Thursday, October 11, 2012

Learning about Personality Types

The boy recently overheard a conversation between me and my Mom where I mentioned that I had one of the rarest personality types (INFj). I didn't think anything of it. A few days later he asked me what that was all about, so I told him and asked him if he wanted to take a test to find out what his was. I had already pegged him as an INTJ a while back when I was learning about personality types, so I thought this was a good opportunity to find out if I was right.

I was really impressed that he stayed interested long enough to answer a little over 70 questions that were on the version of the Briggs-Meyers test that we were using. A few times I had to explain what the question was asking because they were worded a little odd. There were two questions on the quiz that asked something regarding whether or not he was comfortable sharing his emotions or talking about his feelings, I could tell he was uncomfortable answering those questions, but instead of saying this was stupid or quitting the test like I would have guessed that he would do, he acted like it could go either way; he picked up an empty candy wrapper on his desk and tossed it like a coin designating one side for one choice and the other side for the second choice. Good cover!

He finished the test and my suspicions were correct. Yep, he's an InTj. He didn't test as high on the introverted part as I had guessed, but he has a very strong T trait. He wanted to know what all the letters meant, so we read about that. Next we looked up some famous people who have the same personality type, and we read about the traits of an INTJ. I laughed as I was reading some of them to him, because I could tell that he knew that WAS him to a T. (no pun intended).

INTJ strengths:
  • Immune to conflict, criticism and emotional manipulation (Tell me about it! Rewards and punishments never worked)
  • Confident in their abilities and knowledge (Overly confident at times- can spout of something as fact that no one would know was wrong unless they look it up)
  • Very strong drive and determination (if it is has a real purpose)
  • Serious attitude towards relationships and responsibilities 
  • Excellent ability to listen (remembers everything- even when he doesn't appear to be paying attention)
  • Usually very talented and insightful (so true)
  • Able to swiftly terminate the relationship when necessary 
  • Desire to constantly improve relations 
INTJ weaknesses, on the other hand, mostly focus on their lower emotional sensitivity and a sense of intellectual superiority. If you are an INTJ, you are probably thinking that there is nothing negative about these “weaknesses” – however, they should be recognised and addressed because the INTJ personality tends to be quite “black and white”, which is not always beneficial.
  • Poor understanding of emotions – INTJ can sometimes be insensitive (true)
  • Preferred reaction to any conflict – cold logic and rationality rather than the emotional support, which may be more desirable (ever so logical)
  • Tendency to believe that they are always right (How COULD they be wrong?)
  • Unwillingness or inability to accept blame (See previous comment)
  • Constant urge to improve everything could complicate relations 
  • Tendency to be fixated about the privacy and personal space 

We also looked at the types of careers that fit his personality type. They are all ones that I have noticed him naturally preparing for. Strategist, computer analysist or related fields, scientist, professor, lawyer, engineer.

I also jokingly told him that the biggest difference between how we make decisions was that he's a thinker and I'm a feeler. He has always tried to out logic me.

Now we have fallen into playing this fun little mental game where several of our conversations the past few days have become some version of him responding to me with "I THINK ....".  I come back with "I FEEL that you should THINK ...." He comes back with some other logical point and this goes back and forth until I have nothing to come back with, so I pull the PARENT card. The PARENT card always wins! Even in a fun debate..right? (In a perfect world anyway) 

This new insight that he has about his personality type has already motivated him to make some positive adjustments - especially about thinking others are intellectually inferior when they don't know something that is common knowledge to him. I really do think this will help him with his social skills.

Yet, I'm still wondering whether if it was a good thing to give away some of my "inside information" that was helping me finally stay MORE than one step ahead of him. I can see his gears turning and him thinking of ways to use this new self awareness against me when I least expect it.

I wonder if there is a support group for parents of the INTJ..maybe I should start one. Just kidding- mostly   :)


Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Learning as a Result of Strewing and Rabbit Trails

One of the definitions of Unschooling is child-led learning. I think a lot of people who don't "get" Unschooling think that means if a child doesn't specifically ASK to learn about something then they won't learn about that thing. I don't like that definition very much because that is completely opposite of how the Unschooly side of things works around here most of the time.

Yeah, Padawan does take interest in things that he researches and learns about, but he also learns many things that he would not specifically ask to learn as a by product of just living or as the result of something that I have strewn. It may be even something totally different than what I thought would come from it, and I usually end up learning just as much as he does!

Other times a rabbit trail gets started as a result of something that he's overheard in a conversation, or his "need" to figure out a math problem from a game he's been playing.

Here's a look at a chain of learning that occurred partly because of a TV series that I strew and partly because the weather has been agreeable to us finally being able enjoy being outside.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Fractions- We don't need no stinkin' fractions!

I keep a private blog for our homeschool, mainly because I like to have a place to keep up with our virtual links, online accounts, and other things I come across on the internet; otherwise I tend to keep notes and links scattered among all of our computers and various pieces of paper and notebooks around the house. We use the comments area to share links for each other that are accessible from either computer.

