The extroverted mom homeschools: a survival guide

the extroverted mom homeschools ~SimpleHomeschool.netJamie Martin, editor of Simple Homeschool, also blogs about motherhood at Steady Mom

Last week we started a blog series about personalities and how they affect us as homeschoolers. In the first post I wrote about the blessings and challenges of homeschooling as an introverted parent.

personalities at home

Today it’s the extroverted mama’s turn. Just one problem though–since I find myself quite firmly parked in the introverts’ camp, I can’t speak from personal experience on this one.

So last week I asked this on my Facebook page:

extrovert

You shared your opinions in abundance (Thanks!). Here–in your own words–let’s take a look at the pros and cons of homeschooling as extroverted parents:

the pros

1. You may find it less challenging to be surrounded by (little) people throughout the day.

Jessica Phillips said: “I love the day-long interaction and conversation with my kids. I also have the energy to keep the 4-kid ship afloat, most days that is, until about 8:30 PM when I mysteriously become an introvert!”

2. The thought of field trips, outings, and the number of co-ops to join may make you giddy. All those potential friends to meet!

Andrea Johnson said: “My son and I are extroverts. We go to museums, shows of all kinds, go to the park, join homeschool groups and talk to anyone we meet. Sometimes when we’re in a hurry my son will say “please don’t talk to everyone while we’re here, we need to keep moving.”

I consider homeschooling a great way to teach if you consider experiences to be a major part if the learning process.”

extrovert2

3. Group lessons, crafts, and creative performances at home may excite rather than drain you.

Rebekah Labell said: “We are a family of extroverts: ages 44, 40, 8, 5, and 2! Blessings include looking forward to circle time and doing great things when it’s my turn to “perform” (reading out loud, presenting an assignment…)

My kids see healthy assertiveness modeled, and they all seem to approach others with calm confidence and directness as a result–It isn’t necessary to be an extrovert to achieve this, but it’s an easy one for me.”

the cons (& ideas to overcome them)

1. Kid time does not completely fulfill your need for people time.

Jada Swanson said: “Honestly, as an extrovert I feel as if I use up all my extrovert on my kids and home schooling. Then I transition into my job as a piano/voice teacher.
After which, even though I want to spend time with friends, this extrovert is pretty much done, and has extroverted all she can.”

2. You still need an appropriate amount of down time, whatever that may look like for you.

Jada continues: “We’ve begun to be purposeful about scheduling down time during the day for all of us (extroverts and introverts). We’ve gotten more consistent in connecting with our friends (girls’ night for me/guys’ night for my husband), and of course date night (even at home dates).

My husband and I see all of this as helping us to be the best spouses, parents and ultimately the teachers of our kids that we can be. Recognizing the challenges, and figuring out a plan to combat them in a purposeful and creative way have been essential.”

 

3. Focused time is required to keep life moving forward when it comes to both homeschool and home maintenance.

Christine Dijkstra-Ivory said: “Focus is my biggest challenge. There is so much to do and learn, I have trouble sticking with one thing.
We’re trying a more rigid curriculum this year, but so far that has not been a big success either. Being with my kids and enjoying their company is the biggest blessing. Watching them learn and grow. Also the local homeschool community is a HUGE blessing.”

4. You may tend to plan too much. Remember to keep the home in homeschool.

Sarah Gachupin said “My daughter and I are both extroverts. We both have a hard time scheduling in enough “school”, because we want to play with our friends! I have had to start cutting some of our free time so that we can continue to move forward.”

Jessica Phillips said: “Challenge: Being home enough to home school! It has taken me three years to realize we cannot run an errand or do an outing before noon and expect ourselves to accomplish our studies for the day.

I also have to forgo all media activity (Facebook, texts, etc.) to keep my focus on the learning at hand.”

Extroverted parents can certainly homeschool successfully and enjoy it. Craft a plan that leans on your strengths and put simple measures in place that add strength to your weak areas.

Are you an extroverted parent homeschooling? How have you made it work for you?

About Jamie Martin

Jamie is a mama to three cute kids born on three different continents. She serves as editor of Simple Homeschool, and blogs about mindful parenting at Steady Mom. Jamie is also the author of two books: Steady Days and Mindset for Moms.

