Hard Earned Tips for the Introverted Homeschool Mom
Are you an introverted homeschool mom looking for tips to help you survive your chosen lifestyle?
Wondering if it is even possible? Are you destined to quit or just be miserable?
You are in the right place!
When I was a kid, I thought something was wrong with me because I wasn’t like my very extroverted sister whose personality filled every room she walked into.
It wasn’t until adulthood, that I started reading about introverts and understanding myself so much better. I had always thought introvert meant that you were timid, weak, and awkward around people.
An introvert was a recluse or maybe one step above having agoraphobia.
I definitely felt that an extrovert was a far superior (and more liked) personality type.
At times I tried to force myself into the extroverted mold of what I thought I should be.
Thankfully, I started to learn that the core of an introvert is that they need time to be alone after being with people for too long. We just need time to recharge our batteries!
When we don’t get that time…we start to meltdown internally.
What does that have to do with homeschooling?
Well, kind of everything.
The job of a homeschool mom is very different from any other job. You are at work from the moment your kids wake up to the moment they go to sleep.
There are no substitute teachers, specials (P.E., art, etc.) to send the kids to, days off, lunch breaks, or recess breaks.
Homeschooling is a lifestyle and you are constantly teaching – whether you want to or not.
My first year of homeschooling almost broke me as I struggled to balance my deep desire for regular alone time, and my kids desire to sit on top of my every minute of the day.
I wanted my kids to have a loving, present mother, but that seemed to mean that my very real needs were being ignored – which made me irritable and grumpy. Not the memories I wanted to create for my kids.
If I paid attention to my needs, I worried that my children thought their mother didn’t want to spend time with them. And that homeschooling was a real drag.
It took time and effort, but I developed some awesome routines and tips in my day that have helped me not only survive – but thrive! – as an introverted homeschool mom.
Let me help you skip past all the work I did, so you can start making changes TODAY for yourself and your homeschool!
4 Tips for the Introverted Homeschool Mom
1. Get Up Before Your Kids
This first tip is the most crucial for me as an introverted homeschool mom.
Waking up before my children is a non-negotiable part of my self care – not a punishment.
I always say that I need to get up, drink coffee, eat breakfast, and have quiet time so that I can greet my children when they wake up.
On the extremely rare occasion that I wake up at the same time as my kids, I find the day spirals into whining, bad attitudes, complaining…and that’s jut me! The kids tend to follow that example.
Start by figuring out what time you need to wake up to be up before your kids and how many hours of sleep you need to be a happy person.
Use that information to find out what time you need to go to bed every night. I don’t want you continuing to stay up late and trying to wake up early – that’s a recipe for disaster!
I prefer to get my quiet time at night after the kids go to bed.
Nope. It doesn’t work like that. Not even close.
As an introvert, when you get out of bed, your reserves are at about zero. I don’t care how many shows you watched on Netflix last night. You need that alone time in the morning.
If you don’t believe me, think about the first thought you have when you hear your kids feet running down the hall to you? Are you delighted? Excited to make breakfast and chat about the day? Or are you diving back under your sheets and hiding – disappointed they didn’t sleep a little longer?
Again, I challenge you to give yourself a solid bedtime so that you can wake up a bit earlier in the morning. If it helps, plan to watch that show you love in the morning with your coffee, instead of at night with some icecream.
I promise you it will be a game changer for the rest of your day!
I’m not a morning person!
Me either! When I came home from college on spring break, I used to sleep till noon! I completely understand!
If you are an introvert, it is beyond worth it though. Once I started seeing the benefits from getting up early, I was hooked.
Instead of grumbling to my kids to leave me alone while I try to drink my coffee in peace, I sing to them when they wake up. Seriously.
A really annoying version of “Tomorrow” from the play “Annie.”
It goes, “Good Morning! Good Morning! I love you! Good Morning! I am so glad you’re awake!”
There is no way on God’s green earth I could greet my children like that without 2 cups of coffee and at least one hour of peace and quiet.
