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No Longer Be Boring

Zanzibar Postage Stamp

Why choose a canned geography curriculum when you could use your grandfather’s stamp collection to study geography? Play up your family’s uniqueness and your child will no longer be boring (Photo credit: write99)

If you live in a little community by the river, why do you drive into the city to take a basketball camp instead of enjoying a water-rat lifestyle? If the elderly grandfather who lives with you has an amazing international collection of postage stamps that he has collected over a lifetime, why are you insisting on discarding it in favor of buying a curriculum package for geography that has no emotional connection to your family? I would rather get to know your child who hikes and builds forts regularly along the edges of the river and the child who tells me about the changing world through his grandfather’s stamps, than spend any five minutes talking to a child who has followed the canned educational life. So stop trying to downplay your family’s uniqueness and instead play them up into your child’s life and into the construction of an interesting talent.

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Bonding and Blades

Talent with a skill of blade sharpening brings value

Have your child use his beginning talent to help his brother move forward with his talent. Get creative on how to find the intersection of value.

Another example of using talent development in your children to also promote friendship and bonding between your children, happened this past week between two of my sons. One son who has been developing an on-going focus on stones and metals has been following an online recorded course from 17th generation Yoshimoto bladesmith Murray Carter (long live the power of the Internet!) on the topic of how to properly sharpen knives. The other, younger son, has been developing his baking and kitchen prepping skills on a consistent basis and therefore uses knives regularly. Voila: the talents have intersected! After practicing on cheaper blades, we finally got our big expensive kitchen knives properly sharpened by our son Caleb (13) who was proud to have my son Gideon (9) be able to now use them without the previous dangerous slipping that came from dull knives. The respect they have for each other’s abilities keeps growing because the impact of what they are doing is useful and real on even a young person’s level.

Talent Progress Creates Family Buzz at the Dinner Table

Dinner Table Buzz

At the dinner table I will sometimes recap to my wife out loud what I am excited about in my child’s talent development. I will then ask my child to speak up and add some clarifying details as to how this milestone came about. I remember one particular week where my 11 year old got several personal notes from professional programmers who commended him on his progress as they could see through his blog and online forum participation. This feedback created a real buzz of excitement as the very next day there was a renewed sense of purpose among the rest of the older children to wake up early to research and blog for their next post on their respective talent development.

Children Bond Through Exercising Talents

brothers reading

Your child will find joy with his family by using his beginning skill and talent in a way that brings value, even a small value, to one of his siblings. Do you remember how much bonding and admiration power there was, for example, when your oldest child used to read to his younger brother in order to soothe him? You can repeat that same strategy between teenage children as they use their serious talents to learn how to serve the needs of their brothers and sisters who are respectively growing in their own talents. An older sibling who has a core baking skill of a couple thousand of hours behind him, for example as part of a larger developing talent, can also use it to boost the silversmithing club activities of the status his brother through amazing food and hospitality. Another sibling who has developing computer skills can work on upgrading his sister’s online art portfolio and said sister can in turn work on digital logos and ad graphics for all the other sibling blog postings.