How Is Your Child Smart?

Chanukah חנוכה has the same root as the word chinuch חינוך—to educate. Parents and teachers have always known that children learn in different ways. An activity that captivates one child will leave another child uninterested, and a method that reaches one child may lose another. The Torah calls this method “Chanoch le’naar al pi darko. Teach every child according to his way.” Reaching a child according to their individual intelligence and learning style helps the child learn best and reach his or her highest potential.

The 8 Intelligences:

  • Linguistic: Sensitivity to the meaning and order of words. Expanded vocabulary and usually like to tell jokes, riddles or puns. They also like to read, write, tell stories and play word games.
  • Logical-mathematical: These learners enjoy working with numbers, want to know how things work, ask lots of questions, and collect items and keep track of their collections.
  • Bodily-kinesthetic: Kinesthetic learners enjoy sports and love to be physically active. They tend to use body language, dance, act or engage in mime.
  • Musical: Sensitivity to pitch, melody, rhythm and tone. These children love to listen to and play music, sing, hum, move to the rhythm, and create and replicate tunes.
  • Spatial: The ability to perceive the world accurately and to re-create or transform aspects of that world. These learners doodle, paint, draw and build with blocks. They also enjoy looking at maps, doing puzzles and mazes, and taking things apart and putting them back together.
  • Naturalist: Recognizing and classifying the numerous species, the flora and fauna, of an environment. These kids like to spend time outdoors observing plants, collecting rocks and catching insects, and are attuned to relationships in nature.
  • Interpersonal: Understanding people and relationships. These children have many friends and tend to mediate between them and be excellent team players.
  • Intrapersonal: The ability to use one’s emotional life as a means to understand oneself and others. Children with this type of intelligence control their own feelings and moods and often observe and listen. They do best when working alone.