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INFJ disclaimer: This will be long..sorry about that. (also posted in the INFJ forum)

I have been homeschooling my 16 yo INTP son since 6th grade. He is finishing up his 10th-grade year and I am looking at curriculum for next year.

My INFP daughter is graduating this year and usually, this time of the year is exciting because my research for new materials lasts for several weeks as I dive into the interwebs of what has worked for others and order new books that come to the house like its Christmas for the next few weeks.
But without the usual creative area to fill in for my daughter's needs, I am at a loss this time around. And what once was a joy to begin my April/May, I am dreading.

A bit of background:
My son used to love doing homework and would even help his sister get through hers, but after switching to a Waldorf school for 4th and 5th grade, [where he basically became the teacher's assistant and helped other kids with their work after getting his own done] he started to look differently at school. Perhaps it was his INTP personality fully kicking in, but at the end of 5th grade, he was burnt out on school. So we started homeschooling.

The first year was very hard to get him to do any type of school work and not just play all day. It has gotten progressively worse over the years. When he actually applies himself he gets A's. Except for writing, which he pretty much "half-a**es" most of the time, he does well academically. But he constantly says he does not see the point. And most of the time I must bribe him to get anything done. This can be as simple as buying him a bag of chips to allowing him an entire day without having to do any schoolwork. We don't eat a lot of junk food, so chips are a treat. ;)

My son thinks school is unnecessary, redundant, and a waste of time. Which breaks my INFJ heart - I even returned to college last year to get another degree - which my INTP son questioned why I would want to do.

But I digress...when he wants to learn about something he spends weeks researching and digesting as much information until he feels confident in his knowledge and then moves on. Usually this only concerns his own hobbies and not school - though. He loves cooking, computers, cars, electronic gadgets, and video games. He has been cooking for our family since he was 8. And he fixes lots of things I can't begin to understand how they work, and is generally very helpful around the house.

I feel like we have been pretty good parents. We kept them off social media and monitored them when they were curious about it. Now both have no interest in social media, so I am grateful. We did not allow our children to play online video games or have cell phones until last year when they were 15 and 17. We do have a Nintendo system and we used to play a lot as a family, as well as board games. My kids are good kids, but when it comes to school, it is like I am torturing them.

This last semester, I bribed him with buying components to build his own gaming computer...I even set it up so he could get some computer science credit for researching all the information and learning which components he needed...Then his focus was on building it, which took another week or so. But once that was over, it was back to begging and pleading with him to get his homework done. I am not saying that he does absolutely nothing, but for all the time he has during the day, he could have graduated last year if he had put his mind to it. He started playing online games a year ago, which we monitor constantly and even play with him sometimes. He has met some friends online and we have even traveled to meet them and their families on the other side of our state. He is not allowed to play gory or R rated games, but gaming has become all he cares about. If we ground him from his games, he will just sit on his bed all day and do nothing.

I was hoping to find some blogs or sites giving suggestions on how to homeschool an INTP child that sees no point in school but I have some empty-handed. What I have found are for much younger children or INTP children just relaying what I already know 'school is pointless.'

If anyone has suggestions I would love to hear them. I can't tell you how many different curriculums I have tried on this child only for him to say, it is just too boring or not interesting enough for him to put any effort into or that he just doesn't' like it. UGH! I wish I could just do it for him, but there has got to be something out there that has worked for these unique INTP minds.

Thanks for listening to my ramblings.
 

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I don't know how you schedule the lessons, except that you mentioned semesters. Since he can get into something for a week or so at a time, you could try giving him one class at a time to finish within a week or so. That's how I finished some classes when I was a kid and went to an independent study high school for a time.

Are there minimum requirements from the state, or whatever, that he needs to pass to be eligible for a diploma? If it's hard for him to "apply himself" to boring shit over a long period, it might be easier to focus on just getting it done quickly. If he'll cooperate with that.
 

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INFJ disclaimer: This will be long..sorry about that. (also posted in the INFJ forum)

I have been homeschooling my 16 yo INTP son since 6th grade. He is finishing up his 10th-grade year and I am looking at curriculum for next year.

My INFP daughter is graduating this year and usually, this time of the year is exciting because my research for new materials lasts for several weeks as I dive into the interwebs of what has worked for others and order new books that come to the house like its Christmas for the next few weeks.
But without the usual creative area to fill in for my daughter's needs, I am at a loss this time around. And what once was a joy to begin my April/May, I am dreading.

