Having a misunderstanding about procrastination can easily create a lot of conflict and stress in parenting, especially in the day-to-day challenge of homeschooling. Identifying the issue and making a specially kind of LIST can help change everything for the better.
Is the procrastination myth hurting your child? Well, I know we’re all concerned about things hurting our child but you may not even be aware that procrastination is really a myth and what I mean by that is there’s no such thing. Now, wait a minute, I know you can look it up in the dictionary and it says putting off something that you want to do or something like that; how it needs to be done. Well, everything could be considered procrastination that way whatever you’re not doing right now you’re watching this video and you’re not doing something else. Is that procrastination or is that a great use of your time?
I’ve got a son right now who is a sophomore in college and he wants to get married someday. Is he procrastinating marriage? And the answer is no.
He doesn’t want to get married. And you know, the funny thing about procrastination is that the problem is not putting off. The problem is motivation.
You don’t want to. Your child doesn’t want to. Let me tell you if you don’t mind me sharing this, I am still to this day, as a grown fellow, rumored and understood in my family among the remaining siblings that I’m... I’m the king of procrastination. I have all the kids growing up that never was doing what supposed to be doing. I was the procrastinator in the family. And yet as it turned out I’ve still been able and god’s kindness to get a lot done. Including successfully with my wife homeschooling five kids to college. I’ve got an earned doctorate and master’s degree and undergraduate degree. I spent sometime in law school of written. Eight or nine books. It’s tough, as a procrastinator. See, we’re all procrastinators, that’s why it’s a myth. We are all engaged in doing things we want to do and don’t want to do. That’s my story once I figured it out. I could stop being weird and guilty and inducing guilt and shame and problems on the kids.
So look, just be honest. What is it that you want? You want to do the things you wanna do. What is it that your child wants? He or she wants to do the things she wants to do.
That would not be a problem. As long as long the both of you wanted the exact things. And that’s why it hurts. There’s pain that comes from that. There is a conflict that comes from it and there’s a loss of energy. The amount of time you spend trying to get yourself to do something you don’t want to do. The amount of energy you try to spend getting a child to do something he or she doesn’t want to do is exhausting. That’s what you want. You want everybody to be doing what they want to do and what they want to do to be the right thing. So, the solution seems to be really obvious to me and it's not to give up. It’s not to say they should learn math if they don’t want to or they shouldn’t go to their youth group if they don’t want to or they shouldn’t be involved in physical activity if they don’t want to and they shouldn’t eat whatever they want to. I’m not saying that at all. I’m saying this, what you want to do is come up with more reasons why. For yourself, if you have something you really want to do in your fine hesitation. Spend some time on thinking through reasons why.
There’s more to it than that. But there’s so much leverage just there. Make a list of reasons why you want to do something. Don’t do your taxes? Why don’t you sit down and make a list of all the reasons you want to have your taxes completed and what it would mean positive to you. Your child doesn’t want to learn his math tables? Why don’t you work on thinking through all the reasons, it’s going to be great to do that. And some of them may have to do with his or her own time. And how once they learn them, they get to do something else. This is where some basic parental common sense come into play. Many times we give our children reasons to do things in the way of reward and consequences. Sometimes, they just need to know what we want but that’s the key.
Recognize it’s a myth is just about one two’s and then do the thing. Sit down and work out some clear reasons why you or they should want to do it. And you’ll see things change.
Off to learn,
Fred Ray Lybrand
So how do you discover your child’s special talent?
Wouldn’t it be great to know if your child had a superpower and where she could direct it? What would that mean in life?
Well let me say first why you might consider my thoughts on this. My name is Dr. Fred Ray Lybrand and ‘talent’ is among the things that I’ve worked on feverishly over the past 40+ years. I actually have numerous certifications related to personality and talent, and in the pursuit of self-discovery I’ve found that there is a simple way to understand talent. What we’re looking for is what your child (or you) can do better than 10,000 others. The problem is you might not value talent or this advice, but what I’m sharing is incredibly powerful if you’ll take a moment and consider what I am going to suggest You might find it hugely helpful for you, for your kids, and for your own life as well.
