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I am worried that I am giving dd a very boring childhood.<br><br>
"Academically" I have no worries - she is at least on par with her school-attending peers. She just turned 6 and if she were in school she'd be in kindergarten. She can write and identify all the letters and numbers to 100, is starting to read, etc. etc.<br><br>
The problem is, a lot of her days involve her playing by herself, watching pbs, or her and I doing around the house things. The same old, same old, day after day it seems.<br><br>
She's very shy and never expresses a wish to go to school, but all her friends are in kindy this year and they look so excited and happy when they talk about what they do in school and it makes me feel guilty. (However, then I talk to her friend's parents and hear about all the school related junk that I am happy to be avoiding...)<br><br>
I would love to be able to provide lots of opportunities for out of the house activities and time with friends, but I am quite introverted and I struggle with my own shyness and my own need for quiet at home time. It makes me wonder if I just wasn't meant to do this for her.<br><br>
There have been times in the past I've felt so sure of what I was doing, and lately that seems to have evaporated. I need to get my mojo back. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad">
 

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Who says it's boring? Is your DD complaining about being bored? About staying home all the time? Is she asking to play with other kids (at all, or more often than she already does)? Or does she seem really content with the current routine/schedule? If she's desperate for more, she'll let you know.<br><br>
If your DD wants more interaction with others, pick a day and head over to your local park. Or the local YMCA, or wherever it is in your area that kids show up. Try it once. See if she enjoys it or wants to do it again. Then repeat.<br><br>
If your DD wants a more regular/predictable type of interaction, consider signing her up for a class--acrobatics, dance, soccer, art, whatever she's interested in.<br><br>
If your DD doesn't want to be any more involved with other people than she already is, go ahead and heave a big sigh of relief and keep doing what you're doing. But if you think your current routine is boring, go to the library and check out an activity book, look through it with your DD and pick out a couple new things to try, then follow through and try them. Figure out which aspects of the activity she enjoyed, and look for more activities that incorporate those elements.<br><br>
It's hard to step outside our comfort zone to try new/different things, but if she's bored, or you're bored, then what you're doing isn't working anymore, and you should try something different. But you don't have to do anything radical or try to be little miss social butterfly. Baby steps! =)<br><br>
I'm an introvert, and my DS seems to be as well. We try to go outside on a daily walk, but otherwise most of the day DS is playing by himself...and I love it! I'm available if he wants to interact with me; he loves to help me follow a recipe or get buried under the clean laundry before I fold it up. Just yesterday he was watching a movie where a character broke his wrist (nothing graphic, it was just a line of dialogue and the child actor pretending to be hurt), so he asked to look at wrist anatomy--I stopped what I was doing to look that up on Google images, and DS spent a few minutes on his own (after I'd identified the different hand bones) looking at more anatomy diagrams.<br><br>
I love going with the flow and following my child's lead, so I'm a big fan of unschooling. What was it that first drew you to unschooling? Maybe if you remind yourself of that it'll help you feel better. Or maybe you need to accept that your ideal vision of unschooling isn't matching up with your current reality, and let go of the ideal for a while. Or come up with a plan to make your reality line up a little better with your ideal. Whatever works for you and your child, right?
 

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If you're an introvert there's a good chance your daughter is one, too. Or just has low social needs. I say if she's not complaining then you are doing just fine by her!<br><br>
Our society seems to place such a huge emphasis on 'socialization' that I sometimes think introverted kids simply aren't allowed to "be". My daughter is not what I'd call an introvert (but it depends on how you define it). She definitely does not have high social needs, and is quite happy to spend most of her time with myself and her brother. She has dear friends and enjoys being with them (usually one-on-one or as family get-togethers) but she's never complained or even asked about getting together with groups of kids. Just not her thing, kwim?
 

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introvert unschooling an extreme extrovert here. I could've written the same post.<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lurk.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lurk">
 

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Came back to add another thought (or three)....<br><br>
Do you have any adult extroverts in your life right now that you'd trust to take your child to more social gatherings? A partner or siblings or your parents or close friends? B/c there's no law that says you have to do 100% of this all by yourself. There's nothing wrong with allowing your child to be exposed to another adult's care or having fun with somebody else (who would truly enjoy the social exposure) rather than making yourself miserable by trying to do it on your own if it's really horrible for you.<br><br>
I classify myself as an introvert (being around others drains me of energy), but I can be perfectly sociable around others (even if internally I'd rather be back home). If I have to take DS to the park, we go, and I focus on DS and helping him do what he wants to (suggesting he say hi or wave to another child instead of launching into a monologue about Legos, or doing an enthusiastic dance). I'll smile at other people to acknowledge them, but I haven't really been forced to talk to anyone else b/c I'm so focused on my kid. (DH says I give off a very distinct "don't bother me" vibe which could be part of that.) But I love it on the weekends when DH takes DS to the park instead. After they come back, I get a full report, so I don't feel like I missed anything (except that uncomfortable feeling of having to paste on a smile and suffer through other people's presence).<br><br>
It's okay for your DD to learn that you're not comfortable around other people; it's also okay for you to teach her as many coping skills as you can so she has the chance to practice them and find out if she feels the same way you do...or not. You can also practice those social skills at home, through role playing or putting on puppet shows--you don't have to involve other people if neither of you really wants to. But if your DD does want to interact more with others, practicing at home might be a great way to prepare her for that.
 

