Sociability and school choice
Choosing a school for an extroverted or introverted child
When choosing a school for your child, a vital factor to consider is non-academic fit: what are your child’s most non-academic traits and how might these inform your school search? Here, we’ll discuss one non-academic trait—sociability—and what role it might play in choosing a school for your child.
To learn about how to choose the right school in general, read the Our Kids’ step-by-step advice guide and our expert tips. To get school-choice advice customized to your child's unique traits, create a child profile through your user account and read our seven ways to choose a school based on your child's needs (i.e., overall fit, more academic challenge, social struggles, academic struggles, intensive learning interests, university preparation, and special needs.).
Extroverted and introverted kids' school fit
One vital non-academic trait that can inform school choice is sociability. Don’t underestimate the importance of your child’s sociability on school choice: it can profoundly affect the kind of learning environment, and hence school, that’s right for them. Below, we discuss how extroverted and introverted kids fit in several school types.
Extroverted kids are outgoing. They’re more social and talkative, and enjoy interacting with their peers (and sometimes teachers) in class.
Extroverted kids’ school fit: key take-homes
- Schools with larger student populations provide extroverted kids with plenty of social opportunities and the ability to interact with a wide range of peer groups in class and out. Since smaller schools are less diverse, ensure they provide plenty of opportunities for your child to find a like-minded group of peers and scratch their interpersonal itch (for instance, through extracurriculars).
- Many extroverts enjoy the wider scope of social experiences coed schools offer, where they can learn from the perspectives of girls and boys. Single-gender schools, meanwhile, allow your child to build their social network in a less intense environment, free of the complexities of boy-girl relations.
- If you’re considering a Montessori school for your extroverted child, make sure to look into the amount of unstructured social time it provides. Some Montessori schools don’t have recess and may limit free time, which is often when kids get their most social stimulation.
- Since International Baccalaureate schools have a demanding and time-consuming workload, ask about social opportunities at any prospective school, including the ability to interact with different peer groups, in class and out.
To access far more detailed information about extroverted kids’ school fit, read our in-depth guide.
Introverted kids are on the shy side. They tend to be quiet in class, rarely speaking up or initiating interaction with their peers (and sometimes teachers).
Introverted kids’ school fit: key take-homes
- While big schools can sometimes be more socially overwhelming for introverted kids, their diverse student population can make it easier for your child to find a group of peers with similar interests, values, etc. Small schools, meanwhile, often have smaller classes with tight-knit communities, which can help your introverted child come out of their shell and form close friendships.
- It can sometimes be challenging for introverts to navigate boy-girl relations in a coed school, though they’ll benefit from learning from the perspectives of both genders. In a single-gender school, meanwhile, your son or daughter can focus on school and social development without the distraction of the boy-girl dynamic.
- At a Montessori school, your child will often work independently on their own tasks, e.g., during two-hour-plus uninterrupted work periods, which many shy and introverted kids enjoy.
- The warm, community feel of the Reggio Emilia classroom—which is set up to promote lots of interaction—can help your child to feel at home, connect with classmates, and make friends more easily.
To access far more detailed information about introverted kids’ school fit, read our in-depth guide