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INFJ parents: What curriculum choices work best for YOU?


EliseMcKenna
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I've been aware of my personality type for a long time, but I only recently started digging into how it affects my homeschooling choices. I can't help but think there must be some philosophies or approaches that work better for INFJ's than others . . . or are we doomed to (re)evaluate our choices for our entire lifetimes?  :laugh:

 

*Also, I'm not ready to take my children's personality types into account yet -- I feel I need to focus on my own strengths/weaknesses first.

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Have you seen this? https://www.simplyconvivial.com/2016/homeschool-personality

 

I have kind of evolved over the last few decades. I used to be ESTJ, then INTJ, and when I tested a few weeks ago, INFJ. Homeschooling and parenting changed me! 

 

I do best with preplanned stuff, that I can adapt to how I need it to.  

History: SOTW, Pandia Press, Ho_W, etc.

Writing: WWE, WWS, IEW

and so on.  

 

If my children were naturally disciplined students, and there were fewer of them, I could be more open-ended, but they aren't, so that's that.  I find my creative expression and nurturing time in art, history, and during discussions about lit.

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Progym for writing

 

Anything that is straightforward for grammar and mathematics.

 

Experiential art and geography.

 

A LOT of reading.

 

Nothing that requires glue.

 

I'm still in elementary here, so no clue how this will hold in the future, nor am I convinced this stuff works for me because of personality. Though, as a rule I take it relatively seriously.

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Have you seen this? https://www.simplyconvivial.com/2016/homeschool-personality

 

I have kind of evolved over the last few decades. I used to be ESTJ, then INTJ, and when I tested a few weeks ago, INFJ. Homeschooling and parenting changed me! 

 

I do best with preplanned stuff, that I can adapt to how I need it to.  

History: SOTW, Pandia Press, Ho_W, etc.

Writing: WWE, WWS, IEW

and so on.  

 

If my children were naturally disciplined students, and there were fewer of them, I could be more open-ended, but they aren't, so that's that.  I find my creative expression and nurturing time in art, history, and during discussions about lit.

I'm borderline between ISFJ and INFJ with a good dose of ISTJ thrown in too.  I'm with prairiewindmomma; those programs tend to appeal to me as well.  

 

I'm chuckling at "nothing that requires glue."

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Curricula that is organized & planned. Curricula where I can see the overall goals of the curriculum very easily and where it is also easy to tell if the child is making progress. Curricula that does not bog me down in details or complicated projects. 

 

I find a traditional vs. a classical mindset works best for me. I've resonated the most with E.D. Hirsch's ideas.

 

CLE, Rod & Staff, & Calvert individual courses have all worked well for me. Guest Hollow Science is working because it has a planned but flexible schedule. It gets done, then we can add on extras as we wish. 

 

I've noticed and read that sometimes INFJs make choices through a more negative process than others. As a type, we are more likely to discover our preferences by figuring out what doesn't work (and trying everything in the process) then sticking with whatever is left, rather than having a super positive affinity for a particular method right off the bat. 

 

 

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I am an INTJ.  I like things that require very little pre-planning and are basically open it up and do the next thing.

 

Math Mammoth

Vocabulary from Classical Roots

Evan Moor stuff

History Odyssey

 

When I get away from that to things with too much teacher involvement or pre-planning, they just don't happen.

 

Lucky for us, my kids seem to have similar needs.

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After doing a lot of the negative process of making choices that Mrs. Tharp mentioned above ("Okay, this sounded good, but REALLY doesn't work"), we've hit on some things that are working for us.