Comments

  1. I’m totally an extrovert. I crave the company of other people. However, there is only so much Munchkin company I can take in a day, then I need time to myself or time with another adult.
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  2. Natalie says:

    Thank you for this!!! I’m so glad I’m not the only one who struggles to just stay home and get it done.

  3. Rachael says:

    I’m a borderline extrovert. the day can decided if I’m more of an introvert or extrovert… that said, I NEED a bit of good conversation during the day to keep going. Sometimes, Hubby gives it and I’m good from the get go. other days, I need girl conversation! And over the phone doesn’t quite scratch that itch. Now, Little Man is only 21 months, so we aren’t ‘doing school’ yet, but I sure struggle when we’ve been home 3 days in a row. I get lethargic and sad. I really look forward to when Little Man can do more than one word responses! But I’ve learned I’ve got to schedule good coffee time with girl friends when I can (as in Little Man isn’t sick or some such), because that’s what keeps me going! The tips and ideas for both introvert and extrovert have helped me think through being at home with my little boy, even if we aren’t doing school.

    Thanks!
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  4. Sunnie says:

    Me and my homeschooled girls are definitely extroverts. We NEED time out of the house and with friends. I too feel bad when I am home for too many days in a row. Just going out for ice cream or lunch makes me feel better when I get home. Most of my frienda are homeschooling moms and they don’t like to break away from their families. NOT me. I LOVE my family but I NEED adult time. Yes, we talk about the kids and homeschooling but we aren’t taking care of anyone but ourselves for a few hours. It makes me a better mom when I get that time away.

  5. Amy says:

    I am *generally* an extrovert, although I find as I get older I am becoming more introverted (weird how that works)… One of my greatest challenges as an extroverted homeschooling mom is feeling lonely or isolated. After years of preschool, I miss even just the brief adult interaction that carpool lines offered! Yes, we participate in dance, choir, soccer and church activities but I often find that the ‘loneliness’ comes from being around other people who don’t identify with me as a homeschooling mom. This is not a problem for just extroverts but I think may be felt more intensely by those that rely on others for a good bit of their energy?

  6. Kaylie says:

    We have an extroverted family here too! Mine are too little to be officially homeschooling, but our natures do affect how our days run.

    We are choosing intentionally to be family-centric and trying to stay out of the bustle of busy. However since me and my oldest are both extroverted (little one is still too young to tell) we have to get dressed in the morning in case of an “extroverted emergency” in which I can te that we need to be out and around people.

    Usually even just going out for lunch or a snack in a resteraunt is enough to get our batteries recharged, but we also both tend to be sorely disappointed if a social opportunity comes up that we can’t make so we keep it flexible and try to be ready to go!

  7. I read this with a sense of wonder and awe as I am SUCH an introvert! I wish I had a tiny piece of extrovert in me…..but, no. God did not create me that way. I would love to love the outings and museums and such. I laughed out loud at the comment made by the little boy to his mom about not talking to anyone so they could keep moving!

  8. Hillary says:

    It’s so funny. I’m pretty sure I’m an extrovert. (ENFP, here :) I go stir-crazy if I’m alone with the kids for too long. But I also get exhausted by being out and socializing too much. It can feel draining to me which I know is an introvert attribute. So I wonder if I’m really an extrovert of if I live close to the line of extrovert/introvert.
    Hillary’s latest post: Why I Chose Midwives (Video)

    • Kaylie says:

      My husband is an introvert but he toes the line as well. I have gotten pretty good at being able to tell when he has had enough going and doing and it is time to sit still, fortunately he is close enough to the extroverted side to enjoy the blow and go nature in me and my girls!

    • Jamie Martin says:

      I think it is likely you’re closer to the middle range, Hillary. It’s the same with me, and I think most people need a bit of both (inner time & outer time) to take care of ourselves fully.

    • Anita says:

      I’m an ENFP as well and can relate to what you are saying Hillary. There is a MB type quiz online (can’t find the link now) but it will tell you the percent of E to I that you are. I was only slightly more E then I.
      I do find that listening to audiobooks or talk radio can help fill in some of the need to connect with other adults during my day.

