Welcome to LOLIPOP

LOLIPOP began as my master's thesis - an experiment in group learning with twenty homeschool families, including over sixty kids between six and fourteen years old. I coordinated 2-4 projects happening simultaneously, in 6 week sessions. The kids had a lot of fun, and the parents learned a lot about how this energetic and enthusiastic age group can have a successful learning experience. Since this first experiment, I have conducted seminars and webinars based on the LOLIPOP concept, and published For the Love of Learning: Giving Your Child a LOLIPOP Education.
This BLOG is for all those out there, trying to give their children and students the foundation they need to grow into great scholars, thinkers, and leaders. The principles align with the Leadership Education model and foster a love for learning, build individual confidence, and teach learning strategies that apply to a life time of great learning.
Check out more info about the book, seminars, webinars, and more at www.sdlaa.com.

Lolipop Learning, and terms and concepts such as "Love of Play", "Love of Sampling", and "Love of Producing" are the sole property of Amy Edwards. “TJEd", "Leadership Education", “Love of Learning Phase”, “Inspire, not Require” and other similar terms and concepts are taken from the works of Oliver & Rachel DeMille, and are used by permission and under license. For more information, visit http://tjed.org/.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Love for Learning and Public School

     Where should your children sit for school?  Although many families pursuing Leadership Education and a love for learning choose to home school their children, there are families who choose to place their children in public or private schools.  There are many factors that influence where and how your children will be educated.  There may be a family situation in which a child cannot be home schooled.  Or perhaps your child's learning style or personality type require more group learning than you can provide on your own.  Leadership Education and a love for learning do not require home schooling.  So how can you help your children gain a love for learning and a Leadership Education in a public or private school environment?  Here are some keys to a successful Love of Learning Phase while working with a public or private school.

1  Goals & Priorities
Make sure YOU understand your goals and priorities for your child's education.  You do that through your own study of developmental and learning needs for this crucial age.  For the Love of Learning is a great resource for understanding the goals and priorities for learning between 6 and 14 years old.  I also recommend Discover Your Child's Learning Style and Nurture by Nature.  Talk to your spouse and your children about educational goals.  Set aside quiet time when you can think deeply about the true goals and priorities for your child's education at this time in his/her life.  You will need a solid understanding of your goals and priorities for your child in order to communicate those to a teacher.

2  Communication
Be sure to communicate your goals and priorities to your child's teacher.  Preferably before school starts, set up a face to face meeting with your child's teacher and discuss your goals and listen to her goals.  Keep in mind that most teachers love what they do and value quality education.  Be respectful of her point of view, but don't assume she knows what is best for your child simply because she has been certified to teach.  Determine areas where compromise may be needed.  Be sure to communicate to the teacher that you want to support what she is doing in the classroom and work together on your child's education.

3  Get and Stay Involved
Set up a regular time when you can be in your child's classroom.  Even if you must work during the day, you may be able to find just a couple of hours, maybe early one morning, to be in the classroom.  See, first-hand, what happens in the classroom and how your child responds to that environment.  Keep the lines of communication open throughout the school year.  Become the teacher's friend and ally, so she is more likely to turn to you when she needs support.

4  Advocate for your Child
Give the teacher insights into your child's personality and learning style. Continue to communicate with the teacher, but don't criticize.  Talk to her about how you can help meet your goals for your child. Don't just complain; offer productive solutions that involve your help.  Remember that you are the expert for your child.  Even a talented and loving teacher is dealing with at least 20 children, each with different needs, personalities and learning styles.

A child can receive a quality and Leadership Education and gain a love for learning within a public or private school.  The key is your involvement.  If the environment at one school is not a good fit for your child or for your goals and priorities for your child, look for an alternative.  Even public schools, within the same district, can differ quite a bit.  The environment at each school is created by the administrators, teachers and even parents, so find the best one for your family.