Google

When the Best is the Worst

google_pluspinterestgoogle_pluspinterest

focus

There are times when you should avoid the best-of-the-best available to your homeschooled child. That’s because if you go for the best-of-the best course on a particular subject matter, you risk getting swallowed into a time sink that will pull your young person away from time available for talent growth.

Let me explain this in more detail. I’m not speaking of the efficiency and clarity aspect of a short course, but about the great depth of accurate and detailed information that the best courses will typically offer.

This is what happens: You get yourself engrossed in a curriculum catalog with a “new and improved” grammar course that now comes with video support, private tutoring, and an online adaptive testing tool.  Instead of ten to 20 hours of grammar study, you can now get 100 hours of grammar support for an even lesser price than when your firstborn child had to go through filling up the “grammar buckets” of knowledge. Should you or shouldn’t you sign up your son for that course, you ask yourself? Well, sign-up of course, you say. (I have been guilty of that same mistake myself in the past!) Because you have no way to determine what will matter most for your son’s future, your default strategy is try and cover all the knowledge bases possible with the best of everything in every category. So you choose that course because you know you can fill up a pretty tall “bucket” of real grammar knowledge. Have you noticed here how it is the curriculum that is driving you rather than your goals driving the curriculum to make it fit your purposes?

Being the dutiful son that you have raised him to be, he then gets sucked into a time vortex of of becoming really, really good at something that will have close to zero relevance to his future. Worse, he might even get “socialized” into believing that a grammar focus is the answer to his future plans when he is getting such good testing feedback, when in fact his real long-talent lies elsewhere. From a talent perspective, you are making him give up 100 hours of talent time. If you repeat this same behavior, for example, with signing him up for one of the best music teachers in your area to fulfill your “fine arts bucket”, your son will be practicing his instrument for several hours a week with great concentration. If you do that, simply because the best musical teacher is available to you, then you will have taken time away from his talent growth. In that music example, you also risk socializing him with musicians when in fact he really should be bonding and making friends with the group of people more connected to his talent.

In both the examples, going for the best in both the grammar and music would make sense IF in fact they were helping some aspect of your child’s long term talent to move forward. Intending to becoming a professional author? Intending to becoming a professional musician? Okay, then yes, take the best of the grammar courses and the best of the musical mentorship. Otherwise the best-of-the-best can be dangerous distractions by stealing your young person’s mind and emotions away from building a real long term talent. Every once in a while, yes, go for the best in an in-depth course available simply for the enjoyment, with no plans on ever using it again. But don’t abuse that consumption – drink with moderation. Do it, understanding that it is not there to be productive for your child’s future.

So what is the better strategy? The better strategy is to recognize that certain courses do little to push your son or daughter’s talent forward, beyond acquiring certain minimum thresholds of knowledge. Study only chapters 2, 3, 8, and 12 of that best course…and then stop. Determine what those thresholds are as related to his or her talent, and then only acquire knowledge up to that point. Let any further granular knowledge be left to what he picks up in the course of normal human interaction. Determine how much formal grammar is necessary and let the rest be acquired naturally as he writes to communicate in his field of talent. Peers, Google searches, (and maybe a wife with an English degree!) will give him naturally the rest of what HE needs for success in his field. Don’t major in the minors. Hold your focus.

 

What the Angels Eat

google_pluspinterestgoogle_pluspinterest

dad watermelon

 

Ever wonder what I look like when you decide to give me a call for coaching you through the talent discovery process? Well, here I am. The beard may or may not stay, depending on how I feel about it in the fall. However let me explain the watermelon prop…

When we moved back to California (about a decade ago now), my wife and I were so excited to be back where there was so much produce and fruit in season. One of the first things we did was to find Al, a local produce guy, who grows exotic and not-so-exotic greens and delivers them to your door on a weekly basis. We could not find enough delicacies like his in the local supermarkets so we signed up, pronto!

Come rain or shine, this guy shows up every week! As a side-benefit, our relationship with Al grew into a friendship where we enjoy his weekly drop-offs as an excuse to talk about latest obsession with this or that new mobile device, how to cook the latest vegetable in season, which local winery is closing or changing, and some occasional philosophizing about children and life. This week was no exception. But this time he also brought me one of his few watermelons, because the watermelon crop was very small due to nights under 100 degrees Fahrenheit this year. So here I am in this pic getting to take possession one of his very few melons as a reward for being one of the original customers…or as I like to think, one of the “preferred” customers  Of course, I had to joke about treating and holding this big fruit like one of my babies. That’s when he took a snap-shot of me. (Thanks, Al! If you are reading this post…do know that we have enjoyed your friendship over the years and we keep looking forward to your bounty.)