A bit of background:
My son used to love doing homework and would even help his sister get through hers, but after switching to a Waldorf school for 4th and 5th grade, [where he basically became the teacher's assistant and helped other kids with their work after getting his own done] he started to look differently at school. Perhaps it was his INTP personality fully kicking in, but at the end of 5th grade, he was burnt out on school. So we started homeschooling.

The first year was very hard to get him to do any type of school work and not just play all day. It has gotten progressively worse over the years. When he actually applies himself he gets A's. Except for writing, which he pretty much "half-a**es" most of the time, he does well academically. But he constantly says he does not see the point. And most of the time I must bribe him to get anything done. This can be as simple as buying him a bag of chips to allowing him an entire day without having to do any schoolwork. We don't eat a lot of junk food, so chips are a treat. ;)

My son thinks school is unnecessary, redundant, and a waste of time. Which breaks my INFJ heart - I even returned to college last year to get another degree - which my INTP son questioned why I would want to do.

But I digress...when he wants to learn about something he spends weeks researching and digesting as much information until he feels confident in his knowledge and then moves on. Usually this only concerns his own hobbies and not school - though. He loves cooking, computers, cars, electronic gadgets, and video games. He has been cooking for our family since he was 8. And he fixes lots of things I can't begin to understand how they work, and is generally very helpful around the house.

I feel like we have been pretty good parents. We kept them off social media and monitored them when they were curious about it. Now both have no interest in social media, so I am grateful. We did not allow our children to play online video games or have cell phones until last year when they were 15 and 17. We do have a Nintendo system and we used to play a lot as a family, as well as board games. My kids are good kids, but when it comes to school, it is like I am torturing them.

This last semester, I bribed him with buying components to build his own gaming computer...I even set it up so he could get some computer science credit for researching all the information and learning which components he needed...Then his focus was on building it, which took another week or so. But once that was over, it was back to begging and pleading with him to get his homework done. I am not saying that he does absolutely nothing, but for all the time he has during the day, he could have graduated last year if he had put his mind to it. He started playing online games a year ago, which we monitor constantly and even play with him sometimes. He has met some friends online and we have even traveled to meet them and their families on the other side of our state. He is not allowed to play gory or R rated games, but gaming has become all he cares about. If we ground him from his games, he will just sit on his bed all day and do nothing.

I was hoping to find some blogs or sites giving suggestions on how to homeschool an INTP child that sees no point in school but I have some empty-handed. What I have found are for much younger children or INTP children just relaying what I already know 'school is pointless.'

If anyone has suggestions I would love to hear them. I can't tell you how many different curriculums I have tried on this child only for him to say, it is just too boring or not interesting enough for him to put any effort into or that he just doesn't' like it. UGH! I wish I could just do it for him, but there has got to be something out there that has worked for these unique INTP minds.

Thanks for listening to my ramblings.

He IS right , though. School is unnecessary, redundant and a waste of time. People don't go to school to learn, they go there to be broken and fit into the mold of the modern wage slave.

From what I've seen in myself and others this apathy only gets worse as the INTP gets older and learns how limiting adult life is.That's why videogames appeal so much: they don't have those limits. That apathy is basically something we contend with for our entire lives. If anything I'm surprised he isn't rebelling at his micromanaged upbringing as is.

Just keep coming up with things to bribe him with, maybe find a career pursuit or a game expo that interests him, and use that to motivate him. Or you could talk to him, maybe provide an allowance for homework. If there are clubs he can join that might motivate him too via Fe, but it is extremely unlikely.


If anything I think he's doing well, my own apathy progressed into nihilism in my early 30s, that should tell you how difficult it is to manage.
 

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I can't speak for all xNTPs, but I hate the concept of working hard. Instead, I think we should be focused on working smart. This means learning/doing with minimal effort. I enjoyed math and science classes in high school because I would just complete all the assignments quickly, sometimes during class time, so that I can focus on learning on my own. I don't like it when people force me to learn. It needs to be driven by curiosity/interests. I don't understand why people work so hard. Are they sadistic and enjoying the pain? I never work hard at anything, yet I'm relatively successful in education/career.
 

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. I don't understand why people work so hard. Are they sadistic and enjoying the pain? I never work hard at anything, yet I'm relatively successful in education/career.
It's part of the whole wage slave conditioning. If you can't achieve something, 100% of the time it's because you're just not working hard enough.

That's how they have a workforce essentially wasting their best years working pointlessly hard.
 

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It's part of the whole wage slave conditioning. If you can't achieve something, 100% of the time it's because you're just not working hard enough.

That's how they have a workforce essentially wasting their best years working pointlessly hard.
Maybe one way to look at it is we're using education and career as a way to control the crowd, similar to religion. I can certainly feel the pressure to fit in and work hard. Maybe I'm lucky to be productive without needing to work hard. If I work hard, perhaps I can get promoted, i.e. to "reach my potential". But, it's not worth the effort. I love life too much to be wasting it in doing something I don't enjoy.
 

