Written by Jamie C. Martin, editor of Simple Homeschool
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.
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:
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:
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.”
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.
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?