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How to Deal with Your Family's Anti-Unschooling Feelings

By Leo Babauta

When you start out as a new unschooling family, or even if you're just contemplating it, one of the biggest obstacles are not "how to do it" or "will this even work" but the other people in your life.

Your family and friends can be incredibly negative about the idea of homeschooling/unschooling.

And that's perfectly understandable, actually. Anytime we do something that's very out of the mainstream, we face resistance from others. Especially when it comes to raising kids, which is a hugely emotional issue for most people.

Why do other people react so negatively? Consider:

How and Why to Control Social Distractions

On Ideas

Lately I've been thinking about how to be more effective and thus I decided to map exactly where my time was going. The results were great; however, the process of doing it was even better. I feel everyone should do this, spend 1-7 days were they hyper-consciously track their time and were it goes. I noticed that while doing this, every decision I made was one I was responsible for. If I decided to go out to eat, I had to make myself completely accountable for the 30 minutes I would spend not going otherwise.

Out of all the things I was spending my time on that were affecting my productivity, social-distractions were by far the biggest. Its easy to be drawn into socializing, especially in college. And I'm not talking just in person socializing, I'm talking Facebook, answering/sending constant texts, for some possibly having extensive chats with your significant other, and for others playing online video games. Socializing, specifically non-productive and unplanned socializing, can be one of the biggest time sinks if not done deliberately.

The first thing I asked myself in my journey to control social distractions is what did I do before Facebook, before Skype  before constant social accessibility became prevalent? I never really got on that whole messenger/AIM wave in elementary/middle school  cause it honestly seemed like a waste of time. Then I got one of those nifty messengers for the first time in high school and got 1-3 friends on board. I started socializing with them online. It was nothing crazy; most of the time we would just sent each other messages while playing some console game or watching Tv shows or movies.

Fast forward to the last two years. Facebook chat, messengers, Skype  SMS messaging and webapps have made us constantly connected. Almost every web app now has social functions and notifications. for the first time ever, people have 100s of friends all readily available on one platform with notifications on their phone. Before when I got back home from school or during summertime and break times, it was really easy to just focus on whatever I was doing and do it  with 100% focus, whether it was video games, TV shows, work, or read a book.

Now that is not the case. My phone is always vibrating. Someone commented on a photo, posted in one of my Facebook groups, I got a text message from two friends on my phone and one chat message on Facebook. If you go to college or live in a large apartment, people might come up to you, say random things that are on the news or otherwise distract you. I feel like I need to attend to them, like I HAVE to switch my attention (one, if not THE most important thing you have) and attend to it. Of course the need to attend to them is an illusion, albeit a very strong one. One asks themselves what if they said something important? what if they think I'm an asshole if I don't respond? what if.....

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