 

I am an INFJ (absolutely no question, by cognitive functions as well as the tests that look only at the four dichotomies) and an adult education professional. I LOVE teaching in classrooms, but I find that with my kids, I do better with a mixture of subjects where I'm teaching hands-on and subjects where they do independent work and I come in as a resource person to support and guide them. I need breathing space in my day, because I'm strongly on the introvert side of that I/E split. XD

 

We're currently using a LOT of Susan Wise Bauer's resources. I like them because they're well-organized and easy to implement and the daily/weekly structure makes sense to me. So we've used OPGTR for reading, FLL for grammar (plus, for my 3rd grader, a daily grammar practice workbook from Evan Moor), WWE, SOTW for history, and a science program called Elemental Science that basically fleshed out SWB's recommendations into a planned-out curriculum. It includes experiments (or demonstrations really, at this age), but they're usually pretty simple and require mostly items we have around the house.

 

We started with Right Start Math, and I'm glad we did, because I love the conceptual understanding it put into place for my kids, but I found that it lost them and me somewhere in the middle of level B. When I started hitting occasional lessons that required 45 min of hands-on teaching for one subject for one kid, I couldn't do it. I needed something more predictable and less intense for me. We've switched both kiddos over to Math Mammoth now and they're loving it. Lots of conceptual stuff still but in a worktext format, where I can be a resource person instead of doing all the teaching.

 

Our trade-off was to switch to All About Spelling this year, which requires more hands-on time from me but is working like a DREAM for both my kids. I LOVE how organized, logical, and fun this approach is, how much sense it makes, and how it's really clicking for them.

 

My eldest is starting Rosetta Stone for French and we outsource piano lessons. We also attend a co-op where I teach (classroom, yay!) PE and art classes, so they get those things there.

 

Big messy projects don't often happen for us except at co-op. I have tried, but I tend to burn out on them after the first month of school. I've always found that having a predictable rhythm and structure is really important to me to be able to get everything done. I used to hate that about myself, but I've learned to accept it. I may not bake and build enormous awesome things with my kids, but we have a really good connection and talk about a lot of things that matter, and they can get the big messy projects at co-op. ;)

 

FWIW, my two kiddos are very different; one is a feeler and one is a thinker. I'm guessing they will turn out to be INFJ or ENFJ and INTP as they grow.

 

I feel like I've rambled on forever, but those are all my thoughts. XD

Edited by Megicce
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Hmmm... I seem to be the odd INFJ out...

 

I do NOT do well with pre-planned, or canned, or all-in-one, but do MUCH better with tons of research/learning about subjects myself, figuring out the DC's learning styles, and then use the best snippets of many different curricula -- combining/blending and adding my own abilities, in order to create the best unique fit for each student.

 

Math was really the only area I worked with the "safety net" of doing virtually as-written -- but even then, we always used a number of supplements to broaden our perspective, and encourage making connections and math-thinking/problem-solving...

 

We started homeschooling with grades 1 and 2, back in 2000, so there weren't tons of resources available at that time to help "teach me to teach", so I went the DIY route through reading the WTM for overall vision and help in breaking down subject areas and from there, figuring out what *I* needed to have in a curriculum to be able to teach it. And then, having DS#2 with LDs (again, at a time without a lot of info or resources out there) and DS#1 being a *completely different* style of learner, I had to spend the first 4-5 years of our homeschooling getting his needs defined and figured out, so that meant me needing to "absorb"many curricula in the elementary grades to figure out what would work for 2 radically different learners plus myself as a teacher...

 

What we ended up using that worked well for DSs AND for me in the elementary grades:

 

Language Arts

- reading: tons of read-alouds; daily "buddy" reading

- phonics: some Explode the Code; games and supplements

- writing: DIY, pulling from numerous programs; exception: Wordsmith Apprentice was done pretty much as-written

- handwriting: copywork (DIY from limericks, fun sentences, etc.); Handwriting without Tears (adapted)

- grammar: Winston Basic (adapted); dictations (made our own); numerous supplements

- spelling: lots of failed curricula thru 5th grade; finally settled on individualized spelling/practice with ABCs & All Their Tricks Megawords

- vocabulary: English from the Roots Up (adapted); lots of reading/learn in context

 

Math

- Miquon -- this program tremendously helped me see how fluid Math is

- Singapore

- Math-U-See

- Hands-On Equations -- a "solving for X" beginning Algebra supplement

- lots of math manipulatives (pattern blocks, Geoboards, and multi-link cubes esp.) and go-along booklets