  9. Maia says:

    That is so funny that Hillary said that! I am ENFP as well and have been thinking the same things about this post, so I read the one about introverted homeschool and I definitely fall somewhere in between! We rarely go out, but I make sure and talk with my sister or a friend at least once a day during the week! I always love when we’re at the events, but my heads spins when trying to think about planning anything. I’m not sure, but I do think having 6 kids (9, 7, 6, 4, 2 and 6 mos) has something to do with it. :) The older kids are such helpers, but getting the youngers out can be rough!

  10. amanda says:

    I think you mean ‘extravert’ :)

  11. Nancy says:

    I am an extrovert homeschooling my introverted daughters. Are you going to do a post on homeschool parents who have different personalites than their kids?

  12. Kathy says:

    I would also like to see a post about extroverted moms of introverted kids! My kids want to stay home most of the time, and reject most organized activities (homeschool groups, sports, scouts, etc.) But I need interaction with other moms!

  13. I love the company of other people, but I hate small talk. I love spending time with my kids, but sometimes the noise is just too much. Too many people talking at the same time is very overwhelming. I crave alone time but love to read out loud and teach my kids. So am I an introvert extrovert Mom??? LOL
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  14. a. borealis says:

    First-time commenter, long-time browser. Jamie . . . I am really enjoying where you are taking this blog. The variety is so great and the topics you cover are very helpful / interesting / good to mull over. Thanks for your work and your very obvious organizing/mobilizing powers. We all appreciate it. :)

    BTW, I toooootally guessed that you were an INFJ. Totally. You radiate it. Bless you.

    As a very pronounced ENFP, I found this post very interesting. In Please Understand Me II, Kiersey says that ENFPs are the only extroverts who still really need that grounding time of solitude to “reconnect with themselves”. I’ve definitely found that to be true throughout my life and even more so with three wild thangs running around under feet all day. I need it, I crave it. It is necessary for survival. My husband is also an extreme introvert (INTJ), so I’ve developed an understanding of the extent of that need more fully throughout the years. I get it. It makes sense to me.

    That being said, I related strongly to the other ENFP commenter, who said that even while she is an extrovert, she stayed home most of the time. I do too. I have a 7yo, 5yo, 2yo and a baby due 5/25. I’ve found that our days go smoother and I am much happier the more we stay home. I don’t think I felt that way as much when I had a toddler and a baby, but the more enmeshed in “family life” we become as the years wear on, the more vital it is to stay home. It is just too discombobulating to be running around day-in and day-out. It strains connectedness and harmony.

    I stay connected to others through meaningful conversations with friends via email, my blog, others’ blogs and honestly . . . reading. I abhor talking on the phone. :P But seriously, I do. Hate it. What an irony for an extrovert; but there is a reason. I hate it because it sends our little home universe into disarray and chaos.

    But yes, the days when I do get out and go somewhere, especially if it is a gathering of other mamas or just one friend . . . those days are a bright light for me. (I usually end the day with the feeling of, “Why don’t I do this more often??”) It feels so good to process through everything and remember who I am with other people. Sometimes it can be so hard to be a mama 24/7. Being that responsive and vigilant takes a lot of energy. In fact, I often lose sight of “who I am” with so much duty pulling at me. It feels good to remember that I love being social, to laugh easy and have stimulating conversations. To relax into the jubilant atmosphere of friendship. Yes. It is wonderful.

    Thanks again, Jamie.

  15. This is a great series. I actually just heard a presentation on this very topic at the Winter Summit for Homeschool Moms in Oklahoma. The presenter (Connie Hughes) talked about the differences in her own extroverted personality and her very introverted oldest daughter’s personality. She referenced the book Quiet by Susan Cain throughout her speech. I’m a borderline introvert/extrovert, so I can glean from both of your posts! Thanks, Jamie!
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  16. Kristi says:

    I’m with Kathy! I would love to see a post on an extroverted mom homeschooling an introverted child. My daughter is very shy and seems quickly drained in social settings. My husband (also an extrovert) and I have a hard time understanding her nature–it is so different from ours!

  17. Lana Wilkens says:

    I totally sympathize with the one that says I’ll have to give up some free time to get all the school stuff done – something about not being able to get it all done while I run errands.
    I have played with the idea of calling what we do “coffee shop schooling” cause we do a lot of school there! :) But that won’t last forever and I need to learn to give my introverted son some alone time and my extroverted son some out and about time. We’ll see what our little girls tends to be in a couple years! That might balance us out if she’s an introvert. :)
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