So that is me. And when I answer that phone I am not going to have any problem understanding your homeschooling situation. I love to roll my sleeves up and help you uncover something unique about your family’s environment that is going to translate into talent for your son or daughter. I get even more excited about talent in children than about Al’s watermelon, so you know these will be good sessions.

Create the Young Entrepreneur Mindset

google_pluspinterestgoogle_pluspinterest

sharp entrepreneur

Afraid that the clock is ticking too fast and that your soon-to-graduate high-schooler might have to retrace a similar path to yours in his young adulthood? You know, those early years of being the kind of person who had to wait for an employer to tell you where and how to work and at what time to wake up?

Do you instead want to find a way to start encouraging the behavior and mindset of a young entrepreneur inside your teenager’s mind?

Enter Ryan Finlay of reCraigsList.com . He has a program for teaching young wannabe entrepreneurs on how to make money buying and selling appliances on CraigsList. Those principles can apply to selling other types of items your son or daughter has a special interest in. To boot, there are no age or employment restrictions just because he is a minor! That’s because your child would NOT be working as an employee for someone else, but for himself when he is buying and selling on CraigsList.

Ryan had a special on his ApplianceSchool.com that ended on Wednesday September 3rd. Subscribe to his newsletter so you don’t miss out on opportunities like this.

His blog post said:

“…It only takes selling a few machines per week to make $800-$1000 extra per month. Average profit is $100-$140 for basic washers and dryers. To do this, a person would need to pick up a washer/dryer set once per week. Then in their spare time, test, repair and post the machines back up for sale. Deliveries can be scheduled when convenient, or all they can be done on the weekend. The broken machines are hauled back, repaired and then resold, which makes for a very efficient use of time.

There are many readers that buy and sell bicycles part time. They pick up bikes that need a little work for a good price. Bring them back to their apartment or home and fix them up, test them and then post them back up at market rate. Profit for each bike can range from $50 to several hundred dollars…Why you should focus on one type of item…”

How Publishing a NON-FICTION Book Gets Done by Tom Woods

google_pluspinterestgoogle_pluspinterest

Sneak peek by “celebrity” Tom Woods on how publishing a NON-FICTION book gets done today. Economics and political analysis and teaching is part of that person’s talent and he has something to write about that others want to read. If you have a young person that hopes to one day write about his talent for book publishing, in order to support himself financially, listen to this very clear podcast.

Tom Woods reveals that the numbers are NEVER in the millions of copies, even when you make it to the best seller’s list. Set your money expectations accordingly. He explains the role of books opening doors for you in your overall strategy of providing your talent value to the world. It is part of a broad approach to your talent market, not a single strategy for supporting yourself (he even talks about a blog as part of his strategy!) He has had eleven books published so far. He knows what he is talking about as a successful author.

He covers these topics in this episode: 

How do I submit a manuscript to a big publisher?

Do I need an agent?
How do I find one?
What are the benefits of traditional publishing?
What are the benefits of self-publishing?
How much does an author earn from the sale of a book?
How many books do nonfiction authors typically sell?
What’s the indispensable ingredient for getting media exposure for my book?

 

Math by “Militant Glasses” Rob Tarrou

google_pluspinterestgoogle_pluspinterest

Looking for more math support for your young student? Check out Rob Tarrou’s YouTube channel.

You gotta love this fellow’s “militant glasses”, clear diction, and gorgeous script. His full list of 500 free lessons is at ProfRobBob.com

He says, “I started making math videos September of 2011 after a student told me they were using the internet for math help.  While working full time I have managed to make almost 500 video lessons in  3 years.  I have playlists for Algebra, Geometry, Algebra 2, Trigonometry, PreCalculus, Calculus, and AP Statistics. “

I recommend that if your young person has a talent that has a serious math component as one of its core skills, it would be worth your time to cross-reference your current curriculum lessons with this strong voice. Rob Tarrou’s very large chalkboard and imposing presence is compelling to watch at high definition on a full computer monitor. If this becomes a favorite resource for one of your children, I would personally like to hear about what worked particularly well in his presentations to make it clear for your son or daughter.

Which Social Media To Use?

google_pluspinterestgoogle_pluspinterest

bull horn social media

In the case of so many options for social media outlets, where should your young person spend his time to have the greatest impact? How do you link his talent interest to the right community?

My answer: the key to using social media effectively is to understand that social media is NOT a generic medium for broadcasting to the world, but rather each type of social media is best suited for particular types of communications and communities.

