Do *you* homeschool because you feel shy/stressed/overwhelmed around people? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 20 Old 10-13-2010, 05:34 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi all,

I have home schooled and have had my kids in school. I'm not really comfortable around a lot of people and find it stressful at times. Right now my kids are in school, but they want to home school again. I am finding the school experience hard, what with the interacting with the teachers, staff, parents, etc. I know my decision to home school needs to be about what is best for my kids, right? But I also feel like it would be easier on ME as well.

Does anyone get what I'm trying to say?
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#2 of 20 Old 10-13-2010, 08:18 AM
 
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I'm very much an introvert, and would be happy to stay closed up in my house most days, but that's not why I homeschool. In fact, I'm dealing with people *almost* as much as I was when ds was in school.

You say that your kids want to come home. If you think that's truly best for them, there's nothing wrong with enjoying the perks it will have for YOU! Actually, it's probably much healthier for you to see it as beneficial to the entire family!

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#3 of 20 Old 10-13-2010, 09:24 AM
 
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While I don't homeschool for that reason, homeschooling is easier on me than I imagine school would be. I benefit from it in numerous ways as does my son ( for example we can take long trips to the U.S. to see family). If your kids want to be home schooled and it's also the best choice for you then it sounds like a great situation for you all.
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#4 of 20 Old 10-13-2010, 09:44 AM
 
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This is something that I am asking myself often as we discuss our options for school more & more (my kiddo is 3, so we're not quite at the point where we need to make a decision as to whether we're going to homeschool or not). I have been intending to homeschool all along--with the qualifier that we will make the final decision based on what we think will best meet our sons needs when the time comes to either enroll him in school or keep him home--but I am struggling with how much of the decision might be based on my comfort level with social situations and my past experience with public schooling.

Anyway, my situation is different because my son is not yet school age, but I do get what you are saying! The last thing I want to do is project my social ineptitude onto my son, or make my comfort level the basis of the decision to homeschool. I want the decision to be what is best for him, naturally. But one of the primary reasons why I want to keep him home is because I feel that I can give him a much broader experience than if he goes to school--I want him to have much richer social interactions with much more diversity than just his peer group--which also means that I'm going to have to go out of my way to be even more social than I would if he were enrolled in public school! So I guess one way or the other, I'm going to have to break out of my shell...

One little guy born 6/17/07 : :
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#5 of 20 Old 10-13-2010, 09:54 AM
 
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I like people in general and I like being out and about.....

I do not like schools, however, or dealing with school rules. I do not embrace the underlying foundational ideas of the school is my area. So...even though I like people, I do not like dealing with schools as there always seems to be some conflict inherent.

I think school choice should really be about what works best for the whole family - especially in the younger years.

If parents really cannot bear the thought of HSing their children - they probably shouldn't HS unless all other avenues of education have been tried with horrible results.

Likewise if parents really cannot bear the idea of their children going to school, they shouldn't go to school unless they are miserable at home and this misery cannot be remedied.

Lucky for you - you want to HS and your kids want it - go for it!
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#6 of 20 Old 10-13-2010, 03:08 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mamasaurus View Post
Hi all,

I have home schooled and have had my kids in school. I'm not really comfortable around a lot of people and find it stressful at times. Right now my kids are in school, but they want to home school again. I am finding the school experience hard, what with the interacting with the teachers, staff, parents, etc. I know my decision to home school needs to be about what is best for my kids, right? But I also feel like it would be easier on ME as well.

Does anyone get what I'm trying to say?
I have problems with serious social anxiety and I'm very introverted. In this respect, homeschooling is much, much, much harder on me than having a child in public school is/was. I have to be proactive and meet new people all the time. I also have to call places to register for various things, and go to new places. It's really, really hard for me. I'm sure it's helping me grow, or building character, or something...but it's hard.

Public school? Sure - had to meet a new teacher every year, but once I got used to the parents, it was more-or-less the same group every year. It was wearing, but not to the same degree.

Lisa, lucky mama of Kelly (3/93) ribboncesarean.gif, Emma (5/03) ribboncesarean.gif, Evan (7/05) ribboncesarean.gif, & Jenna (6/09) ribboncesarean.gif
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#7 of 20 Old 10-13-2010, 04:12 PM
 
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I think if you are introverted, HSing has the potential to be very hard indeed.

