Lockett Learning Systems

Lockett Learning Systems

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

Monday, July 31, 2017

Back to School: Parents are Partners

It's "Back to School" time, and parent-school partnerships are in bloom.

I once asked a teacher, "How can we get more parents involved in your school?"
His response?  "Why would we want to?"

Fortunately, few teachers feel this way.  Schools need and want parent partners.

I am an educator.  My son had been in kindergarten for 4 weeks, and I had been called in for 5 parent conferences.  They were painful.  I kept thinking, "I'm supposed to be giving these, not getting them."

But...his kindergarten teacher was a master.  She jumped on potential problems before they had a chance to become bad habits.  She was both kind and direct in her comments, and she listened to my responses.  She changed the way she was approaching him.  She understood that she needed to teach to each child rather than lumping every child into a box and asking them to conform.

Today my son is a sociologist in a management position.  Prevention is always lest costly than cure.

When we envision schools as an equal partnership...school, parent, student, we watch our children blossom.

Parents, remember you have power in your child's school. 

Dr. Kogee Thomas runs a parent-school partnership that works!  Glean from her wisdom in our YouTube Video:  Parent Power:

Need help with your partnership?  Contact us!  Click Here and tell us what you need.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

What Would You Pay to Be Free?

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 2, 2017

Amp Up For Summer!


It's time to AMP UP FOR SUMMER!

Should your children go to summer school?
Do your children need medical help over the summer?
How do you plan a great summer without breaking the bank?

Watch this video to find out!

Lockett Learning Systems

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

The Learning Emergency Room

The school year is ending. So much to learn! So little time!

Cram? No!

Enter the Learning Emergency Room!

Work Smarter, Not Harder!

Here are four last-minute tools to maximize your study time and help you catch up in class:
  1. Divide and conquer.  Study only what you don't know.  Students who tell me they studied all night and still failed the test are reviewing, not studying.  Identify what you need to learn and study only that, in 15 minute spurts (see number 3).
  2. Use your whole brain.  Identify what you need to learn.  Then express it some other way:  Draw it, dance it, mime it, sing it, translate it into another language.  This will help you recall if you draw a blank on the test. 
  3. Take advantage of your subconscious.  Your brain tires quickly, and your subconscious replays what you last put into it. So...instead of cramming all night, study in short spurts.  Cram for 15 minutes; sleep for 2 hours; cram for 15 minutes; sleep for 2 hours.
  4. Make a list...even if you're not a list person!  Those of you who hate lists and schedules also forget.  A list will help you remember what you have to do. It can remind you without controlling you!
Happy learning!  Happy vacation is coming!  Happy parents!  Happy grades!

Happy Going Home From The Emergency Room!

Saturday, April 1, 2017

How Do You Remember...

A child's life is so busy.  School, homework, sports, church, play, music, family...the list is endless!  How do they fit everything into their schedule and still have time to study?  How can we as educators or we as parents help?

Follow the rules!

Use the sets of 3 rule.  Three repetitions is better than 100.  After you repeat something three times, you shift into neutral and quit processing.
Use the 5 to 15 minute rule.  Study at least 5 minutes but no longer than 15.  After 15 minutes of cramming, your brain goes to sleep.  Let it rest!
Use the divide and conquer rule.  Study only what you don't know.  When children say they studied all night, usually they were going over everything instead of focusing. 
Use the "more senses, more learning" rule.  The more of you you put into learning, the more likely you are to remember.  Don't study quietly; study out loud!

Now the good news!  You can find 5 minutes almost anywhere!  Study as you drive to school.  Study as you sit in a waiting room.  Study as you wait for your turn at a sports match.  Study as you wait for a timer to go off in your kitchen.  Your grades will love you!

Here is one tool we use in SCORE that you can adapt to meet your needs:

The 5 to 15 Minute Rule

Want more?  Check out our resources:

Lockett Learning Systems

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Make Anger your Ally

When your students get angry at you...
          When your children get angry at you...
                    When you get angry at others...
What do you do?

Anger can be your friend.  It points to unmet needs or expectations; to confusion and lack of understanding.

I changed some bad habits when I learned to ask why I was angry instead of just exploding or withdrawing.  Life is better now!

In Lockett Learning, we teach students that learning is their responsibility, not that of their teachers.  To assume responsibility, they must choose to face their anger appropriately.  Watch this video on Feedback to learn one of my favorite tools:

This is just one of many tools to improve student learning.  Check out our great study skills curriculum!


Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Every Child Deserves a Pushy Parent!

I once asked a high school teacher,
How can we get more parents involved?

His reply...
Why would we want to?!?

When my son was in school I didn't know whether to be on campus or not...especially as he reached middle and high school.  I cared, I adored him (still do!), but at that age children act embarrassed when parents are too visible.  I had been a high school teacher so I was well aware of peer pressure.  Most of my parenting at that age was done behind the scenes.  I did a good job of that, but I wish I had also been more visible on campus.

At a campus visit to train new staff, I reviewed placement folders.  I found two sets of test scores almost identical.  One child had been placed in advanced English and math classes.  The other had been placed in remedial English and basic (below grade level) math.  I hid the high placement and asked about the remedial.  The counselor gave me what could only be considered a "song and dance routine."

When he finished, I pulled out the other child's folder and said, "Can you tell me the difference between these two children?"

He glanced at the names and said, "Parental pressure."

"Thank you," I responded.  You just told me I'm doing the right thing.  I'm teaching this child's parents to be pushy!

Every child deserves a pushy parent.  If they don't have one, YOU'RE IT!

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

A New Beginning? Yes!

One of the things I love about teaching is the fact that I get to have a lot of new beginnings.  If I have a difficult class, I start a new class the next year.  If I teach a unit poorly, I get to teach it better next year.  One year officially ends, and another begins.  I have "closure."

In parenting, we don't have that luxury...we have to live forever with our mistakes.  We learn from them; we build on them; we even repeat them, but we carry the same child through our learning years.  We don't have "closure," but we do have "relationship."  Even though I have to face my failures as I celebrate my successes, I would never give up relationship!  And most of my parenting failures turned out okay.  My son and I learned and grew together.  He is a better parent because of that.

Working through my failures both in class and in parenting, I had to learn my own "triggers."  I discovered I had two triggers that owned me as a parent.  When something triggered my grief over losing a child or my anger over the fact that Dad was not around to co-parent, I took it out on my son...until I learned the sources of my poor reactions and quit giving them power over me.

You don't need closure to have a new beginning.  Every year we have a new beginning.  We begin it together with our children.  Let's dismantle our active triggers this year and, instead, empower our children to become who they want to be.

One key to doing that is to "Pet the Dream."  See the video below to learn the process.

Pet The Dream