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Independent Homeschool

College is not right for everyone, but it is for some. I know the current climate tempts us to fear the indoctrination of our kids with the growing avoidance of free speech. However, college or high school or work or play--- all of these contexts are places we can learn to be winsome. We have five college grads who made it through and are impacting their worlds through good minds and hearts.

The key is growing independent thinkers. Students who can teach themselves, who have learned how to learn, who are independent learners. Frankly, the homeschool environment is ideal for this approach (though any home can reinforce clear and independent thought).

I've been re-thinking our approach, and so we've changed to www.independenthomeschool.com

Here are the reasons why!

Hope it helps,

Fred Ray Lybrand

If you want to get started in learning more, begin with growing and independent writer by grabbing the Free Training:

The Right Mindset for Educating Kids

Your teaching or education mindset kind of runs things 24-7, so don't you think it might be important? Our conviction is that homeschool families really need to think through what they are doing and why (mindset), so they can stay on course. There is one way to think that is for superior than most of the notions about education out there these days... I dare you to re-think it!

Fred Ray Lybrand

Is Negativity a Problem in Your Homeschool?

There is probably nothing worse than having students who gripe and complain all the way through school, true? Negativity is a real problem for people becoming a success in almost any field. On the other hand, there's an advantage in there too. Why not consider both sides of negativity as a positive for life in your homeschool?

Fred Ray Lybrand​​​​​​

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Homeschoolers, Salaries, and College Graduates

How much do college graduates make? What do high school graduates make? Nowadays it's en vogue to pooh-pooh (sorry) college as unnecessary, citing counter-examples like Jobs, Zuckerberg, and Gates. However, when you get down to it, college is a big-time money producer in our culture.

Although people can do well without college, homeschoolers probably need to re-think being dismissive about it. Why not get your kids ready and let them pick (even if they pay for a lot of it)? 

Fred Ray Lybrand​​​​​​

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Can You Teach Your Kids to Teach Themselves?

We're convinced aim of education should be to help the student learn how to learn. How do you pull this off, especially in a homeschooling environment? How do you raise a self-taught student who can excel in college and life?

Fred Ray Lybrand​​​

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Education: Know-How is Better than Knowledge

We way over-value knowledge these days, whether it's for game shows or to impress the crowd. The real key in the quest to become self-teachers (the only real kind of education) is to gain the skills that empower. The dictionary is a spot-on illustration. Whether you homeschool, teach, or just want to be a great parent---this is the mindset you really must have down to your bones.

Off to learn,

Fred Ray Lybrand​

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The Wrong Way to Pick a College Major

Often we look at a college major in terms of the 'job we can get' rather than a specific skill we need to learn. This skill gets you ready for the multiple careers you (or your child) will have throughout a lifetime.

Off to learn,

Fred Ray Lybrand

I’d love to hear your comments or answer your questions

How the Procrastination Myth Hurts Kids

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.

Video Transcription

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

What Should They Study in College?

So, I’m going to be a lone and stupid voice…but I want to save you all the heartache in life I possibly can.

Tiringly, parents incessantly nag their kids into pursuing careers that they are suited to only mildly if it at…and mostly because of money.  Now, before you think about an exception–just leave it there, it is an exception.  The Grand Mistake is Pursing a Job Path in College as Your Primary Goal.

Here’s the truth—when you check it out, you find that about 85% of Americans are not in the career field they studied (for) within 10 years of graduation.  Do you see the problem yet?  100 folks study hard and in 10 years only 15 of them are still in that field (surely engineers are an exception!)  The reasons are likely multiple, yet understandable.  Industries are dying and rising before our eyes—change-and-retooling is the climate in this increasingly face-paced world.  However, another reason is even more likely— most people find out they basically HATE the field they study for!  They were young, they looked at where the money was, and they didn’t give ‘what do I want to do / what do I love?’ a second thought.

That’s too bad.

Here’s a different viewpoint.  Go get EDUCATED, don’t go get an EDUCATION. What I mean here is something to do with developing a particular skill.  The skill is simply ‘learning how to learn’.  Just think about it.  If you can teach yourself anything then you are ready for everything.  Need to retool?  No problem.  Need to advance your career by learning something?  No big deal.

The point of education should really be to learn how to learn.  Learning how to learn is the traditional idea behind ‘Liberal Arts’.  The word ‘liberal’ in education used to be connected to the words liberty and freedom.  Once you have learned how to learn, then you are free to pursue whatever you’d like.

May I tell you the big secret about ‘what to study’–it doesn’t matter. OK, maybe if you are going to be an engineer it will, but for most other things it really doesn’t matter.  If your child will study something he loves in college, then he is likely to do pretty well at it…which means he has a shot at learning how to learn (because he was successful).  It’s even better if he has the goal of learning how to learn in the curriculum he chooses.

My dad wisely told me to study English (we thought I was going to be a lawyer) because, as he said, if you can read and write you can learn and communicate.  What more do you need?  Exactly!

My son, Tripp, finished at the University of Texas (Austin) with a degree in Studio Art.  People used to ask me ‘what can you do with that’?  Nevermind they cool ways artists are used in the design businesses… I simply told them that he loves it and has a goal of learning, not a goal of a particular job.  Also, if you learn how to take nothing (blank canvass) and make something (painting)….well, that seems like a pretty sweet skill for the rest of your life.  Currently he has been employed to study public policy issues and map the causal loops in systems-dynamics presentations.  He’s thinking next is seminary and a Phd across the pond.  Not exactly Studio Art (though he has sold a number of paintings).

Again, what does that have to do with art?  You’d be surprised!  He has learned how to learn.

Focus on learning the skill of learning…you’ll be surprised how valuable (and FUN) that path will become for your student and your life.

Blessings,

Fred Lybrand