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Balancing the Needs of Gifted Kids and Gifted Parents


JumpyTheFrog
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If you are in a family where at least one parent and at least one child seem to be gifted, how to you balance the needs? Especially if the mom is the gifted one and is homeschooling? It seems like it must be very difficult to meet the needs of kids who want to do "more, more, more" and still have time left to yourself to meet your own need for, as Johnny Number 5 would say (from the movie "Short Circuit'), "Input, more input!"

 

Any stories anybody would like to share? Does it get easier once the kids are past a certain age?

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Balance? That would be really nice.

 

I don't get much balance unless you call allowing lots and lots of computer time for them so that I can do things for me balance. The boys do more minecraft than most so that I have a break. My daughter spends too much time reading Wikipedia and neopets so I can have a break.

 

It isn't ideal, but nothing is.

 

I don't know if it gets better as they get older, I do know the problems get more impressive as they get older. Teenager problems are nothing like toddler problems. The consequences of bad choices are longer lasting. The scary factor is worse. The intensity is still there but is directed (or not) in new ways. It is truly truly harder to be a mom to a teenager than anything else I have ever done.

 

 

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Yes, it does get easier when the kids are older!

In our family, both kids and DH are tested gifted, I am not tested but very likely gifted as well.

I would wilt intellectually if I had to stay home; I was severely depressed as a SAHM and only got better when I started teaching at the university.

 

For us, the boundary conditions for homeschooling were clear from the beginning: it can only work for our family if I can keep working. So, I get stimulation outside of my homeschool. The kids were in 5th and 6th grade when we started, and they have learned to be rather independent about their school work. When they were younger, they came to work with me and worked in my office. Now with a Junior and an 8th grader, it is really easy.

From the beginning I have been more a facilitator than a direct instructor. So, if they want more, I simply give them more: more challenging materials, harder literature, difficult outside classes.

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Interesting question. I have a demanding job, which is probably why I never think about "meeting my intellectual needs." My gifted daughter (who attends private school) is kind of adrift right now, as her sister's difficulties take most of my "personal" time. It doesn't help that she's stubborn and not fond of taking suggestions. Frankly she is lazy, but I don't feel right pushing her when she's already so advanced compared to her class. This sounds seriously pathetic, doesn't it?

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I'm not gifted---I don't think---although I was pulled out of a class in ps to read and study harder books than my class??? (I don't remember if I ever knew why) My mom was instructed to wait a year to send me to school because I was reading at a 2nd grade level at 4. And I did take all the AP classes I could in HS. I never tried to label myself any particular thing though. I'm really completely clueless as to if any one in school ever labeled me anything.

 

I do, however, *need* time to think!!! I do get grumpy if I don't have "me" time.The books I choose to read "for the fun of it" makes my dh laugh. I like to study in my downtime. I think this is a symptom of parenting, not necessarily gifted parenting. All parents need and usually try to carve out time for themselves. They get that need fulfilled in different ways. Time to exercise, to knit or sew, to write, to study, to garden, to tinker in a woodshop etc. All parents, I think, need that time for themselves to come back to parenting refreshed.

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It does gets easier as kids get more independent. When my boys were much younger, I tell them to play Legos while I get my down time. Whatever works to channel those energy of theirs. I also outsource, I need time away from my kids too. 24/7 doesn't work for me.

 

I do, however, *need* time to think!!! I do get grumpy if I don't have "me" time......

All parents, I think, need that time for themselves to come back to parenting refreshed.

 

 

:iagree:

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I actually think homeschooling incorporates my intellectual curiosity as well. I get to spend hours researching and pre-reading great books. I get to learn all new (and much better!) methods of math than I was taught in school and I get to go deeper into subjects I liked but did not study enough like grammar and Latin. I also teach at a co-op on Fridays, which gives me the opportunity to teach the content that I find intellectually stimulating but for which my kids are either too young or does not spark their interest.

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DH an I were both labeled 'gifted' as children, though I often feel in my case that it wore off a few years ago, haha. I personally am glad to be out of the baby years and that the kids are becoming more interesting to talk to, and as their educational needs grow I am enjoying rising to that challenge. I also continue to work in my chosen field, which is a sanity-saver. The periods I was off for maternity leave were difficult for me because I do seem to need a second purpose or diversion for my brain, and for me work can help fill that need. And still having my own hobbies- explanding my skills with needle and thread, photography, etc, I find very satisfying.