- lots of board/card games, supplements, and some computer games

 

- Geography -- various workbooks such as Complete Book of Maps & Geography) + living books & a little bit of mapping, computer games to practice states/capitals, and nations/capitals and locations

- History -- DIY, with loads of books, educational videos, and some field trips & hands-on projects

- Science -- DIY, with loads of books, logs of educational videos, lots of field trips & hands-on kits/experiments

- Logic -- DIY, with loads of critical thinking puzzles and games of all types

- Art/Music -- not subjects of high interest to DSs, so just a small amount of high quality resources & some live music / theater / dance performances over the years

- Foreign Language -- just never could make this happen, so eventually dropped it, and outsourced in high school

- PE -- lots of sports, hiking/camping, and exposure to a wide variety of physical activities

Edited by Lori D.
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Hmmm... I seem to be the odd INFJ out...

 

I do NOT do well with pre-planned, or canned, or all-in-one, but do MUCH better with tons of research/learning about subjects myself, figuring out the DC's learning styles, and then use the best snippets of many different curricula -- combining/blending and adding my own abilities, in order to create the best unique fit for each student.

That's so interesting! You know, I do find that I have to find curricula that teach something in the way I understand it and what works for the kids, and I have a penchant for splicing programs together or designing things myself when I can't find what I want. So in that sense, I can totally relate. Now, I feel like we've found what actually works for us for where we're at. Maybe as I continue to homeschool and get less fearful about improvising and "missing something," we'll find ourselves putting things together more as you did. :)

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That's so interesting! You know, I do find that I have to find curricula that teach something in the way I understand it and what works for the kids, and I have a penchant for splicing programs together or designing things myself when I can't find what I want. So in that sense, I can totally relate. Now, I feel like we've found what actually works for us for where we're at. Maybe as I continue to homeschool and get less fearful about improvising and "missing something," we'll find ourselves putting things together more as you did. :)

 

Do what works for YOU! Just because "splicing" worked best for me, doesn't mean it's the best option for other INFJs! ;)

 

Also, I had 2 very strongly DIFFERENT learning styles with DSs, one of whom was VERY Visual-Spatial with mild LDs (probably Stealth Dyslexia) in Writing, Spelling, and Math. So that really required a lot of individualized remediating, especially up through about 6th grade, and in to high school for 2 of those subjects. So, that's a unique situation that is likely very different from what your considerations are. ;)

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Well, the OP's question was about what works for the INFJ as a teacher, specifically, not about how we modify things for our kids. I work with issues relating to Autism and ADHD on a regular basis, with related executive functioning and sensory issues, and have at least one "P" child, so modifying my approach to fit the child is a part of daily life around here. I also do lots of research before I choose something.

 

That said, Lori D, I will take your word for it that you are an INFJ, but your emphasis on using a wide variety of sources, and tinkering with them all, sounds very much like a "P" approach to me. Endless tinkering with a wide variety of materials would drive me absolutely crazy. 

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Well, the OP's question was about what works for the INFJ as a teacher, specifically, not about how we modify things for our kids. I work with issues relating to Autism and ADHD on a regular basis, with related executive functioning and sensory issues, and have at least one "P" child, so modifying my approach to fit the child is a part of daily life around here. I also do lots of research before I choose something.

 

That said, Lori D, I will take your word for it that you are an INFJ, but your emphasis on using a wide variety of sources, and tinkering with them all, sounds very much like a "P" approach to me. Endless tinkering with a wide variety of materials would drive me absolutely crazy. 

