Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Giving Up Distractions--Homeschooling Methods/Advice

I know I'm not the only one for whom homeschooling methods and advice are distractions! A primary indicator that this is a widespread problem is the activity I see on Facebook. FB itself will receive treatment as a separate distraction, but I'll deal with the overlapping issue here.

How many homeschooling groups do you belong to? Count them up. I spent some time this morning leaving several FB groups, the majority of them relating to homeschooling. I was shocked to discover the number of groups I had completely forgotten I had joined! I am the administrator for two groups, and one of them is very small and inactive, so likely I will dismantle that group when I focus specifically on the FB distraction. Then the one group left will be the only one that I belong to. Could you pare your membership down to no more than three, prioritizing those which are most helpful to you and in line with your personal beliefs and educational philosophy?

I see many of the same people who belong to all of the same groups that I did, so I know I'm not the only overloaded home educator out there. Some of the groups focus on the same method, while others feature a combination of methods. Sometimes the combination is composed of diametrically opposing educational philosophies. Talk about a crazy-making influence! If one is dealing with all of the questions, information, and advice flowing into, say, 10 groups, one is highly likely to become distracted, side-tracked, worried, and confused. I even get really annoyed with some folks. Why do we feel it is necessary to run all around the internet to ask the advice of hundreds, and even thousands, of people?

In addition to Facebook, there are myriad blogs, websites, and articles to be found on homeschooling methods. There are podcasts and youtube videos as well. And how about all the books? Ebooks, books from the library, books purchased at Amazon and Ebay. Yesterday I got an email informing me that a homeschooling book order I had made was cancelled due to the book being out of stock. I was relieved. I saved myself $15 and the distraction of reading yet another person's advice.

When we allow ourselves to be distracted this way, we lose time that could be spent on actually homeschooling and creating an atmosphere and lifestyle full of truth, goodness, and beauty. We can't get down to the business of diligently teaching our children (and from a state of rest at that) if we are constantly doubting ourselves. And we probably aren't praying and relying on the guidance of the Holy Spirit while we are desperately searching for the "perfect" curriculum, method, or combination of methods.

I'm reading one book right now about home education. One. It's volume 2 of Charlotte Mason's homeschooling series, Parents and Children. I'm a Catholic mother first, and a CM educator second. One Church, one method.

Sure, now and then I look around for a book that will fill a need in the curriculum, or for one good idea that I can implement for a particular subject, such as writing. And of course when you are new to homeschooling, you need to do some research on methods and find a place to start. For awhile you may not settle upon any one way. But eventually it really is necessary to make a choice and stick to it. Avoid hopping all over God's green earth to make sure you and your children aren't "missing out" on another approach. My motto right now is this: Pull focus and buckle down.

Could you do this--find one FB group, one blog to follow, and one book to read about homeschooling? Could you commit to giving up a good portion of your distractions in this area? It's time to get unstuck and move forward with confidence. Clear this clutter and set yourself free!

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