Children began to respond to their environment while still in the womb. As their organs develop they start to use them. When our youngest son, Jim, was born my wife was learning to play the guitar. The guitar was next to her abdomen and the vibrations could be heard and felt by the baby. We brought him home from the hospital when I was strumming on the guitar next to my wife. The baby flailed his arms and tried to grab the guitar. He wasn’t satisfied until I let him grab those strings. Jim took professional guitar lessons for many years and still plays when he has time to do so.

Providing stimulus to our children improves their mental capacity. I thought my children to play chess when they were about four years old. I taught my oldest son algebra when he was five. I painted in oils to see if my children would develop art abilities. I wrote stories and poems with them to develop their desire to write and to analyze. Children will always explore but you can do a lot to enhance that exploration.

Kids learn everyday in school, church, scouting programs and just while horsing around. A good place to get mental juices flowing is in museums and zoos where the operators cater to children. In museums such as the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia they can be exposed to many areas of science and the world they live in. National parks and reserves are great places to learn.

Hobbies are good teachers. Collecting stamps can help a child learn about countries and cultures. It brings history alive.

Birding teaches them to learn the names and habits of our flying friends. Most kids like bugs when they are little. Such hobbies can lead to careers.

Intelligence is a measure of how well we fit into our environment. Expanding or probing our environment expands our intelligence.

You can motivate your children into having a desire to help others, to be independent, to do difficult things. I always told my kids and I still tell my grandchildren to take difficult courses in college. It expands the mind and cuts down the competition. Four of my children (and one spouse) chose the medical fields where they are able to support themselves and help others at the same time. They shortened the time in college by taking advantage of advanced course work in high school and by learning a second language while giving service overseas.

Nothing happens without faith. No achievement can be obtained unless you have faith enough in yourself to achieve a goal. Children gain self-esteem by doing things. Even learning to tie his or her shoes the first time adds to self-esteem. Building a paper airplane that flies adds to self-esteem. So, parents should play with their kids. They should work with their kids because kids learn to accomplish things when they work.

When I worked in Colorado in a technical environment we hired farm kids because they had mechanical skills and they were hard-working. If you live on a farm, lucky you. You get to work with your parents and siblings.A