Now, the reason you want to know a talent is because you have a guiding star to direct your child on her path. It’s such a joy in my life to be able to affirm or confirm my children’s move into a college curriculum they should pursue (or avoid). They’ve all been very respectful of the thoughts I’ve shared because I made sense (it was not because they deferred to me ;-). I didn’t tell them what to do, but I showed them why the way they were made was such a match for certain career fields. You want to notice what your child loves to do and finds it easier to do than most anyone you know.
Knowing talent will help your child succeed. If you put left-handed child into a right-handed job, what do you think is going to happen?
So let me share with you really quickly how to avoid that. There is a very simple three-step process I want to offer you:
Get Smart, Ask & Observe
Look for a Pattern
Confirm it with Practice
This is going to be for children who are older...so I’d say you’re getting toward 16 to 18 years old. I mean, you know a three year old or four year old is still catching on to life. Obviously teens are much better to work with, because they are on their way towards settling into their personality and maturity in life.
(1) You want to ask them to name three situations in which they felt like everything worked right for them and they succeeded. Whatever it was three situations, you might come up with it for them because you’ve seen it, but aim for three times they felt like everything was happening right; kind of like they could not miss and everything worked. You write down those three situations down and then you go to step two.
(2) Step two is to look for a pattern. Look for what is consistently happening. It’s quite striking sometimes when you see that you get insight when looking at a pattern. Of course your child can help you, but looking for a consistent thing that in each of the examples the same general action or knack showed up. You’re not looking for something as specific as x-ray vision, but maybe you are looking for something as powerful as the ability to notice things out of place.
(3) Once you see this pattern and speculate it might be it, then you’ll want to test it; give them opportunities to go see if that ability really works. Sometimes it’s obvious --- a math thing or an athletic thing, but it may be something odd as in my life:
I got a 50% raise when I was in seminary working for a catering business because I was about to quit and the owner asked me to stay. Instead of passing out hors d'oeuvres (etc.), she asked me to come to any parties I wanted to and I didn’t have to carry food or do anything for anybody. She just wanted me to show up, work as long as I wanted to, and she was going to pay me 50% more than everybody else is was being paid. I asked here, “What in the world do you want me to do?” She said “I have never seen anybody that can see everything that is out of place like you can.” I was paid literally to be critical, to notice their shirts are untucked, the flowers are in the wrong place, the hors d'oeuvres are sitting on the plate wrong, blah blah blah. I suddenly realized I had this ability to notice patterns and notice what didn’t fit, and that is what I’m doing here - I’m encouraging you to look and discover your child’s special talent. All you have to notice is what your child can do uniquely that no one else you know can do it. It may not look like much but once it’s applied in a field, it’s worth a fortune to their self-esteem, to their sense of purpose, to their contribution, to their finances. So that’s the way to go, that’s how you discover your child's special talent, you get smart, you start paying attention, look for a pattern when things really work for them...and let them try it out. That’s the game. Hope that helps.
Off to learn,
Fred Ray Lybrand
Let me know what you think!
Off to learn,
Fred Ray Lybrand
So I read a blog this morning by the title “Teach Your Children…Or Someone Else Will” by Michelle Horstman.
The basic idea is that most Professors are crazy-liberal in their thinking, with an agenda to promote their radical causes. Well, the author is right, but I think we often go in the wrong directions. We act like the cure for the threat of brainwashing in college is to brainwash them while they are at home. Honestly, it is little wonder so many look at us Christians (and homeschoolers like me to boot) as a little quacky. I’m not ducking the issue (sorry), rather I think there is a better way to go: LET’S TEACH OUR KIDS TO THINK!
It took me back to why we originally got into homeschooling our kids, and why I helped found Midland Classical Academy. I have never worried much about what ‘they’ teach in schools— but I have worried about the nature of the education. We homeschooled our kids all the way to college for PURELY ACADEMIC reasons. Moreover, I believe an education is a greater defense against brainwashing than ‘counter-brainwashing’ is.
Well, I mean, can’t we face the fact as ‘homeschoolers’—we are often trying to brainwash our kids to not be given over to ‘their’ brainwashing of our kids? This is the kind of ditch-to-ditch mistake we make when fear tells us what to do and we obey it. Just brainwashing our kids to the ‘right belief’ (says us) is simply to commit the same kind of crime.
