12 July 2010

Parent Hacks admin: the joy of summer...offline

When Parent Hacks goes un-updated days at a time, you can assume that something's going on in my life that keeps me away from the computer. In the recent past that hasn't been good news; school- and family health crises dominated my attention for quite some time. But now, I'm so, so happy to report, what's keeping me away from the computer is glorious summer.

As much as I love my community online (perhaps because of it), I've also come to appreciate the beauty of single-minded, offline time with my family. There's a mental peace that comes when you stop multitasking and  devote your full attention to where you are and who you're with. Right now that's at the pool, picking berries, on a road trip, at the beach, digging in the garden, and playing at the park. We're having a pretty low-key summer -- a few small trips to visit family, one week-long day camp for each kid -- otherwise it's just summer at home in Portland, where the sun has FINALLY come out.

The start of this summer has been the best in years. Perhaps it's because it wasn't the usual end-of-school skidding-to-a-stop-after-crash-landing. It felt like a celebration. I would have thought, after six months of newly home schooling my 10 year-old son, that summer would yawn before me as more time to fill with interesting but exhausting activity. Instead, our home schooling time has just brought us closer, and increased my delight with both of my kids (my daughter turned 7 last week).

Keep sending in your hacks and links...I'm here and will be all summer. But if a few days goes by between posts and Twitter updates, you can safely assume I'm hiking, pitching the tent in the back yard, or eating ice cream. How about you? What are your summer plans?

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It's been so much fun figuring out frugal summer activities to do with my boys!

I love the dynamics of summer time because life is so different.

I totally TOTALLY get that! I try to stay away from the computer as much as I can all summer long. Enjoy!

Me, too. The dynamics of summer in our family just assume that the day will be devoted to exploration or something fun. I'm trying to help my kids keep in mind that "fun" and "work" are NOT mutually exclusive; that keeping one's room clean and doing one's chores help one enjoy free time more completely. It's a hard sell, I tell you.

Thanks, Megan! It's hard to realize how much a heavily-online life divides your attention until you spend some time totally offline. It's surprising, because I'm not much of a Facebook user, nor do I have a smartphone (so no email checking or web surfing when away from my computer). Even so, just *thinking* about all the conversation and information flowing by while I'm "gone" is distracting. Nice to unplug from that for a time.

This was a good blog. I've been to your blog site before, and it never gets old. I really enjoy ready what you have to say. Thanks for sharing this with us.

-Janna

If you're looking for a good movie for the kids, the 2010 remake of Jack and the Beanstalk is a great one that demonstrates good values and morals. I watched it with my son and we both LOVED it. Become a fan of the Jack and the Beanstalk facebook page and you can watch the trailer and read about the cast, plus get ideas for fun family activities - http://www.facebook.com/pages/Jack-and-the-Beanstalk/109969562361625

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