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Facing the Learning Crisis At Home
How to make homeschooling a smashing success for parent and child!

by Linda Blew Carlson

“A normal child, taught by a normal parent using Natural Styles, would be finished with college at the age of 15.”

           There are a hundred reasons why you may choose to keep your child at home to learn. Suffice it to say that homeschooling has become a way of life for you. Research shows that everyone is affected by a sever drop in personal communications effectiveness (ability to understand or be understood clearly) as technology continues to rise.

           This high tech phenomenon diminishes learning ability and creates stress. The result of more stress? Poor communications.

The Crisis

           This crisis in communication affects all of us, no matter what our roles or relationships. Parents and children feel it at home when TV, popular music and video games compete with ‘boring’ homework or, increasingly, with time spent with family.

           Teachers and administrators feel it in school districts and classrooms. Despite the newest innovations in technology and technique, student performance stalls and teacher satisfaction plummets.

           According to over 20 years of research done by experts in education, Thomas S. Carlson, Ph.D. and Linda Blew Carlson, MA., learning becomes easy and fun for a teacher and a student when the thinking pattern (style) a person is born to use is reawakened.

           Tapping directly into this style results a relaxed atmosphere and greatly accelerates learning in any subject. This is exciting enough. But, among the side effects are; self-awareness, self-confidence, and improved ability to communicate with others.

           Whether you are just starting to homeschool, or have been doing it for some time, one of the keys to making it work better than any private school is great 'learning' communications.

           An effective teacher learns early that giving out data is not the same as sharing information. Knowing 'how' a person learns is as important as 'what' this person learns.

           This article will provide you with three things:

  • An overview of where we are today in relationship
    to communications and the educational process.

  • An introduction to a revolutionary new way of
    looking at how we think.

  • A place where you can get explanation of ‘Natural Styles,’ with examples and applications

The Context

           The communication crisis threatens the stability and viability of families and learning. It must be resolved. Today’s organizations, from educational to the family, operate in a highly turbulent, changing world of increasingly complex situations. It seems the only ‘stability’ there is, is ‘IN-stability,’ and the only ‘constant’ is that ‘change is inevitable.’

           These caveats are borne out in our own working lives, where some of us are faced daily with the prospect of losing our jobs or having them transformed into something we have to be re-trained to do.

           Those who admonish us to ‘keep it simple, sweetie,’ are living in the past—a time when the rate of change was much slower and there were recognizable ‘bodies of knowledge’ that could actually be learned and applied in relatively stable environments.

           The learning process was relatively straightforward: gather data, memorize it, find and remember the relationships among the data—relationships that transform ‘data’ into ‘information’--and apply what you remembered, modifying the ‘information’ into ‘knowledge’ through the filter of experience (yours or others’).

           Your peers followed much the same process, and since most everyone was ‘coming from the same place,’ communication consisted of simply transferring ‘knowledge’ from one head to another. The school bells that rang between classes trained a whole generation in the routine that would define the future working lives of the majority of students.

           The evidence is overwhelming that the ‘school-to-factory’ educational model has not worked for a long time. The patches that have been applied to it within the last generation -- desperate attempts to reform the institution from the outside -- have failed miserably in most instances.

The Challenge

           What we need now and for the foreseeable future are people who are flexible, adaptable, and who know ‘how to learn.’ What we have is a generation of children who suffer from a condition we call ‘mental shutdown.' The causes of this condition are many, complex, and largely irrelevant to most of us. What we want to know is, how can we help today's kids re-connect.

Meeting the Challenge

          We as parents are still charged with the primary responsibility to empower our children, to foster self-confidence, and foster responsible and responsive adults.

           We can teach our children to learn, and to love learning, in spite of an educational system that can cause them to erect mental barriers and lose the enthusiasm and excitement of learning. Our research shows that children with unshakeable self-confidence and a working knowledge of how they learn best, can surmount almost any obstacle.

So Many Heads ...
But Only 5 Ways of Thinking!

           Our years of research reveal 5 distinct patterns (styles) that people use to listen and respond to information of any kind. These styles are easily identifiable and provide a faster ‘shorthand’ method for effective learning and communication. You may see the 5 styles at http://www.ictech-works.com. It is pretty easy to see others but may be harder to see yourself.

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           A new 'people' technology called ICTech® (I-see-tek), Individualized Learning Technology, not only tests for these individual styles, but provides a manual for using them.

           For instance, a mother of five had one child who was the problem child. She was eight and seemed stubborn, difficult and belligerent. The mother used the Preteen Assessment.tlc@ictech-works.com Click here. Not only did she quickly learn the child’s style but identified those of the other children in the family and her spouse.

           By using ICTech®, the mother had a whole new set of guidelines for getting cooperation from her daughter.

           She learned that the child was a ‘Single,' and how to talk to her in a way that her brain preferred in order to establish understanding between them. Within a the daughter, "has become a nicer little person and her learning skills are are easier to tap.”

           We can’t guarantee that everyone in your family will become delightful to be around, but since most communication difficulties we have are due to misunderstandings, doesn’t it make sense to learn how to stop them before they start?

           It is easier than you ever dreamed possible to identify your individual communication style, learn to identify others, and choose the appropriate words to get understanding!

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Empowerment and Support at Home

          Because schools do not yet check to see what kind of thinking style each student has, it is essential for any student, especially the homeschooled student, to know his/her Natural Style and learn how to use it. It is equally important for the parent/teacher to know his/her personal Natural Style and how to communicate effectively through it to the other styles. There are 5 styles.

           It becomes important for family members to know each other’s styles to form a stronger support group. When family members know how each person approaches learning, problem solving, and communications, the chances for understanding and being understood clearly increase by about 75%!

           From our experience as professors, teachers, or learners, the most significant factor in learning happens when you were 'keyed in' to another's mind? This occurs when you know how to answer your own mental question and you in turn answer the mental questions of the other. Think of what that means!

           Linda Carlson is GM of Focus II, LLC, a company dedicated to helping parents and students doing home schooling. She provides free assessments for educational levels and for the parents. Get them at www.ICTech-Works.com