I never gave much thought to whether I was an introverted or extroverted person until I began to notice many of my friends sharing articles about being an introverted homeschool mom. As I read them, I realized that most of those articles did not apply to me. Parts did of course, but as a whole, they did not describe me. Did that mean I was not designed for the task of homeschool mom? Of course not, but it seemed that most of what I read dealt with the introverted homeschool mom. So, did it matter? At first, I didn’t think it did very much but eventually I realized that my personality does have to be considered to keep this journey on a healthy, thriving path.
After a little pondering, I came to the conclusion that I was an extrovert. I guess throughout my life there have been some signs. Here are a few of them, although scientific by no means. For a more scientific description of extraversion and introversion see the Myers & Briggs Foundation.
- I love Black Friday and not for the shopping. I don’t usually have anything to buy, but I just love to grab my mom, a cup of coffee, and be part of the festivities.
- I loved school. Just being there made me happy.
- I love talking to friends and always tell my kids, “five more minutes.”
- I feel exhilarated after a long day of homeschool co-op class, even if I am physically exhausted.
So what does that mean? Well for me, it means I find energy in being part of a group. I am fueled by conversation and interaction with others. I don’t find it exhausting but essential. On the flip side, I can feel a little lost, and even drained when I feel secluded from the outside world. This can be a biggie for a homeschool mom. I love having the opportunity to educate my children but, over the years, I have had to identify ways to keep myself happy and refreshed while staying at home. I have also discovered that if I am not intentional about feeding this part of my personality, I can feel deflated, tired, and well…sad. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to homeschool and feed my extroverted personality.
This one is great for an extroverted mom but can be a little tricky. I absolutely find being part of a co-op great for my soul. Being an extrovert is not only about being around people, but also being part of something. I love the support I get from the other homeschool moms. I love being part of the homeschool community. My only problem comes when the co-op controls too much of my child’s education. My family doesn’t really need a co-op for the academics. That is okay because we do need one for mom’s sanity. I have learned to look for, or create when needed, co-ops that focus on the “extras.” An enrichment co-op, if you will. Things like art, music, holiday parties, field trips, and the like. If you don’t have something like this in your area, hop on social media and offer to start one. It doesn’t take many families to fuel an extroverted mom. A small co-op has worked, for me, just as well as a really large, complicated one. As an extroverted mom, you may even find energy, excitement, and fulfillment in heading up a co-op and you can design the co-op to best suit your homeschool’s needs. Bonus!
In my house time is a commodity. There is not a lot to spare but still, a few times a month, I carve out some time to volunteer. It is well worth it. I feel refreshed, renewed, and accomplished. I also feel grown up and that is important for me too. Even though I am around little people all day (well at least one is still little), it is important for me to spend some time with adults as well. I volunteer with the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society but there are many places to volunteer. Look for an organization that meets you scheduling needs. Some may even allow you to volunteer as a family. Animal shelters, food banks, pregnancy care centers, local libraries, are just a few ideas.
Listen to the Radio or Podcasts
This may sound very simple, and a bit odd, but it is an easy way for me to feel connected, each day, to the outside world. When I worked, I really enjoyed my ride to work. I enjoyed the time in the car, listening to my favorite DJ and catching up on the latest news. I also appreciated the conversational banter. For the longest time I didn’t realize how much I missed this when I became a stay at home mom. This was an easy fix. Now I turn on the radio each morning while I cook, eat, and clean up breakfast. It is amazing how something so small can have such an impact on my day. By doing this, it helps me feel less secluded from the rest of the world. I should note that social media does not work the same for me. I think that it has something to do with the conversational aspect of the radio morning shows. Reading the news online doesn’t have the same effect either. Podcasts, however, are great too. Homeschool podcasts are even better. They have become my new favorite. It is like having my morning coffee with fellow homeschool moms. Two of my favorites are The Homeschool Sisters Podcast and The Busy Mom.
Get Out of the House
Sometimes I just feel bored and restless and need out of the house. Again, this is an easy fix. Sometimes we take our history reading lesson out to breakfast. Sometimes we take some work to the library. If the weather is nice, we take our work to the park. All these are helpful. What works even better for me, is a routine. Knowing that I get out of the house on a certain day, or time, feels great. Maybe Wednesday mornings we have breakfast out of the house or on Tuesdays we go to the library.
If you are feeling a little sad, unfulfilled, or maybe a little suffocated, perhaps you too, are an extroverted homeschool mom, who just needs to make a few changes to satisfy your nature. Don’t ignore your personality or think that you are not suited for the homeschool journey. God designed each one of us with unique qualities and there is a reason some of us are energized by others. Hope some of what works for me works for you as well.