Home education diary, January 2002

January 10th

At the end of last year, Daniel was asked if he would consider doing some paid work in web design - to create sites for some hotels in Cyprus. Someone Richard knows is an agent, responsible for producing sites, and he wanted to sub-contract some of the more basic ones to Daniel. He offered a reasonable payment rate, and Dan was pretty excited about the idea. He got going shortly after Christmas, while we were still taking a break from our ACE curriculum work. Richard had to help with some of the technical aspects, but Dan is pretty creative, and the agent seems pleased with the results so far.

January 17th

Daniel rarely gets up before 10am these days. It's just as well he isn't in school, really, since Cyprus school days begin about 7.45am. It does seem that most teenagers really do need a lot of sleep, and - ideally - should then lie in bed for half (or more) of the morning. Something to do with hormones, apparently. I know I've read more than once that while teens are growing they do need extra morning sleep. 

Daniel had been getting much better about last October, and getting up around 7am, but suddenly since Christmas he's been back at 10am-ish, except Sundays when he manages to get to church music group practice for 8.30am. We've tried all kinds of things - setting an alarm, me hassling him etc. I take him coffee in bed every morning but sometimes he forgets it and I have to re-heat it before he gets up.

I think the late sleeping started when he was working on the commercial web-sites over the New Year, and staying up late to finish them. He said he needed time without Tim around, and as Richard is also a 'night owl' and Daniel wanted some input from him, it worked well. And it didn't matter that he was sleeping till noon some days when we took a break from ACE work. But although he's been going to bed earlier (last night he was even asleep by shortly after 11pm) he's still not getting up any earlier and today seemed more tired than ever. So I wonder if another growth spurt is about to happen. He's already about 5 foot 10 or a little more - I wonder how much more he's going to grow. 

We started back with the ACE work last week. The weather was really cold - at least, it felt cold in our house which is made for summers, not winters. We closed the shutters (the windows are only single-glazed, and not very well-fitting) and switched the air conditioning to 'heat' - which is probably quite expensive - and huddled up in warm clothes around the dining room table. 

This week Daniel is supposed to be deciding how many hotel websites he thinks he can reasonably do per week. He's still feeling enthusiastic, and likely to suggest several. We think he should estimate just one or two, so he doesn't start to get burned out. It's not always possible to switch on a creative muse, after all. He needs to understand that if he makes a commercial commitment, he has to stick with it.

January 30th

Tim, who is now 13, has suddenly started being very tired in the mornings. He used to be quite an early bird, but now just about gets started by 10am. I wasn't sure if he'd do this teenage thing, but it seems to have struck him at last.  Daniel is sometimes getting up by 9am, but sometimes it's nearer 11am by the time he gets started on his ACE work if he takes a morning shower and has a large breakfast. I try not to worry about it.

Daniel's taken up some new activities this month. He's joined a drama group, at Antidote Theatre, after thinking about it for some time. It meant he had to stop going to youth group on a Friday evening, but he was feeling rather as if he'd outgrown that.  He still gets together with some of his friends there, after the drama group has finished. 

He's also started helping out at a church children's club.  That in addition to playing in the town band, and having Greek lessons and clarinet lessons,  and being part of the church music group. It's nice that he can walk most places if Richard can't collect him; Larnaka is a small town, and it's pretty safe too. Tim still won't go places on his own after dark, but then he doesn't have so much road sense as Daniel, and isn't doing so many activities, so that works out well at present.

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