I wouldn't really describe myself as an introvert. I do like being around people, I like talking, I like meeting people for the first time, I don't mind going somewhere where I don't know anyone very well-so I suppose I'm probably not an introvert. Yet I sometimes find the social requirements of HSing pretty hard.

our kids are pretty reliant on us to set up their social interactions. In our situation, we are in a fairly large urban area with no family nearby and only those friends we've made recently. We've had to be very proactive in finding friends and also quite charming and offensively normal because basically, with many wild, long haired kids, everyone here in the heart of suburbia thinks we are pretty odd, possibly rabid. I'll admit I've found that hard. My partner, who is very shy, finds it near impossible.

As HSers, out in the community all the time, we are constantly interacting with others-we don't have an easy groove where we just see the same people day in day out. With wild kids, some of these interactions are easier than others.

Raising Geek_Generation_2.0 :LET ds= 10 ; LET dd1= ds - 2; LET dd2=dd-2; IF month=0.67 THEN LET ds = ds+1; 
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#8 of 20 Old 10-13-2010, 05:50 PM
 
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I can relate to the OP in that it is a lot of work for me to engage in social interactions. However, I find that with my son in public school, I really only interact with his teacher, other parents, etc on a very minimal superficial level. There are just too many kids and too little time! Aside from a quick hi, how'd the day go? I don't really get any further. I think HS'ing is a lot more work because you have to arrange for and be proactive in finding social events/experiences, etc.

We're starting homeschooling again soon, mainly because the overcrowded, rushed, competitive "socializing" in school is making my son a bit edgy and I think I can provide a more harmonious environment at home.

I agree with other posters who say go for it!
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#9 of 20 Old 10-14-2010, 03:52 PM
 
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I'm an introvert, but didn't choose homeschooling because of it. In fact, I've found that homeschooling has stretched my social skills, as I go out of my way to talk to people to arrange enriching activities for the kids, set up field trips, and I've even started up two homeschool groups! Just because I'm an introvert doesn't mean my kids are, and I've worked hard to give them lots of interaction with the world. I think I interact with others more as a homeschooler than I would if my kids were in public school.
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#10 of 20 Old 10-14-2010, 04:49 PM
 
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I'm introverted and I've found myself homeschooling with a few other introverted mamas. it's not that I don't like people per se, it's just that I'm exhausted when we're around too many. I need downtime after that. And I have a DS who is the exact same way.

School would kill me if I had to take my kids. It made me sick pretty often as a kid.

My friends and I have found that we kind of flounder in the big homeschool group with 100+ families. We end up just sticking together anyway but being overwhelmed by everyone else.

I'm also a whackadoo magnet. If there's someone who thinks unschooling is 18+ hours of Nick TV or a Xtian homeschooling mom who has 29 kids and is preparing for a government created Armageddon by storing recycled toilet water and picking up acorns, they WILL find me.

I'm probably the most introverted mama of our three because I'd be just fine if I left the house once a week for groceries and the library. I love it when my friends visit here though!

We're finding as a group that we've got introverted and extroverted kids and we need to meet the needs of both types. We need to do more of the "dopey" programs like library story hour for the extroverts and we need a lot of quiet time for the introverts.

But it does make me smile that whenever we come home from something like story time, DS and I both head straight to the family bed for a movie and down time. And DD will be standing in the driveway screaming her goodbyes and yelling that she'll miss everyone and hoping they come back for dinner.

secular classical-ish mama to an incredible 5 year old DS and an amazing 6 year old DD.
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#11 of 20 Old 10-14-2010, 05:10 PM
 
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My burn out from hsing last year was in part due to having to interact with more and different people than I was comfortable with. SOME hs moms are "helicopter" parents and it was exhausting trying to get to know the moms of potential friends of my dc so they would feel OK with their dc at our house for a playdate. I do volunteer in my dc school often enough that I am around other people, but we are there to WORK/HELP not socialize. With hs activities, the hs parents mostly chit chat.... I found that exhausting.
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#12 of 20 Old 10-15-2010, 01:24 PM
 
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That's not why we homeschool. I like being around people, but I do not like dealing with the schools.

Midwife (CPM, LDM) and homeschooling mama to:
13yo ds   10yo dd  8yo ds and 6yo ds and 1yo ds  
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#13 of 20 Old 10-15-2010, 02:21 PM
 
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I agree with all the posters that say homeschooling can be hard for an introvert. We have been homeschooling for 5/6 years and there have been many times I skipped field trips or events because I was not up for it. My older son is just like me, so no problem there. My younger would love to be busy all day, every day. I work very hard to get him the events and outings he needs. It is getting easier as he gets older. I now feel comfortable dropping him off at events if there will be adults there that I know and trust.

