Raising Smart Kids Using the 8 Great Smarts
“I’m just not one of the smart kids.” Have you heard those words from your student or a similar statement? We live in a society that places emphasis on grades and overall performance in school, and if a student is not successful by school standards, that child may come to believe that he or she is “just not smart enough.” However, that is not a true statement. Instead, we need to encourage students to discover what smart kids they really are. Let me explain.
In her book “8 Great Smarts”, Dr. Kathy Koch proposes that there are eight ways that students tend to show their intelligence, and it is important to affirm and nurture these smarts; otherwise, they can become weaknesses. For example, a student who likes to talk to others may be word and peoplesmart. Simply telling the student that he or she needs to be quiet does not develop either smart. However, affirming the student’s need to “talk things out” in a respectful manner helps him or her learn how to use those smarts.
How do we discover our student’s smarts? We need to expose them to a variety of activities to find what interests them the most and then encourage the development of those intelligences. The eight intelligences that Dr. Koch discusses in her book are word, logic, picture, music, body, nature, people, and self-smarts. Do any of those stand out to you? You probably identify one or more of these in your student, and the list below gives a closer look at each type of smart.
Word Smart Kids
These students think with words. If they feel excited, they talk more, and they tend to enjoy talking while playing. Reading out loud or having your student try out for a part in a theatrical play are two ways to develop this smart.
Logic Smart Kids
These students think through questioning. Excitement tends to generate more questions, and these students may often ask why questions. Puzzles, experiments, and “what if” scenarios are a few ways to strengthen this smart.
Picture Smart Kids
These students think by visualizing things. Many enjoy drawing, and if they are excited, they may add vivid colors to their creations. Examining maps or pictures and visiting museums are two ways to strengthen this smart.
Music Smart Kids
These students think with song or music. They may enjoy making noises or creating music, and if they are excited, they make more noise. Playing music or singing at home and enrolling in music lessons are some ways to develop this smart.
Body Smart Kids
These students think by moving. They enjoy learning that is hands-on, and if they are excited, they tend to move around and touch things. Sports, dance, and spelling words in the air with a finger are a few ways to strengthen this smart.
Nature Smart Kids
These students often enjoy being outside and looking at animals or plants, and being outside and exploring energizes and excites them. Exploring outdoors and researching nature questions are two ways to encourage this smart.
People Smart Kids
These students enjoy being around others and need others to bounce ideas off. When they are excited, they will often seek someone else out to share their excitement with. Teaching facial expressions, tones, and body language are a few ways to help develop this smart.
These students tend to spend time deep in thought and often will seek out quiet places to think. They are excited by things that draw them into deep thought. Honoring quiet time and helping your student find interesting topics to think about are two ways to strengthen this smart.
Most students will have aspects of each of these smarts, but two or three tend to be most prominent. The next step is to find ways to nurture those intelligences, and I hope that the list above gives you some ideas. If you would like to learn more about these smarts and read additional ways to encourage the development of your student’s smarts, I recommend reading the article “Encouraging Your Student’s Smarts” posted at Focus on the Family’s website. While reading this post, you may have also noticed that these smarts apply to you, and they do; it is never too late to discover and develop your own smarts as well.
Many families choose to take a hands-on approach to raising smart kids with online private homeschool. If you are interested in a curriculum that allows the flexibility to develop your student’s smarts, consider Enlightium Academy. Enlightium is a fully accredited online private Christian school that allows students to work at their own pace with a flexible schedule. Our affordable tuition, individualized curriculum, and simple admissions process maintains the advantages of a home school education while also preparing students for college. Additionally, Enlightium offers record-keeping and has worked with families in all 50 states to meet state requirements. Feel free to call us at 866-488-4818 if you have any questions about transferring to Enlightium Academy.