It is also a good way for me to keep track of what we have done throughout the school year for when I have to write my end of the year assessment for our records. Our first year I started out keeping notes on a legal pad, but this seems to work better.

I even added a Shelfari widget to make a virtual library on the blog to organize and display the hoard (yes, hoard) of free ebooks that I have collected for my Kindle.

Our little blog makes me feel super organized- even though I 'm really not. 

Since Padawan insists that we MUST do school, one thing that works really well for us during the official school year is for me to make a blog post at the beginning of each week for which lessons come next and to strew things for our tentative plans.

Over the weekend I take a quick look over the lessons from all of his curriculum, and add the topic for the scheduled lessons, then I strew some suggested activities, Youtube videos, links, and a couple suggestions from Netflix.

It doesn't take very long to do this and it makes everything look and feel official.

I said all of that so I could tell you this...yeah, that's how my brain works.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Question Everything

We're coming up on the 2 year anniversary of when Padawan out of Public School. I think we have pretty much found our groove. We still don't fit under any one homeschooling label. My views toward education lean toward radical unschooling more than anything, but if someone looks at how we do things we probably look more like a family of (mostly radical) Relaxed Homeschoolers. That's ok; I'd rather just do what we do and let the labels fall where they may. The downside to this is that sometimes I worry that others may perceive me as talking out of both sides of my mouth or not practicing what I preach.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Snippets from Unschooling (#2)

Seven snippets from our life since the last time I posted - a week ago...has it been two weeks already?!?!


We celebrated 2 birthdays last weekend. Padawan and my Dad both share a birthday.***
 My parents came over for lunch and cake. Then they took the boy home with them. (It was his weekend to spend the night.)

My mother-in-law was in the hospital with breathing problems, so she didn't get to come. She has COPD. She's home now and doing better, but we found out this week that she has 30% lung capacity. Any less and she would need a lung transplant.

***I'm pretty sure Padawan planned to be born on that day. I was hoping for an Easter or Good Friday baby (which would have been just a few days before or right around my due date- can't remember exactly now) But he held out for 11 extra days so he could be born on my Dad's birthday. Which in pregnant impatient Mom-to-be time that equates to F O R E V E R. 

My labor sort of began around 3 am the morning of Dad's birthday. Since my doctor was planning on inducing me in two days anyway, they cranked up the Pitocin after I got to the hospital (around 8 am) to help speed things along. 

I was ready to start pushing sometime around 9 pm. Just to keep us in suspense, he drug out the drama until about 20 minutes before midnight . Yeah, I was watching the clock the whole time I was pushing- when 11:30 pm came around I was starting to sweat! The problem was his "melon" head was stuck  for what seemed like F O R E V E R. The doctor sent for the suction cup, but he finally popped out before they could use it.

Told ya- he's been stubborn since the beginning.


Padawan's public school friend came over twice this week. They traded some Legos - as usual.

They've been trading Legos and Hot Wheels since Kindergarten. Friend's Mom used to be against trading, but I've always kind of always kept a blind eye to the situation. Does that make me a bad influence? I promise I wouldn't let someone else's kid smoke or do bad things under my watchful eye. Really.

They also talked about the new Scottish Lego Mini-figures and have plans to get some to make some sort of WWII scene involving the Scottish Infantry. Once again, he's teaching me history. It's good to be homeschooled. haha

We have a car situation. Err...more of a lack of a car situation. We do still have an old Ford truck so we are not totally without transportation. But it is a gas hog.

Back in November Hubby was in a minor accident when a DUI driver hit him and ran. Hubby did manage to chase the guy down. Long story short. The insurance company total lossed our 1989 Plymouth. So, although it only has cosmetic damage- it also has a salvage title and is not street legal.

Right around New Year's, we used some of the money from that to replace the rack and pinion in our 2001 Dodge that had been sitting for about a year. Soon after the car started making a funny noise. Our multiple-award-winning-auto--technician brother-in-law had never heard such a noise and did not know what was causing it.

We found out over the weekend. It was the tranny. Yep. Now we have an insurable car that can't be driven and a perfectly good car that can't be insured.

We're weighing our options. Fix the 2001 car or find a body for the engine and transmission for the other car or....

I haven't mentioned that hubs STILL isn't working. So the car solution will have to wait. Orientation has not been his friend!
Once again. I'm thankful for my parents. We're borrowing Dad's truck just in case hubby gets hired next week by one company that looks promising.

I strewed pc game this week. Cold War - Supreme Ruler. Padawan and I played it for a couple of hours. He said it would be more fun if he had done the tutorial. But it was pretty fun watching him play.

He played as the United Kingdom (since he is on a Scottish kick this week). He raised taxes to 95% to quickly get enough money to build the things he wanted. Then I watched him try to make an deal with North Vietnam, but they couldn't come to an agreement.

I was asking question and trying to act like I was playing dumb about different countries' involvement in various wars. I really didn't know. He once again baffled me with his historical knowledge.

I also strewed a link to a math website. It's called MathMovesU. I want to hug whoever shared that link, but I don't even remember which of the several Homeschool groups it was shared in.
This is the first time that he has been engaged with any online math game.

