Simply Convivial

classical homeschooling, practical homemaking

What’s your homeschool personality?

I love the Myers-Briggs personality typing.

Myers-Briggs – the personality system that gives you four letters – offers a vocabulary for talking about the different ways that people relate to each other and the world around them. It’s been so helpful to me in learning how to understand and value other people’s responses to ideas and situations – including my children’s.

I’ve written before about how personality typing helps me understand my kids, and I’ve written a brief explanation of how the Myers-Briggs system works.

Today I want to take this a step further and use the MBTI (Myers-Briggs Temperament Index) categories to help us understand our strengths and weaknesses as homeschool moms. I can’t help myself. I’m an INTJ and so I love systems like this.

Listen to this post:

When we realize that we’re trying to imitate a type totally opposite our own, we can realize why we feel defeated and beat up. Not only that, we can take a step back, value that other type’s abilities, yet shift our own energies toward what will work for us.

When we know our own type and what that means for us, we can automatically filter out curriculums and opportunities that won’t work for us. We don’t have to try it and crash and burn first. We can see that it’s not going to mesh. We also don’t have to feel bad about what doesn’t work for us, and we can better understand why something works for our friend when it doesn’t work for us.

When we know our personality type we can also see where we need to outsource, where we need to get help, where we’re going to have to budget recovery time and just what kind of recovery time we need. Recovery and refreshment plans for each personality type will be a post all it’s own. :)

Today, let’s look at how our personality types inform us of our homeschool style, strengths, and difficulties.

First, you’ll need to figure out your type. Start with this post if you don’t know your type already: “Understanding MBTI Typing.”

To describe the style of each type, I’ve generalized what I’ve read about mothering strengths, struggles, and styles to apply to homeschooling (my sources are listed at the bottom). Homeschooling is really an extension of mothering more than it is a separate role, and I think we’d all do a better job and enjoy ourselves more if we allow our own style to come through in how we set up our days and our curriculum. I steered clear of specific curriculum naming or education philosophies and identified more how each type would prefer to set up their homeschool routines (or lack thereof) and roles. I think these apply whatever other homeschool label you might claim. I also think there’s room for each type in the classical model.

The most significant benefit I see to understanding your own type and learning about other types is that we can stop comparing ourselves to types we’ll never feel comfortable imitating, stop feeling guilty we aren’t doing everything, and stop thinking so-and-so is doing it all wrong because she’s doing it differently (or, conversely, thinking you’re doing it all wrong because you’re out-of-the-box – or even in-the-box).

The biggest differences in personality type are not seen along the introversion-extroversion line, or even across the perception-judging line, but between the sensing types and the intuitive types. The styles and preferences between sensing and intuition personalities will be the greatest, and the differences there can be the cause of misunderstanding and bad advice between friends.

Disclaimer: I am an enthusiast on the topic, not an expert and have no credentials in the matter. I only read, think, and talk about it all the time. So sometimes I also have to write about it. Humor me.

Knowing your homeschool personality helps you shed guilt and find the homeschooling lifestyle that fits you best.



Download the free 1-page Homeschool Personality Cheat Sheet



Sensing Types: lovers of the concrete, present reality

SFs will express their people-orientation through experiences, actions, and other physical means. They are the ultimate fun, adventurous, always-there-for-you homeschoolers.

STs will express their preference for logic and order through neatness, words, and high standards. They are the ultimate get-it-done homeschoolers who would never dream of slacking.

ISTJ – the responsible homeschool mom

ISTJ - the responsible homeschool mom. The ISTJ mom always has a plan and she's good at juggling details. Knowing your homeschool personality helps you shed guilt and find the homeschooling lifestyle that fits you best.

The ISTJ mom always has a plan and she’s good at juggling details. She has a strong sense of responsibility and desire to do the right thing. ISTJs are very black-and-white, which makes it difficult for them to be flexible, but their concern and attention creates an atmosphere of security and interest in the realities of the world and day-to-day life.

  • Strengths: consistency, boldness, stability, managing details.
  • Struggles: rigidity, losing sight of the big picture, perfectionism.
  • Style: school-in-a-box will be the default that is extra difficult for her to break out of; whatever her curriculum, it will be quite structured and reliable.
ESTP – the adventurous homeschool mom

ESTP - the adventurous homeschool mom. The ESTP mom is a matter-of-fact type that is full of energy and enthusiasm. Knowing your homeschool personality helps you shed guilt and find the homeschooling lifestyle that fits you best.

A matter-of-fact type that is full of energy and enthusiasm, an ESTP homeschool mom will always be up for field trips and interest-based in-depth studies complete with hands-on projects. She will be certain that her children never think school or learning is boring and she loves to make the world her family’s classroom.

  • Strengths: flexibility, sense of wonder & fun, living in-the-moment alongside her children
  • Struggles: keeping a routine, distractedness, being at home too much
  • Style: happy with hands-on projects, adventures, field trips, experiences, and wonder-based living
ISTP – the diy homeschool mom

ISTP - the diy homeschool mom. The ISTP homeschool mom always makes sure each child has room to be himself and express himself. Knowing your homeschool personality helps you shed guilt and find the homeschooling lifestyle that fits you best.

This type of homeschool mom always makes sure each child has room to be himself and express himself. She is less authoritarian, preferring less direct guidance and letting kids learn for themselves even when it gets messy. She likes experimentation and discovery and makes room for it in her kids’ lives. She’s chill and gung-ho to let her kids try things out.

