Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Teach your child to lie

Of course I’m not serious. But you might as well be teaching your child to lie if you use extreme punishments for small infractions.

Your child wants to please you. He really does. So, if he thinks his mistake will get you screaming at the top of your lungs, he may lie about it. Soon those little lies about leaving the wet washcloth by the sink, or saying he did his homework when he didn’t will turn into bigger lies. As he grows older, the lying and cheating mentality becomes part of his nature. Soon, his entire life becomes a lie and he doesn’t even know who he is anymore.

I’m not saying that you shouldn’t point out when your child makes a mistake. I actually believe that you should never let a mistake go uncorrected. However, make sure that your consequences fit the crime. If you notice your child is having a particular problem that is consistent, talk to him about why he is struggling and figure out a way to help him succeed.

Generally liars are born in two environments: those that are too strict, and those that are too loose. If you are too strict about every little thing, and don’t show your child enough appreciation or love, your child may feel the pressure and lie to save himself from the pain. He may feel his self worth is correlated with his ability to be perfect. If he can’t be perfect, he’ll find a way to appear so. If you allow your child too much freedom and don’t put enough limits on your child, he will feel free to do whatever he wants and will not understand the seriousness of lying. He will think lying and cheating are “no big deal” and soon those will become habits. As long as he is not caught, he won’t feel bad about lying.

The balance is an environment where there are limits but also a lot of love. Your child needs to feel comfortable confiding in you if he does make a mistake.

If you catch him lying, ask yourself why he may feel the need to do that. You may find that the problem has less to do with him, and more to do with his environment.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

How to know if your child's school is doing a good job

How do you know that your child’s school is doing a good job? If the school is safe and is teaching the standards. If your child can read, write, and do math on or above grade level, is able to get along with others, and is doing well on standardized exams, then you know they are going to a good school.

How do you know if your child’s night school is doing a good job? If the night school does not merely teach what is being taught in day school. If the night school teacher is focusing on fostering curiosity, problem solving skills, compassion, and self-management skills, then you know they are going to a good night school.

If your child is not going to a good day school, see if you can transfer him somewhere else.

If he is not going to a good night school, then you are in even bigger trouble. Start giving the night school teacher some serious professional development (start by reading this blog!) or your child will be in trouble down the road.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Night School is NOT an Extension of Day School

I mentioned in my last post that in night school, students are working towards an entirely different degree.

I can’t emphasize this enough.

Many parents, when they have time with their child, spend it going over what the child is already learning in school. They spend time doing homework with their child, giving their child additional math problems, and going over spelling words countless times.
I am not saying this is wrong. Children need to see that you are involved in their education. And when you emphasize what they are learning in school, they certainly benefit.

But that is not all you should do with your child. In fact, I urge you to spend the majority of these precious moments teaching your child skills that they are NOT learning in school. They are already spending 8 hours or more a day learning the standards in school.

But who is teaching them how to take care of their body? Who is teaching them how to be a compassionate person? Who is teaching them how to handle stress? Earn and save money? Prioritize their time? Be creative? Solve problems in the world? Manage conflict with others? Follow their passions? Think critically? Lead? Change the world?

These aren’t skills that are easily measured by a test. So they are often not taught in day school.

If the night school teacher doesn’t teach these skills, who will?

Sunday, April 11, 2010

The New School Paradigm

The old model was that children go to school and come home. Besides homework, the school day was basically over.

But that model is not enough to be successful today.

The new model is that children go to traditional school by day, and go to homeschool on the night and weekends. What is taught in homeschool is not merely an extension of what is taught in day school. It’s a completely different teacher. There are different courses. It’s an entirely different degree.

In day school, the degree is in meeting state standards, following the rules, and in understanding the system. The goal of day school is to be excellent.

In night school, the degree is in exceeding the standards, creating and breaking rules, and creating your own system. The goal of night school is to be remarkable.

The day school teacher has the proper credentials, does what she is expected, and collects her check. Therefore, she teachers students how to get the right credentials, do what is expected, and collect their grades.

The night/weekend teacher is not concerned about credentials, goes beyond what is expected, and doesn’t get paid for her job. She teaches her students that they are more than their credentials, can do more than what is expected, and that certain skills in life can’t be measured by numbers.

Both teachers are important. Both schools are critical.

You are the principal and teacher of the night school. You make the curriculum, you give the tests, you decide the standards.

That’s a daunting task for most. Most people would complain that they don’t have the time. They have another job. They are tired.

But not you. You know complaining has no place. Not when the world depends on the leadership of your child.

Not when you are remarkable.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Welcome Remarkable Parent!

You are a remarkable parent.

You are sick and tired of hearing about the education crisis in this nation.

You agree there are important skills that your child's school may not be teaching him. Perhaps you wish that your child's school focused more on teaching creativity, self-management skills, financial literacy, compassion, or problem solving skills. But you don't have time to complain about it. You are taking matters into your own hands.

You understand that in order for your child to be successful in the world today, he needs a combination of traditional schooling and homeschooling. That is where you come in.

This blog is for remarkable parents like yourself. Parents who are willing to work overtime to ensure that their child will be prepared to handle the leadership challenges of tomorrow. This blog will have tips and resources that will enable you to educate your child at home, while also ensuring that they are successful in school.

Thank you for visiting.

Thank you for being remarkable.