Archive for August 2012

Use Your Family Goals to Develop Child’s Talent

Use family goals and togetherness as opportunities for your child to develop parts of his talent.

Use your family’s identity or family goals to help your child develop a talent. You might think that only looking at a child’s current interests is sufficient to start building a talent at a young age, but you should consider that if it does not support the family spirit, that it will be that much difficult to get things started. For example, if your family likes to hike together because of a long tradition with grandparents and easy access to beautiful forests, then it would make sense for a child’s talent to incorporate the use of those family hikes or the outdoor excursions. A child could use his personal interest in biology to gather specimens along the way and document the findings in a science journal. A child interested in art, could learn to sketch or paint scenes of their excursions to share with friends and grandparents.

Five Talent Tips for Your Child

Develop the components that make up your talent, not just the visible, public side of your talent in action

  1. Practice and study a lot, but don’t do it for more than four hours of intense focus per day as your body and mind won’t gain beyond that.
  2. Break down the components of your talent and improve on those so you don’t give all your time to just the public, visible part of your talent.
  3. Borrow tricks and methods from other fields of activity and use them to boost your developing talent in new and unusual ways.
  4. Combine skills from different areas of life so that you create a new and unique talent that has not yet been standardized into a common job title.
  5. Constantly look for ways to apply your talent in a way helpful to others so you are not inadvertently becoming very good at something no one will want from you.

The Case of “Bull’s Eye Jane”

Archery competition

The beauty of Archery can be combined with market valued skills to create a unique talent (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Problem: your daughter has spent a good portion of her teenage years enjoying sports in general and archery specifically, but there is no possibility this could help support her in motherhood or pay the bills for college. She is known in her small archery club as “Bull’s Eye Jane.”

Solution: your daughter combines her beautiful-to-watch archery skills with market valued skills that others will gladly pay for.

  • Daughter takes physics textbooks and creates free YouTube videos of herself shooting arrows from her pink power bow with close-ups, slow-motions, and sub-texts that demonstrate specific principles found in the textbooks. She sells accompanying science guides containing clever Mnemonics that use archery and sports moves to lock in the memory in preparation of science exams. Homeschool mothers everywhere love her and she becomes known as “The Flying Arrow Girl of Science.”
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The Case of “The Piano Player in Placerville”

Creating unique piano ring tones is useful for this generation and requires a new combination of piano playing and other skills to make it happen

Problem: your child has developed a skill that allows him to play the piano very well in small local gatherings, events, and weddings, but he has little chance of making a living because technology has replaced him in most events by pre-recorded, low-cost musical alternatives. He is starting to be known as “The Piano Player in Placerville.”

Solution: your child combines his piano playing ability with other skills so he transforms the old talent into a new and very valued talent to the current generation.

  • Child plays piano well and edits his recordings to turn them into unique ring tones that current generation purchases and downloads to help manage their mobile devices. Child also creates free YouTube videos and sells guides to other piano players so they can do the same. He is now known on the Internet as “The Ring Tone Piano Guy.”

Need Talent – Signed Mother of an Artist

my brother. with his electric guitar. LÂG Roxa...

Worried your son is musically proficient, but will wind up struggling financially after he leaves home? (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Your child needs a talent, if you find yourself saying:

“My 14 year old son is deeply immersed in playing his guitar faithfully every day for hours on end. I admire his dedication, but I’m worried he will graduate from High-School with no job prospects and the harsh reality of making a living will disillusion him. I see potential, but I’m not sure what the future holds for him in this area.”

Signed, “Mother of an Artist.”

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Need Talent – Signed Love My Alma Mater But Not That Much

Alma Mater statue (Taft, 1929) in front of Alt...

Worried that your family’s tradition of earning higher degrees is not always connected to making a better living for your child? (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Your child needs a talent, if you find yourself saying:

“Both my wife and I have bachelor and master degrees and my children’s grandparents keep checking to see if we are making active college plans for our own children. My concern is that with so much emphasis on college, my children will wind up with nice sounding degrees, but still have no marketable skills. I want their degrees to have a plan attached to it.”

Signed, “Love-My-Alma-Mater-But-Not-That-Much-Dad”

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Need Talent – Signed Not Afraid to Get My Hands Dirty

A modern painter and decorator.

Worried that your son is entering a job market over-saturated with painters? (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Your child needs a talent, if you find yourself saying:

“My 16 year old son is a very dependable and hardworking young man. He accompanies his father on many jobs in our family run painting business and is becoming a very good painter in his own right. But lately, husband and I have concerned that he will be entering a market already over-saturated with excellent painters with no room for newcomers to make a full-time living. Is all this expertise he has built up lost time?”