  • Strengths: non-controlling, respectful discussion, fostering self-sufficiency
  • Struggles: lack of assertiveness, teaching
  • Style: Lots of independent learning, little direct instruction, lots of conversation and exploration.
ESTJ – the down-to-earth homeschool mom

ESTJ - the down-to-earth homeschool mom. ESTJs are the homeschool moms you can count on and who loves to take charge and make things happen. Knowing your homeschool personality helps you shed guilt and find the homeschooling lifestyle that fits you best.

ESTJs are the homeschool moms you can count on and who love to take charge and make things happen. ESTJ moms are happy when they are useful, effective, and busy. She establishes consistent routines and defined standards, helping her children feel secure and confident. She is good at juggling life, being dependable and engaged.

  • Strengths: practical, realistic, makes things happen, community-minded
  • Struggles: can be controlling or driven, losing sight of the big picture, difficulty in sticking out a long-haul process without concrete results
  • Style: picks a method that she trusts and sticks with it unless it obviously doesn’t work; ESTJs might also find themselves the organizer or leader of a co-op, especially if they have a visionary to work with.
ISFJ – the nurturing homeschool mom

ISFJ - the nurturing homeschool mom. ISFJs tend to be under appreciated and their dedicated, loyal, loving service is often overlooked and taken for granted. Knowing your homeschool personality helps you shed guilt and find the homeschooling lifestyle that fits you best.

One sad truth about ISFJs is that they tend to be under appreciated and their dedicated, loyal, loving service is often overlooked and taken for granted. They do not draw attention to themselves, but they are always focused on caring for their family. ISFJs are very supportive and love being useful, but because they also dislike conflict, homeschooling becomes difficult when there is any push-back or frustration by the children.

  • Strengths: care, loyalty, affection, attention
  • Struggles: lack of confidence, guilt, conflict
  • Style: packaged curriculum for the basics plus opportunities provided for each child; or, lots of outsourcing so she can play the support role she excels in.
ESFP – the in-the-moment homeschool mom

ESFP - the in-the-moment homeschool mom. A friendly and outgoing ESFP will usually want to be part of a learning community or co-op and get out of the house to learn through experiences. Knowing your homeschool personality helps you shed guilt and find the homeschooling lifestyle that fits you best.

A friendly and outgoing ESFP will usually want to be part of a learning community or co-op and get out of the house to learn through experiences. She’s attentive, present, and engaged with her kids and instills a sense of wonder and sociability naturally. She’s good at seeing and meeting her kids’ needs and talking to them about anything.

  • Strengths: playful, attentive, flexible, practical
  • Struggles: dealing out consequences, helicopter parenting, taking things personally
  • Style: prefers having group learning settings and guided experiences for her kids and lots of conversation in their home learning.
ISFP – the generous homeschool mom

ISFP - the generous homeschool mom. Quiet, unassuming, and responsive, an ISFP will take her responsibility to homeschool seriously. Knowing your homeschool personality helps you shed guilt and find the homeschooling lifestyle that fits you best.

Quiet, unassuming, and responsive, an ISFP will take her responsibility to homeschool seriously. She enjoys being needed and pours herself out willingly. She’s adaptable and gentle, and prefers to teach through being a role model than by direct instruction.

  • Strengths: affectionate, attentive, modeling, gentleness
  • Struggles: people-pleasing, routines & organization, assertiveness
  • Style: balancing books and real-world doing to prepare for life
ESFJ – the companionable homeschool mom

ESFJ - the companionable homeschool mom. ESFJs often love homeschooling because they love that the family can be all together. Knowing your homeschool personality helps you shed guilt and find the homeschooling lifestyle that fits you best.

ESFJs often love homeschooling because they love that the family can be all together. She loves to be with her children, watching them grow, and being a part of every moment. ESFJs tend to prefer a more active, out-and-about, hands-on lifestyle. They love people, and they love their own little flock of people most of all, so they invest whole-heartedly into creating a lifestyle of love and learning.

  • Strengths: making connections, cultivating relationships, mentoring her kids
  • Struggles: handling disharmony, perfectionism
  • Style: directing a larger learning community with lots of activities, projects, and lively discussion

Intuitive Types: lovers of ideas and connections

Preferring intuitive understandings makes these types ideas-oriented and more theoretical than concrete. Problems that require concrete solutions (like pencils everywhere, books shelved improperly, and laundry routines – not that those examples rattled off my fingers too easily) tend to elude intuitive types. Though physical order is daunting to maintain, the principles underneath their decisions tend to be researched, examined, and solid.

NFs tend to express their people-orientation through empathy and fostering relational connections, which they do naturally and often without realizing. They are the ultimate relationship-building homeschoolers.

NTs express their preference for logic and order through research, systems, and conceptual understanding. They are the ultimate “you can’t tell me what to do” and “I’ll do it my way” homeschoolers.



Download the free 1-page Homeschool Personality Cheat Sheet



INFJ – the understanding homeschool mom

INFJ - the understanding homeschool mom. An INFJ homeschools to provide her children a safe, loving, understanding home environment. Knowing your homeschool personality helps you shed guilt and find the homeschooling lifestyle that fits you best.

