Jamie Martin, editor of Simple Homeschool, also blogs about motherhood at Steady Mom
For the past month or two we’ve been chatting about personality. The blend of temperaments within our four walls profoundly impacts our homeschool and family life.
Combine introverts and extroverts in the same house, tell them to live and learn and love together, and you’re pretty much guaranteed never a dull moment!
If you’ve missed any of the personality posts so far, here’s your chance to catch up:
- Homeschooling as an introvert: the blessings & the challenges
- The extroverted mom homeschools: a survival guide
- A day in the life of an introverted homeschool mom
- On the introverted mom homeschooling extroverted children
We’ll be finishing up this series next week with two more posts, but today I’d love to hear from you on this topic:
Are you an introverted or extroverted homeschooling parent? What about your children/students? How have you made this work for you?
I’m always right in the middle of these on personality tests! I am very outgoing and feel deflated if I go a couple of days without talking to a friend or doing something fun outside my home. I love to see people, go to coffee shops, eat lunch with a friend, go to bookstores, etc. But after a party, church get together or any intense social time, I need hours of alone time. I feel drained and depleted. And every afternoon I need an hour or two to just sit and every night I have my complete shutting off point. So, I’m both?
I would say I’m both. There are many days I just want to stay close with the kids, doing our own thing, but I am also a very social person, so enjoy visiting with others. My kids are probably the same. They love to be at home but have no trouble being wild and silly in a group of other kids. They are a group of talkers, like their mom, so at our house there is a lot of competition as to who’s turn it is to talk!
It’s so funny how I can see myself in my children. I have three. There are two who are SO much like me….introverted, self-conscious, shy….and I wish that they weren’t like that. Because I, myself, am always attracted to the opposite kind of people! Most of my friends are extroverts who are loudly creative and out-going. I love those people! Because they compliment me? or because I wish I were more like them? I’m not sure! Anyway, God has me on a journey of acceptance, self-discovery, and learning to love no matter what (my children are adopted, too). You would think I would LOVE the attributes I see in my kids that are like mine, wouldn’t you? So not true. OK, sorry for the ramblings! I love this topic!
I am an introvert and just a few weeks ago I was crying to my friend about my feeling of resentment toward my children. I felt trapped in every direction by this dream come true to be a mom, and our decision to homeschool. She pointed out that I am an introvert and referred me to your posts about this. I had never thought about my introvertedness being such a big deal, but it IS! I don’t have a lot of tricks to share, but have started implementing a quiet time, something I stopped after they got past the nap stage. I read your book Mindset for Moms last week and it has been just what I’ve been needing to hear! I’m relieved to finally realize I’m not just selfish! Thank you!
I also have felt that resentment! And I, too, stopped having a “resting time” once my kids started having more schooling to do (10, 10, and 12)…….but I think it’s time to re-visit the “resting time”! I also struggle with feeling selfish. Funny how I feel so isolated and yet I keep finding out how many other woman are experiencing the same feeling! Anyway, I just wanted YOU to know that YOU are not alone either! 🙂
I’m so glad to hear that, Keri! Happy to know these posts have been a bit of a help.
Thinking about my introversion as a mom has been very helpful to me. While it is not the first time I have thought about it, I have needed the reassurance lately that my need to be alone does not mean I don’t like being with my kids. I have a extra active 5 yr. old and a 10 yr. old who is adopted. Her needs soak (or suck) the energy out of me. This series just reminds me to take care of who I am instead of beating myself up. I want to be there for my children as a mom full of joy instead of a depleted grump.
Tracy, I can relate. My adopted children soak/suck my energy, too. You are not alone. Praying for you and I today to not be so grumpy! 🙂
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Introvert, beyond all doubt! My husband is also an introvert… which is why I thought we wouldn’t work out, but turns out we understand each other so well it overcomes the quiet. My daughter is an introvert, but not shy or self-conscious like me, and my son seems to be an extrovert, although he’s only 2 he’s way more outgoing and expressive than his sister was at that age. I appreciate the conversation you’ve started, and I borrowed the Quiet book you suggested. Reading it has helped recognize most of the introvert qualities I have and have always thought were abnormal, or something wrong with me, turn out to be normal, just an introvert thing, potentially something to celebrate.
Of the 5 of us, only 1 is an extrovert although the remaining 4 vary in how introverted. What works for us is making sure our extrovert has good options. He attend theater class each day at the public school and often skypes with friends in the evening. The other thing that works is making sure the introverts get time alone. Mine is in the morning, my husband is at night. For my students, I closely monitor how many outside activities they are signed up for, and we have breaks throughout our day that allows them to go off in a corner by themselves if that’s what is needed.
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Ellen @ the Bluestocking Belle
According to the Meyers-Briggs Type Indicator, a person’s designation of introvert or extravert (their spelling) depends on how that person re-energizes — inside themselves or from others. I’m an introvert; I enjoy dinner parties, lunches with friends, etc., but I re-energize by spending time alone. My dh, Himself, is an extravert (again, the MBTI spelling): he loves being around people, socializing. etc., and is energized by those kinds of activities. I am not at all shy, but I tend to prefer smaller get-togethers than large functions. Himself can work a room. 🙂 I have to make sure that I cultivate time alone in order to function at my best. If I don’t, I am exhausted, irritated, and unproductive. And it shows!
