Lockett Learning Systems

Lockett Learning Systems

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Passion and Expertise: The Twins of Success

"Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life." - Confucius

 As part of their career assessment, I ask my students, "What do you do where it seems like time stands still?  Where you lose yourself in the joy of what you are doing?"

That points us to their passion.

Yes, many of today's children answer "computer games."  That doesn't mean they will grow up to be programmers.  Maybe...but it tells me they like fast action, have a good sense of logic, and like to win!  I can use these to help them find a direction for choosing a career.

I also ask, "What are you really good at?  Better than most of your friends?"  That points to their expertise.

Interesting...high risk students know what they're bad at.  They have trouble identifying and voicing their strengths.

In our first motivation lesson, students interview a seat mate and introduce them by telling something they are good at and something they want to do in life.  In middle school, students are at diverse stages of development.  On the islands in one class, the football player was paired with the smallest child in the classroom.  He was totally intimidated so I helped get the conversation started.  The smaller child could not look the "big guy" in the eyes.  With my help, he finally told the football player, "I am very good at climbing coconut trees." A mutual admiration friendship was formed!

Jim Dobson advises, "make sure your children can hold their own at something."  His father helped him learn to play tennis.  Although known for child psychology rather than sports, the ability to play better than average became part of his self esteem and still carries him through tough times.

Put The Two Together.
When passion meets talent, our children are motivated to better their skills.  They will pay the price to develop their talent, whatever it is.  Expertise plus passion equals success...in life, and in a career.

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Grace or Consequence?

I was babysitting my two grandsons.  They were being naughty.

I warned.  I scolded.  I gave more than one time-out to each of them.

They were still naughty.

Finally, I said, "Okay.  That's it.  I had something really fun planned for this afternoon, but we're not going to do it now."

Of course, they asked for a second chance.  I reminded them they had already been given about ten second chances.

You could see their wheels turning.  After a few seconds, the older one asked,

"Grandma, do you know about grace?"

I do know about grace.  I am grateful for those life-changing gifts of grace and forgiveness.  Sometimes I make mistakes.  Sometimes I don't live up to my potential or others' expectations.  Sometimes I, too, am naughty for no good reason.  Grace and forgiveness don't excuse the behavior, but they give me the strength to face my failures and try again.

Sometimes our children need consequence.  But let consequence follow a season of abundant grace.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

What Did Your Freedom Cost?

What Did Your Freedom Cost You?

Freedom is the theme of our July celebrations.  We are free to disagree.  We are free to express our opinions.  Sadly, we are even free to say and do hateful things.

What does freedom cost you?

Some paid for our freedom with their lives.  Some paid for our freedom with their children, their fathers, or their grandchildren.  When we pay personally, we have an entirely different perspective. But freedom, to sustain itself, must be reborn every generation in the hearts of our children.

"Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free."  Ronald Reagan

How can we teach our children to both honor the price of freedom and accept the responsibility of self discipline?  Tough questions!

Listen to our July 4 YouTube post for some thoughts:

Friday, June 1, 2018

Should My Children Attend Summer School?

That is the age-old question:  Should my children attend summer school?  It is usually followed by a qualifier...,

  • He is struggling in so many subjects...
  • She is excelling; will summer school get her farther ahead?...
  • I have to work, can't afford child care, and don't want them to stay home alone...

There are as many answers as there are qualifiers...and children...to this question.  Here is some food for thought:

  • More of the same isn't better.  Make sure their summer experience enriches and accelerates rather than simply being a repeat of what they have done all year.
  • As a general rule, children need a break from school, but not from learning.  In fact, you can't keep them from learning.  Make sure their summer experiences are rich.
  • If your children are behind grade level in any subject, they need to catch up over the summer.
  • If your children are not scheduled for math Algebra I or higher by 9th grade, they need to accelerate over the summer. 
  • Summer school or not, reading every day is a must!  Children lose 2 months' reading skills, on average, over the summer.  If they are struggling readers, choral read with them 15 minutes a day, every day.
  • If you want to enrich their learning, look to something they don't have time for during the school year...sports, music lessons, field trips,

For more detail on this topic and ideas for alternative learning experiences, please check out our YouTube Video: Amp Up for Summer!

Amp Up for Summer

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Look At Me! I'm 100% Smart!

As I work with struggling students, I find they can easily recite their shortcomings.  They know everything they are "bad" in.  When I ask them what their strengths are, they draw a blank. 

Sadly, I often find their parents and teachers do the same.

When we emphasize the negative, it gets worse.  So let's stop it!  Think, instead, about their strengths. 

A strength carried to excess becomes a weakness.  Decisiveness, carried to excess, is bossiness.  Being good at talking, carried to excess, is air-headedness.  Being a good listener, carried to excess, is wishy-washy. 