An INFJ homeschools to provide her children a safe, loving, understanding home environment. She listens to her children and is a mentor-guide to them. She tends to be hard on herself because the real world never matches up to her envisioned ideal. She’s so committed to doing the right thing for her kids regardless of personal cost that she is easily burnt out. Because she gets overwhelmed by details, the INFJ will generally be most comfortable starting with a planned curriculum that she can adapt according to her own needs. Her children trust her and know she’ll always be there for them, on their team.

  • Strengths: dedication, relationship-building, understanding each of her child’s unique needs and abilities, a sense for how to help each child over his own difficulties
  • Struggles: tendency to ignore her own needs while serving others, conflict avoidance, perfectionism
  • Style: prefers a trusted, loose curriculum that leaves room for deep conversations, moments of beauty, and her own children’s personal flourishing.
ENFP – the creative homeschool mom

ENFP - the creative homeschool mom. The ENFP is the ultimate fun mom. Knowing your homeschool personality helps you shed guilt and find the homeschooling lifestyle that fits you best.

The ENFP is the ultimate fun mom. She’s likely to say yes to finger paints, play dough, field trips, play days, or whatever opportunity arises to throw off routine and do something interesting and inspiring. She loves stories and games, but most of all she loves her people.

  • Strengths: relationship-building, flexibility, seeing kids’ needs with a willingness to drop everything to meet them
  • Struggles: consistency, distractedness, being too visionary, drained by anything tedious or too detailed or rigid
  • Style: a pared-down-basics plan that leaves room for inspiration and spontaneity; will not likely use a scripted or boxed curriculum unless she lacks confidence
INFP – the tuned-in homeschool mom

INFP - the tuned-in homeschool mom. Attentive, perceptive, and understanding, a sensitive INFP homeschool mom takes cues from her kids to patiently meet their need. Knowing your homeschool personality helps you shed guilt and find the homeschooling lifestyle that fits you best.

Attentive, perceptive, and understanding, a sensitive INFP homeschool mom takes cues from her kids to patiently meet their need. She loves to let her kids run with interests and passions, offering a guiding voice when needed but not before. She loves creating happy memories and watching her children enjoy life.

  • Strengths: cultivating relationships, engaging her kids, attentiveness, understanding
  • Difficulties: conflict avoidance, easily overwhelmed, distaste for decision-making, guilt
  • Style: allowing of time for books, thoughts, and taste; independent study with one-on-one guidance rather than instruction
ENFJ – the enthusiastic homeschool mom

ENFJ - the enthusiastic homeschool mom. She loves to teach, she loves to reach her children's hearts and see them grow, and she loves to put together a plan just right for her family. Knowing your homeschool personality helps you shed guilt and find the homeschooling lifestyle that fits you best.

The ENFJ is a natural homeschool mom. She loves to teach, she loves to reach her children’s hearts and see them grow, and she loves to put together a plan just right for her family. She has energy and enthusiasm and she understands the big idea. She wants to be close to her children and be a part of their lives in their childhoods and as adults.

  • Strengths: mentoring, teaching, relationship-investment activities like read-alouds and family vacations
  • Struggles: people-pleasing, her own intensity, anxiety and inner conflict
  • Style: whatever she feels allows for the best development of her children; she will prefer an eclectic approach that follows her gut.
INTJ – the determined homeschool mom

INTJ - the determined homeschool mom. An INTJ will always create a system that is consistent with her principles, but following-through on it quickly becomes tedious and draining. Knowing your homeschool personality helps you shed guilt and find the homeschooling lifestyle that fits you best.

INTJs are the most rare type among women, but you will find them disproportionately represented in the homeschool world. That’s because they have zero tolerance for stupidity, they have drive, and they prefer to be unconventional and do things their own way. An INTJ will always create a system that is consistent with her principles, but following-through on it quickly becomes tedious and draining. Likewise, she has a keen awareness of the underlying worldview or principles she encounters, but her sense of her physical surroundings suffers the more she exercises her attention to ideas.

  • Strengths: confidence, problem-solving, ability to turn theory into practice, fostering independence in her children
  • Difficulties: handling noise & hubbub, obsessing, showing affection, noticing emotional or physical cues
  • Style: nothing scripted, everything researched, decisions made based on their own priorities and principles; generally focused on reading & writing with few outside commitments or activities or also likely to be STEM-invested.
ENTP – the unconventional homeschool mom

ENTP - the unconventional homeschool mom. The ENTP homeschool mom is brimming with confidence and energy, and strives to pass on both to her children. Knowing your homeschool personality helps you shed guilt and find the homeschooling lifestyle that fits you best.

The ENTP homeschool mom is brimming with confidence and energy, and strives to pass on both to her children. She shows her children possibilities and gives them options, letting them exercise their independence early and often and also letting them learn from direct experience without stepping in to interfere. Her unconcern with others’ standards or expectations allows her to fully embrace the freedom homeschooling allows.

  • Strengths: fostering independence & a learning lifestyle, teaching through real life, going with the flow and seizing opportunities
  • Struggles: abruptness, impatience with details, clingy or needy children
  • Style: prefers a fun mix of ideas-based book-work and active, fun adventures
INTP – the intellectual homeschool mom

INTP - the intellectual homeschool mom. A knowledge base that is both wide and deep is vital to the INTP, and she is the most likely type to never forget to learn and grow herself. Knowing your homeschool personality helps you shed guilt and find the homeschooling lifestyle that fits you best.

