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Archive for November 2013

Audio Books for Relaxed Evenings

Candles composition

Candles for you and your wife while the children listen in their beds to wonderful audio books (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Do you and your spouse want to have some private evenings of relaxation without having to leave home or hire a babysitter?

Audio books to the rescue!

Your children can listen to captivating unabridged voice-acted stories in their bedrooms while drawing quietly, playing Legos, or just lying dreamily on their beds. Here are some 50 hours of suggested audio to stock up with in your arsenal of date-night tricks. This should give you room to relax at home for about 25 date nights worth while your children get deliciously transported into other worlds:

Hank the Cowdog by John Erickson with 2.5 hours of audio

Diary of a Wimpy Kid (Book 1) by Jeff Kinney with 2 hours of audio

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain with 9 hours of audio

Freddy the Detective by Walter Brooks with 5 hours of audio

The Adventures of Paddy the Beaver by Thornton Burgess with 2.5 hours of audio

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (Book 1) by Frank Baum with 4 hours of audio

Lawn Boy by Gary Paulsen with 2.5 hours of audio

The Silver Chair (Chronicles of Narnia) by CS Lewis with 5.5 hours of audio

Artemis Fowl (Book  1) by Eoin Colfer with 6 hours long of audio

Redwall (Book 1) by Brian Jacques with 10.5 hours of audio

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Books for Boys Ages 9 to 12

Deutsch: Paris: Eiffelturm und Marsfeld

My list of fun fictional books in English for boys 9 to 12 who might be living in Paris and missing a bit of our crazy Americana! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Recently an expatriate friend living near Paris, France, was wondering what kind of fun and interesting fictional books their twin 12 year old boys could read in English to keep them in touch with American culture.

In response, I put together a list of books here below that I thought boys from ages 9 to 12 might enjoy trying to read. Girls might like them too, but I chose this compilation especially for boys who want something to kick start them into reading. There are many other books I could recommend, but if you are looking to get them jump-started on something easily accessible and fun, these below I would recommend first. Note that all the links go to my Amazon affiliate program.

Books that have a special Americana bent to them:
Hank the Cowdog series (down-on-the-ranch humor)

Diary of a Wimpy Kid series (school kid humor that will open the doors to understanding modern American boy humor)

Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain (classic American outdoor adventure; the outdoor part is the story might as well describe the outdoors of where we currently live in California)

The series of books “Freddy the Pig” by Walter Brooks (anthropomorphic animal stories, with some gentle humor, that does a good job explaining through elaborate plots the different aspects of how American life, culture, and politics work – they were a big hit with my twelve and under crowd)

The animal stories by Thornton Burgess (nature stories that my daughter Noelle absolutely loves; shock full of real facts about nature in the context of fictional animal stories)

The Wizard of Oz series of books (the boys liked this as the books are far more interesting and gritty than the movies)

 

Lawn Boy” and “Lawn Boy Returns” by Gary Paulson (humor about a boy running a successful business – this one really gets the American obsession about being successful in business life from a kid’s point of view; it had Gideon (age 10) laughing all the way through the books)


 

I’m listing a few Non-Americana books here below, but I include them because they are very popular in the United States and easy to read with good story lines:

 

ALL the books in Chronicles of Narnia series (I think that even though this was written by CS Lewis, a British writer, it is probably more popular in the United States than in Great Britain. An absolute MUST read.)


For 11 and 12 year olds, I recommend ALL the Artemis Fowl series of books by Eoin Colfer  (it is the kind of science-fiction humor that made me smile and laugh as an adult; big people get the humor too and it is not inappropriate humor; a lot of advanced vocabulary, but accessible because the writing is so good, that in context, you understand it)

 

Thanks to Daniel, a reader of this 10ktotalent blog site, I am adding to this list the Redwall series of books by Brian Jacques. Several other friends over the years have highly recommended these adventure books of a mouse-warrior in a medieval setting.

 

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How to Quickly Find the Top Books in Your Field

English: Photograph of author Roy F. Chandler ...

Does your child have his prioritized list of specialty books picked out? Use the Book Blitz Method (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In this article I will show you how you can quickly build a reading list based on trusted sources and instantly find out which books are the most influential in your field.

So you had a few books recommended to you by someone you trust. You read them. You greatly enjoyed them and learned a lot. You want to learn more about that particular niche. But how do you go about finding the top books?

