Homeschooling as an introvert: the blessings & challenges

homeschooling as an introvert-the blessings & challengesJamie Martin, editor of Simple Homeschool, also blogs about motherhood at Steady Mom

“I could never do that” seems to be one of the most common responses when it comes up in conversation that I homeschool my children. What does that actually mean?

I think when people say “I could never do that” they sometimes mean they don’t have the personality that fits a homeschooling lifestyle. So consider today’s post the start of a new series on this blog: personalities in the homeschool.

personalities at home

I’m not sure there is such a thing as an ideal homeschool personality. We all have our tendencies and our quirks–as any personality test will point out. (I’m an INFJ if you’re curious!)

Certainly knowing ourselves better helps us steer our homeschooling style to capitalize on our strengths and minimize our weaknesses. Since I’m most familiar with the introverted parent’s perspective–let’s start today with some thoughts about homeschooling as an introvert.
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Extroverts homeschooling introverts (or the I’m going to lose it if we don’t leave the house soon post)

Simplehomeschool_extrovert
Written by contributor Hillary Boucher

I must have been around 15  years old when my parents told me that I could pick one weekend night to spend socializing with my friends, but the other would be spent home with my family. This parental declaration was met with dramatic tears and a larger than life teenage tantrum.

Looking back, my reaction may have been on the dramatic side, but it exemplifies what a big deal it was to me. Connecting with my friends and socializing was not only important to me, it actually helped me live a healthier and happier life. And it still does.

You guessed it — I’m an extrovert.
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Introverts homeschooling introverts (or the let’s just stay home in our pajamas post)

gifts to offer your introverted child ~SimpleHomeschool
Jamie Martin, editor of Simple Homeschool, also blogs about motherhood at Steady Mom

It wasn’t until years after becoming a mother that I really understood myself. I grew up feeling “different,” but I never understood my differences or how to handle them.

My well-meaning dad would sometimes say “Why don’t you go out with a few friends?” Yet that didn’t appeal to me at all after a long day at high school, followed by hours of dance practice. I wanted to stay home, read books, and watch movies–which wasn’t what supposedly interests your typical American teenager.

personalities at home

I took personality tests in both high school and college. I found them fascinating, but the word “introvert” always seemed like a negative to me. Thanks heavens, we now live in the midst of an Introverted Renaissance.

I not only understand myself, I love how I was made! I finally appreciate the giftings I have that others don’t. Want to know the best part?

I can help my own introverted child love and know himself from the start. Here are a few gifts we can offer the little ones who share this aspect of our personality.

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On the introverted mom homeschooling extroverted children

on the introverted mom homeschooling extroverted children ~SimpleHomeschool
Jamie Martin, editor of Simple Homeschool, also blogs about motherhood at Steady Mom

I mentioned a few weeks ago that I’m a firm introvert, but that I’ve learned how to thrive around my little people in the midst of a busy homeschooling lifestyle.

What about my children? Are they doomed to a monotonous, dull life due to the fact that they have an introverted mom? I say that jokingly–because as we’ve already discussed introverts enjoy socializing, they just don’t get fueled by being around people:

“Introverts … may have strong social skills and enjoy parties and business meetings, but after a while wish they were home in their pajamas. They prefer to devote their social energies to close friends, colleagues, and family. They listen more than they talk, think before they speak, and often feel as if they express themselves better in writing than in conversation. They tend to dislike conflict. Many have a horror of small talk, but enjoy deep discussions.”
~ Susan Cain, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking

personalities at home

You may see your way forward clearly if you’re an introvert homeschooling introverted children. But what if you have lively extroverts under your roof?
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A day in the life of an introverted homeschool mom

a day in the life of an introverted homeschool mom ~SimpleHomeschoolWritten by contributor Lora Lynn Fanning of Vitafamiliae

I always knew I was an introvert but I knew it in my bones by the time that fifth or sixth child arrived. At first, I thought it was exhaustion that sent me to my room every afternoon during naptime, no matter how much work I was ignoring. I blamed myself for being so lazy.

But then I remembered: I’m an introvert! And there are people here all the time! No wonder I feel overwhelmed!

personalities at home

Now we have seven children we homeschool. My husband works from home. And there’s me, the introvert. That’s nine people at home: all day, every day.

A girl’s gotta figure out how to cope, right?
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