For awhile there, every time I scrolled through Facebook, there was yet another article somebody shared about how Introverts are so misunderstood and unappreciated, or offering tips on how to interact more effectively with the Introverts in your life. Almost as if the Extroverts were the insensitive jerks or that they are basically shallow attention-seekers. Since the Extroverts like being part of the group, we all felt just a bit left out of the "27 Things Only Introverts Understand" articles, because we're like "Hey! We understand stuff too, y'know!". Also, since the attention-seeker depiction is not far off the mark, we were somewhat annoyed at not being in the spotlight. But we're not shallow, just so you know.
Okay, so I'm not an extreme extrovert, but I fall far enough on that end of the spectrum that I feel qualified to tell you that homeschooling can be hard on extroverts. Some of those articles I saw talked about how so many aspects of society were geared towards extroverts, and that made it hard on their introvert counterparts. Whatever. Well, I'm here to tell you that homeschooling might be the opposite. (Partly serious, partly tongue-in-cheek. And perhaps some shameless self-promotion thrown in for fun.)
Basically, extroverts are energized by social interaction and may feel drained by being alone or feeling isolated. They're not bothered by being alone and do need that, but in smaller doses. Introverts are the opposite. They may enjoy socializing, but interacting with a bunch of people wears them out; and they need alone time to get energized. (Truth is, the vast majority of people fall somewhere in the middle, with traits of both, making them ambiverts.)
So why is homeschooling so hard on extroverts?
Well obviously, I wanna hang out with some people on some sort of regular basis! But it's not like I can just head off to a meet-and-greet any old time - we need to do school. And my homeschooling friends need to do school too, so they're not always available. (If they are available, they are probably an introvert and really want to stay home by themselves.) My friends that don't homeschool probably have to work. Co-ops are the greatest things for extroverted homeschool moms. A group of people to talk to while we're doing school! Huzzah!!! That's what I miss about co-op classes, now that my kids have outgrown the one we were in. Honestly, it's what my kids probably miss most too.
Extroverts like leading. And there's a distinct lack of followers when it's just me and my kids at home and they are supposed to be doing Algebra. Because I can't lead that. It wouldn't end well if I tried.
Extroverts get bored and distracted easily. Which makes it hard to stick to the lesson plans, even if I was the one who made the lesson plans. When I do make the lesson plans, I put in all kinds of things that I think would be cool or that look interesting to me, but turn out to be way too much to fit into the schedule or impractical. Rats. So frustrating.
Extroverts talk a lot. Guilty as charged. Y'know what I got in trouble for when I was in school? That right - "socializing too much". I find it so ironic that "lack of socialization" is so often the concern about homeschooling. And seriously, sometimes I feel like there aren't enough opportunities to socialize. But really, I can't complain too much any more because my kids are old enough to provide mature conversation (and immature as well, believe me!). It was tons harder from an extrovert standpoint when I just had little ones. I'm pretty sure I talked my poor hubby's ear off almost every day as soon as he came in the door, and my mom's ear off every time we got on the phone. I just needed an adult! I wonder if the extroverts look needy when we have the chance to get together with other homeschoolers.
|Me. With other adults, adulting. Probably hoping for an invitation to tell the infamous|
"giant underwear" story (again) or something else equally as entertaining.
|Same occasion. Extrovert daughter (in the light green) socializing. |
Probably annoyed that she is so far away from the camera.
Extroverts are outgoing and generally comfortable in the spotlight. Calling us shallow attention-seekers is a bit harsh, but it does get a bit lonely for us backstage. We've got public speaking skills, entertainment skills, and good stories to tell, and not enough opportunities to grab the mic. Hopefully we're polite enough to share the stage when we do get a chance to be on it, and gracious enough to be genuinely happy when others get their chance to be front-and-center and do a great job of it while we are on the sidelines. But still, we're likely not happy about being on the sidelines, because we know we could rock the place if we had the chance. And frankly, homeschooling generally offers fewer chances to show off how great we are to a wider audience.
See how hard homeschool life is for extroverts? Moms and students. Fortunately, I have some extrovert students, so we try to entertain each other. Sometimes though, we feel like a party looking for a place to happen.
Are you more of an introvert or an extrovert, and how does that play out in your homeschool? Please leave a comment and let me know! Obviously, I'm desperate for some social interaction . . .
In order to maximize my chances at getting the attention and human interaction I crave, this post is linked at Blogging Through the Alphabet, hosted by Cristi at Through the Calm and Through the Storm and Meg at Adventures with Jude. This week participating bloggers are featuring the letter E.
In an effort to get even more attention and human interaction, I'm including this post in the Homeschooling When . . . Round-up. Visit the Schoolhouse Review Crew blog to see what other Crew members are contributing. We're sharing about our experiences of homeschooling in all kinds of situations. The How Do I Homeschool When . . . Round-up will be live on Friday, February 5th.
You guessed it - I still crave even more attention and human interaction, so this encouraging word is also linked to 5 Days of Homeschool 101.
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