An INTP will read ALL THE BOOKS before she makes the choice to homeschool or before she begins. A knowledge base that is both wide and deep is vital to the INTP, and she is the most likely type to never forget to learn and grow herself. Because coming to a decision is difficult for INTPs, after exhaustive research, they are happiest choosing a ready-to-go program that supports their commitment to wide and varied study.

  • Strengths: a contagious love of learning, understanding of underlying principles, calm dedication
  • Struggles: getting overwhelmed by details, getting outside their head, hyper-focus
  • Style: book-centered, discussion-based, idea-loving atmosphere
ENTJ – the decisive homeschool mom

ENTJ - the decisive homeschool mom. She makes decisions and gets things done, but she always keeps the big picture in view, steering her course ever closer to her north star. Knowing your homeschool personality helps you shed guilt and find the homeschooling lifestyle that fits you best.

Once an ENTJ has put her hand to the plow, she is dedicated and unwavering. She makes decisions and gets things done, but she always keeps the big picture in view, steering her course ever closer to her north star. ENTJs generally settle on an ideal, a vision for what they want out of their effort, and are never afraid to buck conventions and do what it takes to reach their ends.

  • Strengths: strong will, vision, fostering independence, deep conversations
  • Struggles: flexing her plan according to individual needs, slowing down, self-criticism
  • Style: Thorough, teacher-friendly curriculum packages; checklists; activities and communities that support their vision, even if they have to create or run them.

Bibliographic Trail

This post is built primarily from my in-depth rereading of these three books:

My Other Articles on Personality



Download the free 1-page Homeschool Personality Cheat Sheet



And now, from you:

  1. Yes! This is fabulous! I have wanted to explore type in relation to parenting.
    As an enfp, my kids’ need for order and consistency has demanded so much more structure than Has come naturally to me! It is tough to figure out how to strengthen what is weak, without wasting all my time on what will never be my strong suit.
    I love how you emphasize using our strengths. Better than banging your head on a wall, right?

  2. Leave it to an INTJ to order this out so thoroughly for all of us. WOW. Mystie. Wow! You are an animal.

    As an ENFP, I definitely relate to my synopsis. I prefer a general outline that allows for a lot of flexibility and adaption from day to day, week to week, season to season, etc. I use Ambleside Online for my basic structure and inspiration and adapt it for our needs. My choices are based on fostering encounters with Big Ideas and excellent literature. And I absolutely follow my children’s inspirations and interests at the drop of a hat. (Though I’ve learned to say, “Let’s think about that and plan ahead” on the really big projects.)

    I am also very focused on giving my fellas plenty of down time to simply live: think, play, explore. This can be my Achilles heel, as it is a fine line with my four little wildebeests (boys ages 10-8-5-2) who often digress into stampeding through the house butt-naked, bellowing like wild animals if given too much unstructured time. (My oldest is a frothy ENFP who leads the rest into the oblivion of extremely rambunctious play.)

    I’ve realized over time that our days needs to be structured to survive the long haul; and I struggle with letting inspiration (or the proverbial “flying by the seat of my pants”) wipe out that structure. With a family depending on me, I’ve had to learn how to pace myself and enforce time structures for success. For example, we have had so many years of eating our evening meal at almost bedtime until I finally enforced the rule that I needed to start my kitchen work at 4:00 PM. When I let that slip, I see the results and re-remember why I’m so strict with myself. (AKA: we don’t like eating at 8:00 PM.) Or the times when I get caught up in inspiration, amazing or mundane, like finally attacking our Play Table MESS for as long as it takes, until nobody has eaten and the baby needs a nap, but I am hell-bent on carrying my inspiration to the final goal. Or shoot, writing out an excited response to a MBTI Homeschooling Styles post as my children swirl in chaos around me. :)

    But. When everything rides on me, I can’t live so loosely. Chaos is misery. And as the mother and household manager in our humble abode, it pretty much rides on me to instill order. Eegads. It doesn’t come naturally – and I have definitely have to work at it. Constantly. Even though I’ve built habits, it is easy to allow my enthusiasm or inspiration for that day let everything spiral out of control. (I also personally think I have particularly excitable children – rare are the days of calm and order.) (Unless my oldest is caught up in his own inspiration.) (Then the entire household calms down several notches.)

    I love this stuff. I’ve been re-re-re-re-re-re-re-reading Please Understand Me II in recent weeks and it is re-re-re-re-re-re-re-blowing my mind. Thanks Mystie! Fun.

    1. Oh my gosh I just love everything you said and relate to it SO closely, it’s a little freaky. I find such comfort in knowing there is someone out there that is basically awesome like me but also trying to maintain the balance and keep four boys clothed and at least a little bit structured sometimes. I think the strengths we have are great because they are hard to learn, whereas learning to be organized is an easier skill to learn. Keep it up mama, your boys are in good hands!

  3. This was fun! I love your personality posts, Mystie. I am an INFP married to an INTJ. (Gee, wonder why I’ve always felt drawn to your blog…? ;) )

  4. renee tougas

    I am very interested in this. And will come back to read more but I am a hardcore I/E STJ and I’m one of the most relaxed homeschooler I know. This has vexed me somewhat and made me wonder, what gives?

    I think how this works for me is that I structure our home and our days, I don’t structure “what is being learned” so much. Structure time not content from Leadership education sums it up nicely.