This means that if your son or daughter’s talent is primarily visual in nature, then you need a social media that is best suited for visual communication. Twitter in that case is very ill-suited to showing and sharing your knitting projects because the visual part is not its strength. Facebook is also ill-suited for knitting because it is very poor in helping you to connect with other expert knitters. But Flickr or Instagram for knitting is very good because it is very visual AND you connect to other people on the basis of shared interests, not on the basis of a shared past like Facebook.

On the other hand, if your young person is into a talent that is very time-sensitive and event oriented, such as running marathons or participating in kayak races, then Twitter is the ideal medium for communicating quickly within those expert communities with bare facts of statistics that can be read with mobile phones while on the go.

In almost all cases (I can’t think of any exception), a blog is an important component to creating a living portfolio of your child’s talent progress. Strictly speaking, a blog is not really a “social media” medium, but it feeds into that idea of communicating with your talent community. The main point of using social media and a blog is that your talent has something of value to communicate to particular communities.

full-cover-blog-to-your-talent-230x300

Connect with the Best in Your Generation

google_pluspinterestgoogle_pluspinterest

drone take my pic

I encourage you to activate the social media power in your child’s life. It is not for the sake of “hanging out” willy-nilly in a very wide world wide community, but it is for the sake of learning from great people in your child’s field of talent and for the sake of being encouraged by experts.

The benefit to using social media presumes that the purpose of your student’s talent is to gradually bring value to other people in their lives. If you cannot think of why your son or daughter could benefit from connecting online to other peers or mentors in their field of interest, then there is a good possibility that your young person has too much “hobby-ness” going on in their talent. Find a way to re-calibrate the hobby so that it becomes a valuable talent.

Where can you find individuals with whom your young person would want to stay in contact with via social media? An excellent to find them in the beginning, is by joining dedicated online communities around an aspect of the talent being developed. For example, if your daughter’s intention is to become one of the best household managers possible, then she should easily be able to outpace you in performance in her adult life if she taps into the various online communities where child rearing (for example RaisingGodlyTomatoes.com) and time management (for example GettingThingsDone.com) are discussed in great detail in closed forums. Other motivated individuals will easily be found in those forums and the conversations around the shared talent can naturally continue over time through the use of social media.

If your daughter has nothing worthy enough to share and compares notes with in conversation with peers or far-flung mentors online, then she is probably not pushing herself enough to find the latest tools and methods available to her generation. Healthy cooking alone has made strides in the last few years, in great part because of people like Wardee Harmon of GNOWFGLINS.com who have made advanced healthy cooking instruction so easily available online. And yes, you can connect with her directly online. She will not move to your street, nor you will find someone as good as her abilities living in your town that knows how to cook for families…but you can now peer into her kitchen thanks to the Internet.

Social media allows young serious and talented individuals to connect directly with other talented individuals around a focused interest. Do not let that opportunity for connecting with the best people in the country on that same narrow topic pass them up.

Full-cover-100-hours-talent-guide

The Process for Discovering Talent in Your Child

google_pluspinterestgoogle_pluspinterest

Talent Process Graph

How do you find a focus around which your young person can start building a valuable talent? It seems like such a distant thing to hope for in the midst of textbooks, dozens of equally good curriculums, and too few hours left in the day to pursue anything else. It seems like it is just meant to happen to a lucky few to fall into a talent. But I am here to show you how that “luck” can be applied to each and every child in your household.

Here’s why every one of your children can develop a real talent while still under your roof:

You can start them young because you create a talent from the current uniqueness in your child’s life. You are not waiting for some mysterious future thing out there, that has no connection to your present life. Your environment of people and places, your family’s particular quirks and strengths, your child’s personal interests can all be merged together in a unique way that has passion and focus . You then give that focus a purpose by finding a way to bring value to others through that talent. This creates a feedback loop of encouragement, motivation, and productivity. This is a systematic process for discovering a viable talent that leaves plenty of room for passion.

Wouldn’t you like a taste of that kind of purpose in teenage son’s life? or how about your daughter finding great confidence in her unique productivity that she could carry with her all the way into her married life?

That is what the 10ktotalent process for discovering and developing talent can do for the young person in your home.

I give you here the basic process for discovering that kind of talent focus:

Step 1: Identify and list these items in your young person’s life into these four categories:

Personal Interests, Family Goals, Environmental Advantages, Academic Goals

Step 2: Merge together several items, one from each of the previous categories to create a poetically compelling fusion of strengths in your child’s life. On paper, try your hand at several of these fusions to see how interesting your options can be be. What emerges as the best is usually far superior than what you thought was possible before you started this discovery process.