Read on to learn a quick and easy way to remember all the books you want to read, find related books, and prioritize your reading based on which books are most prominent in your defined niche.

Step 1 – Get a Recommendation from a Trusted Source

Starting with a trusted source is the key to making this system work. You have to know where to start so that you’re not just reading “best-sellers.”

Read all the books suggested by your trusted source.

Step 2 – Find Related Books

Go to Amazon.com and find one of the books you just read. Click on the book’s page.

Look for the “Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought” section. This will serve as a list of follow up books.

Step 3 – Add the Books to Your Reading List

Log on to GoodReads.com. If you don’t already have an account, create one.

Search for one of the related books from the above step. To save time, just type in the author’s last name and a keyword from the title. Press Enter.

Click on the “Want to Read” button next to the title.

Repeat this process for every title from the Amazon.com page.

Step 4 – Find the Most Prominent Books

Your reading list will grow large very quickly when you follow the trail of related books. One way to prioritize is to find the books on your list that are most widely read. This will often indicate which books are most authoritative in the field.

Click on “My Books.”

Then click “to-read” from the side panel.

Click on “shelf settings.” Check “num ratings.” Sort by descending. Click “save current settings.”

 

Click on the “num ratings” column to sort by that field.

Your books are now prioritized by prominence.

Step 5 – Pick Your Books

Scroll through your sorted book list and pick out the ones that meet your criteria. For example, you could pick out all the books related to theology.

 

 

You can use the rankings to help prioritize your reading schedule. Since the list sorts automatically, you can add as many books as you want and still know which ones are the most widely read.

Conclusion

You can apply this method to any niche. Have your child ask for some book recommendations from an expert in his talent area. He can obtain this information from a online forum, a personal contact, or even by directly writing to an established expert. Most experts are more than willing to help a young novice get on the right educational track. Once your child has those first few books, he can begin a lifelong pursuit of learning and development through reading.

About Levi Heiple

Levi Heiple is a writer/entrepreneur who specializes in electronic training and support systems. He connected with Jonathan Harris after being asked tutor his son, Caleb. You can sign up for Levi’s free weekly tip on “reading for innovation” at BookBlitzMethod.com. You can find his professional website at LeviHeiple.com.  You can find his web design service at WebPromoPackage.com.

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Easy Storyboard Format for Writing Stories

English: Technical Script with storyboard Espa...

For a child who is visually oriented, try having her sketch her storyboard first, and then write it out in words. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Here is a storyboard format that has really worked well with our twelve (12) year old daughter.

We have settled down over time to this short list of questions that has really worked for her. Other types of writing prompts simply did not work. She loves to draw, loves animal stories, and is far more visually oriented than her brothers. But this list of questions she uses has really gotten her to daily and consistently write her own short stories.

So if you have a child who is not the verbal chatty type, but with more arts-oriented skills, you might find this format very refreshing. Please feel free to share and print this list with others:

  1. What type of animal is your character?
  2. What is your character’s name? Explain and draw a picture of him.
  3. What does the character want to have happen? Explain and draw a picture.
  4. What’s a difficult thing that happened before the character got what he or she wanted? Explain and draw a picture.
  5. How did the character overcome the problem? Explain and draw a picture.
  6. How does the story end differently, but in a better way than what the character wanted to first happen? Explain and draw a picture.
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Example of 10,000 Hours in Practice

Julia Child’s autobiography “My Life in France” is a perfect example of the 10,000 hours principle. You can read in detail her personal adventure and quest at becoming the “Grand Dame” of American cooking. Although I’m not in sympathy with her personal political views she ascribes to in her book, she did do a great job serving our culture in an area that was very inadequate in the United States. Read especially the part about how she practiced making so many batches of mayonnaise, she had to dump them down the toilet! Read also how her expensive education did not prepare her for her life’s calling – she too had to put in her tedious 10,000 hours!

Because she had amazing talent, she was hard to put in a box with a specific career label, such as describing her as a “chef.” This is how you want your son or daughter to view talent development – as a journey to become so good and unique that a career label no longer fits your child.
You can read her biography by purchasing it from my Amazon affiliate link here:

French Pronunciation Exercise

FrenchBibleAudio

Perfect Free Pronunciation Guide from a Native French Speaker Reading the Text of a French Bible – Always Available and NEVER Tires

Looking for a way to get a real French voice to teach your child how to pronounce French correctly for hours on end, without ever tiring, without ever betraying an American accent? How about if that was available to you as free for your child’s learning of a foreign language? And you could do it without having to drive your child to a tutor after-hours? Well, it is available here:

http://www.wordproject.org/bibles/fr/index.htm

The audio can be treated as the perfect free pronunciation guide from a native French speaker reading the text of a French bible.

