What a Social Media Detox Can Do for Your Homeschool

I pressed the button again, attempting to capture just the perfect image of my daughter working on her science experiment.

Then it dawned on me. I was more concerned with getting an Insta-worthy photograph than in what she was doing. Even my daughter seemed frustrated by it as she rolled her eyes in my direction with the last shot. 

“I’m sorry, honey,” I sighed.

I was sorry—sorry that I’d lost the point of why I decided to homeschool in the first place. It certainly wasn’t to parade my daughter's learning adventures to others all over the Internet.

I decided to homeschool to share with my daughter the joys of learning. Yet it seemed that with each click and social media post, with each typed explanation of each photo, I’d lost that focus

And that’s when I decided to take a break. I deactivated my Instagram account for a while, and I logged out of Facebook. I took a social media detox, abandoning both platforms for a couple of months. 

It Wasn’t Easy to Log Off for My Social Media Detox

I won’t lie and say it was easy. Old habits are hard to break, but I can tell you it was worth it. My daughter and I had fun with learning again, and we didn’t do projects for an online audience. It was all for her and her education.

  • It had nothing to do with other homeschool moms.
  • It had nothing to do with likes or comments.
  • It had nothing to do with looking like the picture-perfect homeschooling family.

It was purely for learning’s sake and it was awesome

What a Social Media Detox Can Do for Your HomeschoolIt may seem strange in today’s world of instant gratification and instant connection to back away from it all. But having downtime is good for each of us. Maybe you aren’t interested in taking a couple of months off of social media, but even a day or two of a social media detox can be very cathartic and can actually improve your homeschooling experience. 

We hear about how a diet detox can benefit the body. We hear about how a sugar detox can help with focus. We hear about how certain yoga moves can detox the digestive system. So why not a social media detox? 

Benefits of a Social Media Detox for Your Homeschool

  • Stops the Comparison Cycle It’s hard not to compare our lives to the highlight reels we see in other people's feeds. I’m sometimes working with my daughter in a shirt I’ve worn for two days, my hair in a messy bun, and my face is a wreck. I don't look like the other young, fresh-faced homeschool moms on Instagram. I tried very hard not to compare my perceived failures to other moms, but I couldn’t help it. When I felt myself coming up short, it negatively affected how I homeschooled my daughter. It’s hard to be effective when you feel like you’re failing all the time. 

  • Protects Your Child’s Privacy We live in a world where parents are showing so much of their children’s lives online and not giving thought to whether or not the child will appreciate all that revelation when they are grown. I know I have been guilty of this. With the #picoftheday hashtags, and the push to post, it can seem almost wrong not to post a picture of your child on a daily basis. The joke, “pic or it didn’t happen” has a ring of truth to it in our Internet-obsessed culture. The thing is, the Internet forgets nothing, and our children will be the ones living with whatever we decide to post while they’re young. Taking a break can help us rein in the compulsive posting to evaluate why we’re posting. 

  • You Can Be Truly Present I don’t know about you, but I decided to homeschool because I want to have more time with my daughter while she is still young. I also wanted to encourage life-long learning in her everyday life. How can I effectively do that if I’m constantly shoving a phone in her face for a picture or if I’m spending more time scrolling through Instagram than I am sitting with her doing math, or reading a history book, or playing a game? Taking a social media break enabled me to step back and re-evaluate my priority—homeschooling my daughter—and enabled me to be fully present with her, making memories along with the fun messes. 

  • Children Learn to Learn without Validation This one was huge for me. I realized that if I didn’t snap a picture of what my daughter was doing, she seemed to think her work wasn’t good enough. I realized that I was doing the same thing school teachers do: I chose what to present to the public as a her best work. By posting her work to the Internet, I took away her intrinsic motivation to simply learn for the sake of learning. Learning, I reminded myself, was the goal, not validation from others. 

Post-detox 

I still use social media, but taking a break was one of the best choices I made for our homeschool. I am better able to moderate my activity on social media and am thus a better example for my daughter. I make sure that my picture-taking doesn’t interfere with my daughter’s work in any way, and I don’t post immediately.

This choice does mean I post less. And while I don’t have the same number of likes or comments, that’s not my concern anymore. My concern is my daughter’s education and teaching my daughter to do what she does for herself, not for validation from others. A social media detox was exactly the thing we needed to homeschool to the best of our abilities, and I’m thankful I took the plunge and unplugged for a while. 

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About the Author

Resa BrandenburgResa Brandenburg is a former teacher who is now passionate about unschooling her daughter. She lives with her husband in an old farmhouse by the river in Kentucky. Her favorite thing to do is spend the afternoon with her family, including her grown sons and two grandchildren. Her hobbies include traveling, reading, and quilting. She blogs about life, love, and learning at A Musing Mother.

   

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