Step 3: Take your favorite, most compelling fusion, and turn it into a believable and d0-able action statement for your child’s first 100 hours of talent focus. That is the beginning of your child’s talent. As your young person acts on it, his beginning talent will grow in complexity and branch out into previously unthought of opportunities.

Do you want help to make sure your son or daughter is on to the best talent possible? Then you may want to get my coaching help in this e-course “How to Discover and Develop Your Child’s First 100 Hours of Talent.”

Full-cover-100-hours-talent-guide

Audio Interviews with Big Name Marketers

google_pluspinterestgoogle_pluspinterest

michael senoff interviews

I recommend that every serious talent building endeavor have a component that is related to promotion and marketing, in order to get the word out that your young person does in fact have a valuable service to provide others. Remember that if a talent doesn’t learn to bring significant value to others then it really just is a big private hobby.

For that reason, I recommend that your older teenager loads up his MP3 player with Michael Senoff’s audio interviews with big name marketers. Your son or daughter will hear the inside story on how things really worked behind the scenes from very successful marketers drawn from different fields of service.

What I personally find really insightful is to hear these famous people explain how they used their uniqueness to create a name for themselves in their field and how it often involved partnering with a few key people in life. I don’t remember hearing about this kind of stuff in college. Michael Senoff boasts that if you get yourself on his newsletter alerts that he will plug you into “Free mp3 Downloads To 157 Hours Of Audio Interviews From The Best Experts in Marketing and Business”…and boy, does he deliver value. The audio-only format is excellent for listening while driving or anything else where you like to keep your mind stimulated. He also sells additional focused audio packages where he gets successful people in small niche markets to reveal step-by-step how they do their current marketing, so you can copy them. You can see Michael Senoff’s long list of audio interview titles here.

Of course, marketing skills only make sense in the context of being able to bring something of value to others. So if your son or daughter would like to build a long term talent to help create for himself an unusual lifestyle in his adult life, I recommend you go through my own e-course “How to Discover and Develop Your Child’s First 100 Hours of Talent.” In there I show you how to find something that makes sense for both your child and you as a parent, to be able to get underway, right away. If you already have a great talent going, then get cracking ASAP on your young person’s marketing skills so that he is not forgotten in that very wide-world.

Fandom Helps the Artist in Your Family

google_pluspinterestgoogle_pluspinterest

Do you know that “fandom” can be used by your artistically bent daughter to start showcasing her abilities?

Google+ is one of the hottest places today to find a fandom community around which your child can find a pre-disposed and hungry group of enthusiasts who cannot get enough of new artistic material. This is a far cry from trying to get immediate friends and relatives to share your daughter’s same excitement for both her art and her subject material. By interpreting something the fans will love to talk about and admire, your young talented person will have an opportunity to get much needed feedback as to how the current market is wanting to consume art. Your teenager will start developing a good sensitivity to the needs of others. At the same time it is a great way to gradually document an online portfolio that is exciting and interesting for future employers, art schools, and future clients. Imagine if your child could gradually build her portfolio in a manner similar to Karen Kavett , who started college at 16 and finished at 20 with a track record of excellence and focus around delivering on her art?

In her FAQ section about herself, Karen says that her interests started in her young teen years and that she is now in her early twenties. She describes herself as having multiple skills that make it hard for her to have a traditional label as just a “graphic designer.” It doesn’t mean that she doesn’t have a focus, it means that she is getting so good in her service area that she is transcending the standard artist descriptions. Her website and her blog IS her living resume that screams availability and competence. Your son or daughter also needs a blog so that he can blog to his talent right from the beginning.

Would you like your talented teenager to be able to jump-start to that type of focused blogging? Check out my e-course “Blog to Your Talent: Learn How to Showcase Your Talent in 42 lessons

Talent Principles for Homeschoolers

google_pluspinterestgoogle_pluspinterest

advantages asleep

Homeschoolers have some advantages over traditional students that can be used to make talent growth much easier. Do you know what those are?

All children can develop talent of course, whether homeschooled or not. So before I tell you what the homeschool advantages are, let me first restate the principles for reaching amazing levels of performance that will apply to all young people in their quest for focus and excellence.

