How an Introvert Mom Survives Homeschooling a Large Family

How an Introvert Mom Survives Homeschooling a Large Family

When I took the Myers-Briggs for the first time in 8th grade, I discovered I was an introvert. At that time, I never imagined I’d someday be a homeschooling mom to six children.

I would have said you were crazy, me with six kids? I’m not having any.

Back when I was 13 and naive, Myers-Briggs pegged me as an INTJ, a type I would consistently identify with for 20+ years. Though I will sometimes come out as an INTP now, which I think is directly related to homeschooling, my introversion never wavers.

My most dominant personality trait is being an introvert, which makes homeschooling a large family an even bigger task.

Managing the Chaos

Whether you have one child or ten, on many levels, parenting is all about controlling the chaos. Everyone has a different way of trying to create some order in their home and life.

I imagine Type A, energetic, extroverts have everything in order and a beautiful schedule. Their homes are well-oiled machines., right?

Maybe, but I’m the less energetic introvert, who doesn’t have the desire to spend my days trying to keep everything in order and under control. But I also don’t want to live in chaos. What to do?

I can’t homeschool because I am an introvert…and other homeschooling myths.

Simplicity is Key

Self-care is such a buzzword right now but can seem so extravagant when you can barely keep up with the laundry. So how do I keep my introverted sanity while homeschooling and attempting to maintain some semblance of order?

1 | Bedtimes

Now in saying this, realize I’ve never had a child fiercely fight a bedtime. I’ve been lucky; we’re a family that likes their sleep.  But I also don’t require lights out at a particular time.

I don’t care if they read, draw, listen to an audiobook, play with dolls, or talk (quietly) with their sisters; I simply need everyone to go to their room. Bedtime is the time to reclaim my living room or go to bed myself.

This has certainly gotten more difficult as my children have gotten older. Our regular bedtime has changed, but I never make it past 9 with everyone downstairs. I just need a break.

Introverts often suffer higher levels of anxiety than extroverts. Get tips on homeschooling with anxiety.

2 | Shopping

I don’t love shopping; in fact, it’s a task I despise. However, shopping sometimes gives an introvert mom the break needed to make it through another day.

We just recently returned from a two-week summer road trip, and of course, the kitchen was bare. I needed my husband for the initial warehouse store run, but I was still missing a few things from another store.

So I declared mommy alone time and headed out by myself Sunday afternoon.  Yes, several children would have loved to come along, but if choosing sweet potatoes without a barrage of questions keeps me sane, it’s worth the disappointment.

3 | Get Up Early/Stay Up Late

I’m a get up early person, but I realize that doesn’t work for everyone. It didn’t work for me either when my children were all little, and I still had the middle of the night feedings.

Now, I get up before everyone else, and it makes for a much calmer mom. There is something peaceful about getting up and having some time to think before the demands of the day begin.

Perhaps you would rather stay up late to have your private time? Do whatever works, the goal for an introvert is to find those moments of peace.

Homeschool burnout is sometimes inevitable. And it’s not just part of the mid-year slump. It can hit at any time.

Being an Introvert Isn’t a Disqualification

An introvert isn’t a disqualification from being a homeschooling mom. Yes, it creates some difficulties but being an extrovert has its challenges too.

Even though I dream of a quiet house, I know the day will come when the silence will make me sad.

So for today, I do my best and enjoy this loud, chaotic homeschooling life.

Bethany Ishee

About the author

Bethany is the mom of six always homeschooled children who one day realized she'd lost herself in the process, probably under a pile of laundry. Her eclectic style of homeschooling draws upon Classical to Unschooling and everything in between. Between homeschooling her children, teaching at a Project Based Co-op, and writing about learning outside of school, she still tries to find time to read a book, drink coffee, and pay the bills.

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