Last night I realized I want to take a break from Facebook. I was spending a lot of time on it in the name of "keeping up with friends," but most of what I was reading consisted of inconsequential, superficial status updates from people I never really talk to. My days can be very stressful and lonely--especially weeks like this in which I am stuck at home with cranky kids who have a cold. I can't seem to get time or space to do things I need to do, and at the same time there is no one to have an adult conversation with. It's tempting to get on Facebook to feel connected, but when you're mostly just reading about other people's work days and the awesome stuff everyone is up to in a one-sided fashion, sometimes it just makes it worse. Last night I was feeling vaguely angry about the whole thing, so I deactivated my account. I'm not sure when I'll get back on there, but when I do I'd like it to take up a significantly smaller amount of my time.
Like others have said before, I'd like to spend more time in the real world, especially with my kids. I've been working with Suzi on her numbers. She hasn't taken to numbers quite the way she has to letters and words, so they've become the focus of our extremely short homeschool lessons. Honestly, sometimes I think it's good that I only have time to do short lessons. If I had enough time, I'd probably overdo it and bore Suzi to tears. This morning I had set up some counting bears in groups for her to count and given her some small pieces of paper so she could write the number and place it next to the corresponding group of bears. As I finished setting up and tried to sit down, I almost sat on Ivey, who had sneaked up behind me into my chair. Then we had to hurry because Robert was growing bored with his cheerios and wanted me to hold him. Suzi does well with counting and matching a set to a written number, but is still working on writing some of the numbers correctly, namely 2 and 3. I had her practice those a couple of times and when I could tell she was done, we were done. No sense in frustrating her; she'll get it in her own time.
Suzi enjoys playing with the bears when the counting is done. There is just something about a bunch of little multicolored plastic bears! One of our best thrifting finds ever.
I love reading books to all the kids, especially Ivey right now because she loves to hear stories but isn't ready to do "school." Before Robert was born, I found that a few good books could reset a day that was going bad. Nowadays, though, we can't get through a five-minute book without six or seven interruptions. Drives me nuts!
An idea I'd like to try to buy us some homeschool time once it gets a little warmer is to take the kids to the park, put Robert on my back in the Ergo, and let Ivey play while Suzi and I spend a few minutes at a time working. This could also work in our backyard once we get it cleaned up.
Oh, and we've abandoned our Oak Meadow curriculum for now. I'm not sure I've mentioned that before, but Suzi was in a hurry to learn more of the letters, so we've been mostly letting her lead the way. Also, right now it's not possible, short of me hiring a nanny, to clear our time and space for some of the suggested activities. They involve the monumental task of taking all three kids somewhere by myself, or are something that only Suzi and I should be working on and require a ton of distraction for the other two kids that probably won't even work. Sometimes I would do all the necessary preparation successfully and then find that Suzi wasn't really even interested! Instead, right now I am looking at kindergarten standards lists and seeing which ones Suzi has met or is close to meeting and which ones we need to think about working on in the near future. That is, the ones that aren't ridiculous. The public school system is pushing little five-year-olds so hard these days. Anyway, we will probably use our OM curriculum for all its activities besides the letters Suzi has already mastered, and we won't worry about staying on schedule, because that was a large part of why we didn't stick with it more this year. We'll jump around in the book, do what works for our family, and I am sure Suzi will be not only fine, but great.
I'm already feeling better, having blogged instead of lounging around Facebook during this time. It's almost lunchtime and the kids and I are enjoying one of my favorite movies, The Music Man. Jordan ordered it for me and it just arrived today.