      • they start young (a few started late, but then they might not have had other normal family obligations such as in the case of Julia Child, who was childless – pardon the family name pun)
      • they practice daily (no exceptions here)
      • they actively decompose their talent into smaller skills (they were smart about what their talent was, not just hard-workers)
      • they merge skills and borrowed ideas from different fields (they wanted to break new-ground, not just preserve the past)

A great read for understanding the above principles can be found in these books that analyze how amazing talent was built in the lives of the top performers in the world.

Now, I am going to tell you what homeschool parents can easily do over other parents that will make the talent acquisition process significantly easier.

Homeschool parents can:

      • Use their environment and assets (so you don’t wait for a pie-in-the-sky opportunity that may never come)
      • Enlist their family goals and desires (so you don’t have dad rolling his eyes on another Saturday talent excursion that doesn’t make sense to him)
      • Have their child act out the talent in a way that gives value to others (so you don’t paint your child into a corner of being very, very, very good at something totally irrelevant to the marketplace)
      • Make the school curriculum feed their child’s talent (so your child has enough experience to actually have a chance at achieving lift-off by the time he is eighteen)

The more you can dovetail those assets into your child’s life, the more talent progress and focus can be achieved in a shorter period of time.

 

Full-cover-100-hours-talent-guide

full-cover-blog-to-your-talent-230x300

Personal Interests Are Not Enough for Talent Building

google_pluspinterestgoogle_pluspinterest

not just personal interests

 

To build a talent in your child’s life, you can start in any number of ways.

The most straight-forward way is to simply focus on one of the current personal interests your young person is exhibiting and then keep building it up until he becomes very good in that area. That approach can and has worked for a number of people. However this personal-interests only approach has a high failure rate for two main reasons. One reason for a high failure rate is that a young person may already be locked into interests that, as far as you can tell has no future for them as an adult. Bull-whipping as a sport? Comic-book reader? Okay, I might be exaggerating, but many interests do seem like dead ends. They enjoy it in their youth, but when they are adults, they become just sweet memories while they wish they could have had focused some of those energies toward something that would made have a long term difference to their lives.

The other reason for a high failure rate is that taking a personal-interests only approach can become too expensive for the family budget early on. This is because your young person is usually competing with thousands of others in the same single personal-interest space. For him to make big progress you must often drive a big distance and spend lots of money to access the best teachers. For example, if you focus your child on using her piano playing interest as the single skill-set for her talent, then the only way she can climb up enough to achieve lift-off by age eighteen is to be able to outperform technically the tens of thousands of other great piano players. This means parents paying for very expensive piano lessons or it means parents driving her great distances, or it’s even both burdens. Families stumble over those serious economic and logistical obstacles. And then they give up after having already invested so much. Others continue despite the high costs, but the rest of the family structure might fall apart in order to create that one child’s future.

The personal-interests only approach is high-risk and should be avoided when a superior strategy is available.

So what’s the better talent strategy? The superior strategy I recommend is to build a talent that combines not only one core personal-interest, but finds a way to create something very unique by merging family interests and family advantages with the personal interest. This creates a very robust talent strategy that can weather the changes of the marketplace and support the emotional needs of your family. It creates a super-charged environment in which your young person is driven not only by his immediate interests, but also by the natural energy emanating from the self-interests and assets of his family. That kind of talent strategy creates a motivation in your child that becomes almost indestructible.

Would you like personal coaching as a parent on how to implement that strategy? Would you like to find a talent for your son or daughter that withstands the ups and downs of the years? Check out my e-course “How to Discover and Develop Your Child’s First 100 Hours of Talent

Full-cover-100-hours-talent-guide

Is He “Cursed” with a Talent of Video Game Playing?

google_pluspinterestgoogle_pluspinterest

Listen to an interview of me by Dr. Melanie Wilson on the subject of how to find and discover talent in your children. (By the way, if you are big podcast listener, you may like loading up your iPhone or Android with all her other homeschool interviews on her UltimateRadioShow)

I think the most important point I wanted to get across in that interview is that talent is NOT found by uncovering some already existing, full-blown hidden gem of a talent in your son or daughter. Rather it is understanding that there are many gifts, assets, and environmental advantages your child was born into and was given and that from pool of good things in his life, you can grow one of a number of possible talents. The operative word is “grow”, not “accidentally fall into talent” or “discovered as he was working the pizza bar.” As parents, you can judiciously and intelligently decide to encourage the development of some skills and experiences over and above other ones.

