Sunday, February 10, 2008

Starting week 3

It's hard to believe that we've been homeschooling Jacob for two weeks already. I'm still frazzled, wondering whether I'm doing a fraction as good a job as the public schools. I'm juggling all these subjects, assigning him reading, checking the workbook or answers to questions I've had him answer to know whether he's readling his textbooks and to help him learn the material.

Still, it doesn't seem like enough.

In my mind, I can imagine this ideal situation where the mother (me, for example) prepares all the material in advance, reads it herself, finds supplemental videos on the topic to broaden the range of the subject, goes to relevant museum exhibits or field trips, adds all these extras so that the student is not only interested in the various subjects, but gets a really broad and in-depth exposure.

Yet I'm still trying to work full-time as well as organize Jacob's day. And that is a really sore subject.

I got DSL into the house only ten days ago. I hadn't upgraded from a phone connection for the Internet because I didn't spend that much time online at home, and because the slowness of the line ensured that the kids, especially Jacob, would be too frustrated with the snail-like speed of the connection to spend much time on the Internet. This worked fairly well. But when I requested to work from home part of the time for my employer, I knew I had to have a high-speed connection. I have to log right into the corporate server to do my work.

I was thrilled with the new DSL Internet connection - until Jacob blew away the computer with a virus last week. When I got the computer back, the Internet connection worked that evening. But not the next day. What was going on? I called the Internet service provider, then had Jacob speak the "technical-ese" with him. But the tech support guy said it was not his company's problem; call Dell, the computer manufacturer. But my son said that Dell wasn't at fault. So Jacob downloaded the network driver for the Internet connection from Intel using my still-functioning laptop, uninstalled the old network driver, installed the new one (which was the same as the old) and lo and behold, the Internet connection worked! I even sent out an email to a blogging friend.

But this morning, the Internet connection did not work again on my desktop computer. Nor was this issue fixed by uninstalling and reinstalling the driver. My son was stumped, and once again, I have my hand tied behind my back as far as trying to work and teach. I didn't even load any of the company software on the computer. What was the point of trying to connect to the company server via secure connections through the Internet when I couldn't even get to the Internet?

I am very demoralized, and don't know where to turn for help, other than to pray for a miracle. Meanwhile, Jacob is STILL going to have to teach himself. And I don't like that. It's just not fair to him. But what can I do?

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What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal.”
— Albert Pike, Scottish Rite Freemason (1809-1891)