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For all you introverted moms with extroverted kids:

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Hello. I’ve been lurking for weeks; working up the courage to make a first post.

Homeschooling for 3 years ala Sonlight, WTM, and Ambleside. I love homeschooling. I have bad days like anyone else, but I love having my children home with me and I love it for what we are learning. Latin, French, SOTW are my dream subjects. I am giving myself the education I never had.

DD6 as said is wildly social. She is a good learner, not really above average but right where she needs to be. She is a pleaser and does what she needs to do to make me happy so she can go play. Most importantly she is full of awe and wonder with a true zeal for life, relationships and people. Here’s my dilemma: She wants to go to school. Her BFF neighbor goes to 1st grade and DD6 lives vicariously through her. She knows all the kids names in BFF’s class and is immersed in the drama of he said/she said about people she has never even met.

I was discussing this with a well-meaning relative (WMR) who pointed out to me that I needed to let go. You are an introvert, he said. If given the choice to homeschool when you were young, you would have chosen to stay at home. He’s right. I hated school. Homeschooling would have been a dream for me. But DD6 loves to be around people; she would thrive in a school environment.

DH (also extrovert) thinks WMR has a point. What do you think? Am I forcing my dream education on a child who would thrive in a school environment? I should say I am not anti-school. There happen to be two classical schools in our town that we could send her to, although this would be a financial stretch at $5000 a year. She would get a great education there, but I would miss her terribly.

Do you ever feel like you are forcing your preferences on your kids? (I also think that a 6yo is not really old enough to know what she wants, but she does have a clear, social bent).

I have been very inspired and encouraged by many of your posts. Thank you for reading.



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I'm not sure that I have any advice for you as my oldest son is only 6, but I am an introvert with three extroverted little boys.


All I can say is that my 6 yo would spend his time at school being social rather than learning. I would rather get the academics done without distractions, get our family time in, and then have room (and finances) to add in extra-curriculars for social time.


It is such a tough decision! I hope to homeschool through middle school at the very least, but dh and I will have to re-evaluate as we go along to make sure we are doing the best thing for our kids.

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I have one of each: Calvin is introvert, Hobbes is extravert. DH and I are both introvert.


What I see with Hobbes is that, although he loves to be with other people, his contemplative side has been fostered by being in a slightly less social environment. He gets at least an hour of social time a day (apart from with his brother) but because of homeschooling (I believe) he's become more balanced than he would otherwise have been, and more balanced than anyone else in the family. I started home educating because I couldn't find a good school fit for Calvin, but I think Hobbes has benefited just as much.


Best wishes



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I'm an extroverted mom with a VERY extroverted son (DS7). He thrives on having many social relationships. We only just started HS'ing in January and that has been my biggest worry - giving him opportunities to have the social relationships that he desires.


I don't have a ton of advice, but I realized immediately that I would have to give him tons of out of the house opportunities to make friends and socialize. I think you just have to keep a very your DD very involved in the community and set up as many playdates as possible.


Side story:

Valentine's day was rough here. My DD3.5 goes to preschool all week. She set off in the morning with her Valentine card and treat for their class exchange. My DS7 sulked at the breakfast table that morning that he was going to have a horrible V-day because he would not be getting Valentine's from anyone. Thankfully, he had an enrichment class at a local private school later that afternoon and the lovely teacher there had a Valentine for him. It made his day!


Anyway, I think as long as you provide a social outlet for your DD, she'll be okay. Can she join a Girl Scout troop with some of those girls from school? Or something at church? A sports team?

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Thank you for your replies. One l michele, I am laughing because I so relate. The worst punishment I could ever give DD6 is time out alone in her room. And narration for this kid is a breeze. Her entire life is narrated for all the family to hear from the second she rises in the morning.

I think perhaps I should look for some more social activities for her. Right now she has a more structured social time only about 3x a week. Maybe its time to think about every day.

Laura, I'm interested in what you have your son do for one hour each day apart from the other children? Thanks for pointing out that the goal is to be balanced.


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My too oldest (ds - 11 and dd-9) are extroverts. My dh and I, and my youngest (ds -5) are introverts.


My oldest is the only one who has gone to school, and he spent a lot of his K year in trouble for talking too much. Just because he was a *social* success at school doesn't mean he was an *academic* success at school. I know Kindergarten isn't a good test for how he would have done in school had he stayed there, but it seemed to me he viewed socializing as the reason for going to school. Learning was this annoying thing that got in the way of socializing. LOL.


Now that my ds is a little older, I'm glad he's not in school. Some of his peers seem to be growing up very fast, and I myself remember how preoccupied my friends and I were with boys and who liked whom when I was in fifth grade and up. I don't think it was healthy, and I know for certain it distracted me from academics.


My dc play every afternoon with kids in the neighborhood. They play on community sports teams, and see friends at church on Wednesday nights and Sundays. We are also in a homeschool PE group that meets once a week. They have plenty of time to be around their friends.


I'm not saying that I will never send my kids to school. I might someday. And if we had a classical school in our town I would certainly consider it. But I would not send my kids to school *just* for the social aspect. The social aspect of school is often unhealthy. While your very social child might enjoy it, it sounds like she could get so preoccupied with it that it would end up hindering her studies (not necessarily as young as she is now, but when she's older).


My oldest asked to go to school a lot when he was younger. Now that he's older, he's seeing how much more free time he has than his friends. What takes them all day to do at school, he can do in a few hours. He's also a little mystified by how much some of his friends seem to be worrying about dating and girls. Viewing it from a distance, he seems to think it's all a bit silly and over the top. I don't know if that's part of not being in school or just his personality. I can't help but think, though, that if he was in the school environment he would be all wrapped up in it, just because he wants to be in the middle of whatever is going on.


And, FWIW, I think we are probably able to do MORE fun things in the evenings because my dc aren't in school. My dc go to church on Wednesday night fresh and ready to go, not exhausted from a full day at school, a hurried supper, and homework. When my ds has a baseball game or soccer game that goes until 9:30, I don't have to worry about getting him up early the next morning to catch the bus. The times we aren't doing school is truly free time; we don't have homework and early morning wakeup times continually dominating our schedule.


Like Laura, I think being out of school has given my extroverts a healthier balance.

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I had a similar situation when my son was first grade age. It was compounded by the fact that the school bus went past our place every morning.


I ended up letting him go to school. But he did not want to homeschool *at all* and it was a battle to get things done.


He thrived in PS until the middle of fifth grade, when I should have pulled him out. Unfortunately, I waited another two years to do it.


I'm a complete introvert and dreaded "school functions." My mother was the same way and ruined every school play I was in with her grumping and complaining. So at least I didn't do *that* but . . .


So I'd let her go. And then pay attention. If/when it comes the time things aren't working out, don't take two years to do something about it, hoping it will get better. ;-)

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I'm an extrovert with five uber-extroverts. Being in the house all day, everyday sometimes is challenging b/c the kids thrive on social interactions. However, sans the playground most of the day is not particularly fun and socially desirable. There are viable alternatives.

We have sports seven days/week, so everyone plays with friends this way. I appreciate a team philosophy in lieu of the "everyone be quiet" classroom approach to developing friendships.


I, too, miss my school friends! (We began hs'ing after Thanksgiving) My kiddos told me their most meaningful friend times were before/after school and recess. That's a paltry amount of time for 7hrs! Instead they play outside with neighbors and have sleepovers, playdates with friends. They get a more relaxed life, better education, and still meet the needs of the uber-social butterfly-itis they all have :)


Good luck,

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