Increase Your Child's Intelligence by Doing This One Thing

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The more your child actively uses his mind when he's young, and the more he continues to use his mind as he matures, the smarter he'll become.

We know that the brain is an ever-changing organ. It can weaken from misuse or neglect, and it can also become stronger from the right kind of use.

You want your children to stay into the habit of using their minds as they enter the school years. One of the ways you can help your child strengthen his mind is by providing him with good literature to read when he's older.

John Taylor Gatto had his sixth-grade class read and discuss Moby Dick by Herman Melville.

Parents say things like, "Well, he only reads comic books, but at least he's reading!"

As John Taylor Gatto once said, "Teach your children to grow up to be readers of more than the daily newspaper."

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Comic books are fine for comic relief on occasion. Maybe you're on a road trip or flying cross-country; this might be a time to let your child read a comic book or two or three.

It’s probably prudent not to let comic books work their way into your home though.

Comic books will make his mind lazy because the dialogues are simple and they're full of pictures which help tell the story. When it becomes time to read challenging literature, he won't be able to tackle the vocabulary or follow the longer and more complicated sentence patterns.

He'll complain to you that the book is "boring."

It's not boring; he just hasn't learned to read well. Please do not let him blame the book!

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Great books expand the mind and help us to understand the complexities of life and ourselves. If we replaced the department of psychology with a department of Shakespeare, we'd be off to a good start in improving our colleges and universities.

The inner workings of the mind and heart are there in his plays.

Once you get used to the language, Shakespeare is no more difficult to read than authors such as Tolstoy or Dostoevsky.

The ability to read great literature is what you want for your children. You want them to be exposed to the great ideas of Western thought that take us all the way back to Ancient Greece.

John Taylor Gatto was very in support of reading great books. It's where he got the seeds for many of his ideas.

I said there was one thing you need to do to increase your child's intelligence, but as I was writing this, another occurred to me, so there are now two things.

The two things are homeschool your children and expose them to great literature. I say homeschool because, sadly, your children won't get the kind of education they need in public school.

And with a lousy education system comes a dumbed-down people.

Let me share one last thing with you; it’s a poem by Emily Dickinson:

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There is no frigate like a book

To take us lands away,

Nor any coursers like a page

Of prancing poetry.

This traverse may the poorest take

Without oppress of toll;

How frugal is the chariot

That bears a human soul!

Have your children memorize Emily Dickinson's poem, and supply them with the kind of books that let them travel lands away!

You can join the Smart Homeschooler Academy waiting list to be notified when enrollment opens again for its signature course: How to Give Your Child a Private-School Education at Home.

Elizabeth Y. Hanson combines her training in holistic medicine, “Love and Leadership” parenting coach certificate, plus 17+ years working in education to provide you with a unique approach to raising and educating your children.

A veteran homeschooler herself, she now has two homeschooled children in college. 

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What Kind of Parents Homeschool?!


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Many kinds of parents homeschool; there's really nothing that stands out as a common trait amongst homeschoolers, but most of us share similar concerns and values.

Homeschoolers are usually in agreement that we want our children to have a good education, and we know it's unlikely to happen in public school.

Not the kind of education we're thinking of anyhow.

Who can take the measure of a child? The Genie of the Arabian tale is nothing to him. He, too, may be let out of his bottle and fill the world. But woe to us if we keep him corked up.
— Charlotte Mason

We want our children to not only read well but to enjoy reading. To choose a book to read over a movie to watch. Not that they never watch movies, but lying in bed with a good book is something they look forward to.

Reading competently, writing skillfully, and speaking eloquently are skills most homeschoolers want to make sure their children possess.

That their children become life-long learners in pursuit of knowledge is also a concern most homeschoolers share. With studies showing that by first grade a child's innate thirst for knowledge of his world begins to wane, homeschoolers want to fiercely protect their child's curiosity.

A curiosity without which true greatness is difficult to achieve.

Homeschoolers want their children to enjoy learning for the sake of learning, not for rewards or test scores. They don't want their children subjected to arbitrary tests that serve to sort and rank them amongst their peers.

The lesson of report cards, grades and tests is that children should not trust themselves or their parents but should instead rely on the evaluation of certified officials. People need to be told what they are worth.
— John Taylor Gatto

Instead, they want their children to know that with hard work and perseverance most things are possible, and that test scores are no indication of a person's ultimate worth.

With the loss of a good environment and character training in schools, homeschoolers want to protect the integrity of their children. They want to raise them in an environment that raises them up, not brings them down.

When I was in school, the negative influences were outside the classroom, but that's not true anymore. Children are being taught some pretty inappropriate things inside those four walls.

Over the 17+ years that I've been working in education, those of us working in the trenches aren't just offering alternatives anymore. We are flat-out telling you to get your children out of the system.

It's time.

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It is time we squarely face the fact that institutionalized schoolteaching is destructive to children.
— John Taylor Gatto

Until public schools can offer a better alternative; homeschooling is the way to go.

Fortunately, homeschooling is legal in all 50 states. We need to pull together though and help each other because many women have to work. The good news is that with so many people able to work remotely now, homeschooling is becoming possible for more and more families.

Speaking of families, another thing you'll find is that homeschooling preserves the natural loyalty of a family and homeschoolers tend to be closely-knit. In public school, children learn to be loyal to their peers. I know, because it happened to me.

After my mother passed, my older sister told me that the reason my mother paid extra attention to our youngest brother was because, according to what she had told my sister, every time another child of hers went off to school, they were never quite the same towards her.