He checked it out a few days ago and made an account. Last night he wanted to do school. (Yeah, wanted to do school on a Saturday night.)

So, he decided to play on that website. He had to answer some multi-step math questions to complete some of the steps in one of the games. (He was building a roller coaster.)

He asked me for help on some of the questions. I helped him sort through the information and determine what steps he needed to do to solve the problem. For the most part he knew exactly what to do. And I remembered how to find the circumference of a circle!

Then I told him it was ok to use the calculator to do the...well..calculating. He was a little leary and thought I was letting him cheat! I told him he was more than welcome to do the calcuations by hand if he wanted to.

Afterward there was even an inquisition (from him) about me letting him use a calculator. I think he thinks I'm a slacker teacher. :)

I'm still loving my job, and Padawan has been helping me here and there by giving me pointers. He showed me how to make a zip file yesterday. Where does this kid learn this stuff?

I'm setting up an Etsy shop for my sister-in-law who crochets. She's all excited. I'm also doing a pro bono website for her..just so I can add it to my portfolio. (Which is pretty empty at the moment)

And there you have it. 7 Snippets from our Unschoolish life.

You can join up at Carma's blog,

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Snippits From Unschooling

We've finally been spending some time OUTSIDE. 
Padawan has taken a (renewed) interest in Air Soft guns. He spent his birthday money on a new a rifle complete with scope. My parents were gracious enough  to let him have his present a couple of weeks early since the weather has been so nice and we all know it could get hot and humid here any time now.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Before and After

Unschooling Typing, Spelling, and Writing
A Progress Report...

I know I've mentioned before that I started suspecting Padawan has dysgraphia not long before I pulled him out of public school in November 2010. He is also not a natural speller. And forget about anything handwritten being legible, unless he takes a REALLY long time to write it.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Our Conversation About The Standards

My child is a riot. Sometimes I can't decide if he's trying to parent me, give me hints on how to parent him, or if he's just outright messing with my head.

Since we've been home educating, I haven't been following "The Almighty Standards" that had been drilled into his head from 3rd to 5th grade. I did look over "The Standards" (a) to be nosey, (b) to see what his friend would be doing in school this year, (c) to see if I wanted to plan any of that for the Middle School Years, (d) to see praise God for what I would not be stressing out over for the first school year since Standard Based Education began.  

Well, apparently Padawan had been thinking missing all the hoopla about "The Standards" in his new life and decided to have an impromptu talk with me about it.

(I can't remember word for word, but this is the general gist of the conversation.)

Padawan: (randomly stops what he is doing, sits at the edge of the recliner, crosses his legs, and leans towards me as he begins to speak in a tone that sounds freakishly like Ben Stein) Mooooom, you don't really like The Standards...dooooo youuuuuu?

Me: (trying not to laugh at the serious look on his face) No, I don't much care for them. Why do you ask?

Him: (in a sing-song voice) I'm just asking.

Me: Ok.

Him: (waits a minute for a dramatic effect) Whyyyy don't you like The Standards?

Me: Do you really want to know what I think about the Standards?

Him: Yes.

Me:  I think a lot of them are random. The Standards stress the kids and teachers out too much when half of them are repeated on the next grades list. The teachers have to teach you the actual list of Standards instead of just teaching to the Standards.  Besides, when you were in 3rd grade they were having you do things that I didn't do til High School because of the Standards. They should save some things to learn in High School.

Him: Well, you went to school waayyy back in the 80's things have changed since then.

Me: (appreciating him pointing out just how ancient I am becoming) Do you want to follow "The Standards"? I can print out a checklist, and we can follow "The Standards". 

Him: No, I was just asking.

We Really Don't "Do School" - Just So You Know

We've been home educating for a little over a year now. I have done a lot of de-schooling and had a complete paradigm shift. I completely understand Unschooling. I know that encouraging and letting Padawan follow his interests works, because I have seen the results even before we began home educating. I just didn't know there was a name for what we had been doing in addition to sending him to school.

On the other hand, Padawan has not de-schooled as much as I have and he has NOT had a paradgim shift - even though his actions, attitude, and insights pertaining to school and the system were the catalyst for said paradigm shift on my part. I had to read things by Gatto, Holt, and others to see the things he already figured out. 

This leads to some interesting conversations around here. I thought I would start sharing them on my blog.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Looking for Some Self Confidence

Update on the income situation: My husband was hired with a company a week or so ago. He's done the preliminary paperwork, and orientation is scheduled for next week. Hopefully all that will go well, and he will be working the week after that. Is it too soon to say YAY??

In other news:

I have some experience building websites and dabble in graphic design, brochures, business cards, etc. Well, I used to. At one time I was really into "the zone". The past 2 or 3 years...not so much. (Besides what little I've done to this blog).

Saturday, March 3, 2012


Wow. It's been over 2 months since I've written anything for my blog.
I guess its about time for a little update.

First the good news. I think we are hitting our stride with this home education thing for the most part. I'll try to write more about what we've been doing in another post.

Now the bad news. My husband lost his job two weeks ago.