How to HS the Extrovert? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 7 Old 03-02-2002, 11:48 AM - Thread Starter
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I have been toying w/ the idea of homeschooling my son ever since he began formal schooling at age 4. (pre-K 3 hrs/day, followed by full-day kindergarten, etc.) It seems that right around the time he began school, we started to experience discipline problems. There were also other factors involved so I didn't make the connection at the time.

Halfway through kindergarten, the teacher was convince that DS was suffering from ADHD. I had serious doubts, but agreed to allow an evaluation by the Child Study Team (social worker, educator & psychologist) to "prove" her wrong. The only unusual finding discovered was that DS is extremely intelligent. (of course I already knew that...)

First grade DS didn't have as many discipline problems, but did have difficulty concentrating, keeping on task, following directions and copying from the board. This year in second grade, he started out exuberant, but went through a phase where his attitude plummeted and the discipline problems returned and were worse than ever.

Anyway, my instincts are telling me that DS needs to be taken out of public school. We cannot afford Montessori, Waldorf, Friends or any of the other wonderful private schools in our area, so that leaves homeschooling. DS has agreed to give it a try over the summer and seems excited about the projects and outings I have planned. My biggest roadblock to making the leap to homeschooling is this: My son is the most extreme extrovert I have ever met. He's very social and has been from a young age. He seems to thrive off the energy of other people, but doesn't necessarily have to be the center of attention to do so. He even asks his sister to accompany him when he needs to go to another area of our apartment - and he still sleeps with us most of the time.

I have some ideas on how to keep him socially connected. But the neighborhood kids don't get off the bus until nearly 4 pm - how will I keep him occupied all day long, five days a week? HS groups and other activities can only take us so far - how do I meet DS's apparent need for social contact without becoming drained? (BTW, I fluctuate btwn extrovert and introvert, and I do need some time to myself throughout the day. Luckily, 2 y/o DD is the type to play quietly and I am able to sneak in some time for myself. I fear this will vanish w/ DS at home 24/7.)

DH is very skeptical of my ability to successfully HS DS for this reason. He also thinks we won't get any (school) work done because I am so disorganized. But I really think we need to give it our best shot. I don't think public school has the ability to meet DS's needs. I'm reading a book about learning style and DS is the type that doesn't fit in w/ the standard teaching model offered at our local schools. I feel that I owe it to DS to at least make an honest attempt to meet his needs and help him to learn and grow in a way that celebrates his uniqueness.

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#2 of 7 Old 03-02-2002, 01:16 PM
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Hi paula
I think you should give homeschool a try. Sounds as though you really want to make a go at it for your son, and is such a great thing. My pediatrician told me before I started homeschooling that if it doesn't work out, I can always put my kids in school. I thought, well, that's true-and we have been homeschooling for 5 years now and we haven't looked back.
As far as the extroverted son...I can relate, I have an extrovert for a daughter and she does well with being at home. There are lots of activities you can get your son involved in and there are always other homeschooled kids to meet and become friends with. One plus also is that by being at home my daughter has learned that there is a happiness that comes with being alone sometimes. She still prefers to be with friends, but has learned to appreciate time to herself...really I think all people need time to themselves at some time or another, just to remain healthy and rejuvinated.
I hope this post offers some helpfulness...just telling you where we are, and it is working for us. In fact, we are really really happy with homeschooling!
Good luck to you!!
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#3 of 7 Old 03-02-2002, 05:29 PM
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my 5yo dd is a social butterfly. i mean, this child has the personality of a cheerleader (one of the nice ones) - it's a little shocking to me, to say the least. i mean, i'm also both extroverted and introverted, but she really has a CONSTANT need for people!!

it was a challenge for me at first to find enough socializing for dd as she was used to all the kids at preschool, but we made regular playdates a priority, particularly the first few weeks of hsing. now we're all more accustomed to our own routine and she doesn't need to see a friend absolutely every day anymore. we also have a friend day on friday when we spend nearly the entire day with a good friend who is also hsed.

