I don’t know who said it first, but the idea is that you become like the five people you spend the most time with. So if you want to see who you will be in ten years, look at the people you are spending the most time with every week. I’ve looked back over my life in ten year increments and I find this to be quite accurate in many ways.
Who Are Your Five People Right Now?
Today I want to encourage you to think about the five people you spend time with who most influence your homeschooling. Who do you talk with on the phone? Who do you text with? Who do you read? Who do you listen to? Who do you interact with on social media? The five people you are interacting with on a very regular basis are going to shape your homeschooling experience and, in turn, are going to shape your children. In some cases one of those “people” might actually be a group of people. It could be a co-op, a Facebook group, or a forum. These kinds of groups can have a tremendous impact on your homeschooling – for good or bad.
Choosing Groups Carefully
I’ve been thinking about this for myself over the past few months and realized I had to make some changes in where I was investing my time. Online groups that met a very important need for a season were no longer necessary. In some cases, they were actually destructive. I realized one group in particular was actually starting to depress me. The constant stream of struggles and problems in my Facebook feed was doing real harm to me. I didn’t leave the group because it is a valuable group, but I turned off the notifications. That way if I ever need the group again, I can go there and look for an answer. But I’m not subjected to the steady stream of problems and painful questions that constantly popped up in this active group.
Avoiding Negative Ruts
The other thing I’ve thought about is the importance of avoiding ruts and moving on when people are no longer where you are. It’s easy to keep visiting the same websites, the same forums, and the same social media channels. I fall into it myself. But I had to ask myself, “Why in the world am I investing time in this? I have precious little time each day so why would I give those golden moments to something that really isn’t necessary, edifying, or inspiring?”
The same thing can be said for negative people. If there is someone in your life who is dragging down your homeschooling by being unsupportive or undermining what you are trying to do, try to remove yourself from her/his influence as much as possible. It might not be possible or necessary to completely remove that person from your life, but you might benefit a great deal by slowly easing your way out of regular contact with a negative person who doesn’t help your homeschooling endeavors.
Thinking Ahead Ten Years
In ten years, Caroline will be of college age. Right now she is heading into fifth grade (age-wise) and so I am starting to think more of where I can find support and wisdom as I head into the middle school and high school years. Who is through that time who can help me navigate it? Who has the type of attitude and life perspective that will inspire me and encourage me?
If you think about the homeschooling experience you want for yourself and your children, it’s important to choose people who will help get you there. What might that look like and who will help you get there?
This is part of my 10 Days of Homeschool Encouragement series.