Homeschooling an Extrovert

Public school is tailored quite well for extroverts, but homeschool can provide a unique challenge for an extroverted kid.  Extroverts get energy from people, so being home and quietly tending to the tasks of schoolwork can feel draining for an extrovert.  While your introverted child will sit quietly with a book, doing research, and writing thoughts out, your extrovert will likely struggle with the monotony of these quiet tasks.  They’ll likely long for the social life of public school. My husband is an extreme extrovert.  Me?  An ambivert – smack dab in the middle of the introvert/extrovert spectrum.  I have two extroverted kids and two ambiverts like me.  My particular flavor of ambivert is that I like having a changing, stimulating environment, thrive in discussions, and enjoy group gatherings, but I also crave calm, peaceful, alone time and have an intense need for things to be organized and in their … Keep on reading

Homeschooling An Introvert

homeschooling the introverted child

I am the parent of six introverts.  I am strongly introverted so it’s no surprise that my kids are too.   Homeschooling an introvert is, in general, easier than homeschooling extroverts.  This is because two of the hallmarks of introverts are quietness and a desire to be at home.  Your extroverted children may clamor to go to school for the social life, but your introverted children will probably be much more content with the homeschool lifestyle.  Still there are a few pitfalls of this personality type that the homeschooling parent should watch for. What is an Introvert? An introvert needs quiet, alone time to recharge and feel comfortable and content.  Too much stimulus from their environment and they are going stir-crazy.  It’s like the opposite of cabin fever. Introverts are not necessarily shy.  Shyness is a fear of what other people think and say about you (or what you think they … Keep on reading

Children’s Garden

Several weeks ago my two youngest kids went out in the backyard with rakes and began to clear away the detritus from underneath some trees right by our back patio.  We’ve attempted to make it into a garden several times, but never had proper soil.  The weeds of north Idaho defeated us.  My laziness defeated us. But after the boys spent a couple of days raking and planning and picking up sticks and pulling weeds I didn’t have the heart to tell them I couldn’t be bothered.  So my husband went to some friends who have horses and got manure and I went to the garden store with the boys and picked out some plants. Getting the Grown-ups Involved We talked about annuals vs. perennials.  We also discussed how the area where they had planned their garden was shaded by some large poplar trees and so we would need shade … Keep on reading

Valentine’s Mystery Dinner

It’s almost time for our annual Valentine’s Mystery Dinner.  Holidays are a huge part of our home.  I believe fun family traditions help build strong families.  Time spent together is well spent.  I also believe in showing my kids that you can have fun and enjoy life in small, simple, beautiful ways.  My husband and I go on a lot of dates and focus on each other a lot, but we spend holidays as a family.  We never go out to dinner for Valentine’s or to a party for New Year’s Eve.  We plan fun family parties that everyone can do together. So here’s what our Valentine’s Mystery Dinner usually looks like: The table’s all set!  Lots of pink this year for sure.  My girls made the table runner as an art project.  It’s sprinkled with conversation hearts.  The flowers in the vase were a Valentine’s surprise from my husband. … Keep on reading

Our Snowman Breakfast

We had a special snowman breakfast at Grandpa and Grandma’s house. Our Snowman Breakfast The set-up was very simple.  I just used a torquoise plastic tablecloth and darker blue plates and utensils.  I drew simple snowman faces on each white paper cup.  The cups were my favorite part.  Love them.  Each plate had a die and a roll-a-snowman game at it as well. I also put a little snowman figurine in the center of the table.  He was not only a centerpiece, but also the star of our Hide The Snowman game after our snowman breakfast was over. Each person got their own snowman shaped pancake to decorate with M&M’s, both mini and regular sized. Roll-A-Snowman Game After we finished our pancakes we played the roll-a-snowman game.  It’s not a competitive game, just an artistic one.  We sometimes play it for hours, making all different combinations of cute little snowman … Keep on reading

Ice Marbles

Ice marbles are the perfect cure for the winter blahs.  We often start feeling really cooped up in the middle of winter with long days of homeschool and short days of sunshine.  These bright bursts of color liven us all up. They are really easy to make, but you have to plan ahead so they’ll have time to freeze before the sun goes down and it’s too dark and cold to play. Fill up some balloons with food color dyed water.  We used full size balloons (12 inch), but didn’t fill them all the way.  You can choose the size you’d like.  Tie the balloons off and set them in the freezer. Let them sit it the freezer until they are frozen solid.  When they are hard, take them out of the freezer and peel the balloon off of the outside. Then put them out in the snow to play … Keep on reading

Cranberry Blowing

I’m a huge fan of all things Christmas, so we always take off the last two weeks in December from homeschool so we can have lots of time for games, parties, baking, crafts, and fun.  We have lots of traditions because I really believe that fun traditions help build strong, close families. One of our Christmastime traditions is cranberry blowing.  It’s one of the games at our Christmas Eve party each year.  A cranberry blow is a contest where each contestant gets a cranberry and tries to keep it up in the air with only their breath.  The cranberry sits atop your lips and you gently blow, trying to keep the cranberry floating in the air longer than everyone else. We all line up along the floor, then on the go signal, everyone makes their cranberry float!  If your cranberry falls, you’re out. It’s much harder than it looks!  It … Keep on reading

Graham Cracker House Party

My mother-in-law and sister-in-law hosted a fantastic party for all the grandkids – a graham cracker house party!  I’ve thrown a lot of parties in my day, but none as seamless and perfect as this one.  Not a lot of fuss, but all kinds of fun.  All the grandkids were invited to decorate their own little graham cracker house, all pre-built and cute as can be!  Here was the basic set-up: Wow!  That’s a lot of little houses!  Every year we decorate graham cracker houses, but having them all made for the kids ahead of time was ingenious!  We’ve had more mid-decorating collapses in past years than I care to admit. They made them far enough in advance that the royal icing was good and solid.  No crumbling down houses or kids crying – hooray! The center of the table was lined with lots of little cups of decorating candies, … Keep on reading

Hand Painted Christmas Mugs

We made these hand painted Christmas mugs with our kids several years ago. We get them out every Christmas and use them for drinking hot cocoa on special occasions during the Christmas season. Here’s how we did it: We started with some plain white mugs from the dollar store, one for each member of our family. We washed them, running them through the dishwasher once to get rid of any factory residue. We bought special paints intended for ceramics.  We checked carefully to be sure the paint we chose was food safe.  The paint linked to is non toxic, but I would still use it only on surfaces that are not directly touched by food and mouths. Then we pretreated the area where we were going to paint with a conditioner that is sold with the paint we bought. (Some paints don’t need pretreating.  Follow the directions on the packaging.) … Keep on reading

Glass Ball Glitter Ornaments

We made these personalized glass ball glitter ornaments for our Christmas tree.  We’ve made the paint version before, but the kids loved these ten times more.  There’s just something about glitter. Here’s what you need: Clear glass ornaments glitter (These are from Wal-Mart.  They are a little pricier than the cheapo glitters that Wal-Mart sells, but they are worth the money.  The perfectly sized grains make beautiful ornaments.) Mop and Glo (Yes, the cleaner for your floors) A small squirt bottle Paper cups Paper (scratch paper is fine) A covered work surface How To Make Glitter Ornaments First, you need to put the Mop and Glo solution into the little squirt bottle and squirt just a bit into your ornament (remove the top of the ornament and set it aside).  Swish it around a bit, coating all the sides of the ornament while holding your finger over the top, then dump … Keep on reading