Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Math musings

There are somethings in the homeschooling world that I find fascinating. There are obviously a million different methods and philosophy options when it comes to educating our children at home. I fall into an eclectic homeschool model. I do what works for my children regardless of what predetermined philosophy I might find interesting.

For some of my children that includes workbooks and copy work. For other children that includes hands on games and no papers in sight. It all depends on the child and how they learn.  It has taken me years to get to the point where I am comfortable enough to alter, and in some cases throw out, curriculum so that it works well for our children.. Even with tweaking and twisting however I have yet to find a math curriculum that I feel works perfectly for some of our children. I apparently need something that does not yet exist.

 I figured I would scour the web and find another parent that had been in my shoes and designed their own math curriculum. Something hands on that would spark some interest in my children who are workbook phobic. While searching I was struck by something I had never noticed in previous years. Homeschool parents are apparently willing to design their own curricula for science, history, english, etc but not for math. 

Why is that?

It seems that if you voyage away from the mainstream homeschool math workbooks you are in no mans land. Sure there are lots of games and worksheets available online but they are for one specific skill, not a total package sort of deal.

That makes me wonder. What are parents of children who hate workbooks doing with their children for math? Are they just sticking the book in front of them anyways and developing an ulcer as they teach their reluctant/hysterical child? Are they going off grid and developing their own plans...and not being considerate enough to share their curriculum plans with the rest of us desperate parents? Not like they don't have tons of time at their disposal to type out detailed plans, right? I mean we homeschool parents are known to have tons of free time at our disposal. *I am kidding in case you missed the sarcastic font.*

I am not talking advanced algebraic formulas here. Just regular old elementary math. Adding, subtracting, multiplication, division, fractions, etc. Surely if we are willing to design our own science curriculum we could come up with something for addition while we are at it.

I really have no point to this post other than to wonder out loud about the lack of options when it comes to homeschool math. It seems to be either workbooks or a free for all. I find this fascinating.  I am also tempted to write down what we are doing for math this year and design my own hands on math curriculum to share with the world. Obviously I have way too much time on my hands as well!

Thursday, December 15, 2016

A month without Facebook....

It has officially been a month since I made the decision to step away from my Facebook profile. I did not trust myself to simply walk away from the site cold turkey. In an effort to make my self control stronger I deleted all of my friends before I stepped away. I knew that the urge to peek into other people's lives would pop up and I would give in eventually. I was afraid that such a situation would bring me back into the cyber world once again. With no friends there really is not much pull to the site.

Having the time away has been amazing for my emotional and mental well being. At first I could not put my finger on why I was so strongly motivated to leave the site and so relieved once it was finished. I just knew I felt 100 times better and that was enough for me initially. It was not until a few weeks later that the reason suddenly struck me.

I was no longer being affected by other peoples emotional highs and lows.

You know how it goes, you are scanning your feed and see that someone is going through a difficult time. Maybe their baby was born prematurely or their family member died unexpectedly. Just seeing what they are going through breaks your heart. You are then carrying that sadness around with you all day.

 At least I was.

 I would get so depressed and upset over something that had absolutely nothing to do with my life.  Day after day after day. If it was not my friends personal stories it was ones they were sharing about children killed by their parents or lost in the woods and dying from starvation. I just felt like I was constantly being barraged by all of these heart breaking situations. I would look at my kids as they slept and burst into tears thinking about how horrible it would be if something like that happened in our family.

This was obviously not healthy.

It was not all horrible stories obviously. There was also the staged for Facebook photos of how amazing their lives were or the new car/vacation/clothes/jewelry they had just purchased. Nothing felt real anymore. Where is the sink full of dirty dishes? Or the laundry hamper overflowing with poopy underwear because their kid suddenly regressed in potty training? Was I the only one that did not have a perfect home? Perfect kids? A perfect husband? I knew in my head that their lives were not perfect and that the pictures were more than likely staged but it still lead me to self doubt and self deprecation.

I recently read a financial book addressed towards 20 somethings as they enter the real world. Yes, I know I am far from 20 years old but I am always interested in reading new financial books. Anyways, the book had an entire section on not allowing social media to negatively affect your spending habits. It is really easy to see someone else has a new car and then start to envy them for their purchase. Suddenly our 5 year old, paid for in cash, car is not good enough anymore. Or do not forget all of those lovely adds that pop up on your feed based on things you searched on other sites. I don't know about you but I find that extremely creepy. I do NOT like being tracked and marketed towards. I feel like I am being stalked!

I know these things that affected my life via Facebook are not going to be pertinent to everyone who uses social media. These are the things that were affecting me however. Things that I could not clearly see until I cut the cord so to speak. I do still have my blog facebook page up and running at this time. That is a bit different for me. I am able to post a picture of what I want to share and then walk away. There is no feed to look at or interact with. If someone decides to leave a comment I am happy to chat with them during the day. Since it is so removed from the things that were upsetting me I think I will keep it running at least for the time being.

So, one month of facebook freedom under my belt. I am happy to say there will be many more months to come!


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