You heard me right: your 13 year old son is in fact not “cursed” with a talent of video game playing, nor is your 15 year old daughter doomed to be a “talented” weekend soccer player. Yet, we can easily slip into that belief mode and resign ourselves into feeding even more those “talents” in our children’s lives that we instinctively know are worthless to making a difference in their adult lives. You feel guilty that since he is not “gifted” to be born a doctor or an entrepreneur then the logic says that is doomed to be an average worker in his adult-life. I suspect that the guilty, over-nurturing parental response is to increase the subsidy of a an otherwise ephemeral talent for a few more years of care-free joy. You tell yourself that at least he will have good memories of his early years before being hit by the dreariness of grown-up responsibilities. It becomes a classic self-fulfilling prophecy.

However if you make a clear list of all those unique things you have going for you as a family, you will surprise yourself at how many great things can be combined together to start developing a real long-term talent that can carry your young person into adulthood. It will make sense to both your teenager and to you the parents. Real talent SHOULD make sense for the long run, it should have a purpose outside of being something for personal pleasure or private challenge. Real talent starts small, has a humble beginning, but does eventually grow into something spectacular.

Need help finding that small thing to get a talent started in your young person’s life? I have your e-course here on how to do it and I can coach you through step-by-step through the process.

(Shhh! don’t tell everyone, but I give you a strategy in the e-course on how you could actually rescue and re-purpose game playing and hobby skills into something becomes a real talent)
Full-cover-100-hours-talent-guide

NEW! Coaching e-Course for Discovering Talent

google_pluspinterestgoogle_pluspinterest

Dear friends of talent,

I’m happy to announce that you now have access to a full e-course on how to find and develop a real, long-term talent for your child. This is a new course and has never been available before.

Full-cover-100-hours-talent-guide

Not only can you get the workshop guide (which some of you already have), you can also listen to my wife and I talk you through each exercise of the workshop. You can also follow along as I guide another homeschool mom in discovering her 15 year old daughter’s talent statement for her first 100 hours of development.

Are you tired of watching young adults and young friends being tossed aimlessly on the shores of college life without a plan, or thrown into a world of low-paid entry jobs? If so, then finding a custom talent for your son or daughter that brings amazing value to others IS the answer to that problem.

Are you afraid that a real talent, not a cute hobby, would actually tear your family unity apart? I’ve got your answer.

Do you think that you don’t have enough assets or resources to come up with something that is meaningful enough for others to care about? I’ve got your answer.

Are you getting ready to default to mainstream planning because you can’t figure out what could possibly motivate your child enough to make it to a level excellence dramatic enough to change his future? Again, I’ve got your answer to that problem. too. The answer is found in the e-course “How to Discover and Develop Your Child’s First 100 Hours of Talent.”

Before deciding which course you want, would you like to first listen to one of the videos for the talent discovery e-course?  Here is the link to “Day 2: Identifying Personal Interests.” There, I talk about the role and limitations of personal interests and then I show you a video of an actual coaching session on that section of the workshop.

Sincerely,

Jonathan Harris

Talent Coach

Full-cover-100-hours-talent-guide

What I’m Hearing is This: It’s About Nothing

google_pluspinterestgoogle_pluspinterest

 

This is what I’m hearing in this comedy clip:

“Everybody I know is a character going to college…and it’s about nothing…what’s college about? It’s about nothing…who says you have to have a story?…I have this idea about going to college for nothing…I think you may have something here!”

Seinfeld’s humor notwithstanding, please don’t let your son or daughter go to college without a real plot line. It doesn’t have to be “about nothing.” But if your young adult knows what his storyline is, then he will make decisions that will enhance his future. With his own storyline, then it could be a college degree for something.

Don’t have a storyline yet? I can help you find one that is unique for your child.

full-cover-blog-to-your-talent-230x300

We Were Drowning in the Abundance of Possibilities

google_pluspinterestgoogle_pluspinterest

drink from fount of knowledge.jpg

WE WERE DROWNING IN THE ABUNDANCE OF POSSIBILITIES
(and now you know why our grammar-curriculum is still in its box)

Excerpt from an interview that will be released soon about why I had to start the www.10ktoTalent.com website to show other parents how to uncover unique talent in their children: 

I could have my children memorize every single river tributary in South America, if I so chose, because the resources and topography is available at my fingertips. I could have them memorize the biography of the wives of all the vice-presidents of the United States, because that resource is available too, with cute little stories to go with it. I could move them onto another amazing grammar-busting curriculum, with accompanying Latin-roots lectures, because that resource is even better than all the ones made before in the history of mankind. 

We were drowning in the abundance of possibilities, but I was afraid that it would have meant we were going to have super-smart educated children, but not with anything that could actually make a dramatic impact in their lives when they become adults.