    And I’m definitely sending people here. I LOVE Myers-Briggs & personality stuff

    1. renee tougas

      I guess I do want to say I take exception with the phrase “natural homeschool mom” of the ENFJ because I think any mom can be a natural at homeschooling, with her type, if she’s willing to follow who she is.

      1. I am an ENFJ and nothing has been natural because of my lack of trust in me consequence of my poor heritage and references. But when I have gained a bit of confidence -in my natural stage, I am all that Mystic says.
        I loved our book clubs, Mystie, but I am recovering from trying to be like you, or like Brandy. It’s obvious our styles don’t mesh. Good thing love and respect are above it all.
        I am glad I saw this post shared by Brandy on FB, though. It’s surely freeing.

        1. I’m glad it’s freeing, Silvia, that’s exactly what I wanted! Working with our own strengths and not comparing ourselves to others is key to building confidence, and lack of confidence keeps us down and ineffective. I’m glad you know your type! ENFJs have a lot going for them as homeschool moms!

    2. Yay, hi Renee! My good friend that I homeschool with is also an I/E STJ and she’s relaxed as well. I think both yours and her approach comes from having and trusting good sources from the beginning? Or maybe the I/E balance? I love “structure time rather than content” as an approach that works for you.

  5. My favorite two subjects. :D

    I’m an ISFJ, but lately I haven’t felt much like one–especially in homeschooling. It may be the guilt and push-back from my kids, though. ;) People who know me from a homeschool setting probably wouldn’t agree that I don’t draw attention to myself (and they wouldn’t guess my introvertedness). I don’t know that I’m really a packaged curriculum type, but I love cohesive lists and plans (such as Well-Trained Mind or Classical Conversations). It’s the self-discipline to stick with it that I’m not so great at. ;)

    1. As an F you’re tuned in more to your people than the lists or objectives. :) I would think CC has been how you “outsource” so you can play the supportive role rather than the leader.

      I think many of us introverts project extrovertedness when we have to in public. :)

      1. My husband is my polar opposite (ENTP) and my oldest son is an ENFP (and I am the *only* introvert in my family of 6), so I’m certain that plays a part as well. :) And I agree about outsourcing with CC. We originally enrolled so that my boys could have other adults as teachers one day a week. It’s tough being the only (introverted) person they crash into all day every day. Ha! I know that I project extrovertedness in public, but even more-so when I’m in a comfortable environment and/or talking about things I’m passionate about… because I love to talk. :D

  6. Hi – I know my type ENTP, but I am wondering how I can test my son. I know in business this really helped me understand my boss and why we butt heads….I am hoping I can test my son and understand his needs more…how he wants me to teach him.

  7. Ahh I love this! Hello from a fellow Myers-Briggs geek! I am an INFJ and this couldn’t be more true. My husband is an INTJ, and I think we make a great team. Thanks again for this! I really enjoyed reading it!

    1. Oh that’s amazing to hear! I am an INFJ and my husband is an INTJ, which seemed to me like it would be a good compliment when we start homeschooling :)

    2. What curriculum do you use? I love her description of what kind of curriculum us INFJs would thrive with but I wish she’d given some examples. Maybe a later post!

      1. And you really need to hop on Facebook, there is a big discussion happening where I shared the thread and pam’s page too…probably other. Good stuff!!!

        1. I know I know! That’s why I said it. You need to be there. Ha!!! (I really know why you’re not, I’m just teasing!)

  8. As I read the synopsis of my personality type (ISFJ), I started shaking! I was just telling my husband today that I try so hard, no one cares, and they walk all over me!

    The thing is, the recommended style is not really what I want for my kids. I haven’t found a packaged curriculum that interests me and the one subject I’ve outsourced is very much “we have to do it this way for a class of 20 kids.” Which is why I’m homeschooling in the first place! I can’t win!

    So I guess the question is: can an ISFJ person be an ESTP homeschool mom? Because that one sounds pretty good to me!

    1. Sounds like we need to start an ISFJ support group. You should check out Heidi, another ISFJ: http://www.mthopechronicles.com/

      You can also outsource by using online or DVD resources – or even having one child read to another. ISFJs definitely need solid back-up from their husbands, especially as sons get older. Another place you might get some ideas from is Dawn: http://ladydusk.blogspot.com/ – she uses Ambleside Online, but gives a great look into how she adapts it for her family. AO is rather overwhelming and looks drab, but it isn’t really. Plus they have a great support forum.

  9. Somewhere between INTJ and ISTJ. My poor kiddos!!

    On the upside, as far as school-in-a-box goes, I really, really love Memoria Press after trying to piece things together on my own. And we do break from their mold in some areas. :)

  10. I am an INFJ (although the F is pretty close to borderline) and I am not sure you rank the Ideal high enough there. I would love to use a pre planned curricula, at least in theory. But, about two years ago I read The Liberal Arts Tradition and it was The One. I have looked the whole homeschool world over and nothing looks quite like the vision inspired when I first read that book. So I have flopped with several curricula, not because they weren’t fine, but because they just pulled me away from that one vision of what a homeschool could look and feel like… So I am am close enough to an INTJ that I am now writing my own curriculum, unique I am sure, to see how close I can come to the picture in my head. My poor first child though. She is a second grader, and would probably be happy with a little less perfect and a lot more routine. It kills me that I didn’t have my vision perfectly fleshed out enough to start her in it from the beginning. But I don’t think the liberal arts tradition was written until after I started her in kindergarten!

