Homeschooling When Distracted


Homeschooling when Distracted ~
Written by Erin Vincent

I was waiting for my package to arrive.

I tracked its long and arduous journey across four states. Several times daily, I would check my email and click the track package hyperlink to see if it was any closer to arriving. I was excited, folks!

And that’s when it happened.

Like a good homeschool mom, my mind was focused elsewhere when I gave my son his chapter 13 Algebra test. This test will live in infamy in our household from henceforth.

Why, may you ask?

Because if I had been paying attention to the parent Algebra manual instead of thinking about my impending package, I would have noticed that there was no chapter 13 Algebra test.

My son’s math curriculum skipped from chapter 13 to chapter 14 without a chapter test.

What I had given my son was the chapter 14 Algebra test. He stared at it blankly and proceeded to give it his best shot. After an hour or so, he came to me to inform me that he had never seen problems like this before and didn’t know how to do them.

Without checking on the here and now, I told him that he would have to re-watch his math videos because surely the curriculum went over similar problems and explained how to do them…

Yeah, homeschool mom of the year award over here!

At least I told him he could wait until the next day to re-watch the videos. He assured me that his curriculum had never addressed problems like these.

Then I thought maybe I should double-check the parent’s manual and the tests. You know, to cover all our bases.

That’s when I realized what had happened. My son had never seen math equations like this before! I immediately apologized to my son for my oversight, and now we have a running joke in our home about never before seeing quadratic equations.

Homeschooling when Distracted

Homeschooling When Distracted

How did I let this happen?

I was hyper-focused on something other than homeschooling my teenager. I was distracted, and that caused the mistake.

This was not homeschooling on auto-pilot. Distracted homeschooling is what I’d accomplished.

Homeschooling on auto-pilot has its place and time, such as during an illness, a new baby, or major life changes. It can be a great way to help you through tough times because you are focused on the bare essentials of homeschooling.

Homeschooling distracted, on the other hand, was my unintentional error.

But I’m not letting it get me down. It’s easy to get distracted by various things, such as incoming packages, impending holidays, home renovations, surprise guests, children all vying for your attention, etc. What about that time our herd of goats escaped into the road? Some people call that chaos.

I call it a normal Tuesday. The point is that distractions happen all the time.

Most of the time, I’m really good about dealing with these challenges while maintaining our rhythm. But that one little package got me this time.

The important thing is to learn from my mistake and to have a sense of humor about the whole thing.

I’m determined to be more focused while providing grace for myself because I will inevitably mess up again. I am only human.

I hope this encourages you when you homeschool while distracted and sometimes make mistakes.

Don’t be too hard on yourself, friend. You can do this.


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