An insider's guide to boosting your kid's IQ

I asked my friend Rick Rosner for some IQ boosting tips, and wrote about it for

Rick Rosner and I were friends in high school in Boulder, Colo., in the late 1970s. He was smart and had a dry sense of humor, and was well-liked, but there was something about Rick that I couldn't put my finger on. He seemed to be operating on a different level than everyone else, not really connecting with his fellow students. After we graduated I didn't see much of him.

Almost 30 years later, I was watching an episode of Errol Morris' HBO documentary series, First Person, and was stunned to see an episode all about Rick. On the show, Rick explained that after graduating in 1978, he forged a bunch of documents and re-enrolled in another high school in New Mexico. (When he broke into the Boulder High School office to steal his documents for forging a new identity he learned his IQ was 150.) After New Mexico, he went to another high school in another state. And then he did it again. And again. Rick went to different high schools until 1987.

Why did he do this? He wanted to perfect his high school experience, and he says it took several tries to get it right. During and after his extended stint as a high school student, Rick has worked as a stripper, a bouncer, a roller skating waiter and a writer for Jimmy Kimmel. If you want to learn more about Rick's unusual life — and I promise it's fascinating — read this essay he wrote for the Mega Society (a club restricted to people with one-in-a-million IQ test scores), watch Errol Morris' aforementioned documentary or listen to my interview with him.

Rick had to eventually stop being a high school student, but his IQ-improvement efforts paid off. His test scores place him among the smartest people on earth, and he attributes his high scores to habits he's followed for decades. With diligent practice, says Rick, anyone can "pop their IQ up by at least 25 points, at least in terms of test scores." A 25-point boost can make a huge difference in your kid's education. Cash-strapped public school systems place the highest-scoring kids in special programs that offer excellent education programs with the best teachers. For instance, Rick says, "North Hollywood High has a 'highly gifted magnet' program and you need a 150 IQ to get in there." (A 150 score is higher than 99.9% of test takers).

With two kids of my own, I thought I should ask Rick for some IQ-boosting tips. Here's what he told me:

An Insider's Guide to Boosting Your Kid's IQ