I truly believe homeschooling can be a little easier being an introvert. Let's be honest though. It can also make it much harder in other ways. As with every aspect of life and homeschooling, we bring our personality with us. It is an essential part of who we are and how we interact with the world around us.
So how you may ask has my introversion made homeschooling more difficult at times?
I Can't Do All Of The Things
As much as I would love for my kids to do more activities, it’s just not going to happen.
Between homeschooling, housekeeping, therapy, competition dance, karate, and my need for downtime, fitting in various homeschool group meetups for my children often takes a lower priority.
This can make me feel like a terrible mom at times. Will my children grow up and resent the fact that they aren't classical pianists, musical theater phenoms, and didn't attend college on sports scholarships? Will they feel like they missed out on something since we weren't part of a co-op and just kept our close circle of friends. I don't know. Maybe.
Our time and resources are limited however, and it’s up to me to make the best decisions I can for the entire family. I’m sure that my choices will be questioned at some point, but that's part of being a parent. I can take it.
Did you know that when you homeschool, you're often with your children all day, every day? You'd have to be crazy to choose this, right? You're always on call to referee disagreements, give direction, talk through emotions, and offer support, even when all you want to do is binge on Netflix or hide in the bathroom.
So how do I deal with all of this closeness?
First, I remember the reasons I chose homeschooling in the first place. Things such as my son getting a proper education and he's not just passed along, and to opt out of the indoctrination of the public education system. Secondly, I look for opportunities to carve out alone or quiet time. Can they go outside to play while I enjoy a cup of coffee? Can I sneak away to my room and call a long distance friend? Can dad handle bed time while I take a long hot shower or bath?
I've accepted that as long as we continue this journey there won't be long stretches of uninterrupted time. Instead, I grab a few minutes of peace when it's available.
The problem isn't that homeschoolers don't socialize adequately. It's that we moms are responsible for all of the logistics. Since we don't participate in a co-op or tutorial for most social plans, I am the conduit. With the exception of a few close friends. I was not a homeschooled child so as a kid, I worked out plans with friends before I proposed them to my parents for approval, but my children rarely seem to do this.
Instead, I get the texts or Facebook messages to schedule events and get-togethers. Other homeschool moms or close friends and I work out the details and implement the plan.
I'm hoping as the pandemic slowly goes away and we return to some semblance of normal that there will be more opportunities to meet people at the park or on a field trip for my kids to make connections.
Having An Extroverted and Introverted Child
Meeting the needs of my extroverted child is extremely difficult being an introverted mom.
Luckily, She isn't so extroverted that she is unhappy schooling at home. She prefers it for many reasons, she does however wish for more activities outside of the home.
My son however needs his downtime, especially after anytime spent out of the house. He'd prefer to never leave if I'd let him get away with it. Balancing the two can be tricky.
As an introverted mom, I tend to try to make sure we have breathing room in our schedule. It's a necessity for the introverts of the family, and I believe it can even benefit the extroverts as well.
Finding A Balance And Minimizing The Stress
Being an introverted homeschool mom can be an arduous journey. We must recognize our needs so we can minimize the stress and find a balance to our days. You can't pour from an empty cup.
For me, my beliefs and desire to homeschool have always trumped my introverted cravings. I will never discard my need for downtime to recharge. However, I do accept though, that it might not happen as often or when I would like.
As the old saying goes, the days are long but the years are short. I enjoy my solitude. I don't however, believe I'll ever look back on my life with regret over the hours spent with my children instead.
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