If you go to the WordProject.org you will find many bibles in many different languages WITH a native reader reading the text in the foreign language of your choice. You can also follow the written text as the person reads. And of course you can repeat it as often as you like or download it to your smartphone to listen to it in the car during commute hours and errands. In the past, to find a teacher who both had a correct accent and is willing to do it for hours on end with your child would have broken your pocketbook. Now when repetition and precision is everything, the audio bible comes to the rescue.

Here are the other Bible audios they currently offer online:

EnglishBibleAudioList

FarsiBibleAudioList

Three Types of People: The Entrepreneur

 

English: The Swedish entrepreneur, scientist a...

Is your child’s trait, the entrepreneur’s trait? (The Swedish entrepreneur Jan Gyllenbok – Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Is your child’s dominant trait the Entrepreneur’s trait? Adjust your child’s talent growth to his strength.

Guest Post by Levi Heiple (continued from Three Types of People-Which One is Your Child?):

Is your child’s dominant trait, the entrepreneur’s trait?

The entrepreneur lives for the future. The entrepreneur (whether he admits it or not) sees most people as problems that get in the way of a better future. He will be continually baffled why 96% of the population will drag their feet and accept the status quo when there is an overabundance of opportunity.

The entrepreneur is the rarest type. This may be partly due to the reality that most entrepreneurial types will be educated at an early age to repress the entrepreneurial impulse. People don’t like entrepreneurs (or at least successful ones). Entrepreneurs are vilified in literature. People don’t mind the struggling entrepreneur, but the successful one is a cause for envy.

In spite of the bad rap that (successful) entrepreneurs receive, they do perform a critical function in society. Namely, they create jobs for everyone else. If you have an entrepreneurial child, you will want to raise him accordingly. Here are some key signs to look for to see if your child might be an entrepreneur type.

  • He can never seem to focus.
  • He is always coming up with some new schemes.
  • He tries to take shortcuts in his work–especially school work.
  • He doesn’t like to follow directions or he tries to re-engineer the whole process when given an assignment.
  • He tends to ask a lot of irritating questions and/or challenge authority.
  • He doesn’t like to work on group projects.
  • He is highly motivated to learn on his own whatever he happens to be interested in.

The above qualities are obviously not qualities that are typically valued in school. However, they are in fact the very qualities that make an entrepreneur successful if they are disciplined in the right way. Lack of focus becomes “big picture thinking.” Scheming becomes “business planning.” Taking shortcuts becomes “outsourcing.” Challenging authority becomes “innovative thinking.” Not working working on a team becomes “creating jobs for other people.”

About Levi Heiple

Levi Heiple is a writer/entrepreneur who specializes in electronic training and support systems. He connected with Jonathan Harris after being asked tutor his son, Caleb. You can sign up for Levi’s free weekly tip on “reading for innovation” at BookBlitzMethod.com. You can find his professional website at LeviHeiple.com.  You can find his web design service at WebPromoPackage.com.

Learn More

For more tips on teaching young entrepreneurs:

For more information on the types, click on Jonathan’s affiliate book link:

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Write Lyrics For Your History Lesson

 

Notebook collection

Work through your standard history course by creating a custom notebook collection of song lyrics your  music child makes about that time period (Photo credit: Dvortygirl)

For a child who has a musical skill as part of a core long-term talent that is developing, you can still turn your normal history curriculum into a curriculum that supports your child’s talent growth. One way to do that is that is to have your child write new song lyrics to fit an existing modern song at the end of each and every history lesson that your son or daughter finishes.

The objective is twofold. The first objective is that by constant and consistent production of lyrics, your child will force himself to daily keep producing as fast as possible new lyrics in order to keep up with the lessons. The history content of the lesson is the fodder and message that your child is able to use immediately so he can focus exclusively on lyric composition.

The second objective is that by wrestling with creating new lyrics every day, your child will easily assimilate the meaning he believes the history lesson is trying to convey. This wrestling with the content will peg the purely historical information onto his growing song writing abilities and lock it into his mind permanently. He will remember history better than if had just studied and answered the standard curriculum questions directly.

