I move all the time, I'm smart!

08 May, 2018

Your mini on the move. He needs to be active and manipulate to focus. Learning is more difficult because it is difficult to sit for long periods of time. It is possible that your child may simply have a dominance of kinesthetic intelligence. In this article, we will discuss this form of intelligence that is part of multiple intelligences. I will give you a portrait of its characteristics and how your child learns if he has a dominance of this profile. There will also be suggestions to facilitate homework, study or activities while respecting your child's energetic personality. But first of all, what is kinesthetic intelligence? A little theory!  Kinesthetic intelligence is one of the eight multiple intelligences proposed by Howard Gardner's theory. This theory was first proposed in 1983. In this version, there were only seven forms of multiple intelligences:
  • Linguistic intelligence
  • Logical-mathematical intelligence
  • Visual-spatial intelligence
  • Intra-personal intelligence
  • Interpersonal intelligence
  • Kinesthetic intelligence (also called bodily)
  • Musical intelligence
 The author suggests that each individual is born with the seven intelligences. Throughout its life, each intelligence will develop at a different rate and at a different level. Usually we see the dominance of one or two intelligences. These will influence the perception and apprehension of this person’s life. Everyone is different according to the level of development of their different intelligences. This is what makes us unique! The theory was enriched in 1993, where it was improved by adding naturalist intelligence. In several Quebec schools, Gardner's work is used to get children to know themselves better; develop learning and work strategies specific to their personality. The theory of multiple intelligences also puts a balm on the self-esteem of children (or adolescents) who do not feel "good" or "competent", simply because the methods which have been proposed to them until now did not match their intelligence profile. Concretely, what does it look like?  Each intelligence has specific traits. A child in whom kinesthetic intelligence is dominant generally has the following characteristics:
  • He likes to be in action and move;
  • He is manual and skillful with his hands;
  • He is skilled in sports and enjoys physical activity;
  • He learns by manipulating, by touching;
  • He has good fine motor skills, good dexterity;
  • He has good overall motor skills, he is in control of his body and his movements.
  How do we go about learning?  -Your child is restless for the homework period. - He fidgets on his chair or constantly plays with his equipment. - He tends not to read the instructions and to "dive" into the task quickly. -His concentration is difficult. -You feel he needs to move. There is a good chance that your mini has a kinesthetic dominance! If so, there are several ways to adapt "homework time" to your more active dominance! Here are a few, have fun modifying them according to your context and reality! Concretely, a child with kinesthetic dominance needs:
  • to be active;
  • to move;
  • to manipulate;
  • to feel.
First, your child can do a little exercise session (jump rope, jumping jack, running, etc.), then relax (yoga, breathing exercises) before starting their homework or study period . Physical activity will allow her to express her extra energy and relaxation, to return to calm to be available and more concentrated. -For memorizing tasks "by heart", such as spelling vocabulary words, conjugating verbs or studying the different tables (additions, subtractions, etc.), you can ask your child to do so:
  • by throwing yourself a ball;
  • by jumping on itself, making jumping jacks;
  • using material (magnetic letters and numbers, Scrabble letters);
  • by aiming at a target with a bullet.
 -To help him remember, offer to walk or sit on an exercise ball. The movement will facilitate his concentration. -For solving math problems, the use of manipulatives is very helpful. It can be tokens, balls, cubes, but also stones, pasta (uncooked!). What you have on hand, as long as your child can handle it to better understand the problem. The use of an erasable board can be useful for problems requiring visual support. -To prepare for a test on a specific subject or for recitation (the concepts under study are known in advance), have him prepare a "Question / Answer" type game. He will be active while reviewing the concepts important for the evaluation. -It is common for children with a dominance of kinesthetic intelligence to have an attraction for the theater. It is possible to adapt the study periods by doing role plays or mimes. For the little ones, puppets can also be a nice option. -You can also allow your child to work standing. If he spends his time fidgeting in his chair, it's mainly because it helps him to concentrate. While standing, he can move his feet and body, which allows him to concentrate better and be more comfortable. If you can put large sheets or a table on the wall for him to work on, it will help him experiment and be in action. -Overall, for the study, try the use of laboratory equipment, manipulation, a globe, plasticine, sports equipment (balls, balls, rackets, small hockey goals), blocks of construction, costumes, etc. The more your child moves and manipulates, the more he will be concentrated and his learning will be easier. Is my child hyperactive?  A child who needs to manipulate, touch and move should not be confused with a child with attention deficit disorder and hyperactivity. It's not the same thing. Just because your child has dominated kinesthetic intelligence doesn't mean they'll be diagnosed with ADD / H. It’s just that he learns that way. However, it can be beneficial for a hyperactive child to be put into action and to be able to express all of their energy through physical activities, much like children with kinesthetic dominance. Do you recognize your mini? Do you think he has a dominant kinesthetic intelligence? What are your tips for respecting his energetic personality on a daily basis and in his learning?