First, let’s define what I mean by “smart”:
Each of our children has been given by our Maker 5 senses and a brain that work together to help him learn about the world he was placed in. Each child has also been given a special aptitude for one aspect of the world or another (be it art, science, math, language, or something else), and the gifts necessary for developing and using those skills. A “smart” child is one who knows how to use those tools – the 5 senses, the brain, and their unique individual gifts – to grow and develop his knowledge in any area.
Any child, no matter the level of intelligence, can be “smart” in this sense, but too often, a child’s mental development falls short of its full potential. That’s a shame, because I believe that any parent, in any situation, can help their child reach their potential simply by creating the right environment for enthusiastic learning.
Now, my oldest is only 3, so I don’t have the testimony of a Harvard graduate or anything to back me up here! I do know, however, that from the time he was born, we put into practice some tips I had picked up along the way, either by reading from the experts or observing successful parents, to help him use his mind in the way God intended. We are already reaping some of the fruits: at the age of 3, he knows all his letters and their sounds; he also knows his numbers and can count. His vocabulary is astounding and grows daily, and he can converse on any topic he chooses (which is usually trains, race cars or food!).
Are there other kids with higher intelligence than his? Certainly.
Are there other kids his age with more impressive skills? For sure!
I can say with certainty, though, that he is personally reaching his full potential! Join me for a series on how we created an environment conducive to learning in our home!
Read Read Read Read Read.
It can’t be said often enough; and you’ve heard it before. Read to your child at least once a day from the time they are born. You might feel silly at first, but it’s important. Baby will develop an ear for language and an ability to understand and eventually speak it, with the added benefit of an increased vocabulary. Furthermore, because the written word is often more grammatically correct than the spoken word, a child will develop an ear for accurate syntax and good grammar simply by being exposed to it through good literature.
Hand in hand with that concept is this:
Make books available.
For the very youngest, this means board books or cloth books that can be felt and chewed. As they grow, they can look through picture books endlessly for hours. When they learn to read, chapter books gradually begin to replace picture books for more endless hours of entertainment. Books are readily available at thrift stores, garage sales, flea markets and more, not to mention the public library. There is no excuse not to have a pile of books at your child’s height in every room in the house. If books are readily available, I guarantee a child will read them! Expose your child to the usefulness of books: whenever a question is asked that Mom and Dad can’t answer, go to the library and get a book to find the answer!
Join me in my next post about more ideas for creating a learning environment!