Lockett Learning Systems

Lockett Learning Systems

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!

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Pay It Forward: The Wisdom of Giving

When we designed the SCORE program, we “spoon fed” our students.  We gave, and they received.  Their grades improved and they gained confidence.   

Then they started to drop out of our program. 

Yes, they appreciated us, liked us, and were grateful…but they moved on.

Confused, we went back to the drawing board and interviewed our students.  We discovered that once they gained skills, they needed to “pay it forward.”  The "willing and able" need responsibility.  When they learned to use a spoon, they could feed themselves and another.

One of my friends says, "If we parents do our job well, they grow up and leave home...and we cry."

It is simply the fulfillment of an old Bible proverb:  “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” (Acts 20:35).

We re-designed SCORE with the philosophy "Everyone gives, and everyone receives."  It works!

So…teach your children to give…

For Valentines Day, have them:
  • Give a word of encouragement to every student in their class.
  • Give help to someone who is struggling.
  • Give attention to someone who is neglected (hospitals, convalescent homes, retirement centers)
  • Give a hug to someone who needs one (hint:  We need 10 hugs a day just to survive!)
  • Give a good used toy to a child in need
There was a time in my life when I needed help…a lot of help.  Anyone who doesn’t believe it is more blessed to give than to receive has never been needy.  I much prefer helping someone else than needing help myself.  But, in life, we all play both roles periodically.

Lockett Learning specializes in helping high-risk youth.  One of my "ah-ha" moments was to realize that in life, everyone is high-risk.  It's not whether, it's when.  More importantly, how will we help them through when they need it.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

About Their Music!?!

I try to read in a wide variety of genres and to listen to different styles of music.  I believe it's important to be well rounded.  I also believe it is important to read what our children are reading and keep up to date on what they are putting into their minds.  We tend to accept what we put into our minds as "normal."

As a parent, it was easier when my son was young and we could listen to childrens' songs.  But when he reached the pre-teen years...that was different.  I really hated some of his selections.  Initially I tried to censor them.  Then I remembered some of what I listened to..."Treat me like a fool...." I belted it out!  The lyrics were horrible, but sadly they became a part of my psyche.  It has taken hard work and counseling to change that.

What we put into our minds tends to shape out behavior and value system.  It is important that parents know what their children are reading, watching, listening to, etc.

But it is also important that our children own and celebrate their taste in music and literature.  So I came up with a compromise:

Three days a week, we listened to his music; three days to mine.  The final day we shared.  Both of us had VETO power if we just hated what the other was listening to.  When I vetoed one of his songs, I told him why.  I taught him to listen to the lyrics and opt not to put harmful thoughts into his mind.  

On one of his days, a song played on our car radio.  He quickly switched stations.  I asked him why and he said, "Trust me, Mom, you wouldn't like that one."

I'm not naive enough to think he didn't listen when I wasn't around...after all, he knew the lyrics before I even registered with the song.  But I do believe I taught him to be selective in what he put into his mind. Maybe as an adult he won't need as much counseling as I did!

As parents, you have both the right and the responsibility to monitor your childrens' activities.  It isn't the most fun part of your job...but it has implications that last a lifetime.

Friday, December 1, 2017

It Is In Giving That We Receive

A few years ago, I was part of a group that sponsored an "Angel Tree."  I listened at our meetings and thought what a great idea it was.  We adopted children in a group home setting.  Some were there because of their own poor choices.  Others were there because they had been abused. 

A little tree in our meeting room had names of the children with their gift request.  We were to select one or more and buy their Christmas.  Some of us would be privileged to deliver it just prior to the holiday.

The down side for me is that I was a struggling single mom on a tight budget.  I hoped others would be able to give but realized I couldn't.  I meandered by the tree and peeked at the names.  One stood out:  Justin.  I didn't take his name.  I couldn't afford to.

The next week, Justin was still there.  He weighed on my heart.  Meeting after meeting I checked on Justin.  Finally I thought, "If he's still there, I'll take him.  Somehow I'll find the money even when I don't have it."

He was there.  I thoroughly enjoyed shopping for him...and yes, somehow, I found the money.  I imagined what he would be like from his gift list.  He was a stranger.  He was nothing like me.  Then I was privileged to be part of the delivery team that sang carols with the children and delivered our gifts.  This Justin could have been my son!  My heart was so full I vowed to find a way to give beyond my circle of loved ones in some way every year...and I have.

Why was this so life-changing for me?  The obvious reason is that I quit letting money rule my life.  But that's not the real reason.  The real reason is that I have a son in Heaven named Justin.  I realized that if he were here, I would always find money and time for whatever he needed.  This tradition became part of what psychologists call my "grief work."  You see, a mother's heart loves forever, even when life as we know it ends.  I am more fulfilled and cope with life better when I give beyond myself.