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DH an I were both labeled 'gifted' as children, though I often feel in my case that it wore off a few years ago, haha.

That made me chuckle and I say that all the time. My test results were very likely invalid based on how my brain seems to operate these days. lol

 

For me, homeschooling satisfies a certain need, as others have said, yet I find myself dreaming about working f/t in a more challenging position. I teach h.s English part time but can't seem to shake the feeling that I want to do more, more, more. The problem is that this is not always good for my girls so yes, BALANCE (as someone else mentioned) is key - but a difficult thing to maintain since my needs and the needs of my girls are constantly in flux.

 

Good thread!

 

ETA: I wonder how many of us are introverts here? I am, and if I don't get my alone time and quiet SPACE frequently, everything else is harder to balance.

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i'm not convinced this is a 'gifted' issue as much as a 'high needs' issue. some gifted kids are more independent than others and some parents need more 'me' time than others. i've given up on having much of a life, but i've gotten more comfortable in my position of homeschooling. it is easier when the kids are older.

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Dh & I have had three kids tested so far....all three are/have been 2E....not sure about where the younger ones are going to fit in. My newly 4 year old is working on reading and has a lot to say about the world; I'm guessing she's more than "just bright" but I don't see a need to test her unless issues arise.

 

Dh and I have very different needs. Dh has a great need for solitude; total quiet while thinking. He gets up early before the household is awake to read and think, and heads off to the gym before work for more thinking time. He usually gets 2-3 hours in each morning. We put the kids to bed decently early...8 pm...and that allows each of us a couple more hours to read/do if the baby is happy. As the kids have gotten older it's gotten easier. When I had three kids under three years of age, I used to blast NPR every afternoon just to hear adult voices.

 

As to the kids' need for input....once they are readers, it's easy to stick a stack of books in front of them and let them have at. We also have free afternoons for science experimenting (with limits) or art projects or whatever their thing is. My one ds has vision issues....we get a lot of audiobooks for him so that he can listen about ancient Assyria or insect bodies or whatever his little first grade mind is currently obsessed with. Learning to entertain oneself is an important life skill, imo, and so teaching a child to direct their own study has been beneficial.

 

One of our kids is very high need in terms of wanting a lot of attention and support. Sometimes I sneak into the bathroom just to read something from the Economist or a medical journal just to get a break before having to cope with that child again. The kids also know that when I start diving into the chocolate shelf that giving me a 15 minute time-out is helpful.

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I actually think homeschooling incorporates my intellectual curiosity as well. I get to spend hours researching and pre-reading great books. I get to learn all new (and much better!) methods of math than I was taught in school and I get to go deeper into subjects I liked but did not study enough like grammar and Latin. I also teach at a co-op on Fridays, which gives me the opportunity to teach the content that I find intellectually stimulating but for which my kids are either too young or does not spark their interest.

 

 

Absolutely. I felt like my homeschooling years were an extension of grad school with all the research and reading, the synthesizing of all that information into unique plans for my kids. Except for math, Latin, logic and high school science, I didn't use any prepackaged curriculum or text books during my 12 years of homeschooling. Clearly I was meeting my own intellectual needs with all that research and planning! I also taught co-op classes for a few years. I learned so much through my own research and through following the interests of my kids. I read great books I had missed earlier in life, I read more non-fiction than I had before.

 

As for having enough "me" time (raising my introvert flag here), my kids knew that when I had a book and food in front of me that I was not to be bothered!! And I loved sitting and reading in the car while they were in classes or rehearsals. I was very fortunate in that my kids were creative souls who could spend entire afternoons absorbed in building elaborate worlds, in creating movies, in drawing comic books, in building with legos. They also loved listening to audio books, and yes, they had a good amount of screen time, too, just to give me a break.

 

I think it is really important that your kids see mom pursuing her own interests. They have to learn that we are individuals too, that a family is a team that gives and takes to meet the needs and interests of everyone, and we have to model how to strive for a balance. And, don't forget, these kids will leave the nest someday and you will need something to do with your time!

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Homeschooling fulfills a need for me. I haven't liked any job I've ever had because I've always been so bored. And I have a lot of hobbies. Being home a lot suits me because I am introverted and prefer it, so that part is also good for me. I think an ideal job for me would be working in a lab, in a basement, alone, like a mad scientist.

