Think personality types and homeschooling are unrelated? Think again. Today we’re looking at how personality and homeschooling planning are connected, but also how to plan with that in mind.
Whether we’re talking about Myers Briggs, the Enneagram,* Strengthsfinder, DISC, or something like the Four Tendencies,* there’s no shortage of ways to sort us into groups with common strengths and challenges. (*referral links)
If you’re someone who doesn’t like all of this sorting and labeling, hang with me.
Connecting the Dots Between Personality Types and Homeschool Planning
I believe there’s a lot of good that comes from understanding your strengths, stressors, and your motivations. And really, these things do factor into your planning style and how you homeschool in general (or, they should factor into your planning style). Here’s why:
Homeschool Planning with *Your* Personality In Mind
It’s helpful to understand how mapped out you need things to be in order to successfully execute your homeschool plans. Do you need detailed and organized plans for accountability and functionality or do you just need some general direction to keep things on track?
For example, I feel out of sorts and stressed without a detailed plan for my homeschool. Nothing makes me crankier than unpredictability and the lack of structure that comes with “going with the flow.” I don’t lead or function well in that kind of environment.
Maybe you’re the opposite of me. If your sanity doesn’t depend on having a detailed plan in place, simply following a curriculum and moving from lesson to lesson may be all the structure you need.
Either way, both examples show how homeschool planning and personality are connected. After all, your personality — your tendencies and motivations — plays into how you show up for your homeschool; because of that it deserves consideration in your homeschool planning.
Homeschool Planning for Your Child’s Personality
Observing and making efforts to understand personality goes a long way from a parenting perspective. And since homeschooling is often labeled as Parenting 2.0, considering personality in our kids can also come into play with homeschool planning.
Again, we won’t dig into specific personality typing systems here, but instead, we’ll paint with broad strokes here and focus on the “Type A,” routine-driven kiddo and the free spirit. I have one of each, so I’m sharing based on my own experience with these personalities. This should be a good starting point for helping you see how personality factors into what your kids need from the homeschooling experience.
Homeschooling a Type-A Kiddo
The Type A kiddo is the kid who thrives under structure and organization, but can get really stressed or disagreeable if schedules are ignored and predictability is replaced with spontaneity. It’s important to show up and provide structure and clear expectations for kids with this kind of personality.
My oldest lines up with this personality and it definitely factors into my homeschool planning for him. He’s a high schooler and does most of his work independently, but he still needs to know what’s expected of him so he can manage his time. I can honor this by providing the materials he needs to learn on time and clear expectations for what he needs to accomplish and when.
On a similar note, I can set him up to thrive by forgoing the unexpected trips to the library or park in the middle of our morning and giving him a steady, predictable schedule that allows him to manage his time responsibly. This is not only honoring his personality, it’s also treating him the way I want to be treated.
Homeschooling with a Free Spirit Child
Just like you need to plan for the kid who needs structure, you also need to plan accordingly for the kiddo who needs freedom. My youngest is this way, so we focus on loose plans. She’s spontaneous and always has something creative brewing in her mind and honestly she’s stressed by the kind of rigid plans my oldest thrives upon.
I still make a to-do list for her to do each day, but I also leave our Fridays pretty empty. As far as logistics are concerned, that basically means she’s got a catch up day built into her week. That means she doesn’t get off track if her self-directed — and legitimately valuable — learning experiences prevent us from getting to that math lesson I planned earlier in the week.
So, to wrap things up, whether you ever dig into personality typing or not, I hope all of this serves as a reminder to observe your kids and consider how you can factor their personalities into your homeschool planning.
And lastly, I hope it reminds you to consider yourself in the homeschool planning process. After all, whether you’re looking at big-picture or day-to-day homeschool planning, being aware of what helps you thrive always puts you in a better position to lead well.
Looking for more help with homeschool planning? Be sure to check out our Homeschool Planning Series. You’ll find all kinds of support, from big-picture planning to logistics to encouragement to help your homeschool days run more smoothly.