~ Bare Necessities ~

We had a really, really wonderful first day of schooling yesterday. We were home all day, so we were  not distracted from our purpose. I can’t emphasize enough how our outside activities can take so much away from our schooling time and from our focus.

Remember Disney’s Jungle Book? Remember the cute little ditty Baloo, the bear, sang to Mowgli? “Look for the bare necessities, the simple bare necessities. Forget about your worry and your strife.” Now, he was talking about “bear” necessities, but for our purposes, think bare necessities.

I write a bit about this in my upcoming column in Homeschool Enrichment Magazine. One surefire way to become “underwhelmed” is to just say no to activities that may be “good” in and of themselves but that bite in the end because they take away you and your student’s ability to focus.

I think we as moms underestimate the stress we put on ourselves simply by not simply being at home with our children on a very regular basis. Or else we let our children guilt us into signing them up for big commitment activities that meet several times a week or that require chunks of our time to either prepare for or to engage in.

I just can’t focus in a day when there is something needing to be done outside the home later on. My focus then is on worrying about who needs what in order to get ready to go out. If I can’t focus, I know my kids find it hard to focus.

Please know I am not attacking the validity of activities. Sure, it is good to learn piano and take piano lessons. Ballet twice a week or soccer practice a few times a week plus game days are not bad things at all!

There just is a price to be paid and a delicate balance to be struck.

Would you be amused to know that right now I am typing this from my laptop at our piano teacher’s house? Yep, some of my kids take lessons on Tuesday mornings. The rest of today will be spent playing, “Now get the kids to focus on school work,” and/or “Try to muster up enough energy to work on schooling the little girls in the afternoon.”  

So I struggle with this as well. For now, we will continue with piano lessons because this is our only activity right now. If it becomes apparent that Tuesdays are a wash educationally, then we will have to reconsider.

If you are overwhelmed with schooling or with the mere thought of schooling, check your calendar and see if erasing some really innocent/beneficial activities will help you regain your focus, your motivation, and salvage your time.

Check and see what is truly necessary for the life and fabric of your family and disentangle yourself from the rest. Give plenty of time and attention to the “bare necessities,” and “your worries and your strife” will more than likely do some evaporating.

Time to pack up the laptop and head home.

As always, I appreciate you stopping by!


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