Modifying My Annual Media Break


My habit has been to break from the media every spring. I started this several years ago when I was an active participant in an online forum of homeschool moms. I found that winter often became an intense time of debate over difficult issues and spring was the perfect time to break and stop participating in the frustrating conversations in which I often found myself. Looking back now, the intensity usually started right before election season and continued through with heated discussions about Christmas and then lent and then Passover and Easter and the Lord’s supper and the protestant reformation and the Lord’s Day or not. I would often promise myself that I wouldn’t go back to that forum and I could hold out for several months or even a year, but then I ended up back there. The last two years, I’ve been on Facebook and that has changed my habits. I haven’t visited that online forum since Facebook, but last year, when I started my media fast, I failed. I found reasons to read posts, so I promised myself I would just read and not reply. Then I replied once and told myself I would just read and OCCASSIONALLY reply, but not post a status. But then I would read a particularly pointed verse in scripture that I felt needed to be shared immediately and so I would post it and tell myself that I could post, but only post scripture…and then I would check back to see if anyone replied, and if so, I would reply and start a conversation and all this interaction on Facebook would keep me seeing the posts and links that were news related and I remained distracted and didn’t feel that I had taken any break whatsoever.

So, I’m not sure what to do this year. April 1st is tomorrow. I use Facebook as a communication tool like the phone or e-mail. Every day, every hour, every moment will have to be a question of what is neccessary and what isn’t.

No news today
No more FB today

I won’t abandon my blog just yet as it is helping me focus today, but what is my focus? My focus is to spend the time I am not using up on games and reading news and chatting with friends to pray and draw near to the Lord.

Father in heaven, I draw near to you in prayer this morning. It’s Thursday and on this day, my prayers are directed at the church….not the church building and the people who go there, but to your church, your body, your bride. Lord, I pray for your church in this time of distraction and scattered thoughts. Draw us to you and help us narrow our focus to seeking first your kingdom and your righteousness. I pray now for some special requests. Holy Spirit intercede for the needs of our music minister and his wife and son. Their son is very ill and they are far away from home. I also pray for family that will be traveling this weekend. Father, carry them safely to their destination. I pray for my husband’s health this weekend. Give me wisdom as I take care of his needs and I pray for help in speedily taking care of problems that could turn into a hospital visit if they aren’t helped soon. I pray also for my daughter and her pain when walking. Direct us that we won’t be running from one doctor to another, with no relief. Teach me more to pray without ceasing, to pray in all things and give thanks in all things. Following you Lord, I have been looking at my feet walking the path and lagging far behind, when I should be looking you in the eye.

Hurricane of progress…

I thought I lost my whole blog!

It’s been nearly a year since I updated my blog.  I’ve been mostly using Facebook anyway and I figured I would go back and try to retrieve my blog at some point.  I was using homeschoolblogger.com for a long time and then they changed over to a WordPress format and although I saved the html that I had worked so hard to create, it wasn’t an automatic cut-and-paste deal and I’ve tried and failed a few times this past year. Reecently. I helped my youngest son start his own blog here on WordPress, getting to know the way it works, and was inspired to try and get mine back up and running.  What an ordeal!  I almost gave up and started a new one, but I decided to try to work harder.  It was worth the effort for me, even though it felt a lot like ‘hacking’ to get everything back.  Some of my picture and video links from past posts are broken and my beautiful array of storytelling and educational links are currently lost in a maze of html. So, I have my work cut out for me.

This year things are quite different than last year. Our oldest graduated from high school in the spring and started college full-time. She’s still living at home and tries to confine classtime to half days which makes the change less extreme. She finally finished her storytelling CD which you can see in the sidebar of this blog under “Storytelling” and you can click on the link to her CD on itunes here. Our 14yo son did all the music on his sister’s CD and has decided to join her at college, taking dual credit classes in carpentry 4 days each week. This means my school hours are devoted to schooling our 9yo son Derek and we’ve had a nice time together when we can sit down and actually do school! Our learning style varies between relaxed homeschooling and unschooling, using curriculum materials as a source of learning rather than a schoolmaster. So, I raided my dusty school shelves for things that we might use to get this party started. We move the school area around from the diningroom, to a corner in Derek’s room, to the livingroom or wherever there’s plenty of light and comfortable places to sit. We bought an 8ft white board for writing and drawing (thanks to the suggestion by Andrew Pudewa on an IEW DVD) and our resident carpenter student cut it in half so it would fit better. He took the other half to his room. 😉 So, here’s a list of what we’re using and counting as educational:

Sonlight 4 – Teacher’s Manual (Reading and History)

Sonlight Timeline (History)

Mark-it Map (Geography)

Times Tables (Math)

Life of Fred (Math & Science)

Getty Dubay Italic Handwriting

Tapestry of Grace – Map of the Humanities

KJV Bible with new tabs! (Yay!)

