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Inside: Are you an introverted homeschool mom or an introverted mom considering homeschooling? Learn all the ways homeschooling can actually be a great choice for introverts, and get practical advice for how you can thrive as an introverted homeschool mom (not just survive).
I have 5 kids – ages 9 to newborn. I homeschool and work from home.
I’m at home, with my kids, pretty much all day, every day.
I’m also an introvert.
Surprised? You might not believe I’m an introvert because I genuinely enjoy being around people.
But that’s not what being an introvert is really about. It’s about where you get your energy, and introverted moms get their energy from being alone.
So how on earth does an introverted homeschool mom manage to stay sane when she’s with people all.day.long?
And is homeschooling even a good choice for an introverted mom?
Should Introverted Moms Choose to Homeschool?
Before I jump into all the things that will keep an introverted homeschool mom from losing her ever loving mind, I’m going to address the elephant in the room, the question many people silently ask they hear an introverted mom chose to homeschool (cue the “you’re absolutely crazy” face).
Is it really a good choice for an introverted mom to homeschool?
When moms are considering homeschooling, one of the most commonly asked question is, “How do you handle being around your kids all day?” And that’s from extraverted and introverted moms alike.
So when introverted moms not only love alone time, but actually need it to be emotionally and mentally healthy, that question becomes even more legitimate.
If you’re an introverted homeschool mom and thinking of quitting homeschooling, or an introverted mom considering homeschooling, but not sure it’s the best idea, you need to know that not only is it possible to homeschool as an introverted homeschool mom, but there are actually significant benefits for introverted moms.
3 Benefits of Homeschooling for Introverted Moms
1) You control your schedule.
Here’s the thing many new homeschool moms don’t take full advantage of: you decide your schedule.
You don’t have to join a homeschool co-op. Many homeschool moms opt out for a variety of reasons.
You don’t have to sign your kids up for a bajillion extracurricular activities if you don’t want to. They may actually benefit from doing less.
You don’t have to do every single subject, every single day. You decide when to do everything.
You can choose to take a day off after a busy day seeing tons of people.
You can choose to have your kids do an hour of rest time every day.
Introverts often thrive doing less and having the ability to build in time to recuperate after particularly busy, people-filled days. Homeschooling offers you that freedom: use it.
2) You don’t need to get multiple kids out the door on time every single day.
One of the primary reasons I chose to homeschool was to live a slower pace of life. Waking up babies from naps, so I could pick up a child from school didn’t appeal to me (there was no freaking way I was putting a child younger than 10 on a public school bus).
I also didn’t want a life where that involved getting four plus little people dressed and out the door with everything they needed five days a week.
Doing that once a week for church was stressful enough. I didn’t need that stress almost every day of the week.
Homeschooling allows for slower mornings and more time to get from one place to the next.
3) Homeschooling offers more time to develop relationships with and connect with your kids.
Some people think we’re crazy for having a big family. Both my husband and I are introverts, him far more so than I, and I do admit that it’s extremely draining at times.
However, introverts also prefer having a few deep relationships, instead of multiple shallow relationships. Most of us despise small talk, favoring in-depth conversations instead.
Family is the perfect place to develop those long-term, in-depth relationships. It’s the perfect place to feel safe, comfortable, and able to be yourself.
Homeschooling provides far more time to cultivate those deep relationships. They can develop naturally over time, instead of feeling pressured to fit in relationship development around school hours.
The One Thing Introverted Homeschool Moms Need Above All Else
It IS possible to thrive as an introverted homeschool mom, but the key to thriving and facing all the challenges is having a rock-solid, non-negotiable reason to homeschool.
Your reason needs to be really, really compelling, like get you out of bed in the morning kind of compelling.
I’ve heard some homeschool moms talk about their reasons, and I’m going to shoot straight: they aren’t very compelling. They’re downright wishy-washy.
And the second it gets too hard, those reasons will evaporate like mist in the sun.
I can give you all the tips and tricks in the world to make being an introverted homeschool mom work, but they won’t help you stay the course when life gets hard in addition to the whole introverted mom thing.
Put aside the fact that the little cherubs that are your children tend to sap every last drop of your introverted mom energy.
The minute you add one more thing to your plate? One more added stress?