 

So I guess you could say I homeschool in part for selfish reasons. I enjoy learning, reading, thinking, etc. I consider whether or not I will like a particular book, topic, etc. that we cover. This is not to say that I'd force my kids into homeschooling if it wasn't working out for them.

 

 

This. Absolutely.

 

I think that parenting itself, at least in the younger years, requires a lot of self-sacrifice on the part of the parent to make it work. Our needs just take a back burner for a while. I resented this at times when my kids were younger (I just so desperately wanted something that required higher-level thinking than diaper changing!), but I did find that the more effort I put into creating a fun learning environment for them, the more I found to challenge myself.

 

I read widely about educational philosophies and specific teaching methods; I get to dive into subjects like history that were largely overlooked in my own educational path. And I now work part-time from home in a thinking-intensive role that has zero to do with parenting or education. :-)

 

It's never balanced. A lot of stuff (like, um, cleaning) falls through the cracks around our home. But my girls and l are enjoying ourselves and being stretched.

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If you are in a family where at least one parent and at least one child seem to be gifted, how to you balance the needs? Especially if the mom is the gifted one and is homeschooling? It seems like it must be very difficult to meet the needs of kids who want to do "more, more, more" and still have time left to yourself to meet your own need for, as Johnny Number 5 would say (from the movie "Short Circuit'), "Input, more input!"

 

Any stories anybody would like to share? Does it get easier once the kids are past a certain age?

 

I get my me-time on these forums! I really shouldn't spend so much time here (doesn't help when you guys ask such great questions or give so much good advice or post about cool resources to research/ try).

 

It's also easier in that I only have one child. But on the other hand, having just one child and a DH who works so hard and is often away on business, leads to high frustration levels when kiddo won't stop talking, humming, asking questions (often questions I don't know answers to). DH (I don't know our IQ but I do think DH is more academically/ intellectually gifted than I am while I might be more emotionally/ artistically gifted) is so good at challenging and pushing DS with just the right amount of effort...he can just roll with the questions and he knows when DS is capable of more, but I'm not as good with the STEM-related stuff.

 

I agree with the introvert parts others have mentioned...I really enjoy homeschooling for selfish reasons although I didn't plan to homeschool in the beginning. I am so glad that I don't have to be facing 30+ moms/ kids every day when I go to pick up my kid, or be in some PTA committee (I would have done it if I'd put him in school, because despite being introverted, I'm a bit of a busybody too) and I don't have to worry about all the birthday parties (no win-win...if we are not invited, my kid will be sad; if we are invited, we will go bonkers with the over-stimulation and sweet stuff).

 

I don't need to console my kid everyday that he really is good at some things (although a teacher makes him feel he isn't) or that it's okay to develop unevenly in areas he's not good at. He can be himself. I can be myself. We can choose who we want to socialize with, how often. Above all, I really enjoy being with my boy for so many hours everyday...never mind that the constant chatter grates on my nerves sometimes. I'm sure I'll miss that chatter when he goes away to college but in the meanwhile, despite having my down periods, I do feel so honored to be able to do this.

 

Some days, if I allow myself to think about it, I feel the depression creeping in. I realize how much I wish I could have pursued my own dreams...especially the 2 areas I was obviously gifted in. I know I would have been great...but at what cost...I couldn't have spent this much time with my child so maybe it's all good in the end?

 

Balance is what you make of it...there is no perfect balance. Just when everything goes swimmingly and I feel happy about something, DS suddenly gets an anxiety attack and I have to spend many hours repeating "it's okay that your spoon touched that chair", "it's okay that the dog rubbed his tail accidentally against your leg", "it's okay that you didn't know what to do", "it's okay that you had that dream...come on kiddo, look it's so pretty outside, let's go for a walk!", "it's okay that you can't shoot baskets very well, it takes some practice" etc. (Most things have improved with age but not his anxiety.)

 

My child still can't use playground apparatus like most kids can...he can't climb monkey bars, can't tie shoe laces, can't swing to save his life...but I've watched him be the mediator during playground fights or playdate skirmishes among other friends (never taught him this skill), I've watched him help younger kids onto the swing and stand by to make sure they don't slip off and hurt themselves (never taught him this skill). He has no younger sibs and doesn't meet younger cousins often so how did he learn this?

