Sunday, January 19, 2014

Calendars may seem obvious

Calendars may seem obvious to the born organized but they are not obvious to me in parenting the home educated child.   I take pride, too much pride, in bumping along through school life, so if you read that last post and thought "well duh", then you are not challenged like I am to teach calendar organization.

It has been a week now and it is slowly coming to them and to me how this calendar tool can be used.   I have made VERY reasonable requests on their daily routine so far and asked them to simply check their stuff off when it is complete.   Hmmmm....    so far they are not taking me seriously enough.   I now have added that if they get everything done for that day, to put a sticker at the top of that day.   When they ask to do special things, we can take a look at how things have been going along the way and see what is reasonable.   All things fun always seem reasonable to them.

We had a check in last night and it was apparent that it was hard for them to get much done from their list.   We have more talking to do and of course I will reinforce those areas which are getting done.   Slow and steady will win the race.  

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Structure and calendars

I personally am not the most structured person.   Unfortunately for me, I don't think structure is optional for the kids.   Pondering the plethora of age levels living under my roof and all the stages of development going on, from dreaming of retirement, to not quite potty trained and all the teenage behavior in between, is pushing the envelope with me to insist on calendars and more routine in the house.   I thought it was good enough to simply get done what we could get done but am realizing how there is only one of me and that the older kiddos need to learn how to use a calendar and take more responsibility for their own lives.  

I cannot begin to explain the dragging of feet and their blaming me for not knowing what they can do next in their home educated journey or in helping around the house.   Helping is not an option either.    I have visions of faces coming at me asking me questions in my not so distant past.   I am going to attempt to have calendar, goal making meetings weekly and try to make it fun.   That lovely phrase in probably all parenting/teacher books is that kids like to know what is expected of them.   Even though I feel I have given them what is expected, I suppose it is too wishy washy for them and black and white check lists will help.   I will have to have a fight with my own 'laid back' self to persevere with this.  

Extinguishing whining will be a whole different goal but not really.   I think I am going to have them track their whining on the calendar to see how that is going for them.   Can I do this????   Hopefully.   Stay tuned.   Perhaps I will have my blog keep me more accountable on this one......

Thursday, January 9, 2014

My book rating system

It doesn't have to be anyone else's rating system but have decided that the best books to me are books with layers.   Depending on how the layers are laid together, the better the book.  Some books the layers are obvious and in others you realize a bit later on what happened before and dots are connected.   The Christian themes in Dickens and Gaskell's books seem to reflect a society of the time which understood a life of Catechesis and vocation.   There is an obvious acknowledgement of the value of people's different stations in life.   I call it a relief to read about a culture which once existed.   The readers of that day, considering I am referring to best sellers, must have understood these understandings and the natural flow of the story line in respect to Christ as the center of family and decisions.   I may stick with this time period a bit and see how many other books and authors carry on the same set of priorities or Christ centered lives and confident concern for those living outside the church.  

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

What makes a book a good book?

I'm asking.   I think I am enjoying the present "North and South" read but then read reviews and am not sure I am supposed to like it?   I suppose being written in 1855, it might be a "Pride and Prejudice" want to be.    It is fairly good and deals with a relative topic of that time. do I pick up any discriminatory taste?   I suppose I will just read it, ponder the social times and move on.   I am probably thinking too hard.  

Monday, January 6, 2014

Another book - North and South

I am now reading the book "North and South" by Elisabeth Gaskell.   It was written in 1855.   Silly me assumed it was about the Yankees and Southerners.....not.   Instead it is about the North and South of England and the class struggles of the time.  The surprise that anywhere else has a North and South?  Anyway, without giving too many spoilers, the main character spends much time pondering the classes different stations in life and how Christ is central to all no matter their station in life.   It is shockingly refreshing to read since that doesn't tend to the perspective of most or practically all modern literature.   Again a picture is painted, like Dicken's books, of the struggles of life related to faith and life and the centrality of Christ in every person's life, believer or not.   Worth reading.  

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Distraction by Reading

I have this stupid struggle with depression and so since it is stupid but real, I have decided to distract myself by reading.....a lot.    The internet gives a person popcorn brain and facebook does not help all that much to distract but rather detracts from my functioning so.......between running away from the internet, at least during most of the day, and whacking away at my 'want to reads' and 'want to read to the kids' agenda, I might be able to keep my mind occupied against the evils lurking at my door with my head.   Sounds like a plan.

Of course reading could add to depression if I read to avoid real life.   Yuck.   The balance is a pain.   Can I handle structured life?   I might be able to remember structured life this week, but maybe I will forget next week?   Who knows.

My last read, "A Tale of Two Cities" was very awesome.   Some say it has too much tedium in the beginning, but I think I just want to reread the beginning so I can connect the dots of all the nuances I missed the first time round.   It took me weeks to find time to read at all so I thought I was just mixed up from forgetting what had already happened.   Perhaps I was just a bit lost.   I highly recommend it for excellent weaving of events and characters.   The Christ like sacrifice was beautifully written and a basic work of art.   Images of the feet walking and walking forward through life and death the sure end to all were rich.   I kind of wonder now if my grandfather was a fan of this book or if he chose the verse for his gravestone from a basic love of the promise it holds.  Perhaps my grandmother chose it.   Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life.[d] Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, 26 and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. John 11: 25 - 26.   Perhaps I will choose this for my gravestone.   I never met my grandfather but feel bonded to him in this verse.   It was a key verse in "A Tale".   Yay Dickens!   There are some of his I want to reread.   

So other than reading and running away from the internet as much as this weakling can manage.....remembering my responsibilities might be helpful too.   Hmmmm........runs away from laptop.   

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Found my blog

I had to go to a friends blog to find my blog address.   I couldn't remember it or find it with many a search on my own personal laptop.   Hmm.....I don't have to blog but have heard   from here and there that other moms have read and enjoyed it so.....we shall see how we can document a better year here?  

Okay, the new year might not be better than last and that still is to be determined of course but last year was full of deaths of many people I know so am ready for a fresh start.    Things are not looking good for my in-laws as they struggle along with their health but I do have hope in the Resurrection so perhaps this year will be the year they get better?   Here's hoping!   Watching people fall into dementia and lose their ability to be independent is extremely sobering.   You see a glimmer of your own potential future.   Humbling.  

2014 brings my first grandchild.   Wow.   I am very much looking forward to baby.    Wow.   I am sure you will hear more about him/her (I know but am not telling) in the months to come.   Daughter dear had an entertaining Christmas break which allowed the opportunity to figure out baby gender.   Overdoing it is not advised but both she and baby are doing well.    She and hubby were busy with his family and reveling in his sister's wedding Monday.   It was beautiful.  

Now to crawl off to the shower and begin the day.   Many sick with colds/fevers and seem to be on the mend.   Spending New Year's Eve driving through a snow storm in Chicago was not my idea of fun but we made it and are safe and warm at home.   Time to work on my three year old's resolution to use the potty and I have already failed him.   Sigh.   Dipes and wipes march on.