Saturday, January 09, 2010

Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

My big, top-of-the-list New Year's Resolution this year was to do a better job of  keeping our school days on track, and as of Tuesday this last week it looked as though I had failed rather spectacularly.  Katie was doing about the same as usual, but that day Travis managed to stretch his math out for twelve hours.  All two pages of it.  And it was review work.  Now admittedly he did not spend twelve straight hours doing math.  He also did do some Latin, piano, some reading, and a Life of Fred Lesson.  But mostly he did math.  Carelessly.  And stared into space.  A lot.  And that twelve hours of math was what it took for me to realize that I needed to make a dramatic sort of change in our schedule.  So Travis and I had a good talk about changing our work habits (we've had that talk before), and the rest of the week we got up at 7:00, had breakfast together, and did math before Katie came down.  And it has been great!  A little hard for me to adjust to chirpy, cheery conversation (lots of conversation) before finishing that second cup of coffee, but it is nice to have time when he can talk to me without competition.  Math still took at least two hours each day, mostly a little more, but maybe next week we'll bring it down to an hour and a half.  And Travis is so happy about how much better he is doing!  He told me today that he wants me to be sure to wake him up at 7:00 on the nose all next week, so that it will become a habit!  I know that after the initial excitement wears off we will be tempted to sleep in a little longer (just five more minutes!  I despise getting out of my warm bed on freezing cold mornings), but getting all our lessons done and still having some time to play is a lovely reward for our virtue!

And the one step back.
My computer died today.  Deader than a doornail.  Just a black screen with a message about how  \WINDOWS/SYSTEM32\CONFIG\SYSTEM is corrupt.  Or missing.  Doesn't really matter which to me, as I have no idea what it is talking about.  We've tried putting in the installation disk, etc., but nothing seems to help.  On the up side, I do have an external back up hard drive.  But you can't print out lesson plans or worksheets from that, or watch videos on it, educational or otherwise.  We're going to call around Monday and see what the prospects are for getting it fixed, but in the meantime I'm typing on Ed's extremely wonky computer, which doesn't have Homeschool Tracker installed on it, with its detailed lesson plans that allow me to print out beautiful checklists for the children to work through each day.  And my big plans for having the kids start Elementary Spanish on Discovery Streaming will have to be put on hold (it looks so cool, though!).  We'll muddle through, though, and it will be okay.  At least now I'm really pleased that I don't have the digital version of Tapestry of Grace!  And having Travis feeling proud of himself about getting up and getting his work done makes computer woes seem pretty minor.

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