Understanding Teens and Homeschool Success with Personality Tests, Interview with Sandra Etherington

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This week on Homeschool Highschool Podcast: Understanding Teens and Homeschool Success with Personality Tests, Interview with Sandra Etherington.

Understanding Teens and Homeschool Success with Personality Tests, Interview with Sandra Etherington

Understanding Teens and Homeschool Success with Personality Tests, Interview with Sandra Etherington

One of Vicki’s favorite things is personality tests. She has found that understanding her teens’ personalities helped her tweak her homeschool program for each teen. Thus, she was so excited to connect with Sandra Etherington of Family Personalities. Sandra is a Myer-Briggs Type Indicator expert and advisor. She helps homeschool families match homeschool styles with personalities.

Sandra first ran into MBTI (Vicki’s favorite personality test, btw) in the corporate world. She loved it so much she went to school and got special certification to help family members understand each other. She joined Vicki today to explain how Myers-Briggs can help you plan your homeschooling program and curriculum geared for each teen.

Myers-Briggs Type Indicator is a personality test that gives each person a four-letter score. Each letter has a meaning and the combinations of letters truly give insight into the things that “fill a person’s bucket, ” as Sandra says.

She also points out that each person’s four-letter combination is not a rigid result. We can function in any letter we need to, but we feel happiest functioning in the ways our letters are combined.

Sandra shares that parenting and homeschooling teens can be so much fun when each family member understands their MBTI score. It can be such a relief to understand why each person thinks and feels based on their personalities.

The four letter scores of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator are:

  • INTJ
  • INTP
  • INFJ
  • INFP
  • ISTJ
  • ISTP
  • ISFJ
  • ISFP
  • ENTJ
  • ENTP
  • ENFJ
  • ENFP
  • ESTJ
  • ESTP
  • ESFJ
  • ESFP

I= Introvert (we fill our bucket/are energized by time alone)

E= Extrovert (we fill our bucket/are energized by time with people)

S= Sensing (we prefer taking in informations facts, details, practicality, experience)

N= Intuition (we prefer taking in information through the big picture, ideas, theories)

T= Thinking (we prefer making decisions through using logic and objectiveness)

F= Feeling (we prefer making decisions through approaching the decisions emotionally- our emotions and other’s emotions)

J= Judging (NOTE: this does not mean being judgmental) (we prefer to approach our outer world in order with planning and structure)

P= Perceiving (we prefer to approach our outer world spontaneously, not making a conclusion until you have all the information, keeping options open)

Sandra reminds us that one personality style is not better than another, they are simply different.

How can we work with our homeschool high schoolers’ different personalities?

Let’s start with an example: If you’re a parent who prefers Judging, we want to follow a schedule and plan in details. If your teen is a P she will be spontaneous and hate planning and schedules! It takes patience and prayer to work together. (That’s what patience and prayer are all about!)

Now let’s look at teens:

  • If they are J’s, they will want schedules, clear plans and routines. They are generally good with follow-through and will follow rules.
    • As a parent, include and/or be aware of their own plans. This means doing planning together and do regular check-ins. Allow extra time for transitions. Allow them to finish one activity before switching to another.
  • If they are P’s, they will want freedom to make their own rhythms, they will want to be spontaneous and perhaps mix study and play. They may have difficulty making decisions (because by making a decision, they cut off other opportunities). They like to be playful and impulsive. Can have trouble with follow-through.
    • As a parent, give stopping points/deadlines then allow them to work on their own/in their own style. Limit structure and rules. Build in flexibility (maybe your homeschool high schooler wants to do math all day for a couple of days then make up for that on the last day of the week). Have an outside accountability person (for instance, an umbrella school) when possible. Tend to work better under pressure.
  • If they are S’s, they want their texts and classes to be practical and realistic.
    • As a parent, choose hands-on curriculum that is step-by-step oriented. (Such as 7Sisters’ Essay and Research Paper Writing eworkbooks). Start with facts and details, then build up to main points. (If they are SJ, they will want to break projects down into chunks.)
  • If they are N’s, they want their texts and classes to start with the big picture. They prefer to understand the ideas behind the things they will be learning.
    • As a parent, you have to start with the purpose/the why of the course, give that big picture. Allow them to use their big ideas. If you need to review, have them solve the problem a different way without overdoing repetition.

Are you curious to find out more? Check out Sandra’s work on Family Personalities website and podcast. Start with her freebie downloads!

Join Vicki and Sandra for an enlightening chat!


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Understanding Teens and Homeschool Success with Personality Tests, Interview with Sandra Etherington