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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

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?

bull horn social media

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.


MindMap Helps Uncover Talent Opportunities


Use a MindMap to help your child discover new ways to develop his talent

Use a MindMap to help your child discover new ways to develop his talent

Use the MindMap technique to help you uncover new skills that could add to your child’s growing talent. Remember that a talent, in order for it to be useful enough to other people, should continue to evolve with an eye to adapting to new learning opportunities and to developing growing market value. The MindMap starts with a large piece of butcher paper, some colored felt pens, and a list of keywords or phrases that describes the current state of your child’s talent. You then connect the keywords to new words representing new ideas and thoughts; enhance with doodles if you like. It is in the process of connecting with old and new that your mind will uncover new talent development possibilities that you had not seen before.

Fishbone Uncovers Workaround to Problem


English: Ishikawa fishbone-type cause-and-effe...

English: Ishikawa fishbone-type cause-and-effect diagram (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Is there a particular problem blocking your child’s talent development to the next level? Use the fishbone diagramming technique to help you uncover other things your child can do so that the problem is no longer a problem. On a blank piece of paper, diagram with a pencil the schematic of what looks like a fishbone and label the problem or obstacle on the right hand-side. Next pencil-in all the causes that contribute to the problem, with the secondary and tertiary causes listed on the smaller fishbones. One or more of those contributing causes (lack of a resource, no local club, etc) will pop out to your mind’s eye as having a workaround that you could substitute that will then allow you to minimize the size of your child’s obstacle.

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Start Your Child’s Blog with Posterous

To start your child’s first blog today that takes just minutes to set up, I recommend using Posterous. Five of my children currently use Posterous because they can update it from phones, web browsers, and even by email. You can load just pictures too, which is very convenient for younger children when they want to show more than explain or discuss what they are doing. The blog will also allow you to have it titled with the right descriptive you want without having to yet buy a domain name. I recommend your child creates multiple blogs, one for each big skill he is developing as part of his talent.

Four Tips on How to Bullet Proof a Child’s Presentation

Four tips from theatre and public speaker expert Carl Miller on how your child can bullet-proof a presentation of his talent:

  1. Prepare ahead of time a list of public speaking problems or list of potentially difficult questions and have ready scenarios or answers to fall back to
  2. Practice the presentation while watching for pre-arranged signs and cues from your practice audience that you are not doing well
  3. Practice first several times in front of immediate family members and close friends
  4. Practice maintaining composure under all public speaking circumstances by having your practice audience deliberately create realistic problems while making the presentation