Do you LOVE words? Do you enjoy cuddling up in a comfy chair to “escape” with a book? Do you take delight in word games, like Scrabble and Taboo? Do you happily work crossword puzzles and word jumbles, or solve riddles and create-your-own-ending mysteries? Do you find it delightful to memorize lines for the local community theater’s Shakespeare play? Do you treasure writing out your thoughts, whether in blogs, journals, or letters to friends?
All of these are indications of someone who is Word Smart! Whether spoken or written or read or played with, words are a great joy to people with a Linguistic Intelligence. Here is an excerpt on Word Smart from my book, Reaping the Harvest:
Some of the characteristics of this intelligence are:
- enjoys reading
- strong command of the language
- enjoys creative writing
- plays with the language—puns, jokes, rhymes
- fluent memory for specific data in words (such as names)
- enjoys making up yarns
- thought patterns are verbal rather than pictures
- enjoys puzzles and games that focus on words
- likes to listen to read-aloud stories, as well as sermons, lectures, etc.
- good speller
It may not be a stretch to see how kids that are Word Smart would do well in school, since so much of what is required to succeed revolves around words:
- Listen to the teacher talk.
- Read the chapter in the book.
- Learn the vocabulary (words).
- Write the answers to the questions.
- Discuss the chapter.
- Take the written test.
It’s important to recognize that those who are gifted with this have many different ways of enjoying words. For those who love humor, the words they want to write are jokes, puns, and funny stories. While you might be expecting a serious research paper, they turn in a light-hearted, humorous look at WWII. (It happens. I know.) Then, there are those who love using words vocally: talking. . . non-stop. It can be hard to be thankful for the Linguistic Intelligence when your Word Smart child is constantly talking to you about everything under the sun!
Part of our challenge as homeschooling parents is to learn how to appreciate each of these multiple intelligences:
Recognizing that some are not as Word Smart as others (and, thus, may not find it easy to research, discuss, and write papers), we can begin to nuance our homeschooling, discovering some of the ways these other intelligences can be expressed. It will open up new possibilities in how we approach homeschooling that we’ve maybe never considered. And, allowing different opportunities can help ALL our kids love learning and thrive in their education!
For those interested in my History Revealed curriculum, we offer many ways for Word Smart students to engage. Here’s an example, a creative writing project, from World Empires, World Missions, World Wars, Unit 4, Phase 4:
The Salvation Army has been gaining a lot of notice this year, 1890, in the English city where you live. Though they have been much maligned recently in the newspaper—especially by those who have been offended by William Booth’s new book—you think the Salvation Army is doing a wonderful job for the poor and needy, both in sharing the Good News and in caring for materials needs. In the hope that you can win others to your point of view, write a letter to the editor.