In Their Own Way: Discovering and Encouraging Your Child's Multiple Intelligences

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Penguin, Aug 7, 2000 - Education - 304 pages
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Does your child have a favorite subject, activity, or hobby? Children learn in multiple ways, and educator Thomas Armstrong has shown hundreds of thousands of parents and teachers how to locate those unique areas in each of our children where learning and creativity seem to flow with special vigor.

In this fully updated classic on multiple intelligences, Armstrong sheds new light on the "eight ways to bloom," or the eight kinds of "multiple intelligences." While everyone possesses all eight intelligences, Armstrong delineates how to discover your child's particular areas of strength among them.

The book shatters the conventional wisdom that brands our students as "underachievers," "unmotivated," or as suffering from "learning disabilities," "attention deficit hyperactivity disorder," or other "learning diseases." Armstrong explains how these flawed labels often overlook students who are in possession of a distinctive combination of multiple intelligences, and demonstrates how to help them acquire knowledge and skills according to their sometimes extraordinary aptitudes.

Filled with resources for the home and classroom, this new edition of In Their Own Way offers inspiration for every learning situation.

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We recently took on home educating our boys and I decided to read this book in an attempt to help me find ways to help our "struggling learner" to reach his full potential. I also needed to find ways to help restore their “natural love for learning'”
It had me hooked from the first chapter & I’ve just finished it. 294 pages in 1 day, a new personal record for me. WOW, what an amazing source of useful information. It has helped me “see” why the system has failed our sons so miserably & why it has killed their love for learning. I “saw" many areas in which to amend my teaching strategies to better fit in with their learning styles & preferences. It has given me insight on how to restructure their next school year in a way that would make our home education journey less stressful and yet more productive…
This is an absolute MUST read for ALL parents as well as educators. I believe if all schools implemented teaching strategies that addressed ALL learning styles in the classrooms, schooling in our country could be revolutionized. Unfortunately regular educators care only about competence in its most traditional & bookish sense – reading, writing, science, social studies & Maths in boring text and worksheets. Students who are talented in art, music, dance, mechanical repair, computer programming, or are creative in not-traditional ways wither away & become the underachievers, learning disabled & ADHD labelled.
Parents will be able to discover where their children “fit” into the system. They will be able to determine whether the school is nurturing their children’s multiple intelligences. Textbooks (and their accompanying worksheets) structure 75% to 90% of all the learning in our schools whereas the part of the brain that thrives on lectures and worksheets probably takes up less than 1% of the total available for learning. The current “worksheet wasteland” would be transformed and instead we would have happier & less stressed children in our schools. Less children would struggle through school and end up labelled “learning disabled” or “ADD/ADHD”, instead their true gifts and abilities will be drawn out & developed. These stale teaching methods are referred to as being “brain-antagonistic” and shut down potentials rather than open them up.
Parents with children that have been labelled "learning disabled" or “ADD/ADHD” will receive insight into the reasons why your kids have been labelled and equip you with information & ideas on how to change their learning experience. It will enable you draw out their inner strengths and abilities in order to help them learn.
After reading this book, parents will be more aware of labelling and the affects that psychological testing can have on their children. Parents will be able to make more informed decisions regarding testing, instead of willingly accepting educators’ recommendations.
In short there are 8 different kinds of intelligence and we need to teach all relevant to our children in order to help them reach their full potential.
1. Linguistic ~ Word Smart / ability to use words effectively
2. Logical-Mathematical ~ Number Smart / capacity to work well with numbers and / or be adept at logic or reasoning
3. Spatial ~ Picture Smart / ability to visualise pictures in one’s head or to create them in some two- or three dimensional form
4. Body-kinaesthetic ~ Body Smart / using the whole body & hands
5. Musical ~ Music Smart / capacity to carry a tune, remember musical melodies, have good sense of rhythm or simply enjoy music
6. Interpersonal ~ People Smart / ability to understand and work with other people
7. Intrapersonal ~ Self Smart / self-understanding & knowing who you are, what you’re good at & what you’re not good at
8. Naturalist ~ Nature Smart / ability to identify the natural forms around us
Address all these areas whilst teaching & your children are bound to succeed.


A Worksheet Wasteland
The Learning Disability Trap
The Attention Deficit Debacle
Neglecting Learning Abilities
Initiation into the Lie
Honoring Each Childs Multiple Intelligences
Eight Kinds of Smart
Discovering Your Childs Multiple Intelligences
Choosing to Learn
How You and Your Child Can Teach Each Other
Learning Together in Real Life
Practice What You Teach
Working Together with Your Childs Teachers
The Power of Peer Teaching
Let the Buyer Beware
The Alchemy of Expectation

The Tyranny of Testing
A New Breed of Tests
The Myth of the Objective Test
The Percentile Nightmare
Protecting Your Child from Formal Testing
Teaching to the Tests
Talk Textbooks Task Analysis and Tracking
An Ecology of Its Own
How Children Actually Learn
How to Get the Best Education for Your Child
Five Options for Schooling Your Child
Send Your Child to a Private Alternative School
Finding the Right Way to Motivate Your Child
Eight Roads to Reading Success
Helping Your Child Learn to Read BodilyKinesthetically
How to Teach Anything Eight Different Ways
Bridging the Quality Gap in Education
Intelligence Begins in the Body
Putting the Body Back into Learning
BodilyKinesthetic Teaching Strategies
Using the Body to Teach the Three Rs
The Body as an Adjunct to Learning
Seeing Is ConceivingFrom Image to Abstract Thought
The Flowering and Withering of Imagination in Childhood
Use Storytelling and Metaphor to Convey Facts and Concepts
Inner Visualization as a Key to Memorizing Facts
The Inner World of Stress
The New Basic Skill
DeStressing the Learning Environment
Learning the Emotive Way
Slowness as a Virtue
The Advantages of Being a Late Bloomer
Some Guidelines
The Unified Senses Theory
Giving Away Ones Ears and Eyes
Some Guidelines
Mistakes May Be Misunderstandings
The Role of Diet in Learning
Space as an Ecological Variable
The Temporal Factor
The Impact of Environmental Noise on Learning
Clearing the Air for a Better Learning Atmosphere
Questions Parents and Teachers Ask About Multiple Intelligences
Preschool kindergarten
Second grade
Fourth grade
Seventh grade
Eleventh grade
A Few Schools Using MI Theory
How to Use This Section
The Worksheet Wasteland
Eight Ways to Bloom
Teaching with Feeling
Great Expectations
The Doors of Perception
The Ecology of Learning
The Learner of the Future

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About the author (2000)

Thomas Armstrong, Ph.D., is a psychologist, learning specialist, and consultant to educational groups around the world. He has written for Family Circle, Ladies' Home Journal, and Parenting magazine, and is the author of nine books, including Awakening Your Child's Natural Genius and The Myth of the A.D.D. Child.

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