Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Long hiatus...

It has been a long time since I've checked in here. You see, I was spending too much time on the computer and not enough time on things that needed doing in "real life." With the approach of the new school year, I knew that something was going to have to give.

Now I know as home educators, we don't have to stick to society's school calendar. We can start our academic year in August or September like everyone else, or we can start in January with the calendar year, or we can just sort of keep on going, year-round, starting new material as we finish the old. However, our outside classes and activities (choir, debate club, speech class, art class, etc.) run on the September - May/June academic schedule, and so we tend to do the same.

Anyhow, as I was saying, I needed to spend much less time online. I cut back on online commitments. I limited my email and web-browsing time. I set aside time for the girls to use the computer for their academics. (They also spend too much time online, and I'm not talking research or academic pursuits, but that's something we're still trying to work on, and if we ever do manage to straighten it out to my satisfaction, I'll let you know.)

The computer situation at our house has also dictated less computer time for me, as one by one our rebuilt bargain-priced laptops meant for academic use (listening to lectures and doing writing assignments) have deteriorated and died, leaving us all competing for computer time on the remaining computer. (How do people manage, on a homeschool family budget, the cost of student computers, anyhow? The cheap rebuilt route has not worked really well for us. We're not going to sign up with a government school-at-home program just in order to get laptops for the girls. I'm open to other suggestions...)

It's been occasionally rough. My email box has burgeoned to unbelievable proportions. I've missed reading emails that I needed to read, if only to be informed of events going on at church or connected to our extracurricular activities. I have not blogged since August. I signed up for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month -- where you aim to write a book in 30 days' time) with the girls' encouragement, put in one day of writing, and then my own laptop and the last remaining student laptop got very sick at the same time, meaning that the five of us were now sharing one semi-working desktop computer. As you probably have figured out, that book didn't get written. Yet. (As my mom used to say, "If it's important, it'll come back to you." We'll see. It just wasn't a priority right now.)

I have a phone that can browse the web, which has been handy for web-based research when out and about (doing Language Arts with Youngest in a coffee shop, for example, and needing to look up a grammar rule), and browsing blogs while waiting for the girls at classes or appointments, so it hasn't been a complete break from the internet. I've found encouragement and helpful how-tos on blogs, recipes for gluten-free foods or homemade cleaning products or just plain food for thought. I can read email on my phone, although for some reason I can't send email, so answering emails can still be a problem (depending on when I can get on the desktop at home, and also if I remember that I needed to answer something).

Anyhow, I'm going to try again, if only a little something every day. It's a way of connecting, for one thing, joining an ongoing conversation, as well as organizing information (Now where did I put that recipe...?). I'm just a bit wiser than I was (at least I hope so) when I was blogging earlier. I use a timer these days, for one thing.

Thanks for listening.

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