A Breath of Relief: Mania & Homeschool

I sat in the corner of the couch, as I often do, writing. The hours ticked by, but fatigue never came. Even now, well into the next day, I don't feel the tiredness I should.

My mind jumps from one thing to the next. I've got to write about this. Then a couple of paragraphs in, I decide suddenly I've got to write about that. Then, after a word or two, I leave that partial-idea and add to something else all while following along with whatever is on MeTV and shopping for a new pair of nail clippers and arch-supporting shoes.

I sat in the corner of the couch, as I often do, writing. The hours ticked by, but fatigue never came.

I randomly started pulling out my hair extensions. I do that sometimes.

I love the feel of my natural hair. I am so excited to wear my twa. I really am.

My drugs take much of the emotional context away from me. I can only tell how I'm feeling by history and behavior cues. This is what mania looks like right now. I've been like this in varying degrees for weeks.

It will probably get worse.


My mood does affect our homeschooling. It's hard to focus. It's nearly impossible to keep our family room, where we do most of our living including school time, neat enough for everyone to think straight.

We've been trying a different schedule lately. We work for 20-25 minutes and then have a short 5-10 minute break depending on what time of day it is. We're still adjusting, but it has generally worked well for us. The kids like knowing how long they will be expected to work and when their next break will be. I like it too. I've been known to have the timer going while I'm doing dishes. It's a great way to keep from getting overwhelmed by everything.

It doesn't work perfectly though, since I did end up completely overwhelmed this weekend.

This is what mania looks like right now.

I admit having a timer is a difficult discipline for me. I'm apt to do whatever I think of whenever I think of it. I often forget the failures that way of working has caused and keep right on with it. 20 or so on and 5 or so off, has proven to be an excellent alternative -- when I use it.

I was going to buy a kitchen timer, but I decided against it. Instead upon Googling stopwatch I found the Google stopwatch/timer that we use (pictured above). Works perfectly.
Often, I connect the computer to the TV and use the TV screen as a whiteboard. This setup, as pictured above, especially helps with writing and Language Arts lessons. Right now I've been using Baiboard for this, but I've come across other whiteboard apps that were equally good.

When I'm using the TV as an extra monitor, the timer can be displayed across all or part of the screen where we can all see (and hear) it easily.

To connect my macbook to my television's HDMI port, I purchased a mini-display-port to HDMI adapter from Bestbuy. You'll also need an HDMI cable. The Amazon Basic ones are great and come in several lengths. I suppose I could've gotten AppleTV, but that's much more expensive.

The notes and paraphrase in the above picture are from an IEW lesson using The One and Only Ivan.