Archive for January 2013

She Got a Degree Instead of a Talent

Emory in autumn

She could have developed a talent, but instead her parents spent  $120,000 on an English Lit degree (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Christine was a very studious homeschooled girl who went to a prestigious college where she studied the classics of literature and got amazing grades. Her parents generously and sacrificially spent $120,000 of their hard earned money for that 4 year university degree. But where is she now? Now she’s stuck working in a small low-paying cafeteria job with no marketable skill. Consider how much happier she would be had her parents bucked conformity and spent instead the $120,000 developing her writing skill and her love of California history to such an extent that she made a generous living writing wildly popular and historically accurate Gold Rush themed scripts for downloadable Murder Mystery Dinner parties.

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Being Short-Changed by a Hobby?

English: Caleb Mendez, youth soccer talent

Be careful of popular cultural hobbies that will rob your child of the time needed to build a real talent of his own (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Is your child’s future being short-changed by a hobby?

Are you not expecting that your son’s future will be supported by his current soccer-meets?

Then your child is developing a soccer hobby, not a talent.

Are you not expecting that your son will make a living by swimming for endorsements?

Then your child is developing a swim hobby, not a talent.

Are you not expecting that your daughter’s future will be spent doing gymnastics on bars?

Then your child is developing a gymnastics hobby, not a talent.



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Start Your Child’s Blog with Posterous

To start your child’s first blog today that takes just minutes to set up, I recommend using Posterous. Five of my children currently use Posterous because they can update it from phones, web browsers, and even by email. You can load just pictures too, which is very convenient for younger children when they want to show more than explain or discuss what they are doing. The blog will also allow you to have it titled with the right descriptive you want without having to yet buy a domain name. I recommend your child creates multiple blogs, one for each big skill he is developing as part of his talent.

Wouldn’t it Be Better to Be the Leader?

Miner Spreads His Lunch Out on a Bench in the ...

You can choose to build talent now in your child’s life or you can let society force him to work for others at low wages (Photo credit: The U.S. National Archives)

Working for someone else and being micro-managed by another person can and will pay the basic bills, but wouldn’t it be better to be the leader in a particular field of talent? Get your son or daughter started today on building a unique talent. They can be the ones who rule in a particular sphere of life instead of being forced to work for others at low wages.

Proverbs 12:24

“The hand of the diligent will rule,
But the slack hand will be put to forced labor”

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Fall Back Plan for Too Much Hobby Time

Girl on horse

Is your child 17 years old and has spent too much of her teenage years developing a hobby, such as softball or horse-riding, that has no apparent market value to others? Consider a last minute fall-back plan: use the experience in her hobby as a core strand around which you can wrap some other very different skills. If it’s softball, could she use her understanding of the needs of fans and players to come up with an app or service that she knows would be wanted? If it’s horse-riding, are there some short tutorial videos your daughter could put together for YouTube and a website reviewing horse-saddles with an e-book for beginners? Build on what your 17 year old child already has or, if not, starting from scratch will set your daughter back another decade.

If Your Talent Already Has a Name, It Will Have Been Claimed

Yesterday’s Talent

+ New Skills

= New Talent

Don’t fixate on a traditional career label, such as “writer” or “accountant” as the goal of your child’s talent development. If the name of your child’s talent already has a clearly defined and popular name now, it will have already been claimed by too many others and there will little additional reward for your child to be a “me-too.”  During the 10,000 hours of talent development, you will want many other skills to wrap around a core talent such as writing or accounting until it is so different that a traditional label will no longer fit. It is the growing uniqueness and usefulness of your child’s talent that will secure him a place in the sun – cherish true talent.

Bored, Bouncy, and Restless?


Doing worksheets and grinding through homeschool essays without connecting his work to developing a talent is like caging your son into a kennel.

Is your teenage son bored, bouncy, and restless? Here is what is happening in your homeschool day: all the work of writing essays and doing math worksheets and other .edu check-off lists are not being connected enough to developing a real, permanent, and long-lasting talent of his own. Yes, he’s doing the work as an obedient son, but the work has no meaning and he is starting to gnaw on his own bones like a dog that has been caged too long. You can set him free by helping him discover and develop his own talent. You will then see that joy and peace come flooding back.

What Were You Actually Doing?

Unwrapping a Gift

What is your child actually doing with the small beginning talent he was given? Is he multiplying it yet?

A talent parable.

A father noticed his son’s natural doodling abilities and his appreciation of comic art, so, based on a homeschool blog site recommendation, he purchased a set of 25 silky water color pencils and a heavy pack of some of the best textured art paper on the market. He gave it to his son Matthew along with a beginner’s tutorial book as a gift for him to expand his talent.

After being gone for a couple of weeks on a business trip, the father caught up with the accomplishments of his children and it came time for Matthew to report on all the wonderful things he had been learning to do. That’s when Matthew brought to the kitchen table and put in front of his father, the entire pastel set and paper stack still in their  pristine shrink-wrap state.

“Dad, see: I kept everything nice and clean. I even locked it away so that little Billy didn’t play with the good stuff. I know you don’t like it when I don’t do my best and I’m not a very good drawer yet. And you get mad if I break expensive tools like these pencils, so I made sure they stayed beautiful and unbroken just like you got them from the store.”

“Matthew,” said the father, “what were you actually doing in your room every day during your art hour for the entire time I was gone?”

“Oh, I was reading my comic books.”

Parents, what do you think should be the right and fair response of the father in this story? For a similar situation, read what the master said to his servant in Matthew chapter 25 in the parable of the talents.

Small Interest to Big Talent

Don’t wander around looking for the sign of your child’s BIG TALENT. Instead, like the fathers of Mozart and Tiger Woods, start your child young, under your protective and nurturing wings, and follow this pattern of 10,000 hours of talent development; get the free e-guide “How to Discover and Develop Your Child’s First 100 Hours of Talent” to jump-start the first small interest phase:

Small Interest

Small Skill

Small Productive Output

Small Feeling-of-Satisfaction

Which leads to…

Bigger Interest

Bigger Skill

Bigger Productive Output

Bigger Feeling-of-Satisfaction

Which leads to…

Very Big Interest

Very Big Skill

Very Big Productive Output

Very Big Feeling-of-Satisfaction

which equals to…VERY BIG TALENT!

Avalanche of Education Accelerates The Need for Talent Focus

Do you use Khan Academy for your children like I do? The age of the Internet Super-Tutor is descending upon us and is poised to even take university level education by storm. In the near future this will mean for your children amazingly good, incredibly cheap, always-on, always re-playable educational content, delivered by the most personable teachers that the Internet can find. However, this avalanche of world-class education into your home will not help you if you have no method for building long-term talent focus in your child’s life. Instead, this abundance accelerates the need to have a strategy for picking and choosing which of the tens of thousands of learning modules to take.