GED Grad Day

 Today we celebrate with GED Grads everywhere. Too many times we take for granted our education and the support we had from family to complete high school, college, or trade school. Get a skill and make your self marketable to employers. Easier said than done for some who live in our communities. It is very possible that you live or work within steps of someone who struggled in school or didn’t have the support of parents to complete even the most basic education. Those individuals either give up and settle for a minimum wage job (that doesn’t come close to supporting someone) or by their own fortitude they set their goal and found the resources to finish their high school education.

Today we say hats off to you. Congratulations on sticking with it and completing your GED.

What’s next? Set your next goal and go for it! You may not know us, but there are thousands of us cheering you on.

Please share this post with #GEDGradDay and encourage someone today.

All the best,

KK

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1461 days

There are approximately 1461 days from the time our students walk in to high school at age 14 or 15 and when they graduate at age 18 or 19. Over teen 2half of those days are spent in school being educated academically and socially. Being able to navigate academics and the social setting are critical to their success in college and beyond. The teachers and educators need to do their job in the classroom, but we need to do ours in the home.

As I see it (note that I’ve only raised a child to age 14 so far), over the next four years parenting is a process of letting go; giving our children rules or guard rails and then letting them navigate. We need to lifeguard them through these waters. There will be times when it feels like a tug-of-war – they want more freedom than you are willing to give and you don’t know how much to give. If we do this correctly, our kids will have just enough freedom so that when they mess up we can help make the correction. And when they do well, we can recognize their good judgment.

Academics

teen 3There are over 700 days of high school learning. This level of academics should not only teach facts and figures, but also how to think critically. The classes our students take should help them as they begin to figure out are they more science and math oriented or arts and literature minded. These small decisions will begin to lead them toward their next level of education – college or trade school. Guiding a student toward their natural aptitude isn’t just the teacher’s task; this is part of parenting. A young person can change a lot in four years. Parents need to allow them to grow up and grow out of childish things. Parents need to allow them to change. Take time and an interest in guiding your child to learn more about what they like to do. Volunteering is a great way to give a young person experience in an area they may love. Volunteering is also a great precursor to a first job.

Social

A young person’s social life and experiences become very important during high school. It is important that they find friends who are encouraging and fun. This is a great time for parents to help foster good friend choices. Help the high school student understand that who they hang out with archiesays something about themselves. Being affiliated with the wrong people can lead to trouble. This can include who they choose to date. Boyfriends and girlfriends can have too much power over the thoughts and actions of the other. This is an area that parents need to stay engaged. Know who your child’s friends are. Do you call to confirm parties will be chaperoned? Do you read your student’s texts?

This may frustrate your high schooler, but who cares? Oh, you do and that is why you read their texts and call to make sure all is right with the party or event they have been invited to. Reading text messages provides parents with the opportunity to not only learn about their own children, but also about the friend group. The key to this is for the parent to not over-react. I speak from experience on this one. Remember no matter what you read, that the only person in the text conversation you are responsible for is your own child. My rule is that I won’t say anything about what the friends’ text unless it’s something dangerous or illegal. This opens the door to talk about social media and remembering that anything texted, emailed or posted can come back to haunt.

On the party front, one way to not sound like all you are doing is checking up is to call the parent of the student having the party and confirm the time and location and then ask if you can send something – cookies, soda etc. This will open a conversation about the evening and makes it easier to ask about chaperones.

Spiritual

When a young person graduates from high school and goes off to college, work, military or trade school, it is absolutely critical they have a firm spiritual foundation. It’s in those first few years out of high school that if a young person doesn’t stand for something, they will fall for anything. The world can be a scary place for a young person who isn’t grounded in their faith. The mistakes they make at this level can have consequences that are steeper and harder to correct. Academics and social are important, but the choices that will make can be made with much more maturity and wisdom if they have a confidence in their faith.

 

While high school is a time to begin cutting the apron strings, the strings should still be attached. Parents need to remember that a high school teenstudent should be given the freedom to make some of their own decisions; knowing as parents, we are their safety net. We are available to lovingly guide the teenager through the successes and consequences of their choices. Parents, we are still in charge of these young people. Don’t let go too early. What appears to be a mature young man or lady, is really a child who just taller than we are. Inside they are screaming for us to be in charge and help them.

Let me challenge you to do 3 things each day for 1461 days: pray for your children, hug them and tell them they are loved. If you are reading this and have no children of your own, go ahead and do this for a niece or nephew or some other close young person in your life. Pray for their parents as well.-

A teenager who knows they are loved and has someone in their corner will make better choices in friends and activities.