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N + T + P + School: Rendez-vous manqué

Teenagers should not sit at home and fight with their parents, they should go out into the world to gain experience. The time has come to quit homeschooling and all forms of overprotection!

Your son is right, of course, but somehow & somewhere he has to learn how to assert himself in the society in which he lives, how to interact with the most diverse people and to get what he needs with minimal investment of time & effort and minimum parental wear & tear.

Bribery is actually the best incentive for boys, apart from eroticism, but you don’t seem to have much experience with successful bribery. Chips! Unfortunately, I don't have my bribery guidelines for parents at hand.

I wonder what you do for the intellectual stimulation of your son, I had a graduate student as a mentor, and we didn’t touch anything that was related to school. Don’t try to monopolise your son.
 

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I suspect I'm more INFP in general, but my learning process is very akin to an INTPs process. Simply reading and repeating what I read doesn't let me comprehend why something works or doesn't work, I have to draw my own conclusions by trial and error, which is why INTPs are so adept at figuring out how things work, they take things apart and watch the action/reaction process unfold before their very eyes. The downside of this learning process is that the synthetic method employed by the education system is counter-intuitive for an INTP.

I taught myself how to write applications in Visual Basic, I learned a bit of Javascript for PDF forms, I taught myself how to write shell scripts in Linux, and I had documentation for all of it, but I fully understood how to use each computer language by writing simple test scripts and seeing what happened when I ran them; I had to break it down to its simplest parts and see how they fit back together. I went to a community college, and I spent more time pointing out the errors and inconsistencies in the material than a student ever should, and I was the only one in all my classes to do so. I dropped out because I already knew the material better than anyone could ever teach me, but everyone else will get a degree based on a flawed curriculum, and they'll enter the work world with some misinformation they'll have to figure out is wrong on their own, and I gotta be honest, I have very little faith in the American population's ability to think critically. Educated does not mean intelligent.

INTx types are most frequently the ones that figure out how the universe works. They're the reason we know about gravity, space-time, electrons, evolution, they frequently are responsible for rockets and combustion engines.

The best thing to keep an INTP engaged is to fuel their curiosity, let them explore their ideas and encourage them to challenge those ideas. They usually aren't motivated by money, they're passionate about gaining and sharing practical knowledge, and using that knowledge to make their lives simpler.

Sent from my RS988 using Tapatalk
 

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He IS right , though. School is unnecessary, redundant and a waste of time. People don't go to school to learn, they go there to be broken and fit into the mold of the modern wage slave.

From what I've seen in myself and others this apathy only gets worse as the INTP gets older and learns how limiting adult life is.That's why videogames appeal so much: they don't have those limits. That apathy is basically something we contend with for our entire lives. If anything I'm surprised he isn't rebelling at his micromanaged upbringing as is.

Just keep coming up with things to bribe him with, maybe find a career pursuit or a game expo that interests him, and use that to motivate him. Or you could talk to him, maybe provide an allowance for homework. If there are clubs he can join that might motivate him too via Fe, but it is extremely unlikely.


If anything I think he's doing well, my own apathy progressed into nihilism in my early 30s, that should tell you how difficult it is to manage.
So disappointed I can't give you multiple likes for that response

Sent from my RS988 using Tapatalk
 

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I wasn't homeschooled as a child but I was allowed to skip school whenever and I had no compunction taking advantage of it. I think it stopped my mind from rotting as much as it could have to be allowed an excess of free time instead of an excess of wasted school time.

Something I've noticed though as I get older and try to get back to motivating myself is that Ne is very capricious but it's also possible to use it to push myself hard. I am ENTP, a primary Ne-user, not a primary Ti-user, so this could possibly be different for me than for an INTP but I suspect it isn't all that much. I basically just need a hook for a specific topic, something that catches my mind's eye, and suddenly my attention becomes highly focused on said topic and wants to explore it further. So, say I learn just a tiny bit about the French Revolution but the bit I learn is intriguing and unexpected, and my Ne gets stimulated to produce all kinds of ideas and possibilities. Immediately I want to explore them, and so I learn a little bit more and that raises even more questions. Leave me alone for a while with a few books that answer my thoughts, or be present for me with the answers to all my questions and a whole lot of information, and I'm perfectly willing to devote myself to the topic for a while and try to become an expert in it.

