A Home School Kindergarten Curriculum Based on Multiple Intelligence Theory
by Carolyn C. McKeon, M.S. Ed.
This writer describes an individualized plan she developed for her five-year-old son, based on multiple intelligence theory. This is a wonderful example of a balanced, relevant, living education.
Carolyn developed this curriculum for her home schooled, 5-year old son. She began with a Multiple Intelligences Developmental Assessment Scales (MIDAS) to confirm his stengths and weaknesses. The MIDAS is a tool developed by Dr. C. Branton Shearer of Kent State University. Carolyn used the information gathered from this evaluation to help her build an MI centered curriculum.
Based on the results of the MIDAS assessment, and her own observations of her child, his mother believed his strengths were the spatial and interpersonal intelligences, while his weakest areas were the linguistic and musical intelligences. In developing this curriculum, she sought to strengthen her son's abilities in his areas of weakness, using his strengths. She also planned to help him develop his abilities in all areas, while providing an enriching, well-rounded education.
In order to develop this strength further, the student will:
- create his own artistic pieces for display around the home school.
- look at maps and learn to read them.
- watch building shows such as This Old House and Chopper Shop.
- help dad will around the house and help him build a go-kart.
- work on puzzles, drawings, and paintings.
- use the computer to enhance his graphic skills through the Spiderman Cartoon Maker and JumpStart Artist.
In order to develop this strength further, the student will
- work on his mediation of disagreements with his brothers.
- help teach his younger brothers in the home school setting.
- interact with various community members and peers at the grocery store, the bank, the post office, the toy store, and his extracurricular activities.
- learn how to help how different members of his family when they need assistance, and build lasting relationships with those family members.
- help plan his younger brotherís birthday.
- start to volunteer with his family at a local nursing home.
The student shows interest in animals, and has indicated he may want to be a veterinarian one day. However, student shows a weakness in animal care. Since student has several animals, including a dog, a cat, fish, and a hamster, he needs to focus on learning how to take care of each one according to its specific needs. Student will also:
- take a field trip to a local veterinarian college (Cornell University) for their open house and investigation day.
- continue to go hiking and camping with family.
- take a field trip to Sea World in Orlando, FL, to discover the habitats of aquatic life.
- explore the woods and help build a tree house where he can sit and observe nature in its actual state.
- continue to help his grandfather in planting and harvesting his garden.
- watch programs on Animal Planet and Natural Geographic to learn more about the natural world.
Student shows strength in self-management and goal achievement, but sometimes has a hard time switching between activities and controlling his feelings. Student will:
- reflect on his daily decisions and determine why he made them and how he could improve upon his decisions by talking with his mom or dad at bedtime. Student will also
- use prayer and meditation to reflect on his personal decisions, and asking God for help to change some of his poor emotional habits, such as temper-tantrums, fights with his brothers and disobedience of his parentsí wishes.
- set academic, social, and physical goals for himself with the help of his parent/teacher. Student will use a star chart to show progress toward his goals.
Student shows great strength in reasoning and problem solving, but needs to start focusing on learning calculations and memorization of mathematical facts. Since student is only five and shows an interest in math, he will use math manipulatives to help him understand the math properties of addition and subtraction. Student will also:
- set up a savings account and make deposits and withdrawals.
- use an intrapersonal star chart to work on math calculations. He will receive $.25 per star with a maximum of four stars a day. He can lose and earn stars each day, but cannot lose any after he places them on his chart. He will learn about money and counting this way.
- learn new computer programs that are educational and enhance his reasoning abilities.
- play games that involve counting, logic, and reasoning like Battleship, Monopoly, Chess, and Spiderman Uno.
Student is a very active child and already participates in several physical activities. Student takes swimming lessons, gymnastics lessons, and dance lessons. Student also daily rides a bike, takes a walk, does calisthenics, or dances around the home on a daily basis. One of the specific weaknesses the student has is dexterity. To improve the studentís dexterity the student will learn how to tie his shoes, learn typing on the keyboard, and build small models.
This is one of the student's perceived weaknesses. While he is a natural communicator, he does have difficulty learning to read in the traditional sense. In order to strengthen the studentís weakness the instructor will provide many opportunities for the student to interact with written language. He enrolled in Book Adventures at bookadventures.com, sponsored by Sylvan Learning Centers, where he earns points for books read, then turns them in for prizes. Student will:
- go to library weekly and look for books on the reading list for his age, read them with a parent, brother, or other member of his extended family and then take the quiz for that book at bookadventures.com.
- continue to participate in story telling with his grandfather and brothers.
- tape record his stories and have teacher/parent help him write them.
- be encouraged to learn his phonetic sounds by traditional methods and JumpStart Learning products.
- continue to memorize poems and passages from Torah.
- listen to books on tape to improve his listening skills.
This is the studentís other perceived weakness. He recently started guitar lessons. He attends orchestra performances, and musical productions like Cats. He will:
- listen to music daily. He will hear various types of music, including country, classical, opera, and instrumental.
- be encouraged to create his own songs to perform for his family and friends.
- learn about rhythm, beats, and harmony using a computer program called JumpStart Music.
- continue to be encouraged to participate in singing on a weekly basis at Friday night Sabbath celebrations.
- learn various rhymes and lyrics to familiar songs.
Growing Together Family Learning Newsletter, Vol. 1, No. 3, page 3