Interests and abilities. They’re both valid when thinking about multiple intelligences. The ways we and our children are smart show up first as interests. Then, when these interests are responded to, abilities may follow. They may not. Or low ability may follow, but not high. It depends on God’s choice when creating us. right?

I have relatively high interest in some elements of nature, but not all. And, my abilities across the board aren’t strong. This is one of my less developed intelligences. What about you?

I’ve been on safari in Africa and here in the States, including at the fabulous Fossil Rim Wildlife Center near where I live. I go to our fabulous Fort Worth zoo often. I enjoy observing the animals. I don’t need to understand why they do what they do. I don’t need to remember which deer is which.

I appreciate brightly colored flowers and especially in beautiful arrangements. This is because my parents gardened well and my mom had a real talent for arranging flowers in vases. There’s an emotional interest here, but no personal ability.

When my brother and I were young, we caught a garden snake and built a cage to keep it for a while. I paid attention to it, but looking back it was more my logic smart that engaged me than being nature smart. I wanted to know how it lived in the burlap covering of our garden’s rose bush. How long had it been there? How did it survive in the winter? What did it eat? Were there other snakes under other burlap coverings that we didn’t notice when it warmed up and our dad took the burlap off? As I often write – smarts never work alone. They always partner for effectiveness.

You’ll enjoy this week’s video about being nature smart by my friend, Diana Waring. Listen to how she describes the strengths a nature-smart person has. What careers might interest them? Listen to what she believes makes someone great and not just good. I agree with her. Watch this with your kids, too, because it will give you much to talk about.


Have you missed the smarts we’ve already covered? You can watch Diana’s videos here. And, you can read more about Diana and her curricula using the smarts at

[callout]Diana’s Biographical Sketch

Diana Waring is one of the pioneers of homeschooling. For nearly three decades she has been an author and speaker to the international homeschool movement. Diana is the author and publisher of the History Revealed curriculum, the Experience History Through Music series (William T. Anderson authored one of the titles in this series), Beyond Survival, Reaping the Harvest, and numerous world history and homeschool encouragement audio CDs. She is a video blogger, blogger, columnist for The Homeschool Minute, guest writer at The Old Schoolhouse magazine, curriculum writer, singer/composer, actress/playwright, wife, and homeschool mom. To learn more, please visit[/callout]