School unfortunately goes very slowly and jumps from topic to topic in an incredibly dull and tedious manner, and I find that shuts down the Ne-interest, which often instead gets hooked on something else far less productive, and directs the xNTP's gaze away from school. I've gone from being fascinated and even obsessed by a topic while on my own to being rendered bored and annoyed by it shortly after school touches on it. Unfortunately, redirecting my attention once it has already been lost is a difficult process, as it does usually quickly find something else to hook onto, like video games. At some point, it becomes easier for me to let Ne simply exhaust itself in non-productive ways, and just wait till I've reached a state of boredom to kickstart myself into productivity again.

I've noticed that, personally, it's even worse when As are easy to get, as there's a sense that the topic is easy to explore and shallow, essentially only requiring a bare minimum of engagement, which is the opposite of what Ne seeks: a long, perpetually exciting rabbit hole full of intellectual novelty. But the "rabbit hole" school presents often instead seems to reach a dead end quickly, and to be bare of possibilities. Merely sensing that is incredibly discouraging and depressing.

There's also a high amount of pleasure to be derived by testing our logic against problems and puzzles, and sifting through possibilities. Personally, I enjoy any kind of "problem" where I feel I have the tools to solve it, but just barely. Too easy and it lacks interest. Too hard and it fails to give me satisfaction. I also would be lying to say there was no ego involved: I think xNTPs often feel the need to brag about their natural intelligence to make up for the way our apathy makes us look, and teachers need to be careful not to challenge us *too* hard, because that can result in a doubling down of apathy to prove it's not an intelligence issue, it's an apathy issue. Because in our minds it's better to be smart and lazy than dumb and hardworking. It's a delicate balance.
 
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I would try to give him as much autonomy in his learning as you can. Perhaps you can just let him know that he's in charge of his own education and as long as it's generally related to history, science, etc. or whatever is supposed to be on the curriculum, he can find interesting topics in those fields to read about or create a project around. Or if that doesn't work, maybe find the materials he needs to get through in the week and tell him it's up to him how he stacks it and if he wants to push it all off till the last two days to gain freedom earlier in the week and just work really hard at the end, that's fine.

I think you just need to find a way to turn it onto his shoulders. So if he's complaining that school is boring and pointless then tell him he can take the lead in his own education and see how it pans out. I think it's easy for people to complain that school is boring until they are put in charge and realize how much work goes into planning curriculums etc. Wish I could be more help but my kids are still little so it's a whole different set of issues. Hang in there!
 

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I wasn't homeschooled as a child but I was allowed to skip school whenever and I had no compunction taking advantage of it. I think it stopped my mind from rotting as much as it could have to be allowed an excess of free time instead of an excess of wasted school time.

Something I've noticed though as I get older and try to get back to motivating myself is that Ne is very capricious but it's also possible to use it to push myself hard. I am ENTP, a primary Ne-user, not a primary Ti-user, so this could possibly be different for me than for an INTP but I suspect it isn't all that much. I basically just need a hook for a specific topic, something that catches my mind's eye, and suddenly my attention becomes highly focused on said topic and wants to explore it further. So, say I learn just a tiny bit about the French Revolution but the bit I learn is intriguing and unexpected, and my Ne gets stimulated to produce all kinds of ideas and possibilities. Immediately I want to explore them, and so I learn a little bit more and that raises even more questions. Leave me alone for a while with a few books that answer my thoughts, or be present for me with the answers to all my questions and a whole lot of information, and I'm perfectly willing to devote myself to the topic for a while and try to become an expert in it.

School unfortunately goes very slowly and jumps from topic to topic in an incredibly dull and tedious manner, and I find that shuts down the Ne-interest, which often instead gets hooked on something else far less productive, and directs the xNTP's gaze away from school. I've gone from being fascinated and even obsessed by a topic while on my own to being rendered bored and annoyed by it shortly after school touches on it. Unfortunately, redirecting my attention once it has already been lost is a difficult process, as it does usually quickly find something else to hook onto, like video games. At some point, it becomes easier for me to let Ne simply exhaust itself in non-productive ways, and just wait till I've reached a state of boredom to kickstart myself into productivity again.

I've noticed that, personally, it's even worse when As are easy to get, as there's a sense that the topic is easy to explore and shallow, essentially only requiring a bare minimum of engagement, which is the opposite of what Ne seeks: a long, perpetually exciting rabbit hole full of intellectual novelty. But the "rabbit hole" school presents often instead seems to reach a dead end quickly, and to be bare of possibilities. Merely sensing that is incredibly discouraging and depressing.