Awana/T&T Book

Family History – (Teacher – Grandparents)

Presidents ( Teacher- Dad)

Nancy Drew PC Games (Critical Thinking…with Dad & Brother)

Adventures in Odyssey – Books on Tape

Cap Gardner & Legion park (PE)

Drawing, drawing and more drawing!

Piano & Kidz Choir (Music)

Wishbone (Getting to know the classics)

Making Sweet Memories…Avoiding Bitter Regrets

Have you every written something with such passion one day, and then gone back and read what you wrote and realized it was unimportant?  Well, that’s what I did with this blog post.  It was long and unimportant now, so I deleted it.  Have you ever READ something with such concern one day and realized later that it didn’t matter?  This has happened too often, especially this last year. (Where is H1N1 now?)  I’m beginning my annual spring media fast.  This year, I’m starting a month early and continuing through until June.  Usually at the start, I can’t imagine even wanting to go back and read the news or write about anything and spend much time on the internet, but by the time it’s too hot to be out of the AC, I’m back on the computer. 

"Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein." Jeremiah 6:16

Lord, show me the old paths and the good way…

 

Media Fast

It’s that time of year again!  It’s time for my blogoversary and for a media fast.  My blog will be completely updated, all links tested and the ticker will be up and "running" by Sunday night, March 29th.  Last year I posted my final blog in March and took a break from  "media" for the month of April…media for me being tv, radio, news, forums, blog posts, etc.  I will still have to check e-mail and I will listen and make Godly music and listen to preaching and teaching.  My last post in March from 2008 is here:

http://www.homeschoolblogger.com/thecuriouscottage/505713/

“Spring” Break

I went to the store with my sons a few mornings ago and I told them to make sure to walk inconspicuously through the store, because most other kids were in school.  I joked that if anyone asks why they aren’t in school today, just say "Spring Break!".  Of course this doesn’t work as well in November, but if you say it in passing, people may not realize what you said until you’ve already passed by and gone into another aisle.

Speaking of spring break, we will be taking a break next week and heading out on our big trip up north.  It’s pretty much the same trip we took last year, but of course it will be even funner!  Be back soon!

 

Looking for Links?

 

As I mentioned in my last blog post, I’m updating my site after a long time of fits and starts to try and get on the computer and keep the site up to date.  I had some broken and outdated links in my sidebar and I have some blog posts that are waiting on deck to be previewed, edited and posted.  I don’t think I got rid of anything important, but I did do a lot of moving things around.  If anything is missing that you are looking for, let me know. 

BTW, above is a picture and link to a homeschool curriculum that we are trying this spring.  The link is in my sidebar, but I have added it to this blog post and you can click on it to go right to the website for Tapestry of Grace.  I’ll be posting more info about our experience with this curriculum in the future, so check back if you are interested.

 

Getting Ready for Blogoversary

I have bunches of stuff I’m doing that isn’t noticeable to anyone but me, here.  I’m adding some new links and taking away old links and finishing the bible study I started and reviewing places and activities and reading material. I’m making sure all past blog posts are categorized and trying to fill in some of the gaps.  I have all kinds of digital material that belongs on my blog, but I have neglected to put everything together.  New stuff happens every day and I try to capture as much as possible on paper or with pictures, but I’m fortunate to get the pics up on photobucket or on the hard drive before we start a new adventure.

Recently, we had a doozy of an ice storm.  We were without full power for weeks.  It was a fun time and yet a not so fun time.  The picture in the header of my blog is of one of our trees.  It was beautiful, as you can see.  The kids played a lot out in the snow and we did our cooking over an open fire.  But without electricity, we got behind on a lot of stuff.  I was already lagging behind on my blog, because we were struggling along with only one computer that had internet.  It was a frankenstein monster of a computer, as I have all kinds of junk in there that I added when it needed to be "upgraded".  Now, it is riddled with conflicts and won’t even turn on, so we had to finally buy a new computer. Buying a large ticket item like a computer is another one of those fun times and yet not so fun times.  But going without internet isn’t the big tragedy that we make it out to be, now is it? 

Well, I need to get to bed.  I’ll be back soon.