Here is a link on how your child can get started writing lyrics today with intro, verse, bridge, and chorus words:

http://www.wikihow.com/Write-a-Song

 

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Three Types of People: The Manager

 

Captain Stephen Coad

Are you adapting your child’s talent development so it is compatible with his manager’s bent? (Photo credit: Helen Vercoe)

Guest Post by Levi Heiple (continued from Three Types of People-Which One is Your Child?):

Is your child’s dominant trait, the manager’s trait?

Managers are past-oriented. They see people as problems that make big messes that need to be cleaned up.

Managers are typically very good students. The reason for this is not necessarily because they are interested in the material, but because they derive a great satisfaction out of being responsible and doing things correctly.

Managers are needed everywhere. They keep things in order. Like successful entrepreneurs, good managers are also envied. No one likes the star student. Nevertheless, when a position of great responsibility needs to be filled, it is the exceptional student–not the mediocre student–that gets the job (or at least should get the job).

Here are some signs to look for to determine if your child is a manager type.

  • He almost always does exceptionally well in his school work
  • He needs very little “parental incentive” to complete his assignments
  • He is very well-organized (e.g. tidy desk, clean room, well-labeled papers)
  • He is very concerned about whatever grading system is being used, and how he can get the best grade.

Managers thrive on responsibility more than mastering any particular skill. The best thing a teacher can do for a manager-type student is to give him real-world responsibility. School provides a simulation of responsibility, but real-world responsibility will give him much more satisfaction and help him get a head start on his career. For example, instead of just giving him math problems, try giving letting him manage an aspect of the household’s budget.

 

About Levi Heiple

Levi Heiple is a writer/entrepreneur who specializes in electronic training and support systems. He connected with Jonathan Harris after being asked tutor his son, Caleb. You can sign up for Levi’s free weekly tip on “reading for innovation” at BookBlitzMethod.com. You can find his professional website at LeviHeiple.com.  You can find his web design service at WebPromoPackage.com.

Learn More

For more tips on teaching young entrepreneurs:

For more information on the types, click on Jonathan’s affiliate book link:

 

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Three Types of People: The Technician

Industrial Designers Society of America Annual...

Is your child’s dominant trait, the technician’s trait? (Photo credit: Kris Krug)

Guest Post by Levi Heiple (continued from Three Types of People-Which One is Your Child?):

Is your child’s dominant trait, the technician’s trait?

The technician lives in the present. He sees people as fretters and fussers that never actually get anything done. The technician loves his work (assuming he has found his talent) and likes to keep his life simple (so he can focus on his work).

The vast majority of people are technicians. They will likely be average students, perhaps excelling at one or two subjects. Some may even be poor students because they are only interested in working on what they are good at. A technician’s success and happiness in life will depend largely upon finding his talent (usually one, perhaps two or three), and developing that talent to the point of mastery.

Because there are so many areas that one can have a talent and achieve mastery in, it is difficult to describe the technician in general terms. The simplest way to determine if your child is a technician is to  first determine that he is NOT either an entrepreneur or a manager. Then figure out what he enjoys doing the most. Give him the resources he needs to master that skill. Show him how what he is learning in his general education will help him to become better at his particular craft. Then show him how to live a simple life.

About Levi Heiple

Levi Heiple is a writer/entrepreneur who specializes in electronic training and support systems. He connected with Jonathan Harris after being asked tutor his son, Caleb. You can sign up for Levi’s free weekly tip on “reading for innovation” at BookBlitzMethod.com. You can find his professional website at LeviHeiple.com.  You can find his web design service at WebPromoPackage.com.

Learn More

For more of Levi’s tips on teaching young entrepreneurs:

For more information on the types, click on Jonathan’s affiliate book link:

 

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Three Types of People–Which One Is Your Child?

Start-up office's hall

In his adult life, your child will likely be acting mainly as just ONE of the three types of people that Gerber explains are needed to make work life function. (Photo credit: Aleksandar Ratkovic and Altiona.com)

Guest Post by Levi Heiple:

In 1986, Michael E. Gerber wrote a groundbreaking business book called The E-Myth. This was later revised and published as the more famous E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to do About It. The book is regarded for its insights on how to plan, manage, and grow a small start-up business and turn it into a franchise business. “Work on your business, not in your business” was the key motto.

