The Enneagram and homeschooling. Now that’s an interesting conversation. Learning about my Enneagram type has been so helpful to me over the past few years–understanding my core fears and desires, being conscious of what drives me, and becoming aware of how I tend to respond. So I started wondering: how might our personality type impact our unique school style? Perhaps better understanding our Enneagram profile would improve our at-home teaching and learning dynamics.
Nine homeschool mamas joined me in this series to explore strengths and struggles related to their particular Enneagram number. We aren’t Enneagram experts but we have learned a thing or two over the years about our personality quirks in homeschooling. And we find it interesting to consider how understanding ourselves to a greater degree helps us be better teacher-moms.
Today we’re kicking off our series with types 4, 5, and 6!
TYPE 4: The Romantic Individualist
(explore more here)
type 4 wing 5
I recently found out that I am an Enneagram 4 wing 5. Recognizing this has been so helpful for me in my homeschooling journey of almost 12 years. I have 7 children: some adopted and some with special needs. We deal with circumstances that other people don’t have to, and I have struggled with being able to confidently shape our homeschool in the past. But knowing more about my personality has given me the ability to look at things from a healthier perspective.
One of the struggles I have as a type 4 is that I tend to teach according to my feelings. This can be a problem when going through stressful situations; it affects how our school routine goes. In addition, I struggled to trust myself in decision-making because I thought my ideas were worthless since others weren’t doing school in those ways. It took years to learn to trust myself. I knew I needed to choose what was best for my children, but often I stopped short of teaching according to my dreams because I hadn’t seen anyone else do it before, and I was scared to be wrong.
I’ve since developed an understanding of how being an Enneagram 4 wing 5 is a blessing in homeschooling. I can now look at my life and see it as unique, but not a burden. I am confident that my choices will serve my family well. I love that I am finally courageous enough to trust my instincts on how and what to teach and not second-guess myself. I am teaching their hearts to be content, to love learning and to love God. I can picture how all of it fits together to make my children’s childhood full and to help form them into the adults they’re meant to be. My personality works great for thinking outside the box while teaching my kids. I hope it serves me well as I guide and shape my children during their years at home.
Mindy has 7 children and will be starting her 12th year homeschooling in August. You can find her encouraging words about “living in eternity today” at www.mindydrevo.com or Instagram @mindy.drevo.writes.
TYPE 5: The Investigative Thinker
(explore more here)
type 5 wing 4
Homeschooling seemed like an obvious choice for me as an Enneagram 5 wing 4. I have a natural gift for teaching, and I’m comfortable going against the status quo. I love the flexibility of home learning, and being able to foster a love for education is important to me (even if it’s not the traditional method).
As someone who enjoys being at home, educating my kids at home works well for me as long as I prioritize time to myself each day to restore my energy. For our family, this means schooling in the morning and “quiet time” after lunch for all of us. This gives everyone a break from one another and gives me the independent time I need to work on my own projects.
I’ve also learned it’s okay not to be great at everything. Since I find it difficult to plan activities that aren’t workbook-based, my kids attend our local homeschooling community classes where they’re able to take part in group projects, messy art creations, and science experiments. These classes are fun for them and provide me with an opportunity to be kid-free. While homeschooling still feels challenging to me some weeks, I’m learning to be flexible in our approach so I can educate them well and support my own needs too.
TYPE 6: The Loyal Guardian
(explore more here)
type 6 wing 5
Committed, responsible, faithful, suspicious and anxious: these are some of the attributes associated with being an Enneagram 6. “The Loyal Guardian” sums up my homeschool journey quite well. When I became a mom I felt pulled to keep my boys home, especially when they reached the preschool years. I wanted to create a fun learning environment, read ALL the books and take adventures together. As I learned more about different homeschooling methods, I felt even more committed to giving my boys an educational experience that was as unique as each one of them. So I poured myself into studying their learning styles, temperaments and all things homeschool.
While most days I felt certain we were on the path God had for us, I was also plagued by the “inner committee” in my head with all of the “what if” questions. What if I failed to teach them something important and they got “behind”? What if they didn’t get into college? What if I had made a mistake giving up my teaching career to be a home educator? This is the inner dialogue that played in my head on repeat during the early elementary years. On hard days, those voices were deafening. I slowly learned that my inner committee could only be silenced by Jesus. As hard as I tried, it was only with the help of the Holy Spirit that I learned to relax, trust myself and most importantly, trust Him.
Security, support and guidance are important to me. From the beginning, I created communities for my children through: a mom’s group, a preschool co-op, Classical Conversations, and a schole group with some of our most treasured friends. I also rely on outside classes and tutors for math, music and science because those are not my strongest areas. Getting help from trusted “experts” is a helpful way to quiet those inner committee voices and community gives a sense of belonging and encouragement. I lean into Jesus first and my support network second when I need extra reassurance. Trusting myself and the process, being connected to my community and most importantly, allowing Jesus to be the loudest voice of my inner committee are signs of being in a healthy type 6 state. I am grateful for this journey, though bumpy at times, and for the opportunity to spend my days with my favorite people.
Marni is a wife and homeschool mom to 3 boys ages 16, 13 and 10 plus one cute Labradoodle. They have been homeschooling from the beginning and you can follow their journey on Instagram @journeywithlovehomeschool.
We hope this conversation is encouraging, helpful, and empowering. Most importantly remember: no matter your personality type, you can be a wonderful homeschool mom! God has given you “everything you need” (2 Peter 1:3) for your children to thrive at home.
Note: I borrowed each type name & highlighted “explore more” links from Your Enneagram Coach, one of my favorite voices to learn from in Enneagram world. You can also find the coach, Beth McCord, on Instagram.