Lockett Learning Systems

Lockett Learning Systems

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.



https://www.educatorstechnology.com/2016/01/a-handy-chart-featuring-over-30-ipad.html

 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:



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6j3B9Cv25-k&index=6&list=PLXLCkWAgoqA9iMTvVfUyxEiDO8HBg4qRW&t=12s


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
Link





Would you like to read my Justin's story?

 

http://www.lockettlearningsystems.com/child-grief.html