 

I have to take the balance I can take...and just hope to goodness other things will follow and work out somehow. Trust, hope, worry, sigh with relief, rinse, repeat? :laugh: And in the meanwhile, when I can catch some fleeting me time, I am trying to re-learn the things I'm not good at and even the ones I am good at so that when I do eventually have more time, I have more options and confidence e.g. I might tutor local kids, or start writing again or might even go back to school if we can afford to etc.

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I think we've mostly drawn them into our world, just because we didn't know any better. We do pursue our own interests, apart or together, and discuss them. We're always learning and the children are just drawn into that lifestyle with it's habits and such. DS started writing early by himself but I think I worked diligently on that and on teaching him to read (which he totally did not take to himself) mostly so he didn't have to rely on me so much and I could strew stuff for him to feed off more himself. With that in mind, I guess it is easier as they get older.

 

[shortened this because I was obviously blabbering WAY too much today. :laugh: ]

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Balance??? :rofl:

 

What balance?

 

It has gotten easier for me to find time for myself as the kids got older. When they were younger I put all my energy into them. Homeschooling and researching homeschooling and learning everything I could about giftedness and learning kept me busy. I figure they are only young for so many years then when they all are grown, I'll have time for myself again.

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IMO, A mom sets the tone for the home. So, I try to get my 'sanity' time which charges my batteries for the rest of the day.

I tell my (only) DD7 that I need an hour or so everyday, alone, where I can hear myself think. She reads, draws, plays with LEGO..some such to entertain herself for that hour.

 

If she is throwing a bazillion questions at me, I ask her what is her motivation level. Where 1= Motivated enough to find the answer independently by going through reference books. And 5= Superficial interest. If it is 5, I give her an answer to the best of my knowledge. If she isn't satisfied, I help her look it up in the hazaar (roughly translates to thousand) encyclopedias we own.

 

It has definitely gotten easier after she started reading because she can access the source directly without needing me as a medium. Another factor that has played into this, is that she is enrolled in a B/M school in the past 2 months and that takes up her social energy. I notice that her verbosity has reduced significantly.(Whether it's a good thing remains to be seen )

 

If she needs much more stimulation than I offer under the best of circumstances, I take her to the nearest playground and let her loose. If the weather doesn't cooperate, she plays with friends/me indoors. Board games and the like. She can draw, craft to her hearts content.

 

 

HTH

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So are you ALL introverts who can recharge by quiet reading and thinking? Am I the only one here whose primary problem is that intellectual stimulation must also involve being surrounded by intelligent adults and having a stimulating exchange?

Researching homeschool curriculum and prereading just does not help one single bit for me.

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So are you ALL introverts who can recharge by quiet reading and thinking? Am I the only one here whose primary problem is that intellectual stimulation must also involve being surrounded by intelligent adults and having a stimulating exchange?

Researching homeschool curriculum and prereading just does not help one single bit for me.

 

It's about a 50-50 mix for me...I love being surrounded by a small group of intelligent adults (I feel better if it's a max of 2-3 people) and I tremendously enjoy listening to them. I normally don't feel I can contribute much to the conversation intellectually but I love to listen and glean and just immerse myself in the very enlightened topics my close friends talk about. My contribution is almost always as a listener (listeners are important to the conversation too aren't they? Or so I console myself). Unless...and this happens rarely...the conversation turns to topics I love with a passion...then I contribute more, I feel very animated in these instances (but also tend to second guess myself afterwards...e.g. did I say too much? Should I have not said X, Y, Z? etc.). I'm a worrier... :tongue_smilie:

 

If the group is larger, I still enjoy the conversation but almost always, the next day, I will feel very morose/ cranky and need a much larger personal space than usual till I can recharge again (usually with music, and a sizeable bowl of ice cream, yum).

 

Books used to be a refuge...or maybe I'm saying this wrong...books still are a refuge but lately I find it harder to focus. My mind wanders a lot. There are days though that I really need to read...it happens in short 2-3 day bursts then suddenly my mind will start wandering again. I also don't have a lot of time to read (without interruption) when DH travels, which is almost every other week right now.

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So are you ALL introverts who can recharge by quiet reading and thinking? Am I the only one here whose primary problem is that intellectual stimulation must also involve being surrounded by intelligent adults and having a stimulating exchange?

