Have you ever tried your friend’s favorite homeschool planner or planning method and it was a total flop for you?
It’s not because there’s something wrong with you. More likely, it was a process or a planner that just wasn’t a good fit for the way your brain works.
Personality typing á la Myers-Briggs is an attempt to describe different ways our brains are wired: what sort of information we prioritize and how we prefer to make decisions. Our personality type certainly affects the kind of planner that works for us.
After all, we all know different planners and different planning methods work for different people.
However, that doesn’t mean you have to trial and error every method yourself to find a perfect fit.
When you know your personality, you can zone in on what’s most likely to work for you and you can also have more clarity and insight about how to customize your homeschool planner to work for you.
If you don’t know your Myers-Briggs personality type, take the test at 16 Personalities. If you’ve taken the test but aren’t sure the answer is right, read about how to find your personality type here.
Based on my research about personality types, always applying it to our real lives as homeschooling moms is a useful starting point for not only finding the right homeschool planner for your personality but working your homeschool planner in the most effective way for your type.
ISTJ – the responsible homeschool mom
The ISTJ homeschool mom has a strong desire to do the right thing and keep track of the details. She will want a record-keeping system and a structured plan. Her planning strength is her reliability and consistency.
She needs a traditional school planner with lessons laid out in a way that feels familiar to her will be the best approach. She will want to see the structure of her curriculum as well as her day and be able to mark off visible progress. Digital archiving might appeal to her desire to keep memories without keeping clutter.
ESTJ – the down-to-earth homeschool mom
The ESTJ homeschool mom is practical, realistic, and driven. She doesn’t like to get off course or off topic and she always has a goal she wants to achieve.
The ESTJ is a natural planner and will know what she likes in a planner, be it digital or paper. She needs to beware of overplanning or overloading the schedule and also aware of letting the plan become the master rather than the tool. Including her purpose for homeschooling on her planner where she can see it often will be beneficial.
ISFJ – the nurturing homeschool mom
The ISFJ homeschool mom is supportive and nurturing, always seeing what each individual needs in the given moment and doing her best to give it.
Because she prefers a supportive role but is good with details, an ISFJ is better at implementing someone else’s plan than creating one herself. She needs to find a trusted source for a plan and remember she can adapt it to fit her kids’ (and her own) needs. She will prefer a clear-cut plan rather than a loose big-picture concept.
ESFJ – the companionable homeschool mom
The ESFJ homeschool mom loves the all-together lifestyle homeschooling provides and wants to take advantage of teachable moments and relationship building.
An ESFJ will likely love to plan, particularly on paper with a creative flair. She will need a way to juggle the details of her active attention and schedule. A routine flow-chart or loop schedule will help her balance working toward goals and taking advantage of the in-the-moment opportunities she sees.
ESTP – the adventurous homeschool mom
An ESTP homeschool mom is enthusiastic about learning and loves to provide interest-based learning, experiences, and projects. She will ensure her children never think learning is boring.
An ESTP will prefer to have overarching topics or themes and leave room for exploring resources and experiences and projects. Using a planner to fill in such learning after-the-fact will work better than trying to plan it out beforehand. Evaluating the progress and current needs every month or term will help an ESTP keep on track and fill in the gaps.
ISTP – the DIY homeschool mom
The ISTP homeschool mom is less authoritarian and naturally flexible. She won’t mind dirty kids or messy science experiments. She loves to see her children explore the natural world.
The ISTP might want to try planning alongside each child, taking into account their interests and ideas about structure. Because she’s less assertive, getting the kids on board with the learning process will be crucial. She will need a planner that leaves room for acknowledging self-direction and project-based learning.
ESFP – the in-the-moment homeschool mom
The ESFP homeschool mom is friendly, outgoing, and attentive. She can set up beautiful learning environments or experiences (like poetry teas or art centers) naturally and flawlessly.
An ESFP will need help creating a plan. She will do best with a ready-to-go plan from a trusted source that leaves plenty of free time and also wiggle room for outside activities and spontaneity. A pen-and-paper approach with short daily lists for the essentials only will most likely serve her best.
ISFP – the generous homeschool mom
The ISFP is quiet yet responsive, enjoying a learning lifestyle with her kids without being overbearing.
