Friday, November 5, 2010

Achieving Optimal Intellect

Dr. Shinichi Suzuki, the influential teacher of the Suzuki method of music education, spoke frequently of the ability that all children have to learn things well if they were placed in the right environment.  His motto is “any child can learn”.  His methods, though sometimes controversial, make sense to me.  Expanding his concepts to areas beyond music opens the door to new concepts in education.  Believing that any child can achieve optimal intellect, I embarked on a journey to explore ways to help my own children become thinkers and not mere reflectors of the thoughts of others.  As a public school teacher, I knew that some students learned to think, but many who crossed my path were simply satisfied with becoming cookie-cutter students; ones who followed the crowd and interacted and learned just like their peers.  It seemed that if I put my own children through the same process as the norm, the risk of developing reflectors rather than thinkers was great.  During the discovery process, I came across a simple formula for creating children who knew how to think, create, and excel and I was hooked!  This formula was developed by Harold McCurdy and his team of researchers.  They were commissioned by the Smithsonian Institute to discover the recipe for the creation of genius’ throughout history.  The results of their research revealed simple and amazing principles that any parent can implement in their homeschool.  Would you like to know the formula?  Here it is:  1)  provide the child with warm, responsive parents and other significant adults in their life, 2) isolate the child from peers outside of their immediate family, and 3) give the child much freedom to explore and follow their own interests.  Although simple, this formula goes against much of what current culture believes and endorses for raising intelligent children.  But, when these principles are not present, or are only minimally present in the lives of children, it is found to suppress the development of his or her intellect.  Would you like to raise children who can think?  Consider the formula for raising a genius!

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