You’ll snap, and off you’ll march to fill out that school enrollment paperwork.
My personal reason? I’ve read enough books that traditional education is totally ruined for me. On the days when life gets hard, and I long for quiet days to my introverted mom self, I am able to quickly (or eventually, depending how hard the season of life is) dismiss it.
I believe unequivocally that my kids’ curiosity, love of learning, and time for self-discovery needs protecting far more than I need alone time.
That conviction kept me homeschooling, even during ridiculously difficult seasons. You need a why that’s an anchor.
If you don’t have one yet, it’s time to do some reading and some soul-searching. When you have your reason, write it down and hang it on your bathroom mirror or your refrigerator.
Your “why” needs to be somewhere you can see it every day.
You can bookmark this list of books I think every homeschool mom should read for later. Some of my favorites on this list helped me determine my “anchor reasons”.
6 Practical Tips for the Introverted Homeschool Mom
1) Invest in your sanity.
I list this first because I recently started taking this advice myself. For a long time, I was trying to work from home, homeschool, and juggle a newborn all by myself.
My husband’s job is stressful, and he’s an extreme introvert himself who sees people all day multiple days a week. He helps as much as he can.
His help will never be enough to alleviate all that stress.
I finally bit the bullet and hired a babysitter every other week for four hours a week.
For a long time, we really couldn’t afford it. During those seasons, swapping childcare with a mom friend was my go-to as we don’t have family nearby.
But now, when it’s actually a financial possibility, I still resisted spending money on babysitting for a long time. There were sooo many other ways I wanted to spend that money. I eventually realized that I was on the fast track for burnout if I didn’t invest in alone time.
It’s been well worth the investment.
Maybe you have family nearby you can ask to watch your kids, or maybe you can childcare swap. Find a creative way to make it happen.
2) Resist the temptation to overschedule.
At first, you will need to experiment with your schedule in order to find your sweet spot. I’ve found that when I have more than two activities in a week, I am completely exhausted.
Try adding and subtracting week to week and see how you feel.
One of the most difficult parts of being an introverted homeschool mom is the tension between a strong desire to interact with adults versus the reality that those interactions are likely to completely wipe you out.
Certain events will sound appealing at first, because: having an actual, in person conversation with an actual adult! It sounds amazing, and it can be….sometimes.
Unfortunately, I’ve learned the hard way several times that as much as I need that adult interaction, I need to be extremely selective about who those adults are.
Coffee with a close friend or a playdate with her and her kids are far more worth your while than a random homeschool park meet-up with tons of chit-chat and no real connection.
3) Ditch the clutter.
Some homeschool moms can homeschool with a crazy house. They don’t mind it being perpetually messy and cluttered.
I’m not one of them, and I bet you aren’t either.
Studies have shown time and again that clutter increases stress. I have a hunch that clutter stresses introverted moms out far more than their extroverted mom counterparts.
Not only that, but clutter steals your time and your energy. And if there’s anything introverted homeschool moms need more of, it’s time and energy.
Before I became a minimalist mom, I couldn’t fathom having the time and energy to homeschool. Decluttering gave me back the time and energy I needed not only to homeschool, but also to work from home.
Make time to declutter. Take a week off of homeschooling: it’s that important.
These posts can get you moving in the right direction:
- Where to Start Decluttering (when you’re too overwhelmed to start)
- Quick and Easy Decluttering Tips to See Progress Fast
- 5 Decluttering Questions to Use Instead of “Does It Spark Joy?”
- 8 Tips for Decluttering on a Low Income (from a mom who’s been there)
4) Embrace technology.
I’m going to be real about screens and media: my kids watch more than their fair share.
In the mornings, my three-year-old gets one show choice, and my big kids rotate through choosing on educational show. That morning time guarantees me the ability to drink an entire cup of coffee in peace and get a little time to myself.
I don’t wake up before my kids because I’ve been pregnant or nursing pretty much constantly for ten years. Maybe one day, I will, but for now, t.v. gives me a blessed 30-45 minutes of peace and quiet in the mornings that I desperately need.
Then, in the evenings, they get another 30 minutes of screen time each. We also watch Curiosity Stream and movies together.
I need breaks, alone time, work time. Sometimes, they occupy themselves or play outside. Sometimes, I turn on the t.v. or give them extra video game time.
