Are any of your kids “the life of the party”? They seem so comfortable interacting with others, so at home in conversations, so happy to be in the midst of the crowd. Do you ever wonder, “How do they do that??” or, maybe, “Why do they that??”
It’s because they are strong in Interpersonal Intelligence—they are People Smart! If you have kids at home who are gifted in this way, you may have been overwhelmed by how often they ask if it would be okay to visit friends or have friends over to your house. For you, all this visiting and being with people may be exhausting, but for them, it is invigorating!
You’ve also probably met some folks who are so warmly hospitable, so interested in what concerns you, that being with them is a refreshment and a joy. The question is: Why are some people are so good at being with people? The answer is, once again, they are People Smart!
To find out more, let’s take a peek into this People Smart intelligence (excerpted from my book, Reaping the Harvest).
People who are strong in this area are often empathetic, sympathetic, compassionate, or in other words, wonderful folks to have as friends. These are the people you want around when you are in trouble or need! Folks who are strong in interpersonal intelligence are interested in—you guessed it—people: understanding them, caring for them, listening to them, helping them, advising them. Nurses, missionaries, counselors, teachers, pastors, helpful sales clerks, loving parents, church greeters are all utilizing this God-given intelligence.
Some characteristics of this intelligence are:
- one who understands people
- one who enjoys making friends
- enjoys studying with other people
- sensitive to the emotions of others
- a natural teacher or leader
- loves to get together in social settings
- involved in activities with others
- enjoys friendly games that involve people rather than logic
- lends a listening ear and gives advice
- able to understand both sides of a disagreement and help both parties reconcile
If you or your children are strong in this intelligence, you are going to need to take time for group activities, building friendships, and participating in outside-the-homeschool activities, whether it’s a local homeschool drama production, choir, sports, art project, or cooking class. Maybe you visit nursing homes, or help out at a local homeless shelter. Or, maybe your family gets involved with others who are mowing lawns for seniors, or helping special needs children ride horses. Whatever provides healthy opportunities for being with others will be deeply appreciated by your People Smart people. Watch them blossom as they have a chance to do what they are really good at doing—being with people!
We welcome the use of Interpersonal Intelligence in my History Revealed curriculum. Every week there are multiple opportunities for students strong in this intelligence.
Here is one example from the book, Romans, Reformers, Revolutionaries, Unit One, Phase 2. In the Student Manual, from more than a dozen options, students can choose to learn more about Roman Soldiers:
Investigate what life was like for a Roman soldier during the Roman Empire. What type of equipment did they use? How did they live on campaign? What were the typical conditions of life in a Roman fort? What were the typical possessions of a soldier? What is the difference between a legionary and an auxiliary soldier?
To creatively report on what they learn, the Teacher's Guide on page T38 suggests this option:
In a team, set up a Roman soldier museum display. Include objects a soldier would wear, standard items he would carry, and any personal gear you think appropriate. Then post a placard by the museum, describing what is depicted for museum visitors.