“Everyone look up! The heavens have opened, sending guidance in the form of Beyond Intelligence our way. And just in time. For we live in an exponentially complex and fast-paced world that baffles many of us: parents, educators, and children alike. Enter Matthews and Foster who part the veils to show us paths to meet children’s needs in a holistic, caring, and Uber-Educated/Analytical, well-researched, manner. If you purchase one book for raising your child, this is the one. Why? Because it allows one to see and meet the needs of our progeny using a mastery model enriched with a positive mindset-models that indeed work and endure for the ages.
Once upon-a-time, some seventy years ago, Benjamin Spock revolutionized child- care with his The Common Sense Book of Baby and Child Care. Now we are in the midst of another child-care revolution thanks to Beyond Intelligence. Matthews and Foster lead us, as Taoist priests might, to the proverbial place of balanced harmony and knowledge. They joyously free parent, educator, and child from the cave-like shackles that keep one divining shadows on the wall. Instead, the cave doors are opened and we are free to explore the celebratory light.
Being a parent or educator is the most daunting task, as is being a child that must continuously navigate the world in order to achieve meaningful adulthood. Enter the authors who advise that understanding and meeting the needs of a child on any level requires us to, at times, “lighten up and step back…” as well as have a sense of humor. As the parent of a thirty-four year old, advice I still need. But Beyond Intelligence, to be sure, was not intended as a parent guide in the Spockian manner, although it achieves that god-like status with such chapters as: Diapers to Diplomas and Raising Children to Thrive. However, what this work was intended to do was to educate us all on intelligence, creativity and meeting the needs of all children: those needing educational or social interventions and/or being gifted a la Howard Gardner’s paradigm of gifted intelligences and/or…the list and combinations presented in this book are wonderfully endless.
Yet, Beyond Intelligence, despite the serious nature of its topic, is so approachable and readable that it should be published in every known language and made mandatory reading for parents as well as children who are developmentally able to follow-it. Despite the serious nature of this tome, its chapters are not only informative, but also delightful and playful at times. Every chapter has a theme, a quintessential explanation of that theme, actual case studies, thought-provoking quotes by Einstein and other geniuses from every walk of life, checklists, and authors’ secrets.
This book is chock-full of “how-to” strategies on every level: such as, advocating for one’s child in a school system, reducing bullying/cyber bullying, finding the best educational fit, understanding tests and assessments, educating teachers, and, inter alia, analyzing the problems that children experience: boredom, finding friends that are a good match, perfectionism, and finding a positive learning or social environment.
Additionally, in Being Intelligent, the reader will meet the ground-breaking ideas of many noted researchers and writers such as positive mindset author Carol Dweck, Joyce VanTassel-Baska, Carol Tomlinson, Robert Sternberg, and my personal favorites Sally Reis and Joseph Renzulli who brought us the ground-breaking “School-wide Enrichment Model.”
Clearly, this work is as complete a roadmap for raising happily productive kids as one can find anywhere on the planet.So what more can one say about a book that should be on everyone’s gift-giving list? Just this: that it brought this otherwise stoic reviewer to joyful tears. To know that there is a guide, Beyond Intelligence, to assist us all in meeting and helping children traverse what confounds, alienates, or hurts them (as bullying or an uncaring adult might) is a gift to each of us and the society-at-large. Thank-you Matthews and Foster for taking us by the hand down a path and into the celebratory light.”