  11. What a fun post! :-)

    I am an INFJ and have never been able to follow someone else’s plan successfully. I tweak and tweak and tweak some more until it barely resembles the original plan I started with. Though I do tend to get overwhelmed with details (being that INFJ’s are big picture people), that’s the exact reason that preplanned curricula doesn’t work for me. Too many details. I always have to scale back and make things more simple. The curriculum planners are the exact opposite of me-detail people-so their plans always seem overcomplicated to me. I also jump back and forth between structured and relaxed homeschooling. I usually come up a with a structured plan, put it into use, do quite well for a while on it, and then I get burned out and switch to a much more relaxed method of schooling for a while. Later, I start to feel to unorganized and we switch back to more structure. It might sound like a disaster but it actually works quite well for us!

    Other than the curriculum issue, you nailed me. :-D

      1. INFJ here. I feel the same as others about the curriculum. The rest of the analysis was great! But I ended up throwing curriculum out the window and never looking back. I cater to individual needs and interests and definitely relationship as you mentioned. And actually, I don’t feel burnt out either just because we go with the flow and enjoy what we do. But thank you for writing this article!!! As my personality implies, I love introspection of every kind always!

      2. I’ve also been following the thread on the WTM boards that you started and I noticed one INFJ mention that she loves exploring the details. I realized that, yes, I love exploring the details of ideas. I can get hung up on one little detail of doctrine or theology or a philosophy. However, I am overwhelmed when it comes to the details of how to do things. I rarely use teachers’ manuals or instructions manuals. If I do, it’s simply to find out a certain piece of information and move on.

    1. What curriculums have been your favorites? I’m a fellow INFJ and you sound like me. :)

      1. Amy-I don’t know if your question was directed towards me or Rachel but I can share some of my favorites. I love Math U See and it has been the one things we’ve stuck with for the long haul. I also like Truthquest history, Ambleside Online, Simply Charlotte Mason’s picture study portfolios and their geography curriculum, Easy Grammar, Duolingo, Apologia science….Mmmm that’s all I can think of off the top of my head. However, I tweak all of these choices significantly (except for Math U See) or I use them off and on, here a little, there a little (again, except for Math U See). We mostly follow Charlotte Mason methods in our homeschool which don’t require a lot of curricula. We read a lot of real books and use copywork and dictation along with oral and written narrations.

        1. That’s really interesting and nice to hear from another INFJ mom what she likes to use in homeschool. I also love Math U See and Apologia science. :) The student notebook is not so much for us though as my oldest (& I) really get bogged down by all the “busy work.” We have used My Fathers World off and on through the years but by the time I’m done tweaking it to my liking, it looks entirely different than the original, so I was strongly leaning toward AO for next year just because I feel there’s more natural freedom. 😉 I’m also looking into some SCM stuff, including the picture portfolios! So fun that we’re kind of on the same page. Must be a personality thing? 😜 Haha

    2. Melanie, I’m a fellow INFJ and TOTALLY get where you’re coming from! It’s like I wrote your previous comment myself. lol I do the same thing with curriculum! I totally stink at structure and routine, though there’s a part of me that craves it (maybe the subconscious part that knows I/my kids need it?) Pam Barnhill recently did a podcast that talked about “tidal homeschooling” and I was like “Lightbulb!!” It was a beautiful answer to my mental crazy. If you haven’t already, check out the Homeschool Snapshots Podcast, episode 24 with Melissa Wiley. I think Melissa is my spirit animal. haha :-D

      1. Bethany-you’ve got to be kidding! I just discovered “tidal homeschooling”! I love it! It’s the perfect description of what works best in my homeschool.. I also downloaded the Pam Barnhill podcast yesterday. :-) I’m looking forward to listening to it today.

        We are on a “low tide” spell at my house and loving it! :-D

    3. I could have written this! I switched our plan like 4 times already this year. I can’t stand packaged curriculum and I never feel like anything is good enough. I am not an over achiever, but I want my kids to like school and for us to enjoy it and I find most curriculum sooooo boring. I’m an INFJ too!

  12. Being a crazy, spontaneous, fly by the seat of my pants ENFP makes it extremely difficult for me to advise new homeschoolers. They think that surely, after 19 years of this thing, I should know what I’m doing and be able to tell them how to do it. What DO I use for 4th grade is all they want to know!! Easy question- just tell me.
    Hah!!! Oh I wish I could. But this ENFP won’t know until the next 4th grader comes along and she decides what she feels like!!
    Boxed curriculum must be from the devil…at least that’s what it feels like to me. It destroys me. And yet my seat-of-my-pants flying certainly has its own share of problems. Like actually getting anything accomplished. LOL!!!
    Loved the post…my poor, lucky children.

