Monday, January 18, 2010

Internal Workings

Of a PC, mostly. This afternoon, Emily did some more computer science work with my Dad. They looked inside an old PC and discussed which bit did what and they also talked about their plans to build some logic circuits to operate traffic lights.

With my Dad, Emily also wrote a small basic program which lists every prime number :-))

Friday was spent visiting home ed friends (having cadged a lift from my Dad), where the girls practised finding surface areas and drawing, cutting out and making shapes from nets. At the weekend, Emily variously read, baked (yum!), Simpsons-ed, drew, karate-d and computered. On Saturday we braved letting Lucifer and Lilith out into the garden without their harnesses for the very first time but with supervision. They absolutely loved it, stayed out slightly longer with supervision on Sunday and then today were allowed out all day on their own, although we brought them in when it got dark. Beautiful little things, they're really loving their freedom and big brother Severus is an absolute angel playing with them in the garden. Big tabbies Romeo and Juliet have yet to notice that the babies are out, I think, as they spend most of the day asleep and only tend to go out in the dark until the summer comes.

This morning I took the car back to an 8am appointment to have its steering column sorted out, only to be told that they didn't have the parts and it couldn't be done until Thursday. I was deeply unimpressed, to put it mildly. No car this evening has meant Emily missing kick boxing too.

While Emily has been pondering the inner workings of a PC, I've been pondering the inner workings of our home ed style and in particular my own battles the autonomous approach. When she's not actually "doing something" with me or actively being with friends, Emily spends *a LOT* of time on her computer. Waayyy too much time, many would say. I find myself fretting over this and nagging her to get off the computer and go and do "something" else, but then I find myself nagging myself to stop nagging her. I daresay, had technology been at today's levels, I probably would have been the same at her age and so might her Dad have been. I think I'm possibly turning it into more of a problem than it should be....but then again, another part of me thinks we must be failing to provide anything else exciting to do.

With me and Jon both up to our necks in trying to earn money every spare minute of the evening and weekends apart from when I'm consciously doing things with Emily during the day - and no siblings - it's not as if Emily can run off and play "with someone". She probably likes the company when she's on the computer too, because it's in the same room as ours while we're working. She does a lot of different things on there - sometimes just playing Sims or some other game, but often finding out about things which interest her and she does a lot of creating art work and videos to put on You Tube too. It is true that her IT skills are phenomenal and her artistic skills are soaring ahead too, both of which are due to lengthy computer time. So that's all good. But surely...? Shouldn't she be reading, or playing a game on her own, or playing in the garden, or, or, or, or....?

I guess I struggle with concepts autonomous educators might take for granted sometimes. It's a combination of worrying about Emily being an only child, worrying that we have to work all the time, worrying that she might be lonely, worrying that she might be bored, worrying that she doesn't have this marvellous, all-consuming away-from-the-PC hobby that so many home educated kids do seem to have. Worrying that she's only on the PC because she can't think what else to do. In truth, Emily does do plenty of reading, garden playing, cooking and all the rest of it. We have equipment, craft stuff, books and all manner of other paraphenalia coming out of our ears, should she want to use it, which she sometimes does. And, allowing for normal preteen moods and a slight lack of social confidence, she does seem happy enough, most of the time. But - arggh! I wish I could stop fretting!


Bev said...

Ditto all your fretting. I go through exactly the same here. I know without any doubt that you are worrying over nothing but will that stop me going through this every day? Never! You are doing brilliantly, just look at her lovely smile.

Nikki said...

Awww, thank you, Bev. It comes to something when you start worrying about worrying!