Introverts Homeschooling Extroverts: Practical Ways to Make it Work5 min read
Are you an introverted mom or/and dad trying to homeschool an extroverted kid? Then you probably understand the challenges of dealing with your extremely outgoing child who loves meeting and interacting with new people while all you would rather do is sit at home with the doors shut! Well, don’t you worry because we have a few practical tips and tricks to help you navigate homeschooling your extroverted kid in your quiet and introverted home!
What are some practical ways for introverted parents to homeschool their extroverted kids?
When your children are social butterflies and basically thrive in social environments that are full of interactions and people, but you find such situations physically and even mentally exhausting and try to avoid them altogether, how do you find the right balance to help both parties?
Here are eight practical ways that could help you navigate homeschooling an extroverted child
1. Play Dates and Field Trips
Playdates and field trips can be literal lifesavers if you are an introverted parent who is homeschooling an extroverted child. If there is a homeschooling group that you are part of, try to get involved in as many activities and trips that you can. Your child will get the chance to be out with people and have social interactions that will seriously help them thrive. And on the other hand, you get to relax too! You don’t have to feel the pressure of making plans, creating that environment or deciding on things; all you need to do is to show up and be there!
2. Extracurricular Activities
Sign your kids up for some extracurricular activities and classes! This will not only help your children to pick up new skills but also give them the opportunity to move out of the house which will prove super beneficial for them. Simultaneously, you will also get a few hours to yourself to do what you would like to. However, in saying this we are definitely not insisting that you sign your child up to every class out there and they have no time to breathe or rest! Be attentive to your child’s likes and interests, and if you find that he adores something in particular – like music, art, science and so on – you could always get him to join a class or two! Just because you are homeschooling does not mean every part of the learning process must come from you!
3. One-on-one conversations
If you are an introvert who loves to listen to people talk, this is a wonderful idea for you and your kid! Giving your extroverted little ones some one-on-one time where you have discussions is a fantastic conversational outlet for them (and you)! They can talk about what they love, their observations, interests and ideas while you can just sit and listen to them.
Community is so important to us human beings. Don’t hesitate to bring people in. You could invite the grandparents over for a day in or out with the kids, or hire a babysitter once a week. During this time, you can journal, watch a movie or just stare at a wall! This will help to give you that space that you may be craving and some different social interactions for your kid as well. Bringing the community in is so important and beneficial.
5. Let them lead
Extroverts usually like to take charge and lead. You can give your child some responsibilities around the house like teaching his younger siblings, reading to them or delegating a task to the other family members. Your child will absolutely love to be a little leader in his own home!
6. Quiet time and quiet space
Homeschooling can be quite a task even for parents who are not introverts. It calls for a lot of time, energy and above all patience! This is why quiet time and quiet space are two very important concepts, especially if you are an introverted parent with extroverted kids. Set a time aside where the kids and everyone else know that it’s your time to relax, rest, and recharge. Every introvert will truly understand the importance of quiet time. Similarly, a quiet space is a physical space in the house that is clutter-free and has no visual noise. Although it may take some time and a little effort to teach your kids these two essential concepts, it will definitely help you in the long run.
7. It’s okay to push yourself sometimes
We know it can be super difficult and exhausting to constantly be surrounded by people and in the middle of crowds when you are an introvert. But sometimes, it’s okay to push yourself a little just for your child to get the exposure and interaction that he desperately needs. We’re not saying that you have to force yourself to be someone you’re not or always involve the family in social activities. But once in a while, if you feel like your child could really benefit out of a certain social situation like a play date with a friend, you could go the extra mile.
8. DO NOT compare!
We know that it can get totally crazy and even messy at times. It may feel like other parents have it together and you’re the only one struggling alone. But that’s not true! Every family faces its own unique challenges and you need to keep in mind that your family is not going to look exactly like the one next door. As long as you know that you are working for the well-being of your child and doing the best you can trust that you will be okay. And know that God has entrusted you with your children for a reason. Nobody knows your kids and their needs better than you do.
We hope that you will continue to hang in there and not lose hope. While there will always be days when you question everything and whether or not you’re doing things right, just be patient with your kid as well as with yourself and remind yourself of the days when things couldn’t be better!