  13. Loved this! Fellow INTJ, so I find this stuff fascinating! I have always tested INTJ, but recently we’ve been doing some MBI stuff with the business we work with (which, as a side note, has some super interesting dynamics to me in a cross-cultural context!), and my husband and our CEO both jumped in on thinking I am in ISTJ. I was a bit unsettled because I did come out closer to S when I took that version, and it just felt like it was missing some key components for me.
    I’ve been realizing that recent seasons and circumstances have brought out some very S-like behaviors in me (and I do have some of the tendencies with rigidity and big struggles with perfectionism and sometimes being very black and white), but in things like this, the overall picture of an INTJ fits so much better for me (SO strongly want to do things my way and create my own systems and constantly tweak them as I get bored just maintaining and want to work out an even better system to rid any sort of imperfections–obsess much?! Ha), so it has been a recent examination for me to consider and pray about where the disconnect is. I’m having a hard time communicating it to my husband, but I almost felt like I was grieving at having lost part of who I more deeply am and have been sort of just cranking away at something a bit less “fitting” for me.
    Anyway, it’s interesting that you mention the biggest differences would be seen in the S/N because that is where my current examination lies.
    Will have to keep an eye out for the recovery/refreshment stuff you mentioned you will write! :)
    I find it challenging sometimes as an introvert (but related to some of the INTJ stuff, very opinionated and…sigh…controlling) to be the only source for things for my kiddos but not eager to “outsource” anything.
    Thanks for this post! Really neat insights!

  14. There is a new test with 5 letters instead of four. The 5th letter stands for IDENTITY: This trait underpins all others, showing how confident we are in our abilities and decisions.

    Here is the website: https://www.16personalities.com/free-personality-test

    It is great at explaining all of the personalities and nailed mine spot on! I am an ISFJ-T which is called the “Defender”. Looking at your homeschool types I am a nurturing homeschool mom: supportive, attentive, caring for kids and family, and avoiding conflict. It’s pretty right on except when looking at curriculum style I’m not a packaged curriculum person but more of a real books, loose type curriculum junkie. My boys are so different and getting packaged curriculum is like trying to fit a square peg in a round hole.

    This was interesting and being a counselor and taking this test many times you will find that over the years your personality type will change. In five to ten years I would suggest that you take this test again and see the changes that have happened.

    Lisa Joy

    1. I am also an ISFJ-T (heavy on the Turbulent ;) ).

      This is one of my favorite (positive) descriptions of an ISFJ: “The ISFJ personality type is quite unique, as many of their qualities defy the definition of their individual traits. Though possessing the Feeling (F) trait, ISFJs have excellent analytical abilities; though Introverted (I), they have well-developed people skills and robust social relationships; and though they are a Judging (J) type, ISFJs are often receptive to change and new ideas.”

      My 3 boys are also very different, and I think it is our nurturing side that works to find something that will work for them–even if we would prefer a more structured or cohesive curriculum for ourselves.

    2. Hi Lisa! I’ve seen 16personalities’ addition to the test and think it’s interesting, but I haven’t researched it yet. I test as a strong Assertive. :)

      Yes, Isabel Myers writes in her book that as people mature and practice their non-preferred modes, they move more toward the middle of the scale. There’s debate as to whether your core personality changes or if you’re just able to flex and adapt to what’s needed more fluently. Also, it’s easy when you’re younger to not know yourself as well and test incorrectly. In high school and college I tested as an INFJ, but it was only due to circumstances that I was experiencing stronger F-tendencies. My true type is INTJ, and was even then, I just wasn’t working in my strengths at the time.

  15. This is spot on, but I id learn something.

    Even though I was born a man, somehow I magically became a homeschool mom when I read this article.

    Thanks for thinking of both parents.

  16. Oh man! I’m and ENFJ. These descriptions are SPOT ON. “Struggles: people-pleasing, her own intensity, anxiety and inner conflict” Umm….yes. Loved this!

    1. Yay!, I found another one like me!
      I just came from a conference where I received tons of compliments and love and assurance on my presentation, YET I am hang up on the two less than wonderful -not at all negative -,comments. Sigh.

  17. Another MBTI fan!! Yay! I’m so excited Mystie. A few of the ladies from my MBTI group headed me this way. I LOVE this post. And it’s so true. I’m an ENFP and yes, we make our own way! And it’s true; I don’t do anything too involved or tedious. We keep it fun and simple and allow a lot of time to pursue our own interests.
    There’s another blogger who writes about this too and wrote a list of books based on the types and I just loved it. You might like it too! I’ll send you the link.
    One other thing: I have a group where we talk about this and scope about it IF YOU’RE INTERESTED. I’d love to have you there! ;)
    ~Happy Homeschooling & Happy Typing, lol!

      1. Hi Mystie! So happy for your reply.
        Okay, so you aren’t on FB…hmmm…I have a group on Facebook called “Myers Mondays: Living & Loving the MBTI”. However, if you are on Periscope I scope on Mondays about the MBTI…hence, “Myers Mondays”. So a lot of the information in the group actually has to do with what we’re discussing in the scopes.
        The post I loved about what book each MBTI type should read, I believe, can be found at The Modern Mrs. Darcy. Here it is!: http://modernmrsdarcy.com/perfect-summer-reading-every-myers-briggs-personality-type-mbti/
        There is also a great bunch of lists at ThoughtCatalog.com for “each MBTI type” (such as “How Each MBTI Type Acts At a Party” and etc.) They are quite funny, especially when you have friends and family of several different types.
        Well dear, that’s it for now! But it would be lovely to keep up with you. Glad to connect!

  18. I wish we could have curriculum suggestions given for the ones the different types have felt “matched” them! Any chance that could be another post???

