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  1. #1
    Senior Member Arrived lakshmi's Avatar
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    Question Personalities and Homeschooling Styles

    For about 18 to 20 months I've used MBTP. I love it. I suppose there are things I could complain about, but don't. It suits me quite well.

    My oldest daughter finds it okay too.

    [My youngest doesn't seem to like it so much, which I decided has roots in many factors. So she doesn't count here. Because I am not sure of what her true personality is. Maybe some of her behavior is iatrogenic.]

    My husband likes it too.

    Our personalities are such that we learn in a rabbit trail better than in one spot. We get interested in something, and then relate these somethings to other things. (This is for those unfamiliar with x, y and z)

    Or I could say, that an interest in X will often lead us to Y and Z within the context of learning X, thus solidifying X while creating an interest in Y and Z to be pursued at a later time.

    Or. We like Unit Studies.

    Do we like Unit Studies because we like to connect lots of dots as quickly as possible (I know this sounds ADHD, but it isn't ) We also would consider ourselves creative. My husband is known to doodle on napkins, and make drawings and music and of course food. My daughter as well, makes books and drawings, and paintings and such.

    One could suppose that an unschoolers life would be for me. BUT, my personality won't let me. Because I like certain aspects of learning in a structured way.

    From some recent comments, some folks seem disenchanted with this approach. Do certain, styles attract certain personalities?

    I am going to go out on a limb and say that yes. Personality and Styles are intimately connected.

    How do your personalities add or detract from your HS style ?

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  3. #2


    Hm, my son is pretty similar to me - he likes structure: straight lines and A, B, C and clearly-defined end points. Like me, he's a very "Are we there yet" and "Is it time to go now?" kind of person. So I guess the fact that we are basically classical homeschoolers and follow a schedule works for us. It's wake up, clean, do your school work, free time. He's a really easygoing kid, but I've noticed that without structure he gets pretty irritable.
    Mumsy to Gavin (13-year-old artsy boy) and Rowan (3-year-old disco queen)

  4. #3


    I need some structure as well, and my DC are the same. I'm not sure if they're simply following my lead now though, or if it comes from them being wired similarly to myself and DH. DH is also fairly structured, but we're not over the top about schedules. If I don't have a general outline for my day, then nothing gets accomplished. I have lists of what chores are done on which days, etc. I meal plan for a week ahead of time. I think we'll need to have a general outline of things to be done so we can make some progress. I think if we were to unschool I would end up doing nothing with them, but I don't think an overly tight schedule would bode well either. DH and I grew up rushing from here to there, but now we take time to enjoy the task at hand.
    Nicole-Mom to DD, 5, and DS, 3.

  5. #4
    Senior Member Arrived Teri's Avatar
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    I think learning style for sure plays a part in whether unit studies work for you or not.
    When we first started homeschooling, I went through a lot of trial and error to figure out what worked for Joseph. He was 5 at the time and had been in K for one semester. We started out with Calvert, which worked pretty well at first (when he was fresh from school). Pretty soon though, he was asking why the science, reading and social studies had nothing to do with each other. That made him crazy.
    Then we tried Oak Meadow. It was just too warm and fuzzy for him. He needed more science and he needed to be able to read before the age of 8 or whatever it is they they encourage (he was one of mine that was reading at 4).
    Then I figured out that he just glossed over when he was handed a worksheet (I have a daughter, though, that loves to fill out workbooks).
    Textbooks, also, do not do it for him.
    He is also very creative and is always building or drawing something.
    So, a hands on, literature based, project oriented, unit studies approach is perfect for him.
    Joseph (5/00), Libby (10/01), Caroline (9/02) and Alex (4/89)
    My Blog

  6. #5


    I'm still clueless about what to call what we do.
    If I could make up a category or style it would be FREE Homeschooling, because we don't buy anything for now.
    I feel like I know what he needs to learn, until 6th grade at least, but after that we might buy curriculum.
    Doing it this way means that I have to spend a lot of time learning and researching the basics, because we don't have a program giving us the right answers,
    and free stuff doesn't usually come with teacher keys or guides, lots of googling. So I guess being OCD goes well with this.

    Our schedule is long, up to 6 hrs daily, but that's because my son likes to take his time on things, being busy and having tasks to complete.
    We do use lots of worksheets, and I've even found some decent free printable workbooks.
    He likes the workbooks especially, because they represent a challenge - getting through the whole thing.
    We do Language Arts and Math daily. Science, History, Geography - once or twice a week each.
    We usually have one Unit Study on the go, but to work on only once or twice a week - related to Science or History.
    My thing with Unit Studies is that I don't find much point in my son learning 5,000 facts about, say, elephants.
    I am so not interested in him learning the names of all the different elephants, or spending hours cutting and pasting clipart.
    There's just not enough time in the day, IMO, to learn how to write well (a must), how the world works (a must), and how to Math (a must I hate, but he thankfully loves)
    I do like that Unit Studies help us learn how to research, so ours are mostly about that.

    I hope to some day have a sleek answer for what Style we use, but I still have no idea what you'd call what we're doing.
    In any case, it is totally based on our personalities. Having only one child also has a lot to do with how we do it, I think.

