Multiple Intelligences and Homeschooling

Multiple Intelligences first came up through the name of Howard Gardner. His theory was introduced to all when his ground breaking book “Frames of Mind” was published in 1983. Garner’s work man opened the door to a greater understanding of individual areas of strength which included spatial, logical (mathematical), musical, kinesthetic, and verbal talents. For example, children with kinesthetic strengths learn best when they actively takes part in an activity, or participate on a physical level, rather than competing with paper and pencil sitting in the classroom.

A kinesthetic child is often perceived as a problem student, where as the real problem lies with the compatibility of the teaching method for that individual. The basic idea of home schooling is to let the children grow according to their own style. Countries like China and Japan makes their children self dependent right from the very beginning. The first word that a Japanese child learns is “Do it yourself”, reflecting the approach of the Japanese with their children. An ancient Chinese proverb gives a clue to a similar attitude: “Let me do it myself, I understand; Show me, I remember; Tell me, I forget.” You can see this proverb in action watching children play. Kids absorb information at an incredible rate and learn through their senses. They question and explore everything around them because their curiosity is boundless.

The intention of Chinese and the Japanese is to let their children explore in their own way without adult interruption. The Chinese and Japanese people are cultivating the natural tendency of the children to learn through exploration, curiosity and ‘doing’. They give highest priority to the self development of the child. Every child has their own way of learning. It might not match the expected way of the parents, but they should not loose their temper. Rather, they should hold their patience and allow the child to develop freely and naturally. This attitude of the parents will increase the opportunity for the children to explore their own talents, a freedom with is achievable within the format of home schooling.

The theory of Multiple Intelligences suggests that when children are given freedom to learn whatever he or she likes, the tendency to find the most comfortable way to grow will increase. When the students are freed of the restraints of traditional schooling, they have the opportunity to be enthusiastic active learner. This may help explain why homeschoolers perform very well academically when compared to their public schooled counterparts.

In Gardner’s work, “Frames of Mind”, he suggested that seven (more recently increased to eight) distinct intelligences work together to create a unique person. He then went to proposed that the ideal school of the future required two basic principles at its core. Firstly he asked for the authority under which students could explore their varied interests and abilities. Secondly, students should be given informed choices as part of their educational experiences, as it’s not possible for one person to learn everything.

Gardner states that “in assessment of individual abilities and proclivities, an individual-centered school would be rich. It would look to match not only to curricular areas of individuals, but also particular ways of teaching those subjects. And the school would seek to match individuals with the various kinds of life work options which have availability in their culture after the first few grades”

This approach is obviously very challenging to achieve in a public educational forum, with large numbers of students. In the comfort of your own home, however, and with your own children, catering to individual learning style preferences is encouraged and helpful. Homeschooling is the perfect forum to give your children the focused attention and style they require to be the best they can be.


Melissa Murdoch has a passion for life span development and education, and believes wholeheartedly that a healthy society begins at home.  For further information on how to get started in homeschooling, please visit YourHomeschoolCommunity.com.

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One Response to “Multiple Intelligences and Homeschooling”

  1. avatar childrenslearninglabpad says:

    I am so glad to see this article. I feel every child has something that they just soar in. When we find that intelligent and incorporate learning based on that way, the learning opportunities come alive.
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