Signed, “Not-Afraid-to-Get-My-Hands-Dirty-Mom”

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Need Talent – Signed Frazzled Mom

English: Madison, TN, May 29, 2010 -- Communit...

Worried that son has too many interests but not enough focus?  (Photo credit: Wikipedia- David Fine/FEMA)

Your child needs a talent if you find yourself saying:

“My 13 year old son is exhausting our family because he has so many interests. I’m glad he is enthusiastic, but we never seem to stick long enough with one activity to make a difference to his schooling or to his ability to become really good at something.”

Signed, “Frazzled-Mom”

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Need Talent – Signed I-Got-My-Eyes-On-You

English: I took photo with Canon camera in San...

Worried that your daughter will get snatched up by a part-time worker with no focus? (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

You need your child to develop a talent if you find yourself saying:

“Help! My sweet 16 year old daughter is starting to attract the attention of older homeschooling boys who don’t have a plan beyond working part-time at the local YMCA. She needs a focused talent to expand her world and make her more attractive to eligible bachelors with high expectations.”

Signed, “I-got-my-eyes-on-you-Dad”

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Need Talent – Signed Practical Dad

English: Volunteer Team

Worried that your child’s volunteer activities is not enough to prepare him? (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Your child needs a talent, if you find yourself saying:

“My wife is using a great Christian homeschooling curriculum and she is very happy about its emphasis on character development. I’m happy with it too, but my concern is, will good character alone pay the bills?”

Signed, “Practical Dad”

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Establish Deep Understanding of History through Child’s Talent

A small dance company rehearses for a performa...

Understand history through the changes in dance – or through the changes of your own talent.  Stuyvesant Cove Park, Manhattan, New York City (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

How can you encourage your daughter’s passion for dance using your homeschool history curriculum? Do this by having her consistently study each time period through the focal of dance. Changes in technology, philosophy, beliefs, and culture will be reflected in human activity and dance will be no exception. But by sticking with the single topic of dance, your daughter will not only establish deep pillars of understanding under her own developing talent, she will also be creating powerful mental pegs into each historical era. She will be able to narrate her way through history at a very deep level that is bound to astound.


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Do Not Passively Consume

Children developing talents depend on their parents to clear the way

Planning to make room for talent development in your child’s life is not the same as creating good study habits, creating good work ethics, or learning a trade while homeschooling. Talent development in your child’s life is building up a set of skills and insights in a field of human endeavor that is so profound that it will cause your child as an adult to one day be a world leader in that area. This means that your child cannot passively consume what is given to him in a curriculum or nonchalantly take whatever summer job presents itself. He needs your authority as a parent to make it happen. He needs your willingness to prepare the way to find, use, and manipulate the resources and advantages in his environment to a coordinated purpose.

Talent Is Not Average Performance

Talent – so amazing they will want to remember the date on which you reset the standards.

Talent is not average performance. Talent is performance that is so great that it forces a field of human endeavor to reset its expectations and standards as to what can be done. This is why developing talent requires 10,000 hours of training and studying. This is why it is important to start young. This is why you should start your child’s first 100 hours ASAP.

Apply Talent Immediately

Find Ways to Apply Talent – this will train your child to look for how it can be of value to others

Finding a way to apply a child’s talent early on in his immediate environment will be of huge advantage. The first advantage is that it will encourage your child to see his talent impacting others. This will create positive feedback for him to continue with his efforts. The second advantage is that attempting to act out his talent in his environment will require him to modify his talent in such a way that it is welcomed and recognized by others to have practical value to them. Yes, some things of excellence, such as character, must be pursued regardless of outward approval. But when it comes to pursuing an earthly skill set, your child should pursue it in such a way that his talent will provide for him rather than drain him financially in his adult life.

Hi-Jack Your Homeschool Curriculum

Be the captain of your homeschool curriculum – make it serve your child’s talent building.

In order to develop and focus on your child’s talent, you do not need to give up your current homeschool curriculum. Stay with the strengths of your homeschooling method, but modify slightly the individual tasks and goals toward supporting an on-going talent. For example, if your child’s talent focus is related to music and your worksheet tells your child to “Discuss the theme of grief in this English literature book”, you can modify it to your purpose. Modify it to say instead “Discuss the theme of grief in the music composed during the era of this English literature book.” Boldly hi-jack your curriculum to make it the servant to your child’s talent.