I love options and I’m very excited about what this abundance and access can do and I hope our abundance increases even more! But I was also afraid it would be equipping our children into adulthood with a library full of amazing illustrated cookbooks on every cuisine known to man, but no one would ever want to hire them because they didn’t really know how to cook any particular cuisine well enough.

So this then begs the question how do you know on what to focus that will make a real difference?…”

When the online teaching resources and knowledge databases for children grow another ten-fold, are you still going to make them drink straight from that fire hose of abundance? If no, then you need a strategy. Follow me and I will give you weekly tips and reviews and strategical advice on how to customize your learning so that it creates a better future for your child than you ever had available.
full-cover-blog-to-your-talent-230x300

Several Modest Skills in Unique Combination

google_pluspinterestgoogle_pluspinterest

modest skills create talent.jpg

“Contrary to conventional wisdom, success in entrepreneurship isn’t necessarily related to being the best at any particular activity. Scott Adams, the creator of Dilbert comic series, explains his success this way:

‘I succeeded as a cartoonist with negligible art talent, some basic writing skills, an ordinary sense of humor and a bit of experience in the business world. The Dilbert comic is a combination of all four skills. The world has plenty of better artists, smarter writers, funnier humorists and more experienced business people. The rare part is that each of those modest skills is collected  in one person. That’s how value is created.’  “

*Quote from the book “The $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living” by Chris Guillebeau.

full-cover-blog-to-your-talent-230x300

I wish I would have started as YOUNG as you did

google_pluspinterestgoogle_pluspinterest

do not fall off your horse yet.jpg

Guest Post by Renee Harris.

This question comes up frequently in homeschool communities:

“Is it worth sending the next children in line to college, when we are already not so sure that college is going to make a difference to the son that is currently in college? We are getting more flack from the possibility of not choosing college for our children, than when we first decided to homeschool years ago. What is your advice?”

Here below is my response:

I absolutely think it’s necessary to think outside the box with regards to our kids’ future and education.

Here’s what our family does:

Our two older kids are at the age where they’re starting to get questioned about where they’ll attend college, as if it’s a natural extension of their high school graduation. We’re training them to understand that college should work FOR them, not the other way around. It’s more important that they have a passion/skill/talent (call it what you’d like) that can bring in an income, and that’s the way we homeschool our kids.

My husband and I are using our skills as online business owners to teach our kids how to turn that talent into an income (notice I didn’t say “job” or “employee” – whatever they do to pay the bills in the future may as well be something they love doing). Beginning at age 12, it’s critical that we start identifying and developing that talent by giving them plenty of time to explore it in depth, while feeding the necessary subject content to go right along side it.

For example: our bladesmith will study history and science through the eyes of his craft, and he then picks up physics and chemistry as he needs it for his talent. Because he’s also a very good writer, we use the One Year Adventure Novel curriculum to weave what he knows about history and bladesmithing into his novel. It makes for a much more interesting book. He’s also active on forums (and Instagram)… because it is on the private bladesmithing forums where he’s able to interact with  Master Bladesmiths, and even meet them in person, which he’s done with a few of these men…

He’s almost 15 and what do the people at the top of his craft say to him?:

“I wish I would have started as YOUNG as you did”

I’m not too worried about what college he’ll attend, because IF he chooses to go to college, it will be a college that will support his craft and make him better at it. It’s hard to top one-on-one mentorship with the guys he’s already interacting with. He will have a variety of ways to monetize his craft online, so that he can work from home or anywhere in the world.

Yesterday I was chatting with my CSA guy about my 16 year old and told him that I was able to leave for 5 days and my son had no problem taking over the business with shipping the products and managing my emails. The CSA friend said, “Wow! He deserves his own email account!” Au contraire, mon frere! He already has several emails, his own business website that he created himself, and he’s on his second round of business cards. What’s most impressive is that he has a fantastic business that he loves that generates good income.

His current obstacle? He’s slowed down by the fact that he needs to help out around the house, he still needs to “graduate” from high school, and he needs to fit in regular kid life of taking hikes with his buddies and camping with his family. Here’s what he does… something unheard of a few years ago: www.reddingdrone.com (because we think outside the box).

If your homeschooler is approaching graduation and you haven’t thought out the following 4 years, then yes, maybe he/she should to go college. If you have a 12-16 year old, then I highly recommend you think through what the post-high school experience can look like.

I have to credit my husband for having our homeschool goals look different than most. Here’s some food for thought, because he always asks the “why” question :

Don’t let these excuses drive you to sending your kids off to college if there’s a better alternative (and maybe there’s not… it depends on the situation)

1.) I’m getting pressure from the relatives…. (is there a good reason to do what they tell you to do… like, are they paying all your bills?)

