Lockett Learning Systems

Lockett Learning Systems

Friday, November 2, 2018

I Hate Election Time, But...

A few years ago I was privileged to travel to another country.  Every time our tour guide began to talk, strangers would join our group.  I thought that was a little bit odd…even a little bit rude.  I might stand near another group’s tour guide and “eavesdrop” to hear part of the information for one or two items…but to join another group would be, in my mind, inappropriate or unethical.  It happened at every stop.  Toward the end of the tour, I mentioned it to a fellow traveler…and learned they weren’t tourists.  Those who visited our group at every stop were the Secret Police.

We Americans will never truly understand what it is like not to be free.  I hope, though, that we value our freedom and that we understand the high price that was paid to gain it.   

I hate the fact that we protest; I hate it when we exploit the weaknesses of our leaders; I hate the back-stabbing political campaigns. 

But I would fight with my life to defend my right to do it.

What is worth you walking out of your comfort zone?

When you count your blessings this Thanksgiving, remember to thank those make our freedom possible.

Monday, October 1, 2018

Yes! YES! YES!

I interviewed a student who was failing four of his five classes.  He told me he wanted to be a teacher.  I said, "Teachers have to get through high school.  Do you really want to be a teacher?"

He said yes.

I said, "Teachers have to go to college.  Do you really want to be a teacher?"

He said YES.

I said, "I wish I didn't have to tell you this, but teachers have to go to college after they get through college.  Do you REALLY want to be a teacher?"

He said, Yes!  YES!  YES!

Now we could build a plan.  He passed every class that school year, and he graduated with his class en route to becoming a teacher.

There is an old saying by that great author Anonymous:  "First you reach 'em.  Then you teach 'em."  You need buy-in to get cooperation.  When students take responsibility, it is wonderfully mind boggling to watch them succeed.  When you don't, you fight them each step of the way.

Remember you're on their team.

Hear the rest of the story:

Pet The Dream

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!