Researching homeschool curriculum and prereading just does not help one single bit for me.

 

 

The days when my DD saps all my 'talking/listening' energy is when I turn to books and quiet time. The constant chatter gives me a sensory overload.

 

I do long for stimulating coversation and I try and get my quota for the day with friends over the phone and/or if we meet up.

But, since I am a SAHM, my circle of adults is pretty limited. On days when everyone but me seem to be busy, I find my DH has a willing ear at the end of the day.

 

So, yeah, it's not just books for us introverts. :-)

 

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So are you ALL introverts who can recharge by quiet reading and thinking? Am I the only one here whose primary problem is that intellectual stimulation must also involve being surrounded by intelligent adults and having a stimulating exchange?

Researching homeschool curriculum and prereading just does not help one single bit for me.

 

 

Bingo! Introvert here.

 

I was just going to say I don't need a lot of time to myself. An hour here or there is fine by me. I have friends who need to get away from kids for awhile and have adult conversation. I think it depends entirely on one's personality.

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Yes, introvert here & I agree with PPs about homeschooling actually providing me with stimulation. Over the last six months I've started to spend more time and energy on my "pre children" interests but before that homeschooling was a special interest of mine in the Aspie sense. I greatly enjoyed the vast amounts of time I spent researching education.

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Having my traditional outlets for stimuli temporarily closed has given me an unexpected blessing. I never really practiced my violin before and it is the one thing my kids will let me do. It has become as addictive as running, dancing, art, writing and all the other things that once occupied my time. I get to achieve a state of "flow" everyday, puzzle out how to play the pieces well, pop in a CD and "practice/chew it over" by listening while helping the kids with whatever they are doing. I discovered a new skill and passion simply because my kids are so demanding.

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Introvert here, also. I do feel the need for intellectually stimulating adult conversation but mostly I get that from DH. I've sometimes envied him a bit because when he gathers with male friends it seems far more likely that conversation will turn intellectually stimulating than when the women gather together and he seems to have more opportunity to get together with a friend. I don't mean that offensively and it's not even that all my female friends aren't intellectual but being a wife and mom can keep one really, really busy so that either there just seems to be no time to really talk with them or the talk is about practical, day to day concerns. Opportunities to have really nourishing conversations with other women are like rare, precious gems. Thus, DH is my closest friend. We are both nerdy and I feel exceptionally blessed to have him but yes, I do get a lot from being left to myself with books and ideas.

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Another introvert here. I like people and don't mind being around them. I can assimilate and get along in various social settings. But it does take me some time to feel "normal" after being around a lot of people. I'm okay with my adult conversation needs coming from dh. Usually I don't really want to talk about deep things with other people unless they bring the topic up, and then I'll play, but feel really grumpy afterwards for some reason. Talking to other people about deep or complicated topics just exhausts me. And yet on the other hand, overly shallow small talk just bores me and also makes me feel grumpy.

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Pretty much. In fact if I spend too much time around other people it takes me a lot of time to recover. I do enjoy being with other people. Quite a bit, but seriously it'll be days before I stop feeling frazzled after anything that involves being around other people. It's hard to describe and I'm not exactly sure why it is like that for me.

 

I don't just research and pre read. It's not as boring as that.

 

I teach two different levels of introductory physics, have 13 weekly contact hours with a total of 110 students - and that neither fulfills my need for people interaction nor does it give me sufficient intellectual stimulation. Frankly, I am bored!

I have volunteered to add another class on top of my teaching load, on a subject about which I know rather little at the moment- just so that I have an incentive to study a new field in depth.

Despite working and homeschooling, I find myself with more hours in the day than I fill in a productive manner - in other words, I waste too much time on the computer, and I do not feel good about it. I would feel much better if I had an actual task, preferably one involving people.

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Opportunities to have really nourishing conversations with other women are like rare, precious gems. Thus, DH is my closest friend. We are both nerdy and I feel exceptionally blessed to have him but yes, I do get a lot from being left to myself with books and ideas.

 

I've found this to be true. Even though I'm an introvert, I can get recharged by an intellectually stimulating conversation. (Whereas if I'm in a large-group situation, no matter how enjoyable, I will need some time after to recharge.) However, having those wonderful conversations with other women is indeed rare. Often it's because we're doing double-duty, watching kids, and it's hard to sustain a deep conversation while also fielding questions about snacks, playground justice, and other concerns from the children.