  19. Wow, nicely done, Mystie! I definitely think you’ve nailed the INTJ type – although as I get older I’m getting a lot better at *ahem* learning to love what must be done *grin* Now if I could just get better at dealing with the noise and hubbub…

  20. This was a fantastically fun post! I’m a fellow INTJ, so naturally I loved it (and you totally nailed me). I found your blog via the Schole Sisters podcast, which I found via Pam Barnhill’s Your Morning Basket podcast. :-) Eating it all up!

    I saw that you said you aren’t on Facebook…just curious as to why. I personally have a love-hate relationship with it, have taken Facebook hiatuses from time to time, and still can’t find a positive working relationship with it in which I am able to enjoy it without getting sucked in/it being a drain on my time and energy. Would love to hear your thoughts!

    Thanks again for the great post (and the others I’ve been perusing on here). Glad to have found your website!

    1. Yay for good podcasts! :) The FB thing is 1/4 the INTJ “can’t stand stupidity” thing and 3/4 my husband’s stance against their privacy actions and policies over the years. He is a tech guy and he says they are bad guys who will not have any of our data if we can help it. :) I find submitting to his decision on that matter a convenient excuse to not have to worry about working FB as a blogger. :) It does mean that I’m out of a lot of loops.

  21. Fellow INTJ here, and you nailed this! Describes me so well, it’s spooky. I even read the INTJ section at the dinner table, with both of my kids going “uh-huh, yep, exactly” through the whOle thing. My 17 year old summed it up with this: Mom, your tombstone will read “INTJ – Look it up yourself”

  22. Virginia Lee Rogers

    Well, I tested as an ENTJ. Seems like I’m the only ENTJ who has commented. I think your description was great, except the Teacher Friendly Curriculum Packages. We are CM/AO homeschoolers and LOVE it. I have to say, I have never liked any CM package curriculums I’ve seen because they are often not CM (even if they say they are). Plus the scripting makes me insane. I thought the, book centered, discussion based, idea loving atmosphere fit better. That can be at home or in a like minded group of friends. =)

    Yes on the slow down! But having kiddos and age are great sanctification tools for that. You slow down because you love them, and as you get older you come to realize how wonderful slowing down can be. Now I’m interested to see what my husband tests as.

    Any other ENTJs out there?

    1. That makes sense, Virginia! ENTJs are powerhouses. :) I have a good friend (homeschooled homeschooling mom, too) who is an ENTJ, but she’s probably not reading the comments.

  23. I’m ISTJ, but I was never successful with a “box.” I do prepare structured assignment sheets, though. Any other ISTJs who eschew a box?

  24. I loved this! I’m an INFJ and your description is spot on–especially the part about getting overwhelmed by details :) I definitely have to start with a plan so I don’t get swamped by the little decisions required minute-by-minute when trying to “wing it.” I am not good at winging it.

    I also found it helpful to read about how other MBTI types approach homeschooling. We can give each other (and ourselves) so much more grace when we realize that God really has made us all differently!

  25. INFJ here. My husband just told me the other day I’m too hard on myself and that I need to let go. So this is right on. I love how you broke this up and keyed in on homeschool moms!

  26. This is so true! I’m an INTP and even though my kids aren’t even school aged yet, I’ve been reading up on methods and philosophies since before my first was born. And yes, the opportunity to learn alongside my kids is a big part of why I want to homeschool.

  27. So the funny note here is that I retook the test a while back and finally have one definitive personality type and that is P. Everything else, EVERYTHING else came down almost evenly divided. When I took the test before being married and a parent I was divided evenly on all 4. So results? I/E, S/N, F/T, P. Now if that isn’t confusing I don’t know what is! But I will say that I find that in homeschooling I run between INTP, I read and research to the extreme. And ISTP, I let my daughter lead, we discuss everything (usually in the car) and messes do not bother me with just a smidge of INTJ because I despise stupidity and always do my own thing. If you are totally confused, try living in my head!!

    1. Joan – I’d put money on ISTP as being the right fit, based on your description here. ISTPs also research meticulously and don’t put up with garbage. See if the description at personalitypage.com fits.

  28. THANK YOU! I’d heard of the Myers-Briggs personality typing before and had even figured out what I was — an ISFJ — but then I forgot all about it. Your article about bringing to the homeschool world though was just plain genius and it brought it to life for me.

    I am SUCH an ISFJ (painfully so) but a lot of homeschool moms I know are not at all like me. I’ve always felt inferior that I have never felt comfortable just throwing a unit study together (I’m a planned curriculum kind of gal) or volunteering to teach (or even attend) the co-op. I’m just not like them. And I’m finally discovering that it’s ok to be me!

    Although I haven’t tested my children, I’d be willing to guess that my daughter is an ISFJ like me. My extroverted three year old son though… I’m not sure what to think about him. I might have to join that co-op after all. lol!

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  31. My personality type according to the test at 16 personalities is ISFJ, but the description for that one in the homeschool style is not me at all. There, I’m definitely INTJ, I have zero tolerance for stupidity! The strengths, struggles and style all match up just right too.

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  33. I’d consider myself an ISTP, but felt that the ISTJ and INTP descriptions resonated with me better. While I like the idea of DIY, I lack the time and confidence to pursue it. I find a lot of security in my box curriculum. The ENFJ description was spot-on for my husband though.

  34. INFJ – Spot On! I have been pegged! There was not one thing that was off! And, in fact, for anyone following my process, IT’S RIGHT THERE TO BE SEEN OPENLY! WOW! This was sooo accurate!

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