Some homeschool educators strive to be an ambivert, which is a mix of both extrovert and introvert personalities. When you aim to balance the strengths and weaknesses of your personality, you become your most powerful homeschool tool.
Using rigorous curriculum, planning methodically, and homeschooling while feeling drop dead tired are things we’ve all done at some time. But the key to successfully homeschooling for a long period of time lies with you.
Secret to Successful Homeschooling
In addition, accepting the good, bad, and ugly of your talent is the secret to using it to motivate your kids.
Trying to be somebody you’re not won’t work because comparing yourself to other homeschool educators makes you feel inept. Knowing how to turn a perceived negative in your personality into a positive is what makes the difference between feeling crippled and being confident.
Five Success Tips for Introverted Homeschoolers
If you feel like you lean more toward being an introvert, here are some tried and true everyday teaching tips and points to remember about your kids and your strengths:
- You may have a kid or two that is opposite your introvert strength, but your fun-loving extrovert kid needs only one or two others to fill his need to be with other kids. Invite one or two families to have a once a week or once a month day out. One year for eight weeks, we met with one other family and had hands-on history classes together. We alternated going to each other’s home. It saved my sanity to not have to join a co-op while filling the need of my son for more social time.
- Despite how insignificant you may think it is, leaving the house to take your kids to a family field trip or group field trip makes you unstoppable. Extroverts may think going to a field trip is a given and can be easy for them. However, when you force yourself to lean toward being ambivert you prove that you can provide whatever is your child’s needs. You become a huge asset to your children. Another tip that may move you to get out more is to buy a monthly museum membership. It forces a regular day out each month.
- My experience has been that an introvert’s strength is in being creative. Preferring to spend more time alone pursuing your passions can be an example you set for your children. The educational world tries to push our kids to learn in a flash. Constant pushing through subjects and topics can be a turn off for kids that are either introverts or extroverts. You have a natural ability to create engaging opportunities in your home or your yard for learning and lingering. Use your energy to avoid having your kids get bored at home. Getting out of the house is not the only way to avoid boredom.
- Take a close friend to a new field trip or to meet new homeschoolers. If you or your child are feeling more introverted than usual and need a confidence booster to meet new people, take an old friend. Introverts feel comfortable with a few well-chosen close friends. A close friend can help bridge the gap of the feelings of anxiety or awkwardness. By knowing this tip, you won’t ever feel like you’re letting your child down when he needs to be around people more.
- Although you may be physically exhausted because of nerves or stress when you leave a homeschool event, focus on the feeling of enjoyment you received afterwards. Anytime you’re with other homeschool family and friends where you find kindred spirits, it can renew your love for the homeschool lifestyle. When you make yourself do something that you’re not naturally inclined to do, you further your success in homeschooling. It’s like a cycle. Success is also a huge factor for motivation.
Five Success Tips for Extroverted Homeschoolers
If you feel like you lean more toward being an extrovert, here are some tried and true everyday teaching tips and points to remember about your kids and your strengths:
- You need adult interaction. Your teens don’t really count. True, you may have a close relationship with your older kids, but you need an equal. Somebody you can relate to which understands your feelings as you crave adult conversation. Although I would have gratefully taking another day, I had one day a month where I met with other homeschool moms. No kids except for nursing babies were allowed. A few hours meeting at a coffee shop to discuss homeschool was a lifeline for me at that time. Even if you can’t leave the kids, meeting at a park where the kids can play gives you time for adult interaction.
- An extrovert child comes to life by being with his friends. Although an introvert recharges in his solitude, an extrovert can wither in alone time. It’s not necessary to plan every moment that extroverts are together because conversation is the paramount point. Developing deep and lasting friendships is an art. When you make time for your kids to develop friends, you’re moving past just the academic part of homeschooling. Not only do kids receive a rigorous education, but are empowered to have confidence in their adult life. If you tend to be an introvert and provide opportunities for your extrovert, then he learns to be transparent with others. This can be an asset in a career or college track.
- Strengthen an extrovert’s skill for communication. Don’t allow him to be perceived as just entertainment. As adults, we may have learned to not overdo the communication. Kids not so much. Help them to curb the clutter of their words and not exhaust close friends. A small homeschool co-op which doesn’t require much time can fill his and your need for interaction with other warm-hearted extroverts. Also, learning to curb an extrovert’s every whim for instant interaction helps you and him to not become exhausted. You have tapped into your ambivert personality by keeping him and you balanced.
- As adults we may have learned to value the company of an introvert. Dominant and loud talking individuals can dominate the conversation and it can be easy to overlook an introvert with similar interests. Helping our kids to be content with one close friend or even spending time being quiet is a skill that should be learned earlier rather than later. However, I’ve seen some parents over emphasize the needs of an extrovert. While it’s true they need to recharge, they also need time to wind down. They need to have a close friend who equally values their intellect.
- You bring a constant energy to your kids and this tends to make your kids love your list of homeschool activities for the day. However, your energy should not turn to a one-woman entertainment committee for your kids. Learning to have both a relaxed part and an energetic part to your day shows you embrace an ambivert balance.
Contrasts in your personality are intriguing; the many facets can help or hinder your homeschool.
Whether you consider yourself an introvert, an extrovert, or ambivert, tapping into your strengths and conquering your weaknesses makes you dynamic and forceful.
While you pore over curriculum for hours, agonize how to maximize time, and minimize stress, don’t forget that you are the most amazing tool your children will ever have in their journey!