Google

Archive for February 2015

Secret to Avoiding a Cute Hobby

interview traditional cooking

Would you like to eavesdrop on an intelligent conversation on how to create a unique talent opportunity for your young person? Listen here.

Do you want to know what the secret is to making sure that it is not some cute hobby that will do next-to-nothing for your son or daughters’s future prospects? Listen here.

I explain how to develop talent in young people during the entire 60-minute podcast by Wardee Harmon. She is the owner and chief cook at the online school www.TraditionalCooking.com . What caught my attention was the fact that she herself was using her life’s interests exactly along the lines of what my 10ktotalent method suggests: by finding a way to make a core skill bring value to others and not as a stand alone skill by itself.

Listen to the point in the interview she makes about how it was not until she was in her late twenties that she finally started a learning journey of her own that made sense to the vision for her own life. How much better it would have been if she had had a method that could have started her in her teens. Enter “yours truly”, to explain a strategy of how that can be accomplished much sooner rather than much later.

Wardee asks me how I would approach talent in a young person’s life if the interest was already there for traditional cooking or homesteading. Her podcast audience has a shared interest for real food and traditional cooking so it would be natural for the children of her listeners to also have grown up with a passion for growing food, fermenting food, or cooking food in a traditional way. Does such an early interest mean something to son or daughter’s future opportunities? or is it neither here nor there? This was a great how-to-create-talent interview because she wanted me to explain how do you turn such a type of interest and passion into eventually an opportunity that can support a family. And that’s what I take the time to clearly explain.

Your child’s core skill, such the ability to grow a Victory garden, can be used as the first skill around which to wrap many others until it gets transformed into a market valuable talent.

Here are some of the links mentioned in Wardee Harmon’s Podcast:

Connect with the Best in Your Generation
Example of 10,000 Hours in Practice
Does Your Child Have a Tag Line for his Talent?
Same Experience Repeated Over and Over is Not Talent
Redding Drone by Jonathan Harris Jr. (17 years old)
Scarabcoder Learns to Program by Nicholas Harris (13 years old)
Blades of Belaq by Caleb Harris (15 years old)
KYF #009: Nourishing Skin Care with Renee from hardlotion.com

Make Acceleration Feats Routine

greatness is grown

Daniel Coyle says the following in this excerpt from “The Talent Code: Greatness Isn’t Born. It’s Grown. Here’s How.” (p. 84 in Kindle Edition):

in seven weeks, most students will learn a year’s worth of material, an increase of about 500 percent in learning speed. Among the students, this acceleration is well known but only dimly understood…

These feats are routine…

The goal is always the same: to break a skill into its component pieces (circuits), memorize those pieces individually, then link them together in progressively larger groupings…

Through practice, they had developed something more important than mere skill; they’d grown a detailed conceptual understanding that allowed them to control and adapt their performance, to fix problems, and to customize their circuits to new situations. They were thinking in chunks and had built those chunks into a private language of skill…

 

Being self-aware of how one is learning accelerates talent growth. Good coaches and good mentors can help teach awareness. And parents, especially parents, can cultivate that awareness at an early age. Awareness can also be deliberately developed by the young person himself as he gets older, but why leave it for him to find out on his own at a much later age?

If your child becomes self-aware about how and why he is able to learn, he can then accelerate his progress in his chosen area of talent. He learns how to decompose the actual learning process itself so that he doesn’t have to keep increasing the sheer number of brute working hours. By understanding how to change strategy or technique along the way, you will be giving your young person the mental tools to take control of the direction and speed of his learning.

Parents, think carefully: are you actively encouraging that mindset or are you letting the outline of a textbook dictate the best strategy for making progress?

Make acceleration feats routine.

Everything is Up for Being Hacked, Even Education

“Hackschooling makes me happy” by Logan LaPlante

Some of my favorite excerpts of this boy’s speech are:

everything is up for being hacked…even education

I take advantage of opportunities in my community and through a network of my friends and family. I take advantage of opportunities to experience what I am learning.

I’m not afraid to look for shortcuts or hacks to get a better or faster result. It’s like a remix or a mash-up of learning: flexible, opportunistic,…

It’s a mindset, not a system.

I didn’t use to like to write because my teachers made me write about butterflies and rainbow and I wanted to write about skiing.

I got to write through my experiences and my interest while connecting with great speakers from around the nation. And that sparked my love for writing.

I realized that once you are motivated to lean something, you can get a lot done in a short amount of time and on your own.

Inspired me to one day have my own business

So I got an internship

Happy healthy creative

This is where I am really happy: Powder days. It’s a good metaphor for my life, my education, my hackschooling. If everyone skied this mountain like most people think of education, everyone would be skiing the same line, probably the safest and most of the powder would go untouched. I look at this and see a thousand possibilities…Skiing to me is freedom and so is my education. It’s about being creative, doing things differently…among my very best friends.