And can I just tell you how much they learn from t.v.? My kids know more about animals from Wild Kratts than I could possibly teach them in the same amount of time.
I’m also not shy about putting on a show for my absolutely crazy three-year-old boy, so I can do what I need to do without worrying he’s off breaking a leg somewhere.
Embrace technology: it’s a gift for introverted homeschool moms, especially. Forget what every “I don’t let my kids watch t.v.” mom says.
(And until you have that money to invest in yourself? T.V. isn’t a bad babysitter.)
5) Focus and simplify as much as possible.
I don’t know about you, but one of the most difficult parts of homeschooling as an introvert is splitting my focus. For a long time, I tried to cover several subjects in one day, and it totally drained me. The same was true in my work.
A couple weeks ago, I decided to split up my work into tasks. One day, I work solely on writing, another scheduling my posts to social media, another e-mail.
It was life-changing. I felt SO accomplished in the same amount of work time. I was getting more done, and I no longer felt like I was struggling to keep up.
I’m trying the same thing in our homeschool, and so far? I love it.
Each day has a focus. One day is life skills/home management (read: cleaning the house), one day history, another math. We go all in on that subject for anywhere from 45 minutes to 2 hours. We do group work first, and then I work individually with my oldest as necessary.
We still cover other subjects in a day just by living life (because homeschooling is a lifestyle), but my focused, formal school time is one subject a day. That may not work for you, but I encourage you to brainstorm other ways you can add focus to your days.
6) Learn to distinguish between non-negotiables and ideals.
I highly value reading aloud, and when I first read about the power of reading aloud, I had visions of family read-alouds that went smoothly and everyone loved it.
And that worked…when it was just me and my oldest after my boys were all in bed (three at the time). When staying up super late with her stopped working because of a newborn, I attempted read-alouds during the day with everyone (including the crazy three-year old).
The interruptions drove me absolutely bonkers. After about five minutes, I threw in the towel, completely exhausted.
Now, two of my boys listed to an audiobook in bed every night for 30-45 minutes. I read one-on-one with my three-year-old at night, and one-on-one with my oldest during the day.
My non-negotiable is reading aloud, but I had to let go of the ideal that I would read to everyone, every day, for 30-40 minutes at a time. With our family dynamics and my introversion, it is impossible.
Audiobooks and one-on-one reading are how I make my non-negotiable happen, and I’ve let go of my ideal in this season with so many little ones.
For now, I save our group reading aloud time for our actual homeschooling (Story of the World and Life of Fred Math). The three-year-old gets a show unless by some miracle he is quietly occupying himself, and I give rewards for listening without interruptions to the older three.
Sometimes you need to let go of the ideal in order to make the non-negotiable happen on a consistent and sustainable basis.
The Best Medicine for Introverted Homeschool Moms
Sometimes, the best thing you can do for yourself as an introverted mom is to learn more about your personality.
You need to learn how you’re wired, and be assured that who you are is pretty freaking awesome.
You need someone to tell you the strengths of your personality, when in motherhood, sometimes all you can see are your weaknesses. It’s also so helpful to have someone who’s been there give you strategies and advice for how to be your best self as an introverted mom.
Jamie not only knows about introverted moms, but as a veteran homeschool mom herself, she’s the perfect person to learn from! I absolutely loved reading this book.
I felt understood and known, especially as an introverted homeschool mom, because I knew Jamie had walked the same road. I was assured yet again that as an introverted mom, I have so much to offer my kids.
(Please note that Jamie is a Christian, and this book is written from a Christian perspective.)
Additional Reading for the Introverted Homeschool Mom
Here is a list of more resources that have been SO helpful in understanding my personality as a whole. I hope you find them helpful as well!
- MotherStyles: Using Personality Type to Discover Parenting Strengths
- Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking
- The Road Back to You: An Enneagram Journey to Self-Discovery
- StrengthsFinder 2.0
- Intovert, Dear (a blog for introverts)
Final Thoughts on Being an Introverted Homeschool Mom
As introverted homeschool moms, we have so much to offer our kids. With a little strategic planning, creativity, and a whole lot of experimenting, homeschooling can be the most fulfilling choice you can possibly make.