Just a thought,

KK

Who are you better than?

creative-inspirational-quotes-thoughts-part11-61What do you think about this statement? Are you on a journey to be ever-growing, learning and changing? Your core beliefs might remain the same, but there is something to be said for building wisdom around them.

Your thoughts,

KK

Thought Provoking…

“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.”

― Benjamin Franklin

 

There are those individuals who in their 20’s after graduating college are true go-getters.  They work hard, get involved and are all about their upwardly mobile status.  But somewhere along the way they slow down and begin to cruise; maybe they gain a little market knowledge and begin to think they know a little something.  They get into their routines of life, work, family, children — all very important.  But in doing so, they don’t get involved, they just fill their time being busy — or rather they let their time GET filled with stuff.  But are they continuing to learn and expand their mind and life-experiences.  Are they watching life go by on their television screens or are they engaging in interesting and meaningful activities? Are you an active participant in life?  This quote from Benjamin Franklin made me wonder…

There is a line from the movie Shawshank Redemption, “You either get busy living or get busy dying.”

So, what are you doing today?  Are you expanding your experiences and knowledge of life, love and all there is in this great big world?  What are you doing?

Happy Friday,

KK

Who’s the victim now?

freedom  At some point in everyone’s life something bad happens.  The country music industry is proof of that.  How many songs are all about heart-ache and double crossing meanness?  Maybe you were shorted an opportunity as a child, as a young adult someone lies or breaks your heart, or as a professional someone discredits you to the point of losing your job.  Take a look at these three scenarios — what’s the commonality?  What could you control?  Finding yourself as a victim offers the opportunity for choices.

You have the choice to stay down in the situation and wallow, or you can take charge of your responsibility in the situation, how did it get as bad as it did?  What could you have done differently?  Answers to these questions allow the freedom to grow as a person, move forward and not remain stuck.

Even if it takes years to grow up and out of the situation, at some point in order to be free of the chains of victimization, you have to own the situation, learn from it and grow into a wiser person.

Hanging on to unfair situations in the past only burdens the future.  This process of overcoming injustices can be freedom3amazing and freeing.  Sometimes the hardest thing to do is work on bettering yourself and breaking free when others around you don’t live by the same life-long values.

Consider yourself challenged to do some soul-searching and decide today what stronghold or area of your life needs addressing.  Can you see yourself as successfully walking away from being a victim and being free from whatever restricts you from being the best you were created to be?  Is it an area that at the end of your days you will be thankful you addressed?

All the best,

KK

Have you done it yet?

Welcome to the end of the first week of January.  Last week you started the month and the year with high-hopes and lofty resolutions.  Now that things are settling down to normal and the kids are headed back to school, it’s time to solidify those resolutions into goals that you can work toward accomplishing in the next 358 days.

With clear and realistic thinking, sit down and write your goals for 2013.  You’ve heard that the journey of 1,000 miles begins with the first step; writing your goal down is the first step.  Your goal becomes real when you see it staring back at you from the page.  It becomes your destination and map for a new journey this year.  Then take the second step and write under the goal the first five action items to accomplishing your goal.

For example, one of my goals is to read at least 12 books this year and at least two of them need to be new authors and genres for me.  So under the goal I number lines one through twelve.  Now I just go to work filling in the blanks.  I know a book a month doesn’t seem like much, but realistically I have little time in my day to read, so I know it’s attainable given my work and family obligations.  Last year, I would have read more, but one of the books I chose was painfully slow.  But I finished it and am glad I stuck with it.

Can’t think of anything you would like to accomplish this year?  Ask yourself a couple of questions:  if I could do one thing to improve my situation, financially, physically, mentally or emotionally, what would it be?  What do you need to do to accomplish this?

If it helps and you want someone to hold you accountable, share your goals with a trusted friend and give them permission to ask you throughout the year about how you are doing toward your goal.  Having gone through this exercise every year for the past 20 plus years, setting goals has become a part of my psyche, I’m pretty good at holding myself accountable; ok except for exercise goals, these I stink at.

One thing is true, if you write nothing down; set no goals, you are likely to be the exact same physically, mentally or emotionally as you are right this minute.  Even if you don’t fully accomplish the goal you write down, any effort toward that goal is better than no effort at all.  In the end, you will celebrate all the steps of your journey even if you didn’t reach your destination.  That’s what 2014 will be about.

Let me know how it’s going,

KK