Have your children ever asked you “Am I smart?” Dr. Kathy Koch addresses this need for validation in her book 8 Great Smarts. Her main premise is that we are all smart. We have more than one intelligence. The question is not if we are smart but rather how.

Eight Intelligences

There are eight main intelligences in the theory of multiple intelligences. We are born with all eight but each intelligence needs to be awakened. Nurture and nature play their special roles in that process and determine a person’s strengths. As you become familiar with the intelligences listed below you will see which ones apply the most to you personally and each member of your family.

Word Smart

If you are word smart you think with words. Word smart children may be talkative (with or without an audience), enjoy writing in a journal or be fascinated with words. They often talk to themselves. Teaching, communication, and language are all strengths of a word smart child.

Logic Smart

Does your child think with questions? Being logic smart means your strengths lie in reasoning, thinking, exploring new ideas, and the desire for needing to know. Logic smart children need things to make sense. They ask a lot of questions and may be hurt when those questions are brushed off or ignored.

Music Smart

Do your children listen to music while they work on their homeschooling? They may be music smart. The same goes for kids who can’t concentrate with music on. Listening to the music takes over and becomes a distraction. Children who are music smart appreciate everything about music and can hear music in the world around them. I am music smart and I love hearing the music in language and nature.


Body Smart

I knew my second child was body smart in utero. How is that possible? She was moving nonstop even before she was born. Body smart kids need to move. They learn better when allowed to move and can catch on to difficult subjects when movement is part of the learning process. Teaching a body smart child how to be self-controlled will give them hope in situations where they are required to be still.

Nature Smart

Kids who are nature smart love interacting with the world around them through their senses. They recognize patterns easily and can organize things into categories quickly. Nature smart children may enjoy gardening, trips to the zoo, collecting bugs, or keeping an eye on the weather. My grandmother was truly nature smart. She had extensive collections of rocks, butterflies, and shells.

People Smart

Does your child make friends easily? People smart kids like to work with a partner, understand body language and quickly discern a person’s mood. When they are excited they love talking with others and have a desire to run their ideas by someone else.

Self Smart

If your child enjoys being alone and quietly thinks about a topic before chiming in, he may be self-smart. Being self-aware is the bottom line for self-smart kids. They know their strengths and weaknesses and can set realistic goals for themselves. When they are excited, instead of celebrating with friends they may be more apt to enjoy their thoughts alone.

Sharing With Your Child

This book has helped me share with my kids how they are smart. When they begin to feel in competition with each other or with their friends I’ve shared with my children their special intelligences. Real life examples are used in the book to help you understand how a child lives out the gifts he or she has. There are also helpful ideas for improving upon a child’s weaknesses. I never would have thought a child that is body smart would feel hopeless if required to sit for long periods of time. The idea of instilling hope through self-control was eye-opening! If you’d like to order the book check out celebratekids.com. For a free resource highlighting the intelligences and how to awaken and paralyze smarts search Kathy Koch’s pdf on focusonthefamily.com. You and your kids are smart! Find out how today!

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Sarah Brutovski is a homeschool mom of three children. She grew up just down the street from where she and her husband are raising their family now in rural Upstate New York. When she is not teaching her kids, grocery shopping, or drinking coffee you might find  her training for a half marathon, escaping for a morning at the beach, or chatting on the phone with one of her four siblings. Sarah loves writing on her blog sarahswritingcafe.blogspot.com and currently teaches creative writing at her kids’ weekly co-op.