Social Media & The Homeschooling Parent

SocialMediaLet’s face it, being online can be fun. We get to see photos of places we’ve never been, read about people’s exciting adventures, view the newest movies being released, and discover resources never before heard of. Of course, social media also comes with its dangers.

As a homeschooling family, finding a balance between usefulness and disruption is key. Here’s how we use social media, when we use social media, and what would cause me to pull the plug!

How We Use Social Media

Ideas – Pinterest, Instagram, and the like are wonderful for exploring new possibilities. It’s fun learning about local field trips, crafting opportunities, and more. If I’m in need of inspiration, I check in on my homeschooling friends and see what they’ve got cookin’.

Research – While I wouldn’t use it for everything, being online keeps me informed of what other homeschooling parents have liked, used, and recommend. We’ve found incredible resources following other homeschooling families on Facebook and Instagram.

Helps – If I’m not sure how to use that nifty abacus recently purchased, I ask around! We appreciate receiving help from other homeschooling families on how to use what we’ve got, or bumping up our lessons a notch. We also enjoy helping other families who have questions!

Weekly Posts – As is expected, we do use social media to forward the posts you read here. We also post daily photos of our homeschooling adventures on Instagram, as well as resources on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.

Promotion – If we can ever help promote an incredible Christian movie, a wonderful book, or lovely resource, we love it. While we are selective about how often and which items we promote, we love being used by the Lord in this capacity.

Encouragement – We’re not alone in our struggles; the Lord uses other homeschooling families to strengthen us. There are feeds online which encourage study of the Bible, worship, and more.

Prayer – While I’d love to see this option used more, prayer is a lovely way to use social media. We continually pray for families we meet online, asking the Lord’s blessing over their homes and their learning. I’ve even found two lovely groups whose sole purpose is prayer!

Building Relationships – Perhaps not my preferred method of interaction, social media works wonders for long distance relationships. I love how this allows us to share a part of each other’s lives. Even amongst the homeschooling community, we’ve had the pleasure of meeting some of the loveliest people via computer. And, once in a while, we actually get to meet them in person!

When We Use Social Media

Social media is constantly moving. Which means, we need to be selective in our usage. Usually, I am on my computer first thing in the morning. I read devotions coming into my inbox; check blogs, anxious to hear from the Lord through His people; or check in with family happenings. Then, I’m off. You won’t find me on a computer until much later in the day. I’m too busy living life.
My kiddos are not allowed on social media at all outside of this function in their Spanish, Scratch, or homeschooling programs.
Later in the evening, I’ll check back in and hit the highlights. If the day is slow-moving, I might check in here and there throughout the day. But, generally speaking, life moves too fast to catch up. So, twice a day does it. And, frankly, that is more than enough for this girl.

When It’s Time to Stop

Family First – If reading the latest Facebook posts ever prevents me from enjoying a family game night or movie, I’m out. Period. Family should always take priority.

Careful Priorities – Speaking of which… Why am I on social media? I need to carefully consider my reasons for being online and evaluate where I stand. If my reasons are inline with God’s will for my life, I’m good. If not, it might be time to walk away.

Under Pressure – Is how someone else home schools, parents, builds their marriage, or cleans their house starting to weigh me down? Using social media for helps and inspiration is a blessing. Taking on someone else’s lifestyle as my own, is wrong! I’m not called to live someone else’s life, but my own.

Character Matters – My character online ought to be consistent with my world view. This is not the place to backbite, belittle, use cruelty, or show a lack of maturity. If I would not say this in person, I had better not be saying it online. Even in the act of debate, I wish to maintain a level of respect and dignity when addressing opposing world views. While the person reading may never see my face, my words ought to be meant to bring them closer to God and His will for their life.

Watch Out For Danger! – With this thought I leave off. I constantly ask the Lord to guard our eyes, hearts, and minds. We allow Him to lead and remove things which we need not see. We need to be clear about our parameters and stick with them. Watch out for danger!

“I will not set before my eyes anything that is worthless…”
Psalms 101:3

📢 Chime In!: Are there guidelines you’ve put into place when using social media?

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11 thoughts on “Social Media & The Homeschooling Parent

  1. We limit it to almost none. Like you we use a lot of it to do research or for ideas for projects. Neither of my children are allowed to use social media…Facebook, Twitter…etc. Other than that we try our best to limit computer time. As you said family comes first 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Great post! I am actually taking a 21 day hiatus from most social media…specifically FB, Twitter and Periscope (I haven’t gotten on Instagram yet or frequent Pintrest). I found myself getting distracted and falling into the comparison trap. Having a clear purpose for social media is key. My kids don’t do social media but they do PBS Kids and Starfall.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I like these boundaries. I recently reduced my friends list on FB. Removing long inactives or people who have been on there for a long time and use it regularly, but never reciprocate interaction. There is no such thing as a one-sided relationship. Main idea was, work with those who are willing to work with you. Shaking the dust off my feet and moving on, so to speak. Without limits, discernment and the courage to act on them, I’ve found that life can get very noisy, very quickly. Temptation, distraction soon follows. As for our own family’s boundaries re: social media? None of our children use social media, although, they’re well informed about it. We point out the strengths and weaknesses. In the past this has included news articles from the paper, discussed during our news days on Wednesday, that reflect these. Hopefully, they’re be more than prepared to step up to them and use them in a responsible way, if or when they chose to utilize them.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. We created an FB Acct for my 10yr old daughter few months ago just for her to know what’s FB as she sometines hear about it from friends and kept on asking us what’s it about. However, she doesn’t know the p/word and her dad opens it with her once a month or so. Her community is basically just us and close relatives. We use this opportunity to educate her on how to be socially responsible like sighting an example of how comments of such and such can hurt and offend people. Our reason for this is one day, she will be exposed to social media herself, so as she knows that it can be helpful but destructive at the same time if not use with caution and wisdom from God.

    Liked by 1 person

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