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Harnessing talents

Photo credit: Kiana Bosman on Unsplash

Following on from George’s story last week, I wanted to talk about how you can support or encourage your child’s hidden talents. Sometimes we feel that to be able to find something that they love so much they want to pursue, we need to spend lots of money and become a taxi as we deliver them to lesson upon lesson upon lesson of interesting things to do, until one sticks.

Let me tell you this: YOU DON’T!

Passion often appears at the most indescript or unadventurous moment. Yes, of course if you offer loads of things to do, your child may find they like something, or be really good at something, but when you look back at talented people, it is often not something they went out to find – it was something they did as a hobby, that blossomed into a fascination, that became, over time, a career.

Tbh, I am still working on my passion now! I am partly there with being able to talk to you about creative learning and child development, but there is so much more to do and give! More of my own creativity to share. More teaching experience to give. Yes, I did a teaching degree, but the thing I loved was reading about the psychology behind learning - I learnt so much and want to pass that on!

Take George. I wonder that if we hadn’t had lockdown, if he would have discovered his talent for creating soap with honey, or if he would have had time to design his D is for Dyslexia products. Thank goodness for the time and space for him to be able to do that so that we can benefit 😃

I rattle on about giving your children space to grow, but this is so important.

And you don’t need to spend a fortune, or even anything to allow your child to discover a talent. I’ve talked before about giving them opportunities to do things alone or with you: paint, draw, cook, garden, try some crazy home science experiments using junk, design and build with cardboard boxes, explore books about absolutely anything!

Libraries are often forgotten in this digital age but are packed to the rafters with great non-fiction books that can be poured over (and don’t cost a thing!). They are also great for being eco-conscious too💚♻️ Give your child opportunity to read and talk about it (if they want) and let them then have space to maybe write, draw or explore more on the topic if they wish.

By absorbing themselves in something they are interested in, they can find out whether it is a short or long-term interest. Maybe they will be the next Brian Cox or Maggie Aderin-Pocock if they discover that they are fascinated with space, or maybe they develop an interest in mechanics, sewing or dinosaurs! The sky really is the limit at home, whereas school education is limited – it offers the basics (in the big scheme of things!) to large groups of students and doesn’t allow for real in-depth exploration into something that might inspire a child along their educational journey.

Start small. Don’t throw everything at their latest obsession. Let it brew, like a good cup of tea!

And also don’t forget to draw on the knowledge of family, friends and neighbours. It is surprising what other people know. Take my mum – she is an encyclopaedia of plants. Whenever we need to know what something is, or how to look after it, she knows. If we have an ingredient for cooking with, she can tell us. I’ve even had friends ask me to ask her what a plant is!

My aunt has a passion for genealogy (and a Masters degree in History, which she attained later in life!); My in-laws could explain the intricacies of the game of Bowls; My husband’s cousin teaches sailing; He also has family in France for languages!

I bet if you thought about it, you would discover that you too have people you can call on with questions, ideas and help. I know when I was in school full-time, we often would reach out to our community young and old to help with learning for topics such as WWII. So get talking! Let's face it, these days you always have the option of putting a "call" out on social media to friends 🆘

So, I will leave you this week with these thoughts about how to develop talents -

  • it doesn't need to cost anything to get started;

  • hobbies can become a talent and skill worthy of a career;

  • start small - books are a great place to start!;

  • ask about any hidden talents your friends and family have that may help support a newly found interest;

  • and finally, give your child space to explore, space to watch, read and discover.

Enjoy the journey!

Same time next week but if you fancy joining me for a journal making session with Japanese book-binding, don't forget to sign up to the live session on Sunday. Click here for more>>>

Debbie x

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