 

Nope, I've tested Meyers-Briggs several times, and always am almost 2/3 "J" to a little over 1/3 "P". I am married to an INTP who is very strongly "P" and his "always needing more info" often about pushes me over the edge when the J in me needs closure and to just move ON. :D

 

That said, I think it is the overwhelmingly strong "F" in me, and extreme desire for harmony and relationship that has encouraged me to tolerate and even somewhat strengthen the "P" aspect in myself, to get along with DH's strong "P" personality, but also willing to do whatever it takes to help my DS overcome his LDs. That absolutely required a lot of flexibility and tinkering to make that happen for him, because many of the programs that would have clicked for him or helped him did not come onto the market until he was well into high school (he graduated in 2012). Way too late for us. So it was either swim by process of DIY through continually tweaking and blending and creating -- or let him sink, and that was absolutely not an option for me. :)

Edited by Lori D.
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That said, Lori D, I will take your word for it that you are an INFJ, but your emphasis on using a wide variety of sources, and tinkering with them all, sounds very much like a "P" approach to me. Endless tinkering with a wide variety of materials would drive me absolutely crazy. 

 

Not really. Us judgemental types are quite able to judge our own personal blend of not very secret herbs and spices as better for our own particular needs than anyone else's.  :tongue_smilie:

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What would you all do without your spam busting, ninja team?   :ph34r:  :ph34r:  :ph34r:  :ph34r:

 

:thumbup1:   :patriot:

 

(I guess it does give me the opportunity to try out a variety of emoticons, instead... Sorry -- no Aussie flag saluter available. ;) )

Edited by Lori D.
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I'm not sure that Myers Briggs test results have anything at all to do with my homeschooling choices. 

 

My place is rather like Lori's descriptions.

 

 

Am I right that both of you have children with some special spice?  I ask because your posts do reflect all of the crazy contortions I've gone to to educate my bright son with an alphabet soup of special needs. I have gone through at least six math programs and six different grammar ones to try to find the perfect thing for this child. I ended up chucking a lot of it and creating my own blend after teaching myself how to remediate the LDs.  It was much cheaper to educate and train me on some of these things than it was to pay for tutors for the next decade, iykwim.

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Not really. Us judgemental types are quite able to judge our own personal blend of not very secret herbs and spices as better for our own particular needs than anyone else's.  :tongue_smilie:

 

 

Ha! Yes, my answer to this question is "Whatever is left after nearly everything gets my super-cynical judgmental `Are you even kidding me!` glare." And even then the things I use can get so (judgmentally) modified from day to day.  :lol:

 

I like things that are nicely laid out so that the purpose of each lesson is easy to understand, but not overly prescriptive. I like a lot of CAP products because I find them easy to tailor, but also easy to do-the-next-thing.

 

Yeah, basically anything where I can take the pieces apart and put them back together however I want. So for CAP Latin, I have online, the songs, the book, the activities. I think they say how to do these things somewhere? I don't care. Same with AAS, I decide how to use the parts. This drives DH bonkers. 

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I am an INTJ. I like things that require very little pre-planning and are basically open it up and do the next thing.

 

Math Mammoth

Vocabulary from Classical Roots

Evan Moor stuff

History Odyssey

 

When I get away from that to things with too much teacher involvement or pre-planning, they just don't happen.

 

Lucky for us, my kids seem to have similar needs.

I do believe we must be twins, and you have now presented me with some options to consider.

 

(Searching Where's Toto?'s previous curriculum posts)

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INFJ here.

 

I use and love Sonlight. I like that I can follow it enough to keep me moving forward but that it's literature based so we can discuss, write, draw etc about the content, and even take sidetracks if we wish, without losing sight of where we are headed.

 

Does that make any sense?????

Edited by LindaOz
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Am I right that both of you have children with some special spice?  I ask because your posts do reflect all of the crazy contortions I've gone to to educate my bright son with an alphabet soup of special needs. I have gone through at least six math programs and six different grammar ones to try to find the perfect thing for this child. I ended up chucking a lot of it and creating my own blend after teaching myself how to remediate the LDs.  It was much cheaper to educate and train me on some of these things than it was to pay for tutors for the next decade, iykwim.

 

Oh yeah.

 

My special blend of mathematical herbs and spices has been 4 maths curricula plus supplements. Insane but effective.

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