 

So I hang out here. :)

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I do spend a lot of time on the computer (obviously..LOL). But I'm not just on this board. I'm often looking stuff up, reading this or that, etc. I have a lot of hobbies. With the kids I spend a lot of time reading to them, talking about stuff with them, etc. My older son is especially interesting to talk to. It's challenging to teach them things because I don't have a ton of experience doing that so it's an effort. It's not like I've been teaching the same subject for years. A lot of stuff is new to me. I learn new and interesting things every day.

 

I can't think of a job that would be that great. Before I quit working I worked in an insurance company. At one point I went to the higher ups and said I'm really bored could you please give me more to do. So they did. My main job was correcting other people's errors. They gave me an additional job of writing letters to providers (doctors/hospitals) to educate them on proper claim's processing. That kept me interested for awhile because I had to learn a lot to do it. But after I learned it, it was just the same thing over and over and over again. I was also taking some classes about underwriting. I wanted to eventually get into that. But really day to day the job was hideously boring. The only thing that was good about it was that I didn't have to really talk to people. I was in a cube mostly staring at a computer screen.

 

So, really homeschooling is kind of a dream come true.

 

 

Wow, this is so similar to how I feel most days and how bored I used to feel in my job. My preferred job will go to the other extreme though...it involves being on the stage (an introvert who loves the limelight of following her passion and being good at it but also needs a lot of personal space and time to get away from it all...gosh, that sounds so contradictory, even to me!). I don't think I could be the mom, let alone homeschooling mom, that I want to be if I followed that dream (and I don't think I have what it takes to take that up now, at my age). But I do sometimes wistfully wish I could have done it. It's the one thing that REALLY fires me up and makes me feel good about myself (sighing). OK, I definitely need some ice cream today.

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My preferred job will go to the other extreme though...it involves being on the stage (an introvert who loves the limelight of following her passion and being good at it but also needs a lot of personal space and time to get away from it all...gosh, that sounds so contradictory, even to me!). I

 

It sounds contradictory- but you are describing my mother to a T. She is a very reserved introvert, but was a professional opera singer (and later professor for voice at a conservatory). Go figure.

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But I won't.. The last kid will leave and hubby will retire and we are off to do his dreams.. I've given up. Mine will never be fufilled...and I hate it. But my dreams would hurt either hubby or family... I really shouldn't have gotten married or had kids.... But I did, so I wil do my duty.

 

I am very sorry you feel this way. I don't know why you can't put your children in school and pursue your own sense of self, but I advise you to constantly be looking for a way to do that, because there's no doubt your children know, or will know, that you are making yourself a martyr for their sake. Grown children won't want to look back and feel guilty for your misery. I'm not trying to bash you or make you feel bad; I thought I might be approaching this point, myself, recently, and nearly quit lest I burden my children with my bitterness and make them feel as if I blamed them. I think it's something many homeschooling mothers have to consider.

 

I found a second wind somehow, but I'm more aware of this as more of my kids hit the high school years. I'm more open to possibilities that preserve the mental and emotional health of ALL of us and not just the children.

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Despite working and homeschooling, I find myself with more hours in the day than I fill in a productive manner - in other words, I waste too much time on the computer, and I do not feel good about it. I would feel much better if I had an actual task, preferably one involving people.

 

There's definitely a need for good solid science programs at all levels for the homeschool market...

Get to writing!

:)

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I had the same exact thought. What I wouldn't do for a decent science program I could use at home.

 

Regentrude needs people too...I imagine she'll need people to test her material and have discussions on what works and what doesn't...I think she can find some volunteers fairly easily....

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I think it does get easier as they get older - Calvin and I have a lot of fun these days bouncing ideas off each other. I often read what he is reading just for fun, so we can work through it together, even though I'm not his official teacher any more.

 

When they were smaller, I took an hour to myself after lunch and then between school and supper. It kept me sane. I'm an introvert.

 

Laura

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Enjoying this conversation tremendously. I'm quite glad I choose to come here for my me time. (Good excuse eh? More like I can't keep away! :laugh:). I hope OP doesn't mind all the trails we are taking with this topic lol. Hoppy, hope we are helping somehow!

