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Archive for August 2014

Math by “Militant Glasses” Rob Tarrou

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?

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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.

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Connect with the Best in Your Generation

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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.

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The Process for Discovering Talent in Your Child

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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.”

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Audio Interviews with Big Name Marketers

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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

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

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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.

 

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Personal Interests Are Not Enough for Talent Building

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

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

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)
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NEW! Coaching e-Course for Discovering Talent

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.

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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

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