2.) The schools/gov’t are offering free/discounted education… (are you sure there are no strings attached, including an opposing agenda? Or the temptation of accepting something for free again and again? Or a mentality that will lure your child into Visa’s free t-shirt booth in exchange for your child’s signature?)

3.) My kids need the experience since they’ve been with me the past 18 years… (please clarify: as in the experience of being in a room full of their peers? or the experience of being on their own? or the experience of having a different teacher? I would discount the first, and find alternatives for #2 and #3)

4.) They’ll make more money if they go to college first… (Look at this differently than how we were raised. Times are a-changin’. It’s not entirely true, especially if they take a talent-based route through homeschooling.  Or, ask those who graduated from college in the past decade how that degree is working for them.)

5.) There’s status with a degree. (How many people have asked you where you went to school and what degree you have? We usually volunteer it, right? There’s also debt with the degree.)

All that said, we are NOT against going to college. Our kids may decide that they need a particular degree, certification or even status to do what they want to do in the future. If that’s the case, they’ll at least already have an income first, and then they can pursue the degree. They are strategizing what they need and where they’ll go to get it, but it won’t be to just attend Shasta College because they didn’t have anything else to do.

My husband has been blogging about this for the past 2+ years and has begun to create ebooks and video courses to teach people. Check out the guide “How to Discover and Develop your Child’s First 100 Hours of Talent.”

Here’s what his ideas are all about: http://10ktotalent.com/what-is-10k-to-talent/

(Note: The 10K part doesn’t refer to money, but to time – it takes 10,000 hours of focused time to become really good in your niche, so the idea is to start early, when you have the energy, resources, and you’re not strapped with a mortgage, or, um… college debt.)

Renee Harris

Mom of 8

full-cover-blog-to-your-talent-230x300

Goody Two-Shoes

google_pluspinterestgoogle_pluspinterest

Fight the darkness. This is a recurring theme that all of us need to hear regularly.

There is underlying mood in the general public that can seep in under our own doors and basically whisper to us that all of our efforts in the end is for naught. That good or bad, it is all for ashes and it makes no difference if we are wise in our efforts with our children or not. It’s all a crap shoot. But I’m hear to tell you that that is not true.

Here’s why I believe philosophically that it is not true: I use the Bible as my ultimate guiding authority and the Bible tells me explicitly that the actions of righteous people do matter. The choices of godly people and the efforts they make bear fruit, sometimes immediately and sometimes down the line. A false flagellating modesty poisons the confidence of many well-meaning moms and paralyzes them into inaction.

Mothers can start believing that their desires and efforts to do good with their children are ethically and spiritually the same in weight in God’s eyes as those of their drugged-out neighbor or of those of a profligate friend’s feeble attempts to hold her family together. The underlying sneer they hear is “you are a goody two-shoes.” They are told that since there are so many false people out there, then that can only mean they must be false and hypocritical too. And so, good acts are immediately labeled as acts of hidden malice and undiscovered hypocrisy. Good is labeled as evil. Well, that is false and unbiblical.

The correct attitude of the Christian is even though it wasn’t innate goodness that originally made us friends with God (and that of course keeps us humble and we are reminded of that), that God is now pleased to give us confidence that what we do now, once we are His friend, does make a difference in His eyes.

We are told:

“we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.”

(Ephesians chapter 2)

and “God is not unjust so as to forget your work and the love which you have shown toward His name, in having ministered and in still ministering to the saints. And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence so as to realize the full assurance of hope until the end, so that you will not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.”

(Hebrews chapter 6)

Instead you are instructed to awaken, get busy doing good, so that it can be said of you:

“Her children rise up and bless her;
Her husband also, and he praises her, saying:
‘Many daughters have done nobly,
But you excel them all.’
Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain,
But a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised.
Give her the product of her hands,
And let her works praise her in the gates”.

Proverbs chapter 31

 

Teaser Clip for Talent Discovery Workshop

google_pluspinterestgoogle_pluspinterest

Watch the teaser clip for my upcoming talent-for-children video course. It is designed to accompany the guide “How to Discover and Develop Your Child’s First 100 Hours of Talent”.

In this clip you will see an excerpt of Jimmie Lanley putting herself out on the line as an example of how it can be done by working with me on creating a First 100 Hours talent statement. This was to create a talent statement based on her daughter’s interests and her family’s unique advantages.

Full-cover-100-hours-talent-guide