I challenge you to set the alarm on your phone, prep your coffee pot, and try it for one week (singing optional). It will change your homeschool!
I never know when my kids will wake up!
All three of my kids (ages 7, 5, and 3) get up between 6:30am -7:00am, but do not come out of their rooms till 7am.
At 7am, it sounds like cattle are running down the hallway as doors swing open and feet come running to find me.
What dark magic did I use to accomplish this?
All of my kids have these incredible Stoplight Alarm clocks that tell them when they can come out of their rooms using colors (not beeping).
Younger kids cannot tell time, so they have no idea when they roll over if they should get up or not. They find out by coming to your room and asking you. Not a good plan for a well rested mom!
My kids have learned “Green means go and Red means stay in bed.”
I recommend setting the clock a little earlier than they typically get up to start out. This will encourage them when they wake up and see it is already green. Then slowly start setting it later by 5-10 minute increments till its at a time you think is reasonable.
If it helps, have a positive reward for compliance (example: choose your own breakfast!) and a negative consequence for not complying (mom chooses your breakfast).
I have recommended this clock to all my friends and family. Buy this clock. It will change your parenting life!
My husband is so extroverted and will talk to me all morning!
You tell him to stop that crazy. No talking allowed before the children get up unless the house is on fire.
My husband and I do not even look at each other for the first hour we are awake and that’s how I know he loves me.
2. Lunch Alone
Just because you are homeschooling, does not mean you need to sit at the table and eat snacks and lunch with your kids.
On one particularly difficult day, I put lunch down for my kids and took my plate to another room.
I could hear them giggling and talking together and I realized that I just discovered my next pocket of alone time to recharge.
I see it as an opportunity to give my kids a “lunch room feel” and I am in the “teacher’s lounge.”
It is unreal what 10 minutes of being alone with no one touching me or talking to me can do.
My kids barely even noticed the change, but it did wonders for me!
3. Quiet Time for All Ages
Even if you have older kids (and especially if you have younger ones) quiet time should be a huge part of your routine as an introverted homeschool mom.
If you don’t already have this life giving time set up in your day, check out these posts:
6 Reasons Your Homeschool Needs Daily Quiet Time (It’s not just to give you a break!)
The Best Tips to Establish a Daily Quiet Time
A very quick summary of these posts would be to plan for everybody to go to separate areas of the house for 1 hour every day. The kids can do whatever they want as long it is quiet, not destructive, and doesn’t involve a screen.
This does not just benefit you for some alone time – your kids will learn better self play and self regulation as they allow their minds to rest and slow down too!
4. Post Dinner Peace and Quiet
After dinner, our kids are instructed to go play while mom and dad talk for about 10-15 minutes. We routinely threaten them with no dessert if they interrupt us.
You might be thinking – “That’s not alone time. Why do I need to do that?”
Introverts recharge when they spend time alone, but they are also energized by deep discussion (the opposite of small talk).
Sharing your day with your husband and hearing about his day fills a significant need.
That time gives me the boost to push through evening activities and bedtime!
If we don’t spend time connecting then, I find I’m too tired by the end of the night to have any meaningful discussions. I just want to watch TV and go to bed.
Start by explaining to your kids what you’ll be doing when dinner starts and tell them how important it is for mom and dad to talk.
You may need to use some consequences for initial compliance, but as you stick to the routine, they will get used to it.
Make it your new normal! Your kids will benefit from seeing mom and dad making their relationship a priority!
The Bottom Line for the Introverted Homeschool Mom
Make it a priority to wake up early, eat alone, start a daily quiet time for everybody, and talk with your husband alone every night.
If that seems like too much change – consider implementing one tip per month. Really focus on that one thing and see how it changes you, your family life, and your homeschool.
Then move on to the next one until you feel secure in your homeschool day routine – your needs being met as best as possible.
Don’t brush this off. Your needs are important if you plan to homeschool for any length of time.
Taking time to stick to these pockets of time will only increase your effectiveness and joy as a homeschool teacher to your children!
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