Saturday, December 22, 2012

MBTI Personality Types and Homeschooling

I've been exploring the MBTI (Myers Briggs) type personality types, lately, thinking that it may enlighten me and the questions I have about our homeschooling/parenting environment. 

Many people take the MBTI in high school, college, or when pursuing certain degrees (counseling type degrees, especially).  I'm pretty sure my MBTI score in high school came back as INFP.  If you are curious about your own, there are many tests online you can take.  The validity of the results is highly debatable with the internet tests, but it gets you thinking about your own mode of functioning in the world.

Here is an overview of the categories:

And here is a test that is similar to the actual MBTI test (without having to pay for it)

I would love to discuss how major life events affect your MBTI score.  I know your personality is supposed to be set in stone, but given my own life experiences since marriage and children, I found it very difficult to pin down my types.  My husband and children have affected the way I look at the world and respond to things.

Your World - E or I - Extroverted or Introverted
I'm an "I".  If I even tried to claim "E", several friends would jump on here and correct me:)  "Why are you so quiet?" is their number 1 question.

Information - S or N - Sensing or iNtuitive
Sensing takes things through their senses - anything they can observe and their experiences.  Tend to focus on the here and now.  Intuitives (N) tend to be future thinking, and focus on all the possibilities.  I wasn't sure on this one, because I really like to take in as many facts and information as possible.  This would make me think "S".  But I also think I try to use the info to get the big picture, and the general meaning of things.

Decisions - T or F - Thinking or Feeling
Do you use logic to make a decision, or are you concerned with how it affects other people, and how they will feel about it?  I think I've prided myself on using logic and reality to make decisions, but upon examining my household, I realize I'm the opposite!  A "T" personality wouldn't be affected by whiny, complainy children, and wouldn't be concerned that learning was fun, lol.  I hate to admit it, but I'm "F".  I'm waaay too affected by my family's moods. 

Structure - J or P - Judging or Perceiving
Judging people like structure and keep clean environments.  They are the masters of organization, and can keep a schedule.  Perceiving types like to keep their options open.  "Want to meet at the park?" "Sure! We've got nothing planned..." That's a Perceiving person.  I'm a "P", although I really really DO need a somewhat structured environment.  I function better with a routine, a checklist, and a clean environment (messy rooms clutter my already messy brain!)  However, try as I might, I fail miserably at trying to bring this about myself.  I can do much better, for limited amounts of time, if someone else imposes structure on me and inspires me to keep things clean.

So, how does that affect my homeschool?

As an INFP, I really need time alone and time to daydream.  I need spaces of time with nothing going on, where I can feel free to just be. 

I struggle with disharmony.  Having 3 girls that argue like Cinderella's step sisters, there is always dischord in the household.  Why can't we all just get along?  This also means I'm susceptible to giving in and just pleasing everyone when they all complain. 

When the inkling hits, I want to do it NOW, because I know that I'll forget to do it later.  Instead of doing things on a schedule, I just do things when the thought strikes me:) 

When it comes to curriculum...
  • I don't like to be locked in to a specific plan, lol.
  • When I plan, I sit there and really struggle to write things down.  I tend to think, "wouldn't it be better to see what the day brings and then plan accordingly?" - yes, it makes school planning difficult.
  • I like to get the big picture of where the curric is going.  ("Ok, so the book is making us summarize AGAIN? Where are they going with this exercise?")  But sometimes I get overwhelmed by the big picture (insert hyperventilating smiley here. "First they're teaching all the short vowels, and then the long vowels, and then..." I was rather overwhelmed by BJU phonics for K, until I understood where it was going, and how to take a shortcut).
  • I can zero-in on the details and get bogged down by them.
  • I want myself and the kids to look back and say, "Homeschooling was fun.  We did cool things, and learned neat stuff."  I also want to feel like homeschooling has brought us closer together.  All the tears over lessons, complaining over assigned chores or lessons, and frustration tends to really bother me. 
  • I have really high ideals.  I want my kids to have the best possible private school education, but at home.  This is really in conflict with the item above.  I really wrestle with this.
  • I question the normal conventions and challenge their purpose. Why do we have to focus so heavily on this?  Why does the book push this idea so far?  Why do we need to fill in blanks or answer these dumb questions?  Isn't there something better?
I am examining myself, my household, and my homeschool to see if there is a better way we can function.  I realize that fighting against myself (like, forcing us to work within a tight schedule) will never work, and I need to work within my strengths and natural tendencies.  Change should be easy in order to really stick.


Kelley Hagemeister said...

I SO could have written ALL of those things about myself/homeschool too! Maybe I am an ENFP? My kids are younger, but I try to tell myself...yes, I want the kids to have a FABULOUS, effective, well-rounded education...BUT part of the beautiful and wonderful part of getting that education is that it's OK if it isn't done in the same way as it would be in a traditional school. Sometimes I worry I am not doing enough structured lessons with kids, but when I quiz them on things we have learned and realize they are retaining a very high level of it, I feel a little more at ease. Give yourself some grace, and know that you are doing a wonderful job. :)

Jamie said...

Glad to see this post here, and looking forward to reading the follow up.

Hey! Don't be so hard on yourself for being "feeling" instead of "thinking". It doesn't mean we *never* think! LOL!

FWIW,I'd totally peg Kelley as an ENFP! ;)

Sheila H. said...

Oddly enough, in college I was an ENTJ, but I don't feel that way now. I retested to see where I fit now, and tested borderline ENTP /ENTJ. My biggest factor is battling my autoimmune disease and it has changed me to the extent that I am willing to acquiesce in certain situations that previously would have had me digging in my heels. LoL, my family would agree on the assessment and title of "commander "; I usually refer to myself as the "warden ".

Interesting topic!