God is very generous! He creates each person with the capacity to develop 8 different smarts. Eight! He could have created us without a brain and without the ability to use it independently. But He didn’t! I’m so grateful. I hope you are.

As a new school year begins, remember to encourage your children to use all 8 smarts. If you send them off to school, you can use the smarts at home even if your children’s teachers use only or mostly one or two during the day. At home, they can practice and study with all 8. This will really help them. If you homeschool your children, you can do so much. And, remember, all of this applies to Sunday school settings and learning about Spiritual truths, too.

Think about the smarts adding power to their learning:

  • Word smart – power of language – talking
  • Logic smart – power of questions – asking
  • Picture smart – power of observation – seeing
  • Music smart – power of sound and music – hearing
  • Body smart – power of movement – doing
  • Nature smart – power of patterns – collecting
  • People smart – power of people – relating
  • Self smart – power of quiet – meditating

Introduce topics using different smarts. Don’t always use the same one on the first day of a unit. That immediately gives an advantage to the children who are strong in that smart. They may be more interested than others. They will probably be more confident. This adds up to more learning and better grades.

Teach each topic using as many of the smarts as possible. Don’t use them all in the same lesson. That can be overwhelming for you and the children. But, over time, use all 8. Or, depending on the topic, using 6 may be realistic. For instance, if you spend 5 days on a unit, rotate the use of the smarts so you teach content using many of them.

Review using different smarts. Just as you want to introduce topics with various smarts, you want to review with a variety. Most often, word and logic are used and that’s fine for many kids. But, kids with other strengths won’t be as successful. Expand your repertoire of ideas and review in many ways that honor all 8 smarts.

Assess with different smarts. To have integrity, if we’re going to encourage children to use all 8 smarts when learning, we must use a variety when assessing what they know. One advantage of homeschooling is less need for formal assessment. These parents can observe their children and know a lot about what they know with confidence and what they barely know. When testing is necessary, let’s all remember the smarts.

If you’re new to multiple intelligences, there are many blogs posted here relevant to multiple intelligences. You may want to spend some time looking for ones to read. Also, there’s information on our website here.  And, my book How Am I Smart? is extremely helpful. These sources, plus your continued reading of my blog, will equip you to serve your children well this year.

When all smarts are strategically used and children are told they’re smart and not just “good,” the benefits are huge. And, as I wrote about last week, make sure to also talk about their uses of character qualities. These children will be more confident, enjoy learning more, and, therefore,  learn more.

Have a great year!