 

ETA: maybe OP should get first dibs on the upcoming science curriculum? :tongue_smilie:

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I don't mind the rabbit trails at all. I know many "homeschooling zombie moms" who have given up all their interests to have large familes and homeschool them and I don't want to wind up like them. They don't have identities of their own (not that their patriarchal churches encourge them). And these are average women with average kids. I'm so glad I got out of that environment. It was very stifling for a woman who does not want a large family and doesn't like babies much...let alone one that longs for intellectual stimulation.

 

I also vote for Regentrude to write a science curriculum for us. I would also be happy to help test it, although Tigger is young enough that we haven't run out of options yet. (We finished the physics text for RS4K and are part way through chemistry.)

 

 

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Well, I guess I'm sort of an extrovert. I volunteer alot and drag my kids along to all my volunteer stuff. I think it's only fair that if I sit waiting thru 100+ music lessons a year for DD11, she can tag along while I do the things I enjoy. It definitely gets easier as they get older, though I've been hauling around DD with me to my various activities since she was a baby.

 

I think it's important to treat your own interests as the same level of importance that you view the kids' interests. Everyone gets to do some things some time and everyone misses out on some stuff. It all balances out.

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The hardest part of homeschooling has been the social side. I homeschool an only, and I love my son to bits, but it's hard for an introvert to be with a kid who talks my ears off everyday :wacko: . Conversation with Dh when he comes home from work is good enough for me. Ds needs the select one or two friends, which means I will try my darndest to meet families with kids he may click with. This has gotten easier over the years as he's actually found friends now. I do feel I need to go into my hidey hole everyday and read or knit (I'm just a beginner but I love to visualize the patterns and stitches of what's ahead) or I'll go bananas. Homeschooling - now that ds is able to fan out and have more interests (or rather, is open to more media options), I'm really digging into this too, hurray!! A good documentary or book, bunny trails, interesting discussions (where we find it), that's life!

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So are you ALL introverts who can recharge by quiet reading and thinking? Am I the only one here whose primary problem is that intellectual stimulation must also involve being surrounded by intelligent adults and having a stimulating exchange?

Researching homeschool curriculum and prereading just does not help one single bit for me.

 

Well, I'm an introvert; but no, reading on my own doesn't cut it really. In my case it is a matter of staying sane & biding my time & preparing to be more involved in DH's work (he runs a neuroscience lab) which is my best path to high-level thinking.

 

Honestly, there is only so far one can go, thinking-wise, by oneself. I know I lose my edge when I'm not challenged by other bright folks, and I miss that dreadfully.

 

I've been able to frame this phase of things as growing in non-intellectual ways, while keeping my brain going. We have a wonderful life that would not be possible if I were not at home; and I really am personally challenged by this life ... reading the Stoics has helped enormously. :)

 

Also I think it depends on what our options, as well as our temperaments, are. You are able to work & homeschool -- and work at an intellectually demanding job. That isn't an option for me, for two reasons. The simplest is that I didn't complete my PhD before I began homeschooling. The more complex is that I had a very bad childhood, and simply moving my current family to the place I want it is, given where I come from, an extremely demanding task. I mean, my issues have issues. So I have been very aware for many years now that I have to pick what I want most badly, what I value most highly, and be willing to abandon what I must. Sounds extreme, perhaps, but I think of it as literally slicing off parts of my life. I used to need a block 3-5 hours a week, at least, to just THINK: that's gone. And other things too. But what I have is wonderful & worth it.

 

I'm greatly encouraged by you, Agnes, and the other women who are able to find a way to be intellectually engaged "in the world" and to homeschool -- it gives me great hope for the options available to the next generation of women ...

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Finally have had a chance to read through this wonderful thread. I have found that the older I get, the more introverted I become, and it is truly a challenge to me that both my kids, older especially, are so social. I was like that too at his age (my, how times have changed). I get very worn out when hanging around large numbers of people, or loud events....I simply can't schedule too many outings each week, and need a good day or two to recharge.

 

I was tested as gifted quite young, at around 8 years old and was fortunate enough to go to a wonderful, fulfilling private school and then onto an Ivy League. DH had a horrible childhood but managed somehow to be accepted to Columbia at 15 years old. He left home and never looked back. He is MUCH more social than me, and works out of the home running his own business. It involves a LOT of travel, mostly international, and he is very happy.

