Archive for February 2013

Is Your Child Blogging Correctly?

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Imagine you are a river guide on the California Sacramento River. You are considering choosing between one of two teenagers, George and Nathan, to come along as paid part-time help in exchange for being able to study the river up-close.

Who of the two would you choose?

You don’t owe any favors to their parents, so to make up your mind, you take a quick look at their blog using your Smart Phone. So far, so good. They are both building their portfolio online via a blog so that others like you can get a much better feel for their true accomplishments and their drive to succeed.  That’s when you notice that each has a VERY different style of writing about their interest.

One has obviously read up on the river and reported back the many scientific facts as discovered by experts. The other instead writes about specific interactions he has had on the river and what he is doing.

You browse their blogs and find the following two sample posts:

George writes: I read up on river on Wikipedia and here is what I found in my research: “The Sacramento River is an important river of Northern and Central California in the United States. The state’s largest river by discharge, it rises in the Klamath Mountains and flows south for over 400 miles (640 km) before reaching Suisun Bay, an arm of San Francisco Bay, and thence thePacific Ocean. The Sacramento drains an area of about 27,500 square miles (71,000 km2) in the northern half of the state, mostly within a region bounded by the Coast Ranges and Sierra Nevada known as the Sacramento Valley. Its extensive watershed also reaches to the volcanic plateaus of Northeastern California. Historically, its watershed has reached farther, as far north as south-central Oregon where the now, primarily, endorheic(closed) Goose Lake rarely experiences southerly outflow into the Pit River, the most northerly tributary of the Sacramento.”

Nathan writes: This is the third morning I went down to the landing at 4AM to watch the river guides take off for the day and to help a few of them load up. I asked permission to take pictures and put them on my public Flickr account. I got the email address of one of the river guides and will email him my best picture because he would like to put it on his business website. I was surprised at how early the guides have to get going in the morning and they told me it’s because they have to get to the best fishing holes before the sun gets up too high and the fish at this time of the year are much further upstream. I took some temperature readings of the river and logged it in my field journal and took a sample of the water so I can study the microbes on the microscope at home. I have a picnic cooler to carry it back home so that the microbes don’t die before I can match them up with this special study guide my dad bought for me on the Internet. I have been able to identify about 10 bugs so far and will post my sketches up with their scientific names.

Which one are you likely to want with you and the customers? Which one do you think is the most interesting boy to have along?

Clearly you want your own child blogging from a first-person point of view like Nathan. And at all costs, you want to avoid him sounding like George, who is stating true expert facts, but revealing nothing of his personal engagement with the river.



Common Mistake When Searching for Motivation in Child


A common mistake for parents is to search for talent by looking for an already full-blown motivation in a child’s life. That is a mistake because they will not find one, immediately give up, and falsely conclude their child was born under an “unlucky” star. Instead, the right approach to creating motivation is by introducing him to a simple skill that requires little effort and gives quick satisfaction. At that level, he will easily engage himself with encouragement by his parents. Then keep building his skill levels up until an intrinsic desire of his own starts growing stronger and stronger…and then a full-blown motivation will rage so strongly that all your friend and neighbors will see that your boy is “on fire!”

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Old Fashioned Hobby With New Application

bug of the day

Can your child create a brand new talent by combining an old hobby with a modern application of that hobby? The Pinterest founder did. (Photo credit: urtica)

Did you know that Ben Silbermann, founder of Pinterest, spent his childhood years catching, collecting, and categorizing hundreds of insects, spiders, and beetles? He would pin them on boards and label them. This childhood habit would later become the idea of Pinterest. What does your child spend his time doing now that could turn into a start-up later? Think about how you can combine an old-fashioned hobby with a new cutting edge application, and your child may well be on an exciting path where talent will support him in his adult life.

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How to Have a Job, Career, or Talent

English: In front of the class schedule board ...

Are you preparing your child for a career or a talent? The strategy for each is different and the rewards are not the same (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

After graduation, do you want your son to have a job, a career, or a talent?

Here’s how to do it:

For a job – don’t plan for anything and hope he figures it all out after he’s 18.

For a career – suppress his uniqueness, load up on student loans, and have him study real hard following a traditional school curriculum or certified training program. Hope he gets hired by the corporate world so he can fit into the top of the predetermined pay band.

For a talent – start him young and have him keep combining skills in a way that is unusually effective, different, and pleasing to other people. Watch his passion carry through him into old age.

