It doesn't take a genius to realize that each of us is unique. Our differences are what add flavor and spice to our lives and our families. Our differences can also drive us crazy! The more I learn about personalities, the more effective I become at communicating and teaching. I also understand people much better. One of my favorite authors Stephen Covey says, "seek first to understand." Learning about personalities truly helps you do this. If you are a homeschooling family - you are with your family almost 24/7 and you NEED to know how to live with each other. You need to understand each other, where you are coming from, and what your thought process is.
My first education about personalities was from The Color Code written by Taylor Hartman. This book was a great place to begin, and helped me a lot as a newlywed. I was able to understand my new family and myself much better. I was also able to make sense of past experiences. Here is an overview of The Color Code personalities:
Next, I learned about yoga "doshas" in the book Perfect Health: The Complete Mind/Body Guide by Deepak Chopra. Doshas are a combination of personality and body type in Ayurveda, which is a traditional Hindu medicine. This was a great introduction to the idea that our personalities and physical bodies are actually related. Ayurveda even has food and essential oil recommendations for the different doshas. Pretty cool stuff. Here is a breakdown of the three yoga doshas from www.ishtayoga.com :
Another fantastic personality book is The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman. He discusses all of the different ways that people receive love. Here is a fantastic summary of the love languages:
For the past five years I have been studying "energy types" by Carol Tuttle. It is the most amazing and complete personality learning program I have yet to find! It has changed my life! My whole family mentions energy types almost every day now. (We have all of the energy types in our family.) Learning all about each of our energy types and our secondary energy types allows each of us, even the kids, to understand each other better. We understand ourselves better. Carol has a ton of helpful resources. You can check out her free energy profile here. Carol teaches that each of us has all energy types in us, but we each lead with one or two types. She has even found what types of colors and styles actually match up to your energy type in her Dressing Your Truth program. (If you like before and after pictures- you will LOVE this!)
There are four energy types. Here is an explanation of the four energy types from her blog:
Once you know each of your family member's personalities, you will continually improve in communicating, resolving conflict, and living together in harmony. You will also apply your knowledge of their personality to their homeschool experience.
The final personality resource I would like to add is a learning style tool called VARK . VARK stands for visual, auditory, read/write, and kinesthetic. Each of us learns in each style, but we lead with one or two learning styles. It is important to learn your style as well as your children's styles, so that you can be aware that the way you teach may be catered to the way you personally learn (which may not be how your children learn). Please be sure to go to www.vark-learn.com and do the questionnaire for each of your family members. Here is an image that explains VARK very well:
Learning about personalities and learning styles has been extremely helpful for my family in creating a healthy homeschool environment. I love teaching my kids about different personalities and about themselves. It helps us to honor each person for who they are. We learn how we can best work together as a family and a rockin' team! Learning about personalities and learning styles inspires us to accept the unique challenges and genius inside of each one of us! As parents- it gives us a lot of insight on how to parent these precious and often challenging children!
What personality tools do you use? What are your thoughts on all of this? Let us know!