  7. #6


    Personalities and learning styles DEFINITELY have a correlation at my house. DS thrives on doing the same thing each day. Unit studies would drive him crazy because he wouldn't be able to predict what he would be studying from one week to the next. He likes having a set schedule and while I can occasionally get him to go down a rabbit hole (because *I* enjoy them) he likes to stay 'on task.'

    DD, on the other hand, prefers to focus on one thing for a while and then completely ignore it. Unit studies are more up her alley, and I can see a more unschooling approach being attractive to her. There are days during school breaks where she'll park her carcass on the floor with pieces of paper and math manipulatives and write down dozen and dozens of math problems and figure out their answers, and then she'll put up the manipulatives and spend several more days learning about bones or working on reading or looking through the world atlas.

    I still haven't worked out how I'm going to be able to teach them both together, at least with any degree of efficacy. I know some things will have to be compromised for both kids. My natural teaching style tends more toward what DS prefers, though there are days I chafe under his inflexibility. I'm fairly Type A, but my deep rebellious streak refuses to let me stick to it day in and day out. Apparently I even rebel against myself!
    Sarah B., Oklahoma

    "By three methods we may learn wisdom: first, by reflection, which is noblest; second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third, by experience, which is the bitterest." - Confucius

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    Less-than-Zenlike mother of:
    M1 - The Boy, age 11, home since 2009 - loves science, swimming, and folk music
    M2 - The Girl, age 9, home since 2012 - loves anatomy, the arts, and her violin

  8. #7
    Senior Member Arrived dbmamaz's Avatar
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    personality is to me the core of personalized education. thats why we arent classical, tho we would have been if it was my daughter being homeschooled.

    I tried a joint unit study with the boys early on, but Raven wasnt ready yet, and it was gov't . . . boring. I later got one on space, Raven's favorite subject, but he STILL didnt like it. He didnt like that we had to go here/go there/do this all about the same subject . . . like read this web page, now watch this video, now write about it, now jump up and sing a song about it . . . it was too much transition (of material) but staying on the same subject too long. He would really rather read a book about a subject than do a unit study about it.

    Orion was willing to do the unit study, but he's also perfectly content watching videos or reading a textbook and answering worksheets. He does NOT seem to go much for anything hands on thats at his actual level . .. he wants to do grade school level science experiments, but did not enjoy using the microscope or making a knex dna model.

    We're just bookish people, maybe? idk. But for Orion, the books have to be linear and clear, and for Raven the books have to have humor.
    Cara, homeschooling one
    Raven, ds 10, all around intense kid
    Orion, floundering recent graduate
    22 yo dd, not at home
    Inactive blog at longsummer

  9. #8
    Senior Member Arrived Teri's Avatar
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    I am not sure where the equation came from that Unit Studies=Crafts. We have an occasional crafty project, but project does not always equal cutting out and pasting something. It can be anything from drawing to writing a script or making a powerpoint to building a model.
    To me, filling out a bunch of workbooks equates more with learning 5,000 facts about elephants. By doing a unit study on the elephant (which we have never done...that is a very very narrow subject), you go beyond just learning facts. You might learn SOME facts, then visit with a zoologist or make a trip to the zoo, learn about groups that protect the elephant, watch a documentary about elephants. But, again, that is an extremely narrow topic and not a good one to make an example of. (Our current units are Lithosphere, The Hobbit and Australia.)
    Joseph (5/00), Libby (10/01), Caroline (9/02) and Alex (4/89)
    My Blog

  10. #9


    This is an interesting question. We started with MBTP and RightStart for DS last year. We *barely* got through the first unit of MBTP 6-8. I loved it, but he did not. Boy did he not. I think this is because he really feels the need to be in control, and he couldn't get that with MBTP and RS, where he didn't know what was coming next and couldn't see why we were doing what we were doing or where it was all going. So we switched to Time4Learning, which is really working well, I think because *he* can drive the program himself, and it has a semi-predictable pattern to it. I think DS will be a very driven and ambitious person when he gets older, and I could see us possibly getting more unschooly as he matures and understands what he needs to do in order to reach his goals. Now at age 6.5 when he really can't be in charge of so many things and doesn't have the maturity to handle his complex emotions that just means he is often exhausting. No wonder the PS didn't work out!

    DD on the other hand is happy to be doing almost anything, so far at least. I'm going to have to pay close attention to what actually *works* for her though, because unlike her big brother she doesn't tend to raise a stink if she is dissatisfied and I'll need to pay closer attention to her more nuanced reactions. I'm holding on to the MBTP in case it works for her when she is ready for it, I liked it a lot!

    For both kids our loose history and science study using living books and Useborne encyclopedias that I've cobbled together seems to be working very well. Lately I have been thinking that if the three of us forget about workbooks and spelling lists and all that other stuff, and just read interesting books and go on field trips regularly, we'll be just fine. I need to pull out the CM resources again, I guess.
    Last edited by jar7709; 10-22-2011 at 11:35 PM.
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  11. #10


    Even for learning styles that aren't unit studies, it bothers me too, Teri, that project=crafty in peoples' minds. There are so many ways to do projects and so many sorts of projects that aren't crafty at all.
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