 

I work part time (and lately, it seems that I am getting more and more patients) as an acupuncturist. I studied Chinese Medicine for four years and it was extremely intellectually stimulating. I have also found it strangely fulfilling to earn some money! That said, homeschooling fulfills me in almost every way-I love reading, planning, thinking about interesting subject matter, studying Latin, Greek, and Roman history. I also can't stand the thought of waiting on the dropoff and pickup car lines at our local school (it is an hour in the am and an hour in the pm JUST to drop your kids off). I would go batty dealing with the school system, and other parents.

 

I do volunteer work for my church and also run my homeschool group (low key though it may be). I do this for my kids mostly--they really like hanging out with other kids. I do wish some of the kids were more.....academically oriented. We have yet to find kids who want to talk to younger about the topics he is interested in. It makes DH and I a little nervous that NONE of the kids our sons hang out with, or have managed to befriend, are particularly academic. Actually, I take that back. Younger has a couple of friends who love reading and such, and have intellectually-minded parents....but older, not so much.

 

I also knit, scrapbook, journal, and do a lot of "deep thinking" LOL about life, its meaning, and my role here on Earth. I need my alone time, and thankfully, my job allows me a quiet, peaceful environment in which to read and journal while my patients have their needles in.

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The more complex is that I had a very bad childhood, and simply moving my current family to the place I want it is, given where I come from, an extremely demanding task. I mean, my issues have issues. So I have been very aware for many years now that I have to pick what I want most badly, what I value most highly, and be willing to abandon what I must.

 

:grouphug:

 

I've been there too. I try to never look back. But it's hard to keep second guessing yourself as to what "the good place I want for my family" is.

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But I won't.. The last kid will leave and hubby will retire and we are off to do his dreams.. I've given up. Mine will never be fufilled...and I hate it. But my dreams would hurt either hubby or family... I really shouldn't have gotten married or had kids.... But I did, so I wil do my duty.

 

I am sorry.

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Oh Halcyon, the visualisation here is priceless!!

 

 

It really is quite lovely. The office is darkened, and beautiful zen flute music is playing. I often treat 2-3 patients at a time, so they're all laid out, with their needles in. Some are snoring quietly, others just blissing out. I pull out my kindle or journal and read for 30 minutes, in total peace.

 

My kids have occasionally come with me (there is a separate room they can sit in and read) and older asked me one day "But what do you DO when the patients are lying there? " Nothing, sweet boy, nothing at all. :D

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Introvert here, also. I do feel the need for intellectually stimulating adult conversation but mostly I get that from DH. I've sometimes envied him a bit because when he gathers with male friends it seems far more likely that conversation will turn intellectually stimulating than when the women gather together and he seems to have more opportunity to get together with a friend. I don't mean that offensively and it's not even that all my female friends aren't intellectual but being a wife and mom can keep one really, really busy so that either there just seems to be no time to really talk with them or the talk is about practical, day to day concerns. Opportunities to have really nourishing conversations with other women are like rare, precious gems. Thus, DH is my closest friend. We are both nerdy and I feel exceptionally blessed to have him but yes, I do get a lot from being left to myself with books and ideas.

 

I've found this to be true. Even though I'm an introvert, I can get recharged by an intellectually stimulating conversation. (Whereas if I'm in a large-group situation, no matter how enjoyable, I will need some time after to recharge.) However, having those wonderful conversations with other women is indeed rare. Often it's because we're doing double-duty, watching kids, and it's hard to sustain a deep conversation while also fielding questions about snacks, playground justice, and other concerns from the children.

 

So I hang out here. :)

 

 

... this reminds me of my friends at the women's college I attended -- all of us had mainly male friends in high school, and were astonished to find how much we liked women! we finally decided that women are awesome, but women around men were perhaps something different; and women with children are distracted indeed ... I did draw censure from a playgroup the time a dad attended, and he happened to be a math teacher (none of the other mamas like numbers or science esp.) and I guess I was overly enthusiastic & Too Loud. In my math conversation. Sigh. At another homeschooling event I think somebody thought I was edging in on her fellow, who had seen me scribbling equations in chalk and also knew some math and said, "Is that true?" [being that e to the power of (pi*i) = -1] and we had a nice chat. I think I'm so desperate for math/science talk that it comes across wrong!

 

I miss academia where -- esp. 'cause people knew about DH and that I totally adore him -- it was easy to be enthusiastic & interested without being annoying or mis-interpreted.

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