I agree hs moms love to chat! I always assumed that school moms were the same. It's interesting to hear that it may be easier for an introvert mom to use public schools.

The one thing that is so precious to me is the freedom and control that comes with homeschooling. I am an introvert, but also very sensitive and sometimes anxious. So for me, homeschooling has been a great fit.

Michelle , 20+ years with a wonderful DH
Mama to two boys, 12 and 10

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#14 of 20 Old 10-15-2010, 03:18 PM
 
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As an introvert, I found using public schools easier than homeschooling, too. With homeschooling you have to go out of your comfort zone and meet new people more. That can be a good thing.

Being right is not always fair, but being fair is always right
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#15 of 20 Old 10-15-2010, 04:17 PM
 
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As an introvert, I found using public schools easier than homeschooling, too. With homeschooling you have to go out of your comfort zone and meet new people more. That can be a good thing.
I agree. I'm shy but not painfully so. I don't mind meeting new people or making small talk. But, when older DD was in PS, I almost never had to meet anyone or talk to anyone except for her teacher every now and then.

I think it would be *really hard* to homeschool if I had a social anxiety disorder, because it would be way too tempting to stay in my own little nest and not get out as much as my kids need, because of my own issues.

Kudos to the mamas who stretch themselves and reach out of their comfort zones for the sake of their kiddos.
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#16 of 20 Old 10-15-2010, 04:53 PM
 
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I think it would be *really hard* to homeschool if I had a social anxiety disorder, because it would be way too tempting to stay in my own little nest and not get out as much as my kids need, because of my own issues.
We have a local homelearners meetup. It's biweekly and runs more-or-less from September to June. I heard about it when dd1 was doing her kindergarten year, and kept saying, "I really need to check that out", but I kept chickening out. It took me over a year. I'm getting a little better, but it is hard. School was much more straightforward in some ways.

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#17 of 20 Old 10-15-2010, 05:30 PM
 
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I'm not really an introvert but have struggled with social anxiety in certain situations. My dh, on the other hand, is very very outgoing and there's not a shy or reserved bone in his body! Although I am a homebody that never entered the equation when we were deciding on hs vs ps. We have many reasons for choosing hs- religious, social, educational philosophy, etc. But the more I read of some of the struggles that ps parents encounter with either school boards or teachers I wonder how on earth I would deal with that. I am very non confrontational, to a fault, IRL. I have trouble speaking up for myself and yet I am certain I would have a lot of problems with ps and a lot of resentment building and would really struggle with how to resolve things in the best interest of my child. I would probably often get really mad, vent to my dh and my sister, and then not do anything about it when I really should for the sake of my child, unless things got bad. I like that I don't have to answer to anyone, I don't want a teacher dictating what my kids are going to be doing at home on the evenings and weekends (ie HOMEWORK!). I joined a hs group and it's perfect for me- I just show up or sign up when we want to and when it is convenient for us. I must say that I am really really lucky that I have several friends from church that homeschool also and I am very comfortable with them and we are back and forth a lot so I don't really worry about socialization when we can't get to group stuff for a while.

I would say if your kids want to hs and you want to hs- what are you waiting for!!?

Jewels & Jon (Married 11+ yrs)- Homeschooling, No Circ, BF, CD Mama to:
Alex 8 Gabby 6 (Homeborn!) Gideon 2.... chickens, ducks, cats and a dog
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#18 of 20 Old 10-15-2010, 07:59 PM
 
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I am definitely not an introvert, so it is not why we homeschool at all.

Chrissy, lucky mama to Noah (9), Lilah (6), Rowan (3) and Laney (1).
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#19 of 20 Old 10-16-2010, 05:40 PM
 
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While I'm not introverted, the whole school atmosphere left me exhausted everyday as a kid, so I'm sure it's one of the reasons why homeschooling has been a great fit for our family.

It's funny, ds1 loves to play with friends and is in homeschooling and recreation classes and really looks forward to going each week. However, when we pass the local schools at recess he always says that they look way too crowded. He doesn't like crowds, so I'm sure that's one reason why he never asks to go to school.
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#20 of 20 Old 10-16-2010, 06:14 PM
 
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I am an introvert, but I interact with tons of people every day. It's not the people I actually need to talk to and interact with that drove me crazy at the school though, it was the absolute crush of bodies trying to get in and out. It's not why we homeschool at all, but it is something I am glad to no longer have to deal with.

Happy with my DH, 2 kids, dog, fish, and frogs
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