Here’s an alternative: TEACH THEM TO THINK.
How do you do that? Expose them to LOTS of IDEAS and debrief them all. Discuss them. Debate them. Try to agree with them. Try to defeat them. I suppose this is the greatest gift my dad gave me (he was a trial attorney)…he would often say, “Fred, here’s the issue (and name one, like capital punishment). Which side do you want?”
Which side do I want? Yep…dad would just take the other side and we were off to the races…it was learning at its finest. Honestly, education all about learning to read carefully, write well, and get the essentials of mathematics (math teaches that there are absolutes!). But then all this data has to be reshaped and played with.
Is capitalism predatory? I think it probably is, which goes against my christian sensibilities. Yet, on the other hand, doesn’t capitalism honor freedom and work with the essential self-interest of human nature? Yep there too.
Please, learn to have your kids argue (think through) both sides…then they will know both what and why they believe. And, it makes them much more gracious in their interactions with others. The truth really has nothing to fear…and when it is contrasted against a lie, then the truth glares all the more. This is essentially how I wrote my most recent book (GLAEN)…but considering the truth vs lies in love, romance, dating, and marriage.
Teach you children well…good. Cause them to learn…better!
P.S. If you’d like a short-course in logic around a biblical / theological issue…chapter two of Back to Faith is just that (more logic, simply explained, than most professors ever encounter).
How to Homeschool Start to Finish Videos
Fred & Jody Lybrand
Well, the videos are finished and they are up. Our goal is certainly two-fold:
1. We want to share what we’ve had to learn through trial-and-error as God has shown us his kindness…so right now they are totally free.
2. We hope this promotes our conviction that we need a generation of writers who can stem the tide of our drift away from effectively written English.
Basically, we want you to help this go ‘viral’ if (AND ONLY IF) you find the information that we share helpful. Here’s what you do:
* Send the link to your friends (homeschool or not / Robinson or not). This could be a fair shot at winning support for all of our efforts in home education. Use the ‘share’ button to the left on this page.
* Post it on your blogs, facebook, etc.
* Go to YouTube and post a couple of positive sentences out the videos
Thanks for all your help and encouragement. I don’t need to tell you how important our current success in education is as homeschoolers is…given the likely coming tide against us if the country stays on its current path unabated. Of course, God is big!
Fred & Jody Lybrand
P.S. Yes, we hope this indirectly advertises and supports our efforts…so we can keep writing and speaking.
HERE’S THE LINK TO SIGN UP AND SEE All 5 Videos: http://www.advanced-writing-resources.com/
The following was my response to an enquiry about a child who doesn’t know what to write during the writing part of the homeschool day.
Even though we don’t yet know the exact details (always best to find them out because each situation is different), I will throw out some additional thoughts to the excellent stuff several of you have posted.
In The Writing Course we explain how we can always write because everything reminds us of something. When kids don’t write it is almost always an issue of fear or control…not an issue of writing. If a child knows that he is just trying to write OK, and he knows that he can’t really think up what he is going to write before he writes it (this is in the course too), then all that is left is to learn how to make use of his own mind’s ability to associate. I show them how to use their own name.
I’ll use my middle name RAY (yes, I am Fred Ray…hey…born in Alabama) and come up with three words:
R – rollercoaster
A – airplane
Y – yarn
So, all I’ll do is start writing something OK involving those things.
Petula was always scared of rollercoasters. Even when she flew over the County Fair in her uncle Ceadric’s airplane and the rollercoaster looked very small and safe, she just couldn’t remember that feeling when she got near the ticket booth. Today was different. She was going to conquer the rollercoaster! Maybe it was the way the kitten played with the yarn, she couldn’t really say. But, she did notice that the kitten fell off the counter three times. After each fall it just climbed up again to win the prize. “If Tinker can keep trying for a ball of yarn,” Petula said in a squinted whisper, “Then I can ride a silly rollercoaster.” With that she grabbed her uncle’s hand and walked toward the booth holding a paper dollar she had gotten from her Hannah Montana wallet.
