I embraced my introversion a long time ago. I have zero problem telling David, “If I don’t get at least an hour of uninterrupted time ALONE, I’m going to lose it.” We’ve been married almost seventeen years and he has seen firsthand over the years the difference it makes in my life (and his) when we pay attention to my introverted needs.
For introverts, time alone to recharge and be with our thoughts is as important as food, sleep, water, and hygiene. It’s a non-negotiable. (If you don’t believe me, check out the book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking.)
So introverts need lots of time alone to recharge. The operative word in that sentence is need. Not want. Need. We need peace. And quiet. And being alone.
Homeschool conventions are full of people. And noise. And stuff. And action. It really doesn’t seem like the two go together, does it?
Well, I think that we introverts can survive a homeschool convention every now and again. Let’s look at how.
Introvert Survival Tips For Homeschool Conventions
Here are five ways to survive a homeschool convention just for introverts.
1. Think of the children.
If we want our children to get out of their comfort zone once in awhile and do the hard things, we have to be willing to do the same. Let’s face it. Conventions are probably not a favorite activity for an introvert. We’re much more the sit-alone-at-Starbucks-with-a-mocha-and-book-about-homeschooling type.
But a convention can be a good way to do something different that will challenge us in more than one way. Then when our children say something is too hard for them to do, we can regale them with the harrowing tale of how we survived two days at a homeschool convention. If we can survive that, they can survive anything we would ask of them during their education!
2. Pssst. Here’s a secret.
You don’t have to go to every session.
You don’t even have to go to half the sessions. You’re an adult who can pick and choose what you want to do. No one will take attendance. You can go to one session in the morning and one in the afternoon and spend the rest of the day at Starbucks recovering. No one will ever know!
3. Room alone or with another introvert.
If you have a hotel room to retreat to when you need to, you can survive. And if you have another introvert to room with, you’ll completely understand each other when you don’t say much while you are in your room.
4. There will be other introverts to commiserate with.
Just look for the other mom standing alone in the crowd with a blank look on her face, eyes glazed over. You can walk up and gently say something like, “I think I’ve just about reached my introverted max today.” She’ll either look at you with total sympathy or like you are a loon. If you get the sympathetic look, you’ve made a new friend. If she desperately grabs your hand like she’s on a sinking ship, you can gently steer her to a quiet place and do an introvert intervention.
5. If you come from a very busy household, going to the convention alone could actually be like an introverted retreat or vacation!
It’s much easier to ignore hundreds of adults you don’t know than it is to retreat from your own offspring.
So there you go. Five ways you can survive a homeschool convention.