When we emphasize the negative and ask, "What's wrong with you," in essence we are saying, "it's not okay to be you.  You should be someone else."  In other words, you should become fake in order to please people.

Instead, validate the corresponding strength and ask for a change in behavior:  "I love listening to your creative ideas!  Write that for me before you forget it." 

Every child is 100% smart.  Don't ask, "How smart are you?"  Ask, "How are you smart?"

Instead of asking, "What did you do wrong?" ask "What works best for you?"

Help your children create a chart that shows how they are smart.  Use their strengths (smarts) to help them learn in other areas.  Capitalize on their strengths, and compensate for their weaknesses. 

Here's an example:

20% Word Smart
35% Art Smart
10% Technology Smart
30% Athletic Smart
5% Social Smart

Look At Me!  I'm 100% Smart! 

Any child that can carry on an intelligent (or semi-intelligent) conversation with you has enough brain power to succeed through college.  They can work around any disability.  They need to look at what is right, not at what is wrong.  They need to find great resources to help them succeed.

Two Resources:  
1.  Educationaltechnology.com shares a variety of web resources for teaching and learning.  Yes, we want our children to "unplug" and be social.  But we also want to take advantage of all the great resources the web provides.  Here is a quick chart to help you help your children compensate for their weaknesses.


 2.  Lockett Learning System's YouTube channel provides a wealth of resources.  Click Here:

Here is May's post to help you help your children review for finals:

Study, Study, Study for the Test, Test, Test!

Monday, April 2, 2018

Yes, I'm Entitled...

My young grandson summoned me on the playground the other day to report that one of his playmates had called him a name.  I said, "Did you tell him we don't call people names?"  He responded, "I thought maybe you could do that for me."

Enter entitlement.  We hear so much about our entitled and spoiled generation.  People speculate that it's because we give them so much materially.  I think it's much bigger than that. 

I think one big reason our children feel wrongly "entitled" is because we fight all their battles for them so they never learn to negotiate life for themselves.

Codependency...that's the word.  Here is my "nutshell" version:

We are keeping our acquaintances (children, friends, parents, spouses, employees...) dependent on us in a sick way when we do for them what they can and should do for themselves.  So ask yourselves:

Can they do it themselves?
Should they do it themselves?

If the answer to both of those questions is yes, we must let go and allow them to learn from...and suffer the consequences of...their actions.

If the answer to either question is no, they need our help.  Our help may be doing it for them; it may be teaching them how to do it themselves.

Now, back to my grandson.  Was he being victimized?  No.  Was there other abuse involved?  No.  It was a friendly playground spat.  My job, then, was to empower him to speak for himself.  Had victimization or abuse been involved, "Grandma Bear" would have roared!  When he can and should learn to handle these situations, "Loving Grandma Mentor" will teach him how.

And, by the way, he is entitled.  I'm "entitled," too.

We're entitled to work hard for a living.

We're entitled to reap what we sow.

We're entitled to learn from our mistakes.

We're  entitled to be treated with respect.

We're entitled to make a fair wage for our work.

Yes, come to think of it, we all are entitled.

When it comes to parenting, a friend of mine gave me a visual I have never forgotten.  He said, "If we do our job (as parents) well, they leave home, and we cry."

Home Sweet Homework empowers parents to partner with schools.  Here's a quick overview.

To order to join the parent support program, click here.

Friday, March 2, 2018

That Gut Feeling? Go With It!

Sometimes it defies logic.
Sometimes it is nagging.
Sometimes it is soft but persistent.
Sometimes it is frantic.

Call it your sixth sense.
Call it intuition.
Call it a caution from God.
Call it inspiration.

Whatever you call it, always listen to it.

Your interpretation may not be accurate.
It may be nothing you can identify.
It may be a false alarm...

But it is always telling you to move with caution and think things through a little better before you proceed.

As A Single Mom...

My search for day care was agonizing.  I finally placed my son in a day care center only to be plagued by that gut feeling.  I asked him daily what happened there and questioned him about how he liked it.  I got nothing.

Finally, I took him out and found other care.  I never knew why, but I had to be at peace with myself.

As an adult, I asked my son about it.  There was nothing concrete.  All he could say is "They weren't very nice to me there."

The gut was right.  Everyone should be nice to my son.  TLC should be the norm for all children.

My Student Joe...

My staff asked if we could drop Joe from our SCORE program because Joe was "not college material."  I listened to their reasons, and they were right.

But something in my gut couldn't let him go.

The gut was right!

Listen to your gut, and remember...there is no such thing as a child who can't learn.  There are children who learn slower...differently...later in life.  But they all learn and they all can achieve.

Learn to "Pet their Dream."  Here is Joe's story:


During a period of personal crisis, my therapist iterated, "Sharon, if it's confusing, it isn't from God."  I replied, "Then God isn't speaking because everything is confusing."  She said, "Then you wait."

That gut feeling?  Go with it!