial weirdo for wanting to be alone sometimes.  Pretending to be an extrovert just made me an inferior version of someone else. Thank goodness I was a piano major and had to spend hours and hours alone in a practice room each day.

What’s your type?  Do you find that you identify more with certain explanations of your type than others?  And if you don’t know your type, you can take the test here.

Visit Dawn’s Wednesdays with Words link-up for more reading posts.

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Why We Quit Doing Morning Time

As I mentioned briefly last week, I have decided to let go of Morning Time, at least for awhile.

I know. Shocking, isn’t it?  I mean, can you even be a homeschooler these days and not do Morning Time in some fashion?  It’s talked about in glowing terms everywhere you look. There’s even a podcast dedicated to the topic.  Everyone does Morning Time!

We’ve done Morning Time (MT) in some fashion for the past several years. It was a pleasant way to say, “Hey, school is starting now!”  We began our morning by singing a hymn, followed by catechism study, prayers, Shakespeare or other memory work, and some read-aloud time.  I used MT to include all those “extra” elements of learning that I wanted our day to include.

But after the first 3 full weeks of school, I had to admit that I had made our load too heavy. In addition to our scheduled school work, we were doing about 45 minutes of MT at the very beginning of our day, plus 45 minutes of quiet reading after lunch. We were regularly finishing our school day at 4:00 or 4:30 – and that’s with an 8:15 start! Continue reading

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7 Quick Takes – Sales and Soccer and a Shocking Change


Okay, fine, the change isn’t that shocking. Don’t get too excited. But – alliteration!

One. Wayne got a new car!

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Learning Latin

Our homeschool has included Latin for a number of years now. Abby started in 3rd grade with a text that came highly recommended by bloggers and promised to make classical learning fun.

We started the course and enjoyed the videos of kids chanting and the amusing puppet shows, but there was one big problem.

We were so confused.

She didn’t get it, and when I tried to help her, I didn’t get it, either.  Latin was a mystery.  Which was weird, because it was supposed to be so logical.

When I discovered Memoria Press a couple of years later, I bought First Form for Abby and Latina Christiana for Emma.

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