An ISFP will need her routines spelled out in her plans, but yet have room in the day for taking advantage of teachable moments and projects. The style of her planner will matter – she should make sure it visually appeals to her.
INFJ – the understanding homeschool mom
The INFJ homeschool mom listens well and is committed to her vision of a harmonious lifestyle full of love and understanding. Although she’s easily overwhelmed with details, she craves structured routine.
An INFJ needs to make sure her ideas get out of her head onto paper so she can think through what needs to be done with less overwhelming perfectionism. Having a big-picture plan she can adapt on a daily or weekly basis will likely work well for her.
ENFP – the creative homeschool mom
The ENFP homeschool mom loves to say yes to fun – and often has a hard time with the mundane details of life at home. She is asily distracted.
An ENFP needs a clearly written plan to help her stay on track, but it needs to be full of variety and allow room for adaption and flexibility. Her homeschool planner will not be stark or utilitarian, but creative, full, and connected to her vision. It might look all-over-the-place to another type, but because that’s how her brain works, it will work for her.
INFP – the tuned-in homeschool mom
The INFP homeschool mom is perceptive, understanding, and sensitive. She will keep a peaceful atmosphere and a deep connection with her children.
An INFP will avoid decision-making be easily overwhelmed so she needs a planning mentor, whether in person or online, to help her stay on track. She might be drawn to adopting a technologically savvy homeschool planner, but she should avoid any planner that offers too many options or is visually cluttered.
ENFJ – the enthusiastic homeschool mom
The ENFJ homeschool mom loves to connect with her children and big ideas. The more often she can connect her children to big ideas, the happier she will be.
An ENFJ will need to make her planner personal and flexible. She will love to adapt based on each child’s current needs. Having a big picture that she applies and adapts daily will feel best to her. Leaving space and time to journal about the day in the evening will help her connect reality to her ideals.
INTJ – the determined homeschool mom
The INTJ homeschool mom will have her own (highly-researched, well-thought-out) way of doing whatever she sets her mind to. Planning, for her, is the easy and fun part; doing the plan each and every day is draining and difficult.
An INTJ desires the most effective homeschool planner, so she will customize either a paper or digital (or combo) solution to fit exactly what she wants. It will be focused on her priorities and have zero fluff. Planning incrementally rather than all-at-once is a good way for her to keep perspective and enjoyment in the process.
ENTJ – the decisive homeschool mom
The ENTJ does not believe in impossible once she’s decided to do something. She makes things happen, always in line with her guiding principles.
An ENTJ will have a streamlined, effective, thorough planning system. She needs to remember to take time to pause regularly and evaluate the situation so she’s making appropriate decisions and not letting her grand plan railroad everyone else.
ENTP – the unconventional homeschool mom
The ENTP homeschool mom has confidence and energy to spare; she will model and expect independence and unconventional approaches. She is good at seizing opportunities, but not good about following through on details.
An ENTP needs a firm conviction about her purpose and goal so that she can improvise in the day-to-day. It might look random and disjointed to others, but if she stays true to her core mission, she’ll stay on target. Having a set of big-picture, weekly or monthly goals rather than detail-specifics THEN tracking their actual work according to those goals after the fact will help her stay on track while winging it.
INTP – the intellectual homeschool mom
The INTP values her own knowledge base, ensuring it’s wide and deep. She finds ideas fascinating and loves to follow rabbit trails and work out theories.
An INTP’s homeschool planner is simple: it’s a book list. Read books. Discuss. Because she has a hard time with physical details, she needs to think more about giving her things and books convenient homes than about keeping a homeschool planner. A simple, unfussy, flexible bullet journal will serve her purposes nicely.
So what personality type are you? Do you have a planner that fits? Let’s chat in the comments!
Want to know more? Check out Mystie’s post on homeschool personalities, which includes a free one-page printable reference sheet. Learn more about how your personality affects your homeschool!
- Toddler Training Grounds: Managing Expectations While Homeschooling Many - July 17, 2018
- The Best Homeschool Planner For Your Personality Type - January 16, 2017
- Get Things Done: How Five Business Bestsellers Can Help a Homeschool Mom - July 24, 2014