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I agree that if your dd isn't complaining about the situation, she's probably fine with it. As an introvert I used to hate it when my mother, who's a very social person, made me go out with her. I hated being forced to play with children I didn't know or didn't particularly like. Just recently I started to feel weird for not getting out and doing more. I tried getting together with a few friends more regularly. I found that those get-togethers wore me out. I felt awful, emotionally and physically, afterward.<br><br>
Unfortunately, my 5yo ds is more outgoing. All his friends are in school all day and then do homework when they get home. He begs all day to play with someone but I'm terrible about just getting up and going somewhere. I started going to the gym in the morning a couple of months ago and have found I'm much more likely to stay out after that.
 

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Wow, I feel the same way - but until this morning my kids have been in school because I'm afraid I can't give them that social side.<br><br>
I decided this morning to homeschool, I've been going back and forth for two years - and finally a last straw from the school and I made my decision.<br><br>
Just browsing around here still, but that you for your post, it has always been my biggest concern, and we live in a very tiny little town in Nebraska and we'll probably be the only homeschooling family!<br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/cold.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Cold">
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Wildsky</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/14770813"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">my kids have been in school because I'm afraid I can't give them that social side.</div>
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Personally, I think kids get all the socialization they need from being part of a family. The types of socialization they learn in school are not things I'm concerned with my child learning, like standing in line, following orders, not speaking unless spoken to, the meanest kid on the playground gets what he wants. If children are treated in the home the way they are expected to behave in public, they will know what to do in social situations. All the schooled kids I see tease and push and yell at each other and call each other nasty names and so forth. Not the type of socialization on want my kids learning. Also, I think it's unnatural to isolate children so that they only socialize with other children their own age. They can get a lot more out of life by being around people of different ages.
 

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I agree with MarineWife. I think the social learning at school is nothing short of toxic. There are simply too few adults to monitor all social interactions and the kids end up learning from each other (the blind leading the blind). Just the other day we were at the playground and my 5 year old son asked a group of 3 kids (all 5 yrs) if he could play with them. They did the eye-rolling, the "ignore the new kid" vibes, etc. They were quite exclusionary and, while I'm sure they didn't mean to be, they were rude and hurtful to my son. Then they were called to go "back to school". The adults who had brought them to the playground weren't paying any attention, while I was in there trying to facilitate the situation. At a homeschool group such a situation would have at least one, likely more than one, adult there to guide the kids through it in a way that respects what the kids want (to play or not to play) but teaches them language and communication skills so they can all be heard and respected, rather than being mean and exclusionary.<br><br>
I observed this type of behaviour when my DD was in preschool and I went every day for 2 weeks as she was not wanting to go anymore (after that we just left and began homeschooling). Kids as young as 3 and 4 getting cliquey and mean simply because there were not enough adults to see when these situations were occuring and to guide the kids through it. There were 2 teachers for 20 kids and that was considered a high ratio!<br><br>
I honestly have not seen this type of behaviour in homeschooled kids (those around my children's age is all I can testify to) and I believe it's because the adults are so numerous and always there to step in when a situation gets sticky.
 

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I'm an extreme introvert. Two of our boys are introverts but far more balanced than I am and two are extroverts- one loud, dramatic and extreme and the other quiet mostly with spurts of showiness and the quintessential buddy.<br><br>
I suppose the solution for us has been that we have four children. That's quite a bit of socialisation and social training built right into the most intimate relationships they have.<br><br>
I can handle and make sure that we do go out once each week to be with other people. Yes, only once. I can tolertae twice if it's not for too long, but it wears me down even so and I need a recovery time afterward.<br><br>
Our ds2, the extreme extrovert, can usually find what he needs with our little group, but he has complained that he wants to be with other people too, and that usually prompts us to invite someone over. Dh is a mildly expressed introvert who really enjoys more frequent socialising than me, and needs recovery afterward like me.<br><br>
Thankfully, I think we've found the solution to ds2's need for more people! We just moved onto our friends' farm and the farmeress (J) of the couple looooves to take children to the barn to show them how to do chores and talk with them about where our food comes from and why they farm the way they do (completely chemical-free, organic, if that word meant anything anymore- the farm is biodiverse and grows naturally, no mono-crops and truly free-range animals). Our friends see this as the most important aspect of farming- to teach young people how to do it in a way that respects the earth and all of it's inhabitants, so that even if they don't farm, they'll look for people who farm this way for their food.<br><br>
Anyway, this is totally awesome because J is very animated and energetic and ds2 just loves their interaction.<br><br>
Anyway, the few times that we've had next-door neighbours that were interested in socialising have made meeting ds2's needs so much easier. He can go over and come back when he's done and the introverts here have had a rest from his wonderful but very loud personality, and he's been filled with new social energy.<br><br>
I think a close mentoring or just older friend situation is most helpful for us and the only way we can manage the social-needs extremes in our family.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Wildsky</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/14770813"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
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Just browsing around here still, but that you for your post, it has always been my biggest concern, and we live in a very tiny little town in Nebraska and we'll probably be the only homeschooling family!<br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/cold.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Cold"></div>
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Welcome! And congrats on your decesion!<br><br>
There is a thread on the main Hsing page about Hsing in isolation...here it is:<br><br><a href="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/showthread.php?t=1157667" target="_blank">http://www.mothering.com/discussions....php?t=1157667</a><br><br><br>
I like this one on socialising and HS kids:<br><br><a href="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/showthread.php?t=1146035&highlight=" target="_blank">http://www.mothering.com/discussions...035&highlight=</a>
 
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