Stone Soup for Five: Homeschooling as an introvert -Links and FREE printable!

Homeschooling as an introvert -Links and FREE printable!

This post has been on my mind for years, and I'm finally getting around to writing it!  I am a total introvert and need a LOT of quiet alone time.  


Ya, you can see how well that adds up.

So I've improvised.

We're in our 2nd year of full time homeschooling and my two oldest are in high school.
This is the first year we've done My Father's World and so far, I'm loving it, and the boys are too for the most part.  But this post is not about our curriculum (I'll do a post about that later), but more about how I survive the constant non-stop togetherness (or Up In My Grill With No Breathing Room-ness)  as a homeschooling mom who is also an introvert.  If you're an introvert, I hope this helps you too.

1.  Get up EARLY

I have to get up before the boys to secure peace and quiet time... and gradually that time has crept more toward the insane hour of 4:45am.  BUT, keep in mind, I do NOT have young children any more.  My youngest son is 11, so I'm not up at all hours.  If you are up with infants or young kids, or sick kids, the most important thing you can do for you at this season is get enough rest!
I have to make sure that I am also getting enough rest, so I do go to bed early enough to get 7 hours of rest, minimum.  Some days I need more rest so I'll go to bed earlier.

Now I know there are those who stay up late and get their solitary, quiet time then.  That does't work for me because I'm so tired by that point I'm good for about nothing.  So early is best for this chick.

2. Nourish your SOUL

This is absolutely crucial to me.  Read through the Word.  Spend time with God.  It shapes my whole day and sets the tone for everything.  Right now I'm working at a super slow pace reading through the entire Bible.  I did a post a while back about how I'm doing it and it is still working for me a year and a half later. (click here for post.) I'm not setting any 'read through speed records' but I'm loving what I'm learning and I'm retaining a lot.  I also alternate between reading through a Bible study (currently doing this one), and writing out the book of proverbs for my son (will post on this later too, PROMISE!), or doing a Bible Meditation on a verse following this worksheet from Do Not Depart, which I LOVE!  I do all my notetaking and meditation, and copying in my DIY Bible Legacy Journal, and am on journal #2 now (more about that later, too! Pinky Promise!)

3.  Peaceful Quiet

A HUGE lifesaver for my solitary time, or when the boys are making me CRAZY is my ear plug ear buds and a great Nature Sounds app to listen to.  The best and CHEAPEST earbuds that I love are these little cheap Panasonic earbuds on Amazon. (affiliate link below).  They fit in your ear perfect and cancel out a lot of outside noise (like loud jokes, calls for "Mooooommmm!!!" and bickering).

My boys have been told that when I have these in, I am NOT AVAILABLE. I limit it to a realistic amount of time, but it's good training for them too, forcing them to think through the things they come to me for.  If I have to take them out, they know it better be an emergency (like someone's hair on fire, major gushing blood, or a call to 911).  It took a little time to get them into the swing of this, so I charged for non-necessary interruptions with chores.  Which was nice for me. Win, win!

I listen to nature sounds most of the time and found some great free apps and podcast and have paid for a few too.  My favorite free app is this BEACH sounds one because you can add layers of rain or birds and choose between 4 different beach waves sounds.  I love to turn this on, light a candle, and do what I have to do. I can almost pretend I'm at a beach house by myself!  Love it.  I've also bought Sleep Pillow (great app to customize sounds) and iDream Pro (no fancy layering, but some good sounds, including a train ride sound so you can pretend you're headed to somewhere magical, like Hogwarts).

4.  REST

I'm sold on the benefit of a short 25 min power nap.  Getting up as early as I do, I get pretty tired after lunch time.  So once the boys get back to work, or sometimes during their lunch break, I sneak out to the van (yes, I do my best resting out in our van, in our driveway. It's like a solitude box!) and set my iPod timer for 25 minutes, turn on my beach or storm, and close my eyes and rest.  Sometimes I fall asleep, sometimes I just close my eyes and rest, but it's always wonderful.  I don't always get to do this, but when I can, I love it.  And I realize this is not always an option for those of you with little kids.  When my boys were little, I would put them in a play pen or sneak in a rest when they were down for their naps.

I know if I am well rested, I am less likely to SNAP when someone breaks someone's lego creation, or there is a gallon of milk split open on the floor.  Not always, but the chances are higher I won't go berserker if I'm rested.  Mostly.

5.  More Bible

Because I tend to gravitate toward my selfish, impatient, angry side more than my trying to be like Jesus side, I also take a few minutes (when I can), to do a quick afternoon Bible study.  Right now I'm LOVING the super fast 5 min study by Pam Forster over Colossians 3 (no affiliate link here, just love all of their stuff)!  It's quick, to the point, and GREAT for those of us without a lot of time, but want to dig deep. This is done during my rest time above, I sneak in 5 extra minutes for this study and 5 min or so for a quick prayer if I have the time.

6.  After Lunch Pack
A huge sanity saver for me is the "After Lunch Time" (though this year, it's morphed into "Morning Time"), but you can make it work for whatever time you need a chunk of QUIET.   This is where I schedule all the subjects that the boys can do themselves with no help from me into one block of time in their day.  Silent reading, studying spelling words, drawing, Bible memory, etc.  If it is something I can explain beforehand and let them work, I explain and add it to the list.  This gives me a very important for my sanity block of time where they are on their own and I can count on a quiet period of time for me.  I have deliberately chosen our curriculum to give me this block of time.  Before they were strong readers, I still scheduled a quiet room time in our day for at least an hour. During this time they were not allowed to come out of their room for that set amount of time, and they were free to lay on their bed, read books, or play QUIETLY.  Now that they are older, I choose curriculum that the boys can read the lesson for themselves and understand on their own so I can be sure to get these moments scheduled in my day.  For each boy it is different, so the subjects that they need lots of one on one time for, I schedule for them to do in the morning with me, then the afternoons are the subjects they can do on their own.  This part of my day is HUGE for me, and good for them!

7.  Prioritize

I tend to be very 'project driven' and easily (VERY easily) distracted by a new and/or exciting idea.  So I NEED to have, IN MY FACE priorities I can review daily (or hourly) so I can remember what the important things are and if this new distraction should move on down the list AFTER I finish priorities.  I have a handy little form I like to use at the beginning of the week to list everything that needs to be accomplished, and then transfer these to my weekly planner.  Here's a free download for you too, if you'd like to try it.  I love working from it.

8. Memorize

Mainly, I have to remember, this is not my season of rest right now.  I am working to make disciples of my boys and grow responsible, God loving men.

My time will come, I am hoping in that.  In the meantime, I am memorizing verses that give me inspiration, hope, and renewal.  They are all over my house to keep it at the front of my forgetful and distracted mind.

Are any of you introverts and homeschoolers? I'd LOVE to hear any tips you have that keep you sane through the long days!  Comment below!


1 comment:

  1. Hi Kari!
    I have been enjoying your blog so much, I found it via Pinterest...I was looking for Inductive Bible Study resources. :o) I am a homeschooling mama to a 5 year old boy and 4 year old little girl (also using My Father's World curriculum)...I too am an introvert and struggle with the "constant non-stop togetherness." I have been so encouraged by your post...I am excited to start using some of your ideas! I really would love to start getting up earlier to get my quiet time done without being interrupted 100 times. :o) Thanks!


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