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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.

 

Life of Fred Interview by Dr. Melanie Wilson

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Intrigued by a unique way of math learning for children?

Thanks to Dr. Melanie Wilson of the UltimateRadioShow, you can listen to a recent 2014 interview with the author of the quirky math series of books called the “Life of Fred.” Stan Schmidt explains how he got started with creating the books. You can listen to the impact he has had on children based on the fan mail he receives from both children and parents.

They are designed to be self-paced books where the children follow the quirky life of young Fred (who faces surreal situations where, for example, he gets accidentally recruited into the army at the age of 5!) and in the process the readers learn how help Fred solve his problems by using math.

You can also read Melanie’s written review of this very unusual math curriculum on her blog here and how it has worked for her sons:

Review excerpt: “My oldest, an advanced learner, loved it! I often found him chuckling while doing math. I found him motivated to get at least 9 of 10 problems correct so he could pass the “bridge” and not have to do a different set of ten problems. As a psychologist, I thought this approach was genius. Why should a homeschooled student want to complete a page of problems when he would just be faced with another?”

Create the Young Entrepreneur Mindset

sharp entrepreneur

Afraid that the clock is ticking too fast and that your soon-to-graduate high-schooler might have to retrace a similar path to yours in his young adulthood? You know, those early years of being the kind of person who had to wait for an employer to tell you where and how to work and at what time to wake up?

Do you instead want to find a way to start encouraging the behavior and mindset of a young entrepreneur inside your teenager’s mind?

Enter Ryan Finlay of reCraigsList.com . He has a program for teaching young wannabe entrepreneurs on how to make money buying and selling appliances on CraigsList. Those principles can apply to selling other types of items your son or daughter has a special interest in. To boot, there are no age or employment restrictions just because he is a minor! That’s because your child would NOT be working as an employee for someone else, but for himself when he is buying and selling on CraigsList.

Ryan had a special on his ApplianceSchool.com that ended on Wednesday September 3rd. Subscribe to his newsletter so you don’t miss out on opportunities like this.

His blog post said:

“…It only takes selling a few machines per week to make $800-$1000 extra per month. Average profit is $100-$140 for basic washers and dryers. To do this, a person would need to pick up a washer/dryer set once per week. Then in their spare time, test, repair and post the machines back up for sale. Deliveries can be scheduled when convenient, or all they can be done on the weekend. The broken machines are hauled back, repaired and then resold, which makes for a very efficient use of time.

There are many readers that buy and sell bicycles part time. They pick up bikes that need a little work for a good price. Bring them back to their apartment or home and fix them up, test them and then post them back up at market rate. Profit for each bike can range from $50 to several hundred dollars…Why you should focus on one type of item…”

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.

Audio Interviews with Big Name Marketers

michael senoff interviews

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.

How to Trust Her with Freedoms in the Teenage Years

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Guest post by Renee Harris:

I was so encouraged after writing “Philosophy for Five Year Olds.”

That’s because the feedback from several readers was that:

      1. those who recognized the need for laying a foundation of discipline and obedience before jumping into the books had no regrets of starting in this order, and
      2. those who launched their curriculum before having these important steps in place wished they wouldn’t have given in to the pressure of doing school at home.

As promised, I want to suggest a valuable resource that we found very encouraging when our children were young:

Raising Godly Tomatoes by Elizabeth Krueger

We love that book so much we bought ten copies and have shared them with friends over the years.

My favorite concept is what Elizabeth calls “tomato staking.” Have you ever planted a tomato plant but neglected to prop up the vines as the plant started to grow? The plant grows fast and wild, with large, juicy fruit that weighs the branches down. Without structure, the branches grow into a heap and the tomato fruit that should have been round, ripe and delicious instead begins to rot, feeding the local insects instead of your family.

The well-cared for plant is given structure, a nurturing environment, room to grow, with strong supportive stakes to hold up the weight of the heavy branches. This is how you should grow your child. Ideally, start when your child is old enough to communicate to start tomato staking.

How does Tomato Staking work?

From the time your child is an infant, he is within a few feet of you, learning from you, listening to your voice and tone, watching how you interact with those around you, and receiving plenty of love and attention. As your child grows, you still keep him near you, even if it is not within direct eyesight, and expect his behavior and actions to meet your expectations. What happens if you hand over this privilege of molding and guiding to someone else too soon? Your child’s behavior will meet the (probably low) expectations of those around him. Remember how difficult it is to hold another person’s child that you are babysitting to the same level of behavioral accountability as your own, even though your are at least physically responsible for the child’s safety? If not much is expected, not much will be produced. Then as your trust grows in the maturity of your child’s actions, you can gradually give the corresponding freedom.

It looks like this in practice: while they are still earning your trust, your young children are within feet of you. You are there to correct small infractions and prevent bickering conversations. While you may feel like this young person is violating your space, as your child is learning correct behavior, he stops becoming an invader and becomes a joy to be with. Your son will sit at the counter to watch you chop carrots, and your daughter will enjoy small tasks like shucking corn (however long it takes to complete the task!). He learns to respectfully listen while you chat on the telephone, and she’ll find joy in separating the nickels and pennies in the coin jar.

Watch what happens if you hand over parental trust to the general public before your child has earned trust from you:

      • Your five year old surprises you with mildly inappropriate language because he hears it from young children in the neighborhood. (How to avoid this? Limit the amount of random time your child spends with other children. We had a set schedule that our kids could spend with other kids, while on our property and within our view.)
      • Your seven year old says he is finished with a task when in truth, he only half completed it. (How to avoid this? At age five, you gave small tasks and made sure your son completed the job correctly the first time. With any issues of lying, he was disciplined, not ignored.)
      • Your four year old lies about the artwork she has so meticulously created on the wall with a permanent marker. (How to avoid this? When she was two, she already learned that she was not to touch the permanent markers, and for the first few years of her life, she was always with you to learn appropriate behavior until she could be trusted not to get into mischief with the markers)
      • Ignoring your child is taking the easy way out, at least at first – but you will run into problems later.

Have you ever met the family where all the children enjoyed the vegetables that were served to them at the dinner table? Did the parents wait until they were teenagers and then expect them to suddenly like vegetables? No. They were raised on good food and good habits. The same goes with the basics of trust, honesty, respect, finishing a job they started, and making good choices when no one is there to check on them.

Here’s why you need those basic character traits established now:

      • You need your five year old to be able to set up, play with, and clean up his Lego’s in the span of thirty minutes, with the timer set.
      • Your seven year old should have no problem finding sharpened pencils and paper to do his artwork with.
      • Your ten year old should complete his online math lesson and correct his own work, and then report to you to show you his work without your prompting.
      • Your 12 year old should look to you as his mentor, not his killjoy, and he will respect your ideas and suggestions.
      • Your 14 year old can be trusted on the internet to research his work without wandering to inappropriate sites, even though you’re not in the room to double check.
      • Your 16 year old can be counted on to take the car on errands and return with the receipts, purchasing the items on your list.
      • And so on…

If you can’t say that you have the trust you need in your child, you need to go back to tomato staking and build him or her up to that level of trust again…no matter what age your child is. This means even teenagers can be asked to give up their Friday nights with friends and give up their cell phones and their car privileges, if you find you can no longer trust them to handle those resources appropriately. Instead they can spend their time in close proximity with you at home until the trust rebuilds.

When you keep them near you in their younger years, you can trust them with the freedoms you grant them in their teenage years.

For more ideas on tomato staking, including what Elizabeth calls intense tomato staking, occasional tomato staking, loose tomato staking, and lifestyle tomato staking, read Raising Godly Tomatoes.

 

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