However, one insight that is just as powerful, yet often overlooked, is Gerber’s insight into human personality.

Gerber writes that inside each of us is really three different persons:

  • The entrepreneur – dreams and plans for the future and sees opportunities
  • The manager – craves order and pragmatically solves problems
  • The technician – enjoys work in the present and loves to get things done

The idea of three persons in one should sound familiar to anyone acquainted with biblical theology. The Scripture teaches that God is trinitarian: the Father who plans and wills all things (the entrepreneur), Christ whom was given all things and brings all things under subjection according to the Father’s will (the manager), and the Holy Spirit who carries out the will of God in the present (the technician). Since humans are made in the image of God, it should make perfect sense to biblical thinkers that we find a trinitarian aspect within our own personhood.

Though we each have a three-in-one aspect to our personalities, we will find that people tend to have a dominant “person” that directs their behavior. Identifying which aspect is dominant in your child can be a critical component in structuring his education process.

About Levi Heiple

Levi Heiple is a writer/entrepreneur who specializes in electronic training and support systems. He connected with Jonathan Harris after being asked tutor his son, Caleb. You can sign up for Levi’s free weekly tip on “reading for innovation” at BookBlitzMethod.com. You can find his professional website at LeviHeiple.com.  You can find his web design service at WebPromoPackage.com.

Learn More

For more of Levi’s tips on teaching young entrepreneurs:

For more information on the types, click on Jonathan’s affiliate book link:

 

 

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Fairy Tale Treats For You

Dear Friends of 10ktoTalent,

I have a treat I want to share with you. Here below is a list of 15 of my favorite fairy tales that have beautiful illustrations. They have made me and my younger children smile over the years. I have read and enjoyed hundreds of fairy tales, but these are the top ones that also include gorgeous visuals or whimsical graphics. It is sure to please girls and boys from ages to 4 to 12 years of age.

The first column is the name of the fairy tale, the second column is the author or illustrator, and the third is the ISBN number. Make sure you use the ISBN if you can because they are so many retellings of the stories that without the numbers you might not find the ones I recommend. You can plug the ISBN number into Amazon and many other online books search tools to get the exact version I am referring to.

If you are going on vacation or wanted to treat a friend with a box of sure-fire fairy tale classics, this is the surprise box of books I would send them. Click on my affiliate link to Amazon and use the list below if you want to skip through the inferior ones on the market (forget the ones for example that are re-told by celebrities). Go straight to the good ones.

The Little Red Hen Jerry Pinkney 0803729359
Rumpelstiltskin Paul Zelinsky 0525442650
Rapunzel Paul Zelinsky 0142301930
Puss in Boots (Sunburst Book) Fred Marcellino 0312659458
The Five Chinese Brothers (Paperstar) Claire Huchet Bishop 0698113578
Cinderella K.Y. Kraft 1587170043
The Twelve Dancing Princesses Marianna Mayer 0688080510
The Gingerbread Boy Paul Galdone 0547599404
The Three Billy Goats Gruff Paul Galdone 0395288126
The Three Bears Paul Galdone 089919401X
Snow White Paul Heins 0316354511
Hansel and Gretel Rika Lesser 0698114078
Jack and the Beanstalk Steven Kellogg 0688152813
Little Red Riding Hood Trina Schart Hyman 0823406539
The Sleeping Beauty Trina Schart Hyman 0316387088

 

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Your Child Will Do Better Than You

Father with child

Don’t make your child retrace the same educational path you took if you want him to outperform you in his adult life  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Do you believe that your child will indeed DO BETTER than you in his or her adult life?

If so, then would you also agree that in order to do significantly better than you, your child MUST NOT retrace your same educational path?

Think for a moment the implications of the hope you carry: if your child has the same reading list, and has the same math classes, the same history courses, etc. then it stands to follow that your child will not be able to rise above your own current accomplishments if he starts his adult life with the stock knowledge and experience you had. Your child’s knowledge and experience would not be different enough to change his life that much more than yours. So this means you need to take a hard cold look at somehow making your child’s experience significantly different enough to yours for your hope to become a reality.

Pop Quiz:

Is your child’s educational content different enough to be better than the content you learned as a child?

Are your child’s learning methods and techniques better than the ones you used as a child?

Is your child apportioning his time between different subjects in a much more judicious way than the way you did it as a child?

Is the strategy for choosing one set of classes over another set different enough from the one your parents used in determining what you should study?

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