How to be an Einstein|12 Ways to Think More Intellegently #Einstein #ClassicalEducation

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The name Einstein brings up the image of man who is synonymous with crazy hair, a bushy mustache, and E = mc2.

When someone is called an “Einstein” it means that person is considered a geniusexceptional at learning, thinking, and problem solving.

So, who was the man behind the name?

Albert Einstein was born March 14, 1879 and grew up in Germany. His father owned a company that sold electrical equipment, so he wanted Albert to pursue a career in electrical engineering. 



Einstein at age 14


The school where Albert attended taught primarily through drills and strict rote learning, which he struggled with. He described this teaching style as losing “the spirit of learning and creative thought.” Einstein may have not liked repetition and memorization of facts, but it may have helped him later when writing papers and calculating great mathematical figures to have this foundation of knowledge. 

When Einstein was fifteen, he was able to leave the school with a doctor’s note and attend a new school where he could pursue his own educational interests. It is here where he wrote his first theoretical essay, “On the Investigation of the State of Ether in a Magnetic Field.”

Although Einstein received top grades for physics and mathematics at age sixteen, he failed to pass the general education portion of the examination to enter the Swiss Polytechnic school and pursue a career in physics. 

He spent a year focusing on his studies. At age seventeen, he tried the examination a second time and passed, entering their physics teaching program.


Einsteins’s passing grades


In 1903, when Einstein was 24, he secured a job as a patent examiner, helping to decide whether new ideas and inventions worked and were not copies of ones that already existed. Reviewing ideas of other scientists and inventors inspired Einstein to form his own ideas, ones that nobody else thought of.

It is during this time that Einstein joined a discussion group with friends who all had the same interest in physics called “The Olympia Academy.”  They met together on a regular basis to discuss science and philosophy.

The Olympia Academy

In 1905, Einstein earned his PhD in physics and in the same year wrote his most famous “1905 papers.” These papers discussed new concepts, including the theory of general relativity.

During a solar eclipse in 1919, in accordance with Einstein’s calculations, light from another star appeared bent by the sun’s gravity.

Solar Eclipse of 1919

In 1921, Einstein was awarded the Nobel Prize in physics. He traveled to the United States to meet with other scientists and share his findings.


Einstein in 1921


From then on, he met with other scientists around the world until he returned to the the U.S. in 1933, the same year Adolf Hitler rose to power in Germany.
Hitler made it clear in his speeches that he hated Jews and blamed the Jewish people for all of Germany’s problems. Jews were denied their rights and began to be relocated to camps where many were mistreated or killed. Einstein was Jewish and knew it would be dangerous to return to Germany while Hitler was in power.

Einstein spent the rest of his days mainly in the United States, where he eventually became a U.S. citizen in 1940. He liked Americans’ “right to say and think as they pleased,” he said, which encouraged people to be more creativethe same freedom that helped him to pursue his own areas of interest, leading him to develop some of the most important basic concepts in physical science.


Einstein taught himself how to play the violin and was invited to play as a symphony guest in a professional orchestra. The other violinists were amazed at his incredible ability to play. Einstein’s love of music may have been a factor in his high intelligence. He was said to have been playing piano while trying to work out the theory of relativity.

The ability to process, understand and create music is located in the right hemisphere of the brain, as well as, control of the body and the ability to perform functions like dancing, playing an instrument or writing a paper.

Language, reading and mathematical reasoning are located in the left hemisphere.

Many people are stronger in one hemisphere and weaker in the other. But, having a balanced brain—to be strong in both hemispheres—makes it easier to learn.

To strengthen both left and right hemispheres, it is helpful to do exercises—physical and mental—using both sides of the brain at the same time.

Some activities for a Balanced Brain:


  • Play a musical instrument requiring both hands (e.g., drums, violin, guitar, piano, recorder, flute, clarinet)
  • Play outdoor games requiring both hands (e.g, archery, baseball, basketball, zoomballhopper ball)
  • Learn to sew, knit or crochet
  • Learn knot tying
  • Learn to whittle with soap or on more advanced wood projects
  • Bead necklaces and bracelets
  • Work out math problems while listening to classical music
  • Create comics with speech bubbles



To have balanced brain is one step to learning better. Another step is to develop stronger connections between both sides of the brain. This can be achieved through crossing the midline or using one side of the body to cross over to the other side. 

Some Activities to Cross the Midline:

  • Do cross crawls by placing a hand or elbow on the opposite knee 10 times on each side every day
  • Do complex mazes with each hand, making sure the paper is directly in front of your body
  • Draw “lazy eights” for one minute with each hand, making sure the paper is directly in front of your body
  • Play games that challenge players to reach from one side of the body to the other side, like the Minute To Win It balloon game. 

The part of the brain that connects both sides is called the corpus callosum.