She was determined to make sure it didn't happen with her youngest child as it had with her previous six.

The curriculum of “family” is at the heart of any good life. We’ve gotten away from that curriculum – it’s time to return to it.
— john taylor gatto

It pained me to hear this; it still does. Once you develop the loyalty to your peers that public school is so notorious for fostering, it's hard to undo. Most of us aren't even aware it's there. I know I wasn’t.

We don't need studies to tell us why homeschooled families are closer-knit because it's obvious that you become close to the people you spend time with, and homeschooled families spend a lot of time together.

In contrast, public-schooled children spend a lot of time with peers, and then they go home to do homework. There isn't much time left for the family.

With more and more families homeschooling, I'm looking forward to the positive changes we'll see in our country in the coming years.

And no matter what kind of parent you are, you can choose to take part in this revolutionary shift in the way we educate our young.

Let the revolution begin!

The Smart Homeschooler Academy is now open for enrollment with its signature course: How to Give Your Child a Private-School Education at Home. Enrollment is now open through May 8th!

Elizabeth Y. Hanson combines her training in holistic medicine, parenting coach certificate, plus 17+ years working in education to provide you with a unique approach to raising and educating your children.

A veteran homeschooler herself, she now has two homeschooled children in college. 








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Homeschooling Is a Better Investment for Your Family Than Gold

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One of the reasons I hear moms saying they don't want to homeschool is because they don't want to make the investment in their time that homeschooling requires. They believe they need more time for themselves. 

The passage of time is a fascinating phenomenon. Our minutes become hours; our hours, days; our days, weeks and then months and then years—but as time is passing us by, we tend to experience the passage of time as minutes and hours.

We don't think about the cumulative effect of these minutes and hours on the quality of our lives. We don't stop to think of what we'll have in ten or twenty years if we add them up. Instead of focusing on the big picture, we can get caught up in the demands of the moment and make short-term decisions that don't have long-term gains.

This is especially true when it comes to our children. 

Time is a brisk wind, for each hour it brings something new... but who can understand and measure its sharp breath, its mystery and its design?
— Paracelsus

Sometimes being a parent can be exhausting because no matter what you're doing, you've always got your family's needs to consider. But the time when your children are young passes, and it passes quickly, and looking back you see the years at a glance, and you've forgotten most of what the minutes, hours and even days felt like.

Which is why older people always tell younger people to enjoy their children while they're young. Childhood goes by like the blink of an eye, as the saying goes.

You blink once, and they're grown.

If you focused more on the years, if you keep the end in sight—the end being the amazing adults your children will grow up to become—you'll not feel so overwhelmed with what will be soon become forgotten, minor inconveniences. 

Especially if you're thinking about homeschooling.

You've got to keep things in perspective. Rather than focus on all the time you won't have for yourself, why not focus on the amazing family you're building and the great treasure you'll have when you're finished? 

A wholesome, loving family is a treasure—a better investment than gold—and when your children are grown you can both relax and reap the rewards of your hard work. Your treasure has been polished and its jewels are clearly visible. 

Rome wasn't built in a day, neither is a beautiful family. 

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Homeschooling affords you the opportunity to better mold your children's characters and expose them to the world of ideas and knowledge. You will teach them to set the table and say "yes, please" and "no, thank you."

You will teach them to read, and you'll lay the foundation for their subsequent literacy. You will lay the foundation for people that give rather than take; for people that gladly serve others rather than suffer a sense of entitlement. 

Raising and educating your children well is far easier to do when you aren't having to counteract the negative lessons they are learning in school. Many public schooled children lose their natural curiosity, they don't love learning, and they could care less about ideas.

They just want to get out of "boring" school. The language and behavior on the school grounds is less than desirable, so one also has to battle the negative societal influences children are exposed to in public schools.

It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.
— Frederick Douglass

At home, as you teach your children about such things as the stars in the sky and the tidal patterns of the oceans, on the contrary, you will encourage their natural curiosity and water their love of knowledge. 

You will give your children important gifts that gold could never buy: the love of learning, the importance of family, and the discipline to sacrifice immediate pleasures for hard-earned rewards.  Gifts that will accompany them through life and allow them to lead more fulfilling and meaningful lives when they're grown. 

You will also strengthen the ties of your family, so it doesn't become fragile and begin to disintegrate like so many families in America today. 

While homeschooling may make you feel like you need more minutes in the day, with the right perspective you can defeat that sinking feeling. The minutes will soon be years, and your grown children will visit you one day, and the person they grow up to be will make you proud. 

Don't fret over not having enough time for yourself. One day you'll have too much time on your hands, and you'll wonder what to do with it. For now, focus on building the beautiful family you are blessed to have. 

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Then later, when you look back through the eyes of an older person, and you are able to enjoy the company and activities of loving children and grandchildren, you'll know your time was well spent. 

A parent, when his or her children are grown, will never be heard to say, "I wish I had more time for myself when my children were young."

On the contrary, you'll hear them express regret at the things they never did with their children, and you'll hear them wish they could take time back. 

If you like this post and you're thinking of homeschooling, or you'd like to become a better homeschooler, please join the waiting list for my upcoming course: How to Homeschool the Smart Way.

You might also like my free download Ten Books Every Well-Educated Child Should Read.

For help now with homeschooling, please feel free to schedule a one-hour consultation with me (that's usually all you'll need) http://bit.ly/2GJAZEr