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Friday, April 20, 2012

Day Seventy Three

WHAT a difference a day makes.

Yesterday, the Banker slept late, ate heartily upon rising (I'd made buttermilk biscuits for him).  He worked at his tasks without whining, moaning, bitching or pre-teen angst.

He blew through his work, 100%, 100%, 100%.  English, all complete, 100%.  Math (one particular concept he's fought with) reviewed, re-watched, re-worked, he asked for extra practice sheets (!) ASKED for more work to practice!  Practice lessons, 100%.  Test retake, 100%.


We discussed some process issues, book issues, moving some pending work to another day.  We talked about life, chickens, happiness, his future, my future, my mother.  We giggled, danced and he sang, sang, sang, while he worked.


I took some mental health time today.  There's so much to do here at the house, it's a mess and I feel out of control with it.  It feels overwhelming for some reason.  I need some me time.  I took the girls (chickens) outside to the gazebo, set up a chair and sat in there with my glass of wine and just watched them peck and scratch.  They ran to me, climbed on me and little, ugly, Edna fell asleep on my arm.  I needed the time out.  I can't believe how I feel for these chickens.


Husband went out to play with his friends, probably laughing, joking, relaxing.  All the things he doesn't, can't or won't do here.  So long as he's happy and having fun.


I cooked and experimented, liked some and hated some.  I cooked the best pork fried rice ever, way to use up the two teensy scrawny little pork chops leftover from last night.  Hardly enough to feed one of us let alone a mountain for both plus loads of leftover for Bankers lunch tomorrow.


The Banker is going to shadow FriendA today at a co-op. He wanted to get the feel for one and she invited him, excellent timing.  I am going to try to get some stuff done here, I am sort of paralyzed when he's here working, I feel I need to be available, across the table for him, during school.  I am sure it'll find it's level.  All in all, even after the blow out of the other day, I truly think he's happy with home school, excited to be able to check out the Co-op and I am going to try to get SOMEthing done here with time all by myself.


I came downstairs at 6am and found the Banker dressed, milk in hand, at the computer working through Language Arts Extensions to finish up some work.  Really?  I might love this. He flipped over to a little Minecraft when he finished.

Now then.  THAT is a conversation.  ALL the teen boys seem to be fascinated with the build your own world game that is Minecraft.  The graphics are crappy, the movement slow to medium at best and they love love love it.  It looks like Lego on the screen, well, if Lego had no sharp edges, unfocused Lego.  There has been some discussion between mothers as to how long to allow them to play this obsessive game, in one sitting.  Now, there's no killing or gore, or very little and it's amateurish at best. They have to work with each other to gather, mine and harvest what they need to build this world so perhaps there's a little ethics in there? They call each other in Skype, use the conference call program and all chat while they all play. They all call into one server (old school!) and play and build in the world they've created and saved.

They have been playing way too many hours in a row lately and one of the moms suggested a time limit, I love that.  We've decided they have to be off by 9pm, sounds reasonable.  We decided they have 3 hours (maximum) in a sitting, that also works just fine.  But I'll be honest, I wonder whether they need and use this time more so for social engaging rather than for the actual computer game.  They talk the whole time about what they need to do/work/buy/sell/harvest/mine/build and are dedicated to it to a fault.

I don't think we're turning them into sociopath ax murderers by letting them sit staring at screens for hours.  In a ridiculous manner, they are learning typing skills, keyboarding, some minor programming, how to get along, how to bargain, barter and negotiate.  They are learning to plan, to plot, to design and to build.  I hate to admit it but none of the items on this list is a bad thing.  They aren't shooting each other to smithereens with blood splattering across a screen.  Thank goodness.

Under the "super mom" category, it gives me a break when he's online with the friends.  *nice*  I can exhale, be inside my own head and make my own plans for my own life.  I need changes around here and when he's occupied so deeply, I can think about what I need to happen, for me, it's time.  I do know how easy it is to sit and start playing an obsessive game, Lemmings comes to mind.  I could play that all day, 3 hours was a blink.  I do understand their not realizing the time when they're so engaged.

I guess I wonder whether it's really that big of a deal if the work is done, what's wrong with engaging with your friends playing a group game instead of sitting in front of a television watching what other people want to put in your head.  Would we time limit them if it was a board game?  A card game?  Lego, Megablox or Lincoln Logs? Would we be concerned if they were playing with army men? GiJoe? Marbles?   I wonder if the conversation, time and energy spent with each other building relationships usurps the fact it's over a glowing rectangle.  What if it was just on the phone?  This is how home school kids, public school kids, friends and neighbors, from an area over 90 miles wide spend time hanging out when all their work is done.

I'll be thinking about that today.


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