btw, paula, check out the homeschooling groups in the philly area (we'll know within 2 weeks whether we're moving there) - there are a number of them that have weekly 'gym' classes at rec centers - and i think i saw somewhere that a hs group specifically for west philly was starting.
is a pretty extensive list of hs groups in all of PA
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#4 of 7 Old 03-03-2002, 11:31 PM
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OMG! Paula! I could have written your post. Ds was diagnosed with ADHD and has a genius level IQ (which the psychologist said is remarkable that he scores so highly with his "disability"-- "just think what he could do if his ADHD was under control!"). I wouldn't have him on meds. We tried getting special ed in ps and tried Montessori (too chaotic for ds- he loved it but never got anything done). Nothing else worked so we ended up doing homeschooling. He is a social addict. He has to be around kids.

He plays with kids when they get home from school. We go to 2-3 homeschool functions a week. Then of course we are very social on the weekends. It took a month before he was used to it but now he doesn't care. He prefers the freedom of homeschooling to the social excess of school. And I am so happy that he is growing to learn to entertain himself more without having to have constant companionship (I had to work so he has been in daycare or school since he was 2 mos. old).

I think it would be a great idea!
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#5 of 7 Old 03-04-2002, 11:14 PM
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Being an extrovert may bring many gifts and added opportunities to your son's social activities and homeschooling. Do you think he would benefit from and enjoy spending time with people who are not his age in addition to the children he may meet at hs groups??? My son is not an extrovert, but it's been wonderful for him (age 4 1/2) to visit the retirement community near our home every Thursday morning. He used to bring show-and-tell type things to show people we visited. He's since learned to read, and now reads Calvin & Hobbes cartoons to a man (age 86). They
laugh and seek out all of the ones where Calvin is making snowmen. It's really been wonderful for us. Also, we're in a coffee club at our local donut dive - most of the people are adults, though a few college students come, and we just have donuts and chat.

If your son wants to learn something in particular - for mine it's knitting right now - he may develop a friendship with a neighbor or another adult in your community. We see a few older children who would be sort of latch-key except that they come over to "hang out" (not be babysat!! ) two afternoons a week.

Friends and connections are completely personal, and it always surprises me who my children connect with. My son has a few age-mates he adores - one or two really - and then a few adult buddies. This was the case even when he attended a two-morning per week pre-K class. Another thing I've realized - and I'm not trying to say that this applies to anyone else, just sharing - is that I worry about socialization, but it really just happens. We get out, we're active in what interests us, we meet people, our son seems well-adjusted and enjoys the company of others. I really don't need to worry about it as much as I thought.

Rambling off now!
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#6 of 7 Old 03-05-2002, 12:43 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm not worried in the sense that DS won't get socialization - I can't see him letting THAT happen! I just sometimes wonder how I will provide him with the social contact he needs and still manage to get my work done. I have this fantasy for DS, a utopia for him that I've created in my mind. We live in a small town where DS knows everyone. He leaves the house in the morning to go visit the butcher, the baker, the candlestick maker...get the picture? I feel that he would thrive if he could just go about his way and talk to people along the way, making friends with everyone of all ages and all walks of life, which is what he seems to do naturally. I know he would learn everything he needed to know (and of course I'd throw in some "useful" stuff like math and spelling, lol...) and I think he would be really happy and free. HOWEVER, it seems that the world we live in doesn't allow that sort of existence for children. It really makes me sad.

I'm getting way off topic, but something in the last post made me want to express that. Anyway, we'll give HS a try this summer and I'm hoping we both enjoy it!
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#7 of 7 Old 03-12-2002, 04:15 AM
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Your concern about how you will keep your ds going all day long if you homeschool him, is a common concern for people thinking about taking a child out of a school setting. The good news is that once we start homeschooling that never seems to be a problem! The days just aren't long enough to do all we want to do! We have been homeschooling for 15 years and I am still just as unorganized as I was when we started. I have 2 sons in college now....doing fantastic! So I guess my unorganization didn't hurt them too much. *smile*

I think that having to be bored now and then helps us all to seek out the things that interest us, and that is where the real learning takes place. You will find a pace and rythum for your days that will meet your children's needs and also allow you to meet your needs. It may take a little while but in the long run it is worth it. I can't imagine a better lifestyle for my children or for me.

I wish you all joy!
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