 

Do a MacGyver on a MacGuffin Homeschool Curriculum

Angus MacGyver

Are you a MacGyver? (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For some parents, the real educational goal for their child may be to simply marry well or to avoid military enrollment as a last resort. For other parents, the real goal may be produce a son who becomes a successful entrepreneur rather than an employee. Or it may be to produce a daughter who is unusually proficient in the ministry of hospitality.

However, whichever of the many underlying reasons, many parents will still choose just one particular learning curriculum, very often a default MacGuffin goal of using that curriculum for getting into college for a liberal arts degree. In some cases it is not a mistake, when the goal is clearly understood.

But in general, a one size fits all solution is a mistake: a MacGuffin can be a very inefficient, expensive, and round-about way to achieving any of those examples mentioned earlier. Usually there is a much more efficient way to meet your true goals for your young person, assuming you know what your true goals are in the first place. So if you are not afraid, do a MacGyver with your child’s textbooks and homework assignments.

It’s your son. It’s your daughter. It’s time to take charge.

Enhanced by Zemanta

A Swordfish Named Opportunity

Do you remember the update on my oldest son’s entrepreneurial talent journey? Last week he received a phone call in the middle of working on a school lesson. “Could you make it up to Lake Whiskeytown today? We need your drone service.” – said the voice on the other line. With a quick check with me, and with the principle that his schoolwork is his slave and not his master, I gave him the green light to grab that opportunity and catch up on his study work at a later time.

This last minute opportunity turned out to be a rather fun assignment for him as it involved a swordfish, jet-subs, hanging out with inventors, and getting a joy ride as part of being with the crew (can you spot him half way through the promotional video?). In the short Facebook clip below, you can see the work he did as all the aerial parts of it were done by him.

Stop this English Course Now

snapshot of horsehaven

Having a real reason to write can make all the difference for some young people. One of the best places to write with a purpose is on a blog.

We had an educational failure recently. It was not a big failure, but it reminded us to stay alert as parents. We had to stop an English writing course designed for middle-schoolers from causing any more consternation in our family. It was a great course as far as the content went, but it was putting our middle-school daughter way behind in the goals we wanted for her.

Here is the background on how we originally came to choose that course. My wife chose a company whose English curriculum had produced results for us in the past. Their high-school curriculum set aside the traditional approach of the five paragraph essay or the research paper and focused on a method that produced young people who were able to write original novels. As a matter of fact, we are still using their high-school course for young writers for one of our teenage boys. Then entered a particular need for one of my middle children.

My 13-year-old daughter has had great difficulty over the years in learning at the same pace as her brothers in the realm of reading and writing, no matter which method we tried (although we had found one approach that did allow her to make some progress). Around the age of eleven she suddenly seemed to finally discover some ease from her difficulties. Hurray! We rejoiced with her. Her old limitations were starting to disappear. Whatever the root cause, we then decided that maybe we could get a middle-school course for writing in order to catch her up to what most peers her age were able to do with writing. So when that company recently put out a systematic writing curriculum for middle-schoolers, we decided that it might be worth a try for just that particular child.

Within a month of use, we realized that experiment of using a traditional course was a complete failure for our daughter. Suddenly, we were back to the tears, confusion, frustration and constant parental hand-holding. The check list of things to know and things to do that you would expect in a traditional textbook were all in this course. Sure, it was wrapped in a better-than-average presentation format, but in the end, it fell far short of the ground breaking innovation that the high school English writing course had put out. Not wanting to admit at first that we made a mistake, we delayed a bit before making the decision that needed to be made. We swallowed our pride and cold-stopped the course, without any transition. We went back to the tried and true that has worked in our family.

With her brothers, we had, and still do, use blogs, writing e-books, and other public writing mediums to practice communicating clearly with regards to a talent focus or a specific interest. So that is the same method to which we decided to set her. Within days of switching to writing through a talent focus, my daughter was a happy learner again. Suddenly, my daughter was smiling again and writing like a maniac. It was as if someone had flipped on a switch. Now she has something she wants to say in her writing. She wants to know how to say it even better and is open to all sorts of writing corrections – and then understands the principle behind the corrections she is given!

Moral of the story: writing with a purpose has the power to overcome many weaknesses and psychological hangups. That purpose can be found in having your young person share his or her talent interest with the world.

Please go check my daughter’s blog at this address and leave her a comment:
http://horsehaven.posthaven.com/

If you want to jump-start your own child’s writing with a purpose in my mind, you may want to consider my e-course “Blog to Your Talent: Learn How to Showcase Your Talent in 42 Lessons

full-cover-blog-to-your-talent-230x300