"...For it is in giving that we receive
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned
And it's in dying that we are born to eternal life."
Prayer of St. Francis

Need help getting through the holidays?  View our featured video:

Handling the Holidays with a Heavy Heart

Would you like to read my Justin's story?



Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Parenting Isn't For Sissies!

Parenting Isn't For Sissies! 

(Neither is teaching!)

Come to think of it, neither is life.

Just out of college, eager to please, eager to succeed, I still remember what my master teacher taught me.  In case you wonder, that was a lot of years ago...and I still try to live by his words.  He said, "Sharon, you want the students to like you, and that's normal.  But it doesn't matter how much they like you until they respect you.  You have to earn their respect first."

That is also powerful advice for parenting.  Sometimes you have to be the "bad guy."  In today's world, that means being alert, aware, and involved in every aspect of their lives.  It means actively partnering in their education.  It means knowing their friends and their friends' families.  It means sometimes saying "No," when everyone else says "Yes."  It means teaching them life skills.

It means partnering with them.

I don't remember the topic, but my son and I were having a discussion.  I disagreed with a decision he made.  When I realized it was escalating to an unhealthy level, I called a truce.  I said,

"I don't know why we are fighting.  I want you to win!"

He responded, "It sure doesn't feel like it!"

I said, "I am your mother.  I want more for you than you want for yourself.  I want success for you beyond your greatest dreams.  I'm always on your side.  Right now, I don't think you are making a wise decision.  It isn't a dangerous decision so you have the right to make it.  I just want you to hear what I have to say first."

Everything about our relationship changed that day.  We were on the same team.  I had always known that.  Now he did.  We could listen to and respect one another.  We were partners in his life, based on mutual respect.   We were no longer at war.

Check out our powerful YouTube Video for a tool to help you talk with your children or students.

Pet The Dream!

Need Sharon to Keynote for Your Event?  Check us out:
Lockett Learning Systems

Sunday, October 1, 2017

If It Affects Your Body, It Affects Your Brain

What Happens?
When children struggle to succeed in the classroom, they finally reach a point where they think (perhaps subconsciously), "I would rather be seen as belligerent than stupid." At that point, they "cop an attitude" and say they don't care, they don't like the teacher (or the teacher doesn't like them), the work is stupid...the list goes on.

My Parenting Story.
For some reason, my son's math homework was always inconsistent.  He would do one problem right, but miss another that required the same skills and was about the same level of difficulty.  Sometimes he could do the difficult problems but would miss the simple ones.  Each evening I would check his work, mark those that were wrong, and have him correct them.  Nothing seemed to change.  

I thought he was just being careless.
Years later, we discovered that he has a vision disorder that intensifies with stress and fatigue.  When he did homework late in the evening, what looked to me like careless errors actually were his eyes malfunctioning.   

If it affects your body, it affects your brain.  If your child's academic performance is inconsistent, look to physical causes:

Illness (in the child or the family)
Hearing Problems
Eye-Hand Coordination Problems.  (Behavioral Optometrists specialize in these).
Nutrition.  (Dr. Daniel Amen recommends you "eat the rainbow" every day).

Hear my personal story through our YouTube Video, featured this month:  The Eyes Have It! 

Seeking help but can't seem to find it?  Check out the help we offer parents:  http://www.lockettlearningsystems.com/home-sweet-homework.html

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Build a Bridge, Not a Wall; Not a War

When our children are angry at us...at a friend...at a teacher...at life, they either:

     Act out or
     Wall off

We teach them to win their arguments by using the skill of "Feedback."  They are to "Build a bridge, not a wall, and not a war."  When they find themselves angry, they:
  1. Take a deep breath
  2. Think about it for a few moments
  3. Assume the other person wants to resolve the conflict (usually they do after they cool down)
  4. Ask non-threatening questions (tone of voice has a lot to do with how the other person perceives a threat)
  5. Provide new information and ask for clarification
  6. Put their emotions, assumptions, and body language into words and ask for clarification
I wish our politicians and protesters would use these skills.  Win-win is the only acceptable resolution.  When we think "win-lose," we may win the battle...but we always lose the war.

Is your child the victim of bullying?  Watch our YouTube video "The Power of the Walk Away," (click below).  Glean wisdom from Shirley Zink, director of the SACK Foundation (Simple Acts of Care and Kindness):

Feedback is one of many skills to master course content and life found in our Study Skills curriculum.  Our best package, "All Three," is on sale this month.  Get yours here:

"All Three"

All Three