Breakout Title: Start Smart! Discover How Kids Learn Best
Presenter: Shari Borders

Kids are S.M.A.R.T.

  • Social
  • Multitasking
  • Active
  • Risk-takers
  • Tech-savvy

4 Characteristics of 21st Century Learners

  1. Expect transparency in their parents, teachers, and mentors.
  2. Demand the freedom to show their wild creativity.
  3. Are equal parts “consumer” and “creator.”
  4. Thrive in an atmosphere of controlled challenge.

“Today’s kids need the skills of creativity, collaboration, critical thinking, and communication to succeed now and in their future lives as global citizens.” – Patty Smith – Sunday School That Works

“It’s not how smart you are, it’s how you are smart!” – Howard Gardner – The Theory of Multiple Intelligences

Intelligence is a combination of the ability to:

  1. Learn. This includes all kinds of informal and formal learning via any combination of experience, education, and training.
  2. Pose problems. This includes recognizing problem situations and transforming them into more clearly defined problems.
  3. Solve problems. This includes solving problems, accomplishing tasks, fashioning products, and doing complex projects.

You should not focus on how you teach the best, but how the child learns the best.

8 Ways that Kids Learn Best

  1. Word Smart- These individuals learn best through words, verbal, and/or written.
  2. Logic Smart- These individuals learn best through logic and reasoning.
  3. Picture Smart- These individuals learn best through pictures, images, and spatial understanding.
  4. Music Smart- These individuals learn best through sound and music.
  5. Body Smart- These individuals learn best through experience and rely on the sense of touch.
  6. Nature Smart- These individuals learn best outdoors within the environment, nature, and animals.
  7. Self Smart- These individuals learn best through self-study.
  8. People Smart- These individuals learn best through group interaction.


Previous articleHow Much "Weight" Do You Share with Parents?
Next articleHow to Lead Your Church to Make Disciples by Equipping Families - CM Conference Notes
GJ Farmer is a husband, a dad, the founder of, and is the Children’s Pastor at First Baptist Church in Somerset, Kentucky. He has completed a Bachelor’s degree in Church Ministries and a Master’s degree in Children’s Ministry. He has also been fortunate to lead and teach groups at children’s ministry conferences and to have had some of his writing published. Apart from working with kids, he enjoys reading, performing magic tricks, playing video games, and University of Kentucky basketball.


  1. Great post. I would be great to get a short explanation of the different “smarts” listed at the end of the article. I can sort of figure them out for myself, but would love to read your thoughts or those of he original author.