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Anne @ Modern Mrs Darcy
I’m an introvert, for sure. Interestingly, even though my two oldest kids are both introverts, reading up more on their personality types has been HUGELY helpful for all of us as I gain insight into how their little minds work, and what that means for me as a parent (and educator).
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Wow I’m surprised how many are introverts!
I test so far extrovert on Myers-Briggs that I almost break the scale. However I’m really committed to being an at home family that doesn’t default to just constant busy-ness. That said both of my girls are extroverted too (my poor just-barely-introvert husband is alone in that) so if we can’t get out and just be where the people are a couple days a week things get rough. One strategy I have is just to plan on being at home but we are all ready for our day in the morning, that way I can sweep us out if our natures are screaming for some outside energy. The other strategy I have is to try to space out our activities and play dates to every other day so we have at-home days and get out of the house days.
The great thing is I can host play dates with lots of moms and kids at my house and end up way more energetic afterwards than I was before! What would wear most people out gives me a boost to keep going all week!
I am infp. And it fits me perfectly, it’s a bit crazy!
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I’ve always known I was an introvert but I had never thought about how that affected homeschooling and I had never thought of my kids as “other people”. After reading your first artical it was like a light was turned on! There were other moms who felt like I did, it was ok, and I have the power to make it less of a survival and more of an enjoyment. It’s still been rocky. But the knowledge and the tools to cope have been a great blessing! Thank you Jamie!!!
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You’re so welcome, Danna!
We have introverts and extroverts in our homeschool. After 13 years, we know this is a great mixture. Sometimes the introverts need to go to their rooms and chill with a book or creative project and sometimes the extroverts need to go hike the mountain with lots of friends. Jamie, I thought you might like this link for a weekend link. My sister, who is investigating homeschooling for her children, sent it to me yesterday. I could have written it!!! http://childrensmd.org/uncategorized/why-doctors-and-lawyers-homeschool-their-children-18-reasons-why-we-have-joined-americas-fastest-growing-educational-trend/
I’m an introvert. I don’t really know about my kids. But I know my husband is an extrovert. I recharge by time alone, especially in nature. He recharges with people. I am drained by people.
I make sure I have a quiet time each day, for an hour, where all the kids nap or have quiet time, where they are not allowed to talk to each other or me (unless an emergency etc). I also try to have once a week where I am on my own and my husband helps watch the kids. As a family, we spend at least one time per week in nature (I find the older kids walk/run/bike ahead … the baby just looks around and is quiet…and so I get some time to myself that way).
I can only book one time a week other than regular life eg. church, library, errands where we do anything big with others eg. a homeschool outing or something. Or else I am just too exhausted from being around too many people.
I think I lean toward the introvert side of things. I need my quiet space every day just to survive. My children range from introvert to extrovert and one who is still working that out. It is a challenge making sure my extrovert child gets enough stimulation and verbal conversation, the rest of us are just quieter. But, it is all slowly coming together, more regular play times and more taking my little extrovert with me when I go out when the others would rather hang at home with dad. I love this little personality. Thanks for the articles on this subject, I have found them very thought provoking and insightful.
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We are all introverts here. We pretty much limit our activities to music lessons and one sport (ice hockey). We run our errands on music lesson days so this leaves us with large spaces of time when we can just stay home. I think this helps us to be more productive and less stressed all around. My oldest, especially, craves at-home time after we’ve had a busy weekend.
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Heidi @ Home Schoolroom
I always had a feeling I was an introvert, but homeschooling solidified the knowledge! One child is an extrovert, the other an introvert. I do struggle on some days to balance all our needs, but try to provide a mix of time with other people and make a quiet time in the middle of our day a priority so I can recharge to finish the day strong and happy. And even my extrovert benefits from time alone even though she may not admit it!
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I am very much an introvert and I have to say, I feel so encouraged by reading all these great comments from fellow introverts! Learning more about my self, my personality, and what it all means for my position as a homeschooling mom has been so enlightening. Thanks for this great topic series, Jamie!
I have appreciated these posts. It has only been in the last couple of years that I heard the terms introvert and extrovert. I would fall in the high introvert range, my husband a low extrovert. Three of our children “share” a highly extroverted, type-a, steam-roller-type personality; two are mid-extroverts, one is hyperactive at times, both without the type-a and one is mid-introvert, mixed with a little hyperactivity! So, eight of us in the home , with unique characteristics, weaknesses and strengths.
Making it work? Still working on that after 11 years of homeschooling 🙂
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Me- extrovert all the way, I need to spend time with people especially “big” people
My husband- introvert all the way, he’s a very quiet keep to yourself avoid commotion type of guy
DS1(11)- extrovert all the way, he needs to be around and talk to others
DS2(9)- mixed, thrives on person to person communication but keeps to himself and avoids crazy scenarios
DD(8)- introvert all the way, very quiet deep thinking needs some alone time type of girl
When you talk about introverted and extroverted it’s vital to understand it’s all about energy. Surprisingly people will change when it comes to energy. I know for me if I go to a sports game, I really get a ton of energy from the crowd, I’m also very extroverted.