Using Multiple Intelligences in Your Homeschool

In the early eighties, Dr. Howard Gardner developed a theory of multiple intelligences.  He proposed that recognizing multiple intelligences in people allowed for a broader range of potential.  He suggested that I.Q. tests were too limiting and that humans had a wide variety of areas in which they could be considered intelligent or gifted.  He categorized eight areas of intelligence.  They are linguistic, logical-mathematic, spatial, bodily-kinesthetic, musical, interpersonal, intrapersonal, and naturalist.  If you have never "tested" to find you or your child's multiple intelligence, you can try this online test:  What you will probably find is that while your child may have one very strong area of intelligence, he or she will show potential in several areas.

The linguistic learner is likely to enjoy poetry, journaling, creative writing, storytelling, and alphabetizing.  Your linguistic child may enjoy teaching you a concept.

The logical-mathematic learner is likely to enjoy activities that include problem solving, Venn diagrams, classifying, and puzzles.  This child will really enjoy scientific experiments, cooking following a recipe, sequencing, and measuring.

People who have spatial intelligence enjoy painting, drawing, making collages, murals, and posters.  An activity this type of child would enjoy would be creating a film or video as an alternative to a written report.

The kinesthetic learner will enjoy science experiments, working with manipulatives, and using computers.  This child will like to dance, act, perform, and build.  It is important to keep a kinesthetic learner "busy."

While it's probably obvious that a musical learner will enjoy music, it is important to keep in mind everything that this encompasses.  This type of learner will not only enjoy playing instruments and singing.  They are likely to enjoy poetry, writing to music, rhythmic patterns, writing lyrics, and studying musicians.

The interpersonal learner is going to be the outgoing child.  He or she will enjoy interviewing people, teaching others, cross-age tutoring, and problem solving.

The intrapersonal child is going to enjoy less social activities such as silent reading and journal writing.  He or she may also enjoy reading autobiographies and the using of imagery and dreams in writing.

The naturalist will be excellent at recognizing and classifying items in nature.  They will enjoy visiting zoos and aquariums and taking nature walks.  A naturalist will be interested in ecology and animal rights.

By recognizing your child's areas of strength, you can select the appropriate homeschool curriculum for your child's needs.  You will be fostering a life-long love of learning and your child will feel respected by your attentiveness to his or her interests.

Crystal Pratt is a writer and content contributor for, an innovative new product that maps online educational resources into ready to teach units.

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