Well, you get the point. At the very least (if a child doesn’t know what to write) have him:
1. Do copy work (that will eventually motivate him to make up something more fun)
2. Write a description of something outside the window or of a couple of items in the refrigerator.
3. Use some of the other ideas mentioned in this group
From my book…The Absolute Quickest Way to Help Your Child Change I have a problem with being consistent, and sometimes it’s just because I am too tired. How can I overcome this problem?
Inconsistency and tiredness are usually a sign that your child or children are somewhat “out of control.” I don’t mean that we as parents don’t get tired, but if the state is constant exhaustion, then something surely is wrong. Consistency usually comes when both parents participate in the child training process. With both parents, you are able to keep one another encouraged and accountable. Usually, the problem of staying consistent comes from a parent who is too consumed with meeting the child’s needs and making sure the child “likes” him or her. One of my professors at Dallas Theological Seminary, Dr. Howard Hendricks, has often said,“When you do something for someone when he can do it for himself, then you make an emotional cripple of him: Chances are, unfortunately, that if you are inconsistent, you are somehow being encouraged to be inconsistent and the real learning you (and they) need isn’t happening.
Remember, if you see it, it is encouraged. The best idea I have for consistency is for you to take the Four Magic Questions and apply them to your inconsistency. You may find a very simple solution such as telling your children that every time they get you to do something for them that they can do themselves, you will give them a dollar bill. I suspect, unless you think so little of money, that you will change your consistency problem rapidly.
So…what are your thoughts on Consistency?
Thanks for this question…I’m quite sure you are not alone. Writing isn’t connected to talking a lot (in fact, most of the studies give the advantage to the introverts…it seems the extraverts don’t won’t to write it down if they’ve gone ahead and told it to someone!), though there are exceptions everywhere. The problem when people are quiet is ALMOST ALWAYS that they are attempting to figure out how to say the right thing before they speak. This is really an impossibility since the mind can only plan about 7 words ahead (this is all in one of the lessons in The Writing Course ). Here’s my thought for your son (who does need to get talking more)…he needs to use both hands. Talking and quiet are both parts of our personality. Talkers need to learn how to hush, and quiet folks need to learn how to speak up. This is what I mean by using both hands. We are all basically either left or right handed…but we can learn to use the non-favored one. Emerson observed that the greater part of courage is having done it before…so, I’d just get him talking. If you know a book he likes, have him read it aloud to you some everyday. Have everyone at dinner tell something that was fun (or funny) from the day. Anything that gets him talking and learning that he doesn’t have to have the perfect words will help. He likely just needs to realize that the world doesn’t end when he talks. Of course, he will never be the talker you daughter is (I’m guessing here). With talking…some is good, more is better (in his case). As to writing…he needs to be doing copy work if he isn’t writing his own stuff (10 is still usually a little young for much writing). On the other hand, he can write single sentences that are OK (that he makes up). He must be pointedly discouraged from writing GREAT sentences. He must first learn to write OK…and get great later on. Is this a help? God bless, Fred Lybrand P.S. If you don’t make it a practice, please hug your children together at the same time (not separately as much)…this makes a big difference, but I’ll have to explain it some other time. www.advanced-writing-resources.com Grading Help:
Sadly this person is taking some flak for the following:
Unless you are a certified teacher then don’t even try and homeschool your child. It is abuse because I’m sure you, as the teacher, let your child have long breaks – start the day late and end it early. You don’t have anyway of comparing your child with how and where they are supposed to be in the spectrum. UGH ….I feel so sorry for home schooled children.
Of course, flak might be deserved, but not for saying it… you know, free speech, etc.?
The reality is that this IS what people are thinking. Yet, shouldn’t abuse be based on results? If kids are being left behind, then that is a tradjedy! Yet, the author is not fully applying the standard. Just because someone is a certified teacher, why does that mean the child won’t be behind?
What if we really went by what works?
Honesty admits that homeschooling is producing a better result (on average) than public school is producing. So, how about a fresh standard?
If you are not educating your child(ren) at home…then send them to school! But, if they are not learning at school, why not bring them home?
It is time to start being honest about out results and make a change!
Dr. Fred R. Lybrand
I’d love to hear your thoughts!
This video is an example of how we think about things in our Home and School Success Club. Sibling rivalry, conflict, and fighting between children is something both parents and kids don’t have to suffer through. There is a commonsense approach…and here it is!