Do you have one or more children that are super “people” people? Would they be quite happy going all day without much downtime?
Homeschooling an extroverted child can be successful and fun with a little extra consideration and thought put into their unique personalities.
Here are some tips to make the experience as enjoyable as possible for parents and children:
1) Acknowledge your child’s needs may be different from yours or other children’s.
This is especially important for more introverted parents or those with more introverted children up until now. It can be daunting to realize that what has worked in the past may not now work for this member of the family.
Understanding and embracing your extroverted child’s differences is key to making the homeschool experience successful. You have so much to learn from each other, and it really can be rewarding.
2) Plan outside classes and/or activities during the week
This might be the first thing one thinks of when you hear extrovert — they like to be out and about with people! And it is important to be proactive about finding social outlets for our homeschooled children outside the home.
Budget-wise, every family may not be able to manage many paid classes or activities. However, free options do the job just as well while not breaking the bank. Look for low-cost or free activities. Planning these ahead of time into the calendar can make getting to these events easier too.
3) Realize that immediate family time is social time too
While it can be easy to feel like we need to “get out” to socialize, it is important to remember that spending time as a family is social time too. Just because our extroverted children see these family members day in and day out doesn’t mean that they can’t spend quality time building these relationships.
One fun way outside of doing school together is to plan homeschool family game nights, but the possibilities are endless.
In fact, sometimes there are unique things that are best learned within the context of family. We all remember key moments of learning to share possessions, have patience with a sibling and resolve sibling conflicts!
Homeschooling an extroverted child helps them invest in the social relationships they have at home.
4) Get together with friends and family when possible
Right after the last point about family being social, friends and family outside the home are also important social learning opportunities. A playdate with another family a week or a visit to cousins can provide extroverted children with social outlets.
Some of these can be planned outside specific “school hours.” That is certainly the beauty of homeschooling an extroverted child. It’s where learning never stops, whether we are in classroom mode or out and about in our other parts of life.
5) Encourage your child to learn to be ok with alone time as well
This is perhaps a less obvious tip, but certainly no less important.
Real life is filled with moments when everyone has to be alone. It is crucial we learn to handle them wisely. Helping your extroverted child to learn to be able to spend reasonable periods of time for their age independently is a valuable skill.
Whether it’s having a regular quiet/downtime or just ensuring not every moment of the week is spent busy, even our extroverted children will benefit from these times of quiet solitude to build their creativity and independence.
6) Give yourself grace in seasons when you can’t be as active
There are seasons of life where it isn’t possible to have an extroverted child in multiple activities or social outings a week — a new baby in the house, sickness of siblings, or medical crisis of older family members who need sudden care.
Realizing that it is a phase helps us remember that our extroverted children will be fine with a little more downtime temporarily and lifts some of the pressure we can put on ourselves.
Homeschooling an extroverted child can definitely be done successfully and can be a very rewarding experience.
It can provide him or her with the best of both worlds, so to speak — the social interaction they crave and the quality education and character development so often desired in the pursuit of homeschooling.
Interested in learning about other ways to encourage socialization in all your children, extroverted or otherwise? Check out our blog post on the frequently asked homeschool socialization question.