There's also a high amount of pleasure to be derived by testing our logic against problems and puzzles, and sifting through possibilities. Personally, I enjoy any kind of "problem" where I feel I have the tools to solve it, but just barely. Too easy and it lacks interest. Too hard and it fails to give me satisfaction. I also would be lying to say there was no ego involved: I think xNTPs often feel the need to brag about their natural intelligence to make up for the way our apathy makes us look, and teachers need to be careful not to challenge us *too* hard, because that can result in a doubling down of apathy to prove it's not an intelligence issue, it's an apathy issue. Because in our minds it's better to be smart and lazy than dumb and hardworking. It's a delicate balance.
It's basically learning to play with work, adapting the work to you and your thought process. School destroys this skill because it's much easier to force the wage slave to adapt to work. It takes ages of deliberate effort to recover the skill in adulthood.
 

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It's basically learning to play with work, adapting the work to you and your thought process. School destroys this skill because it's much easier to force the wage slave to adapt to work. It takes ages of deliberate effort to recover the skill in adulthood.
I won't say this is the best aprooch to intp's close to adulthood , i mean most parents just leave Intp's alone 'cause they are prone to be very smart and they don't know that Ne going without any focus path can create alot of problems , they just wasted their Ne in useless activities.

Yeah... schools are boring to INTP's 'cause they are just lefties indoctrination centers right now but there is alot other activities which are challenging to intp's outside school ( or extra-curricular ) like chess , music , arts , reading ,learning a new language, ect. actually , any of those activities which are so multi-complex need alot of work and you probabily are gonna spend more time learning them than some school subjets but those activities teach you responsibility , structure , solving problems , logical-emotional-symbolic meanings , ect

Hard work is the only way to get good at something but yeah ... you can waste time studying meaningless subjects as just playing videogames and watching anime too or you can just have a strong discipline and Ne helping you to bring alot more color to those rather than going nowhere without any clear path .
 

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Perhaps you could read on unschooling as a homeschooling option. It focuses on independent learning, and since INTPs tend to enjoy the freedom to choose options as they learn, it's a good option. Of course, you are not entirely leaving those you unschool alone. You can still guide them generally, but you can only command them if their choices are too dangerous in some kind of manner. Unschooling efforts focus a lot on how to engage someone by making learning engaging, not just expecting someone to learn by discipline. You wouldn't need to discipline yourself much if you found the learning enjoyable, right? That's the philosophy of unschooling. I suggest heading to the blog, "I'm Unschooled. Yes, I can write," for some beginner resources talking about the myths around it, how to practice it and additional resources. Also you can also try some online courses such as from Edx, Coursera or khanacademy, which are full of the random academic or sometimes creative subjects INTPs tend to be into. Looking for educational Youtube channels in different subjects, such as Crash Course or Vsauce may be more engaging than just reading if that is the issue. I also found the blog TeachThought to have a lot of activities to learn higher learning skills beyond memorization formal schooling tends to ignore, such as critical thinking and brainstorming that INTPs would enjoy.

I knew about this when I was younger, but my parents would never allow me to do something like this. They weren't open to it. Oh well, it still taught me a lot about studying independently anyway even if I did go to formal schooling. Learning shouldn't just be done in school after all.
 

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I've gone from being fascinated and even obsessed by a topic while on my own to being rendered bored and annoyed by it shortly after school touches on it. Unfortunately, redirecting my attention once it has already been lost is a difficult process
It's as though you hand over your initiative, and then the educators try to spoonfeed it back to you.
 

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I teach school refusal students in Sweden. Plenty of them would type as INTP, I think.

I agree with what most people have said already. What we are trying to do with students who are studying at home is keep them on a easily managed schedule. They have to know what they have to do each day and it has to be manageable. INxPs generally do not manage and organize their time as well as your type does and they will need assistance with this. This will help if the INxP student doesn't care much for the subject at hand. Just make it extremely manageable.

The other factor that others have hit upon is that it really helps if the INTP is fascinated by the subject. You might have to study the subject yourself in order to make it interesting. The links others have posted are a good place to start.

Bottom-line, though, most things in school won't be fascinating to your son, but making it manageable and structured helps. As people have suggested, one subject, one chapter at a time. Make it really clear what has to be done each day. Weekly schedules works well for us. We usually have examinations on Fridays and the students have all week to study and prepare. Also, what ever structure you agree on, you have to keep at it.

One last thing, if your child finds an external goal which his studies might lead up to, I suspect you will be surprised what your child is capable of. He might start studying like someone possessed! I've seen plenty examples of this. Also, don't forget that INxPs often are late bloomers. If all fails, don't worry too much. He'll find out what to do with his life eventually :D

Edit: Also, the stuff he is interested in and learning on his own will probably be really useful later on...
 
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