Home education comes with plenty of challenges, but there are additional challenges involved if you’re an introverted homeschool parent. Today we’re sharing tips for surviving and thriving in this “together all the time” lifestyle of learning.
Before we jump into the tips, it helps to note that the main distinction between introverts and extroverts is how they recharge. Introverts recharge with time alone or reduced stimulation, while extroverts recharge by spending time with others.
Keeping that in mind, homeschooling parent and writer Samantha Emert shares the following tips to make the homeschool experience easier for introverted parents.
4 Tips for Introverted Homeschool Parents
If you’re a homeschooling parent who also happens to be an introvert, you know it is an interesting endeavor. It can push you to your limits and it can spur you to go beyond them.
As an introvert, you have to fight harder for your mental recharge time. But it can also be an opportunity to create more routine that everyone has the chance to thrive in.
Being a highly-sensitive introvert myself, homeschooling definitely has its challenges. However, I have found a few ways to work through those challenges and I’m still learning along the way, sharing as I go.
1. Be okay with going at your family’s pace.
Advice that has settled well with me over the years is, “don’t worry if your homeschool doesn’t look like the family’s down the street”. It’s helpful to borrow ideas from others and to learn from them, but you don’t have to replicate everything exactly.
You don’t have to do what doesn’t work for you. You’re allowed to adjust your day to what benefits your family the most.
This means you have the flexibility to consider what helps you function best as an introvert and thrive as a homeschooling parent at the same time. Thus, your day-to-day is going to look different in some ways. And that is okay.
Heads up: Susan Cain's Quiet and Holley Gerth's The Powerful Purpose of Introverts (referral links) are fantastic resources for learning more about how to thrive as an introvert.
2. Take as many breaks as you need.
Overstimulation is something I think we probably all know about at this point. We know it comes in the form of burnout and agitation and low energy levels and all of that. It can happen pretty easily in the parenting world.
When you’re an introvert it can happen even easier sometimes.
That’s when we need a game plan. Using that flexibility that comes with the homeschooling life is key. Incorporate time gaps in your day when you can take a break as you need it. It’s a good way to stay ahead of the burnout.
You can plan out a few scheduled breaks but also keep some room for a few emergency breaks. You never know when you’re gonna need to set the lessons aside and throw on an educational show or send everyone outside.
As a bonus, those breaks can be really useful for overstimulated kiddos too!
They don’t have to be more than 15-30 minutes. They can also be upwards of an hour or so. Everyone’s day is different.
Related: 3 Things to Remember About Sibling Relationships and Homeschooling
3. Look after your emotional health.
Looking after your emotional health makes navigating the less introverted activities you have to do with homeschooling a little more bearable.
From co-ops to sports teams and community events it’s easy to become bogged down by the amount of socializing that may be required of you as a homeschooling parent.
You are also spending a lot more hands on time with the kids when they’re not away at school during the day. This can easily drain your battery.
Take some time to do a daily check in with yourself, maybe 15-20 minutes to journal or go for a walk or just stare at a wall. Whatever works for you and gets you to decompress and process all that is your day.
This is a great way to get ahead of that overwhelm we can feel as homeschooling parents as well.
4. Schedule routine outings.
Getting out of the house regularly is essential for stay at home parents, even the introverted ones. It’s incredibly easy to slip into the cycle of endlessly attempting to keep up with the housework, resolving arguments, and helping everyone learn their math facts, attending to the pets’ needs, etc.
The list is long and unremitting.
Stepping away from the list and the never-ending jobs helps fight off cabin fever for everyone. Making regular trips to the community library, walks to the post-office or local park, scheduled errand days, etc. stave off the funk that can come with being home 24/7.
Homeschooling as an introvert might seem impossible and maybe it is sometimes. But it can also be rewarding and fulfilling in its own right. Utilizing the flexibility and freedoms that can come with homeschooling it can be a great way for the whole family to thrive.
I hope these tips have been helpful if you are looking for ways to navigate homeschooling as an introvert!
Samantha is a homeschooling mom of 3 and is a huge introvert who leans toward the highly-sensitive side. In her free time, she shares about life, homeschooling, and writing at samanthaemertwriter.com.
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