Grow Where You're Planted: Teaching Kids to Use Talents Wisely
There are a lot of resources available to help you identify and nurture your children’s talents, but what about teaching them how they can use their skills within their family, friend groups, and community? Giving kids the opportunity to use their own talents and to recognize and encourage talents in others from an early age makes them much more confident and prepared to continue to utilize and share their skills in adulthood. What may seem like the simplest things now–older siblings reading aloud to younger ones, siblings sharing musical gifts with each other, young friends taking turns making snacks or lunches for each other–can create a ripple effect that allows a child’s talents, empathy, and responsibility to develop more and more over time. Check out this Homeschool Living for some great ways to help your children develop their God-given talents, tips for encouraging them to use them wisely and well, and resources for guiding them in utilizing their skills for God’s glory within their community.
Growing Talents & Gifts
This blog post from The Momiverse shares five ways to help your children find their gifts and talents. Homeschooling especially provides you with a unique and golden opportunity to tune into your child’s interests, abilities, and habits. From a young age, your child can be encouraged to learn and develop skills by being exposed to a variety of activities, being given the opportunity to dream, and even being allowed to drop an activity, club, or team (within reason!) as interests develop and change.
Raising Disciples for Christ shares ten ways children can use their talents in the church–from volunteering as a greeter along with you on Sunday mornings; helping with AV and tech; or participating in a choir or worship team; to behind-the-scenes support like helping with clean-up and organization; drawing and writing cards to home-bound, sick, or hurting church members; and contributing to church or community lunches, food pantries, and other outreaches, there is a way for everyone to contribute their skills and talents.
Sharing Talents & Gifts
Support and encouragement is one of the biggest parts of helping your kids develop their talents. Within your family, encourage kids to use their interests to bond with and help their siblings. I read aloud to my younger siblings from the time they were old enough to listen until the youngest was in middle school and I in college–long past when they “needed” to be read to! It helped all of us expand our vocabularies, improve reading comprehension and auditory processing, share interests with each other, and gave us a shared experience that bonds us even now as adults. Exercising that literary interest, for me, has carried over into my adult life through writing, teaching Sunday school, and working with youth in my church.
There are lots of ways kids can use their talents and interests to help each other, and it becomes a way for them to see beyond exploring their interests for their own enjoyment and envision how they can help, teach, and encourage others in their community. Kids who enjoy cooking can grow from experimenting and making snacks for their siblings to volunteering in community kitchens, food pantries, or church kitchen ministries. Artistic kids who enjoy drawing pictures and writing notes for family members and friends can find a loving outlet in letter writing ministries for veterans, nursing home residents, and more. Check out these twenty volunteer ideas for kids for more ways kids can serve and encourage others with their talents.
Check out this Homeschool Living for ways to incorporate volunteering into your homeschool, resources to help you find places for you and your children to volunteer, reasons why we, as Christians, are called to serve, and how we, as homeschoolers, have a unique opportunity to do so.