This part of the brain is covered with a white substance called myelin, which is made up of the same healthy fats found Omega-3 rich foods like fish, flaxseeds and walnuts. The more myelin, the stronger the connection between the right and left sides of the brain.
Eating foods or taking supplements like fish oil that contain Omega-3 fats helps our brain to work better.
Also, having a diet that includes all five food groups will help the brain function well.
If you have food allergies, be careful to avoid those foods that cause inflammation in the body.


Einstein did not think it wise to merely memorize facts without learning how to use them to form new ideas and explain complex problems. In Einstein’s time, the classical teaching method was used to educate children. There are three stages or levels of learning in this method: grammarlogic and rhetoric.
The grammar stage of learning usually takes place in elementary school. It is important to learn the basic math facts, phonics sounds, spelling and grammar rules to do mathematical computations and read and write independently. Einstein struggled in this stage, but still needed to learn these basics to be able to do research and write about his findings. It is important to work hard to master this level before moving on to the next level.

In the logic level, a student is able to use all the knowledge learned in the grammar stage to think about the “why” behind reading and math. At this stage, students will begin to answer more difficult questions by analyzing a story or using basic math facts to solve algebra and geometry. This is the beginning of active learning, where students can begin to form discussion groups, much like Einstein’s Olympia Academy. One good way to form a discussion group is to start a book club and read through the same book, meeting together once a month. Or join a math clubscience club or problem solving club that meets regularly.

A student entering the rhetoric level will be able to create a new idea or solve a problem by using the scientific method to attempt to prove it and share findings through writing and giving a presentation. Einstein achieved this level and spent the latter part of his life giving talks about his research and theories. Speakers on the TED talks, are good examples of people who have progressed to the rhetoric level of learning.

Through the development of learning, thinking and problem solving abilities, our children can be like Einstein and have their own ideas worth spreading.

Einstein Books:
Albie’s First Word by Jacqueline Tourville
Odd Boy Out by Don Brown
Ordinary Genius by Stephanie Sammartino McPherson
Einstein Websites:
Garden of Praise has Einstein games, puzzles and quizzes
The Why Files has an explanation of Einstein’s theories
Image and Impact has more history and photos of Einstein 
Life Skills, Teen, Young Adult

A New Year of Adulting Part 1: 10 Ways to Release Stress|Things to Do Before You’re 18 #adulting #2018Resolution

“I don’t wanna grow up ’cause I’m a Toys R Us Kid!” chimed the TV as I wasted away the Saturdays of my childhood watching cartoons with my brothers in front of the flickering magic screen. I had no idea what I was missing out on by not spending more time reading.

Books can really help us grow up. I learned much of how to live on my own while attending college and later about being a mother from reading books as a teen.

Some of the first real full-length chapter books I read were the classic Anne of Green Gables series. I fell in love with Anne’s life in Avonlea, where the roads were red and walking or taking a carriage ride were the common ways to travel.


With each book in the series, Anne grew from an insecure, precocious tween to a college graduate (unusual for a woman of her time), to a happily married adult with half-a-dozen children.

Anne learned all the life skills she needed to know from her adoptive mother, Marilla. This fundamental knowledge was passed from adult to child.

Though we live in the age of information and globalization, the method of transferring knowledge is no different. Yet, it seems like we, as parents, have less time and know-how ourselves on how to help our children launch.

So, this has motivated me to search, to learn myself, what does a teen need to learn before turning 18.

In previous posts, I’ve shared these resources:

10 Must Have Books for Teen Girls

The Ultimate Teen Guide Vol. 1: Social Graces

The Ultimate Teen Guide Vol. 2: Kitchen Essentials

With the start of 2018, it’s back to schoolwork, chores, and responsibilities that cannot be ignored by our teens. Which means stress! Now more than ever, teen anxiety has been on the rise. Maybe life since the times of Anne of Green Gables has quickened at the pace of the high-speed Internet.


My teen daughter and I both have utilized the following methods to deal with the anxiety that accompanies stress.

10 Ways to Cope With Stress

  • Listen to instrumental music or play an easy instrument like the ukulele
  • Consider getting a pet dog, cat, or fish for your teen’s room and open the blinds for letting in the sun and watching birds outside
  • Think of at least three things daily that you are thankful for (Ann Voscamp’s blog has free resources on living a life of gratitude)


  • Explore a park or nature preserve with many shade trees—something about trees calms our nerves


  • Try “star-breathing,” which means take a deep breath in and draw a line down each finger slowly as you breathe out. It really helps! 
  • Pray—talk to Jesus, your best friend beside you and/or journal your feelings
  • Sing an uplifting song
  • Meditate on a Bible verse you know by heart or think about an inspiring quote you’ve read or heard
  • Read a classic book you love (like Anne of Green Gables!)


  • Rest in a quiet, comfortable spot until you feel less stressed

This year, let’s resolve to make time for our teens and teach them what they need to know to grow into successful adults.

My son on the autism spectrum will be turning 13 this year, so I will also to be sharing more resources specifically for teen boys, coming soon!