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Talent is Something Old, New, Borrowed, and Blue

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A skill that communicates and projects your child’s talent is a valuable component of your child’s talent development (Photo credit: east_lothian_museums)

A talent should be made of up of not one, but several different skills: something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue.

An old recognized skill helps your daughter get started, a new skill that did not exist before helps your child break into the next generation of talent, and a skill borrowed from a completely different field will classify your child as someone with breakthrough insight. Add a skill that showcases and communicates your child’s amazing ability, and she will have a beautiful talent in blue.

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No Talent Allowed


Is it always no-room and no-time allowed for your child’s talent to be developed when you are using your homeschool curriculum? It’s time to high-jack textbooks to make them serve your child.


How much of your curriculum is directly supporting some kind of progress of your child’s talent? Is it 80%, 50%, 20%? If you are using an off-the-shelf standard curriculum, then thousands of hours are draining away into maintaining your child into an “average” child with no room for his talent. But there is good news, you can high-jack your curriculum without having to get permission from anyone. Do you know how to do it?

Two Reasons Why a Talent Blog is Important for Your Child

Typing BlogYour child should start at least one blog related to a skill he is developing for his talent.

There are two reasons why a talent blog is important:

  1. So your child can learn how to talk in his own voice and personality about his talent.
  2. So your child can demonstrate to others that he is personally engaged and not just mechanically reciting back a list of facts.

By the way if your child has started a talent blog, please feel free to post the link below so I can leave him his first few encouraging comments.


Same Experience Repeated Over and Over is Not Talent

English: Kimberley and Babette Nederlands: Kim...

10,000 hours of talent development is not the same thing as applying the first few hours of instruction thousands of hours over and over (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The same small experience repeated over and over is what keeps an entry level job at the status of an entry level job. After a full year of work standing on her feet at a typical teenage job at McDonalds, there are probably only eight hours of added skill to the child’s life. The same principle applies when guiding your child into accumulating her 10,000 hours of talent development in household management: a daughter who is enthusiastically cooking, teaching, and helping her mom with home organization is not enough to build world-class talent. To be recognized as a future mother and wife who has taken the world of household management by storm, she would have to daily push the boundaries of her abilities with new tools and new ideas of management…until her performance appears magical to others, like that of the fictional Mary Poppins.

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True Talent Jumps Outside Career Labels


Don’t let your 13 your old child say “I want to develop my veterinary skills.” Instead, for example, have your child say “I want to use my microscope to be able to identify all the most common pathogens as found in the cat and dog droppings in our neighborhood and community. I want to recommend to the pet owners the right off-the-shelf pet prescriptions for the specific problems that I find.”

Here’s why you want to avoid traditional career names in discovering your first talent focus:

  • First, you need to stay flexible about what long term career your child might enter into in the future so he can take advantage of a changing market. Your child’s career is most likely not going to be traditional and true talent will tend to jump outside the boundaries of popular career labels.
  • Second, your child will most likely be legally or culturally blocked in trying to do anything really resembling the work description of a traditional career. But if you focus on a specific skill to develop, your child can often get around limitations and start developing right away a a skill that can lay the groundwork for the next level of skills.

She is Drawing, Not Talking Her Way Through History


What if your arts talented daughter could draw through most of her history curriculum, instead of talking and writing her way through it? Wouldn’t that accelerate her talent development?

What do you do with an arts oriented daughter who is having difficulty following a standard history curriculum? Instead of keeping her at a disadvantage, put her talent back in service by having her sketch or trace scenes from that time in history using the many available art history books. Because artists will have specifically focused on important points from that era, it will be easy for your daughter to draw her way through history, rather than primarily talk and write her way through it. Instead of losing time building her talent while she is doing traditional schooling, she is actually gaining ground and learning how paid artists apply their trade to bring value to others.

So That All His Relatives Can Read It and Comment

Pont du Gard

Start your child blogging today about his talent using your history curriculum (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Example of how a 12 year old boy could write his first blog post:

  1. Uses his on-going personal interest: his interest is anything related to engineering
  2. Uses his current curriculum topic: Roman History
  3. Reads a Wikipedia summary article on a specific Roman bridge: the Pont-du-Gard Aqueduct
  4. Starts a free blog hosting service:
  5. Writes a 5-sentence summary in his own words about a specific aspect of that Wikipedia article.
  6. Makes a one sentence comment in his post, a hook, that is a personal observation on how it is similar to something he knows about today in modern life.
  7. Creates a blog post title that is copied from one interesting phrase in the blog post.
  8. Presses “publish” on the blog post he just wrote so that all his relatives can read it and comment to encourage him.





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