Growing up I was often considered a gifted and talented kid. I excelled in math and science. I won my school spelling bee two years in a row. I received the Presidential Physical Fitness award at the highest level. I was first chair flute in band. I was even permitted to join the choir a year early based on my musical abilities. My older sister did not like that.

I was really good at many things. This helped in school a great deal because I was often given the benefit of the doubt. The expectation of the adults around me was that I would excel. Even in times when I didn’t produce the best result, I was still acknowledged as gifted.

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My Parenting Experience

So when it came to parenting, my own experience had set me up for failure. When it came to raising my niece and my bonus child, all the things I believed were “just that easy,” for them were “just that hard.” By the time I had my own children I knew I had to take a different approach.

Alexandra was skipped past kindergarten. She also excels in math, reading, and spelling. Even though her teacher, principal, and school counselor were all in agreement, the red tape and state regulations were maddening.  I signed up for a local parent advocacy training to better learn to navigate the system. It was there that I learned about Multiple Intelligences. It completely changed my perspective on children and education.



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Mulitple Intelligences Explained

Howard Gardner, a Harvard University psychologist, developed the theory to combat the idea that there is one singular measure of intelligence in people. He proposed that there are eight (8) different ways the human brain processes information. In each one of those eight (8) ways, there is a measurement from low to high. Learn more about the theory behind his research here.
Every child has a unique brilliance. Our jobs as parents is to discover, develop and nurture it. Using Multiple Intelligences you can uncover your child’s strengths by learning exactly how they are smart.

Multiple Intelligences help you to stop asking the age old question, “how smart is my child?” and to start asking, “how is my child smart?” Everyone has a measure of each of the eight intelligences. Your child is the smartest in the area he/she demonstrates the most ability.

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What Multiple Intelligences Means For You

Here is a brief explanation of what they and what they mean.

  • Linguistic Intelligence – word smart (likely good at spelling or enjoys reading, writing and telling stories)
  • Logical-Mathematical Intelligence – math smart (likely very logical, good with numbers and puzzles)
  • Spatial Intelligence – picture smart (likely very imaginative and creative, sees things others don’t)
  • Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence – body smart (very adept at using his/her body, likely excels in sports)
  • Musical Intelligence – music smart (sensitive to rhythm, tone, melody and pitch, likely excels at instruments)
  • Interpersonal Intelligence – people smart (likely very social and well liked, in tune to others emotions)
  • Intrapersonal Intelligence – self-smart (self-aware and in tune with one’s own capacity and emotions)
  • Naturalist Intelligence – nature smart (able to distinguish between different kinds of species and natural elements)

In the traditional education system, curriculum supports the linguistic and logical-mathematical intelligences. Remember the three Rs; Reading, wRiting and aRithmetic. This overshadows students who have high intelligences in other areas. It can also leave parents feeling helpless when their child is not successful in a traditional school setting. Knowing your child’s strongest intelligences can help you find the right educational setting for them.

Do you know your child’s intelligences?
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