Motivate 'Children' to do well in school!
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Education does not gauranttee Success - you do!

Education does not guarantee you will be rich!

Let’s face it – especially in our day an age people can become rich for just about any reason. Invent a new social site, a video game, become a socialite and you can become wealthy. Education does not guarantee success and riches. But what it does do is build the tools, skills and the mind necessary to become successful, stay successful and to build an all around intelligent person who will do more in life.

better to change
Look Kim Kardashian may be famous and considered rich – but let’s face it: her looks will only last her so long. But with that said, she is a smart person, who has taken full advantage of her popularity and has done much with it. But again – there are millions of beautiful people out there who are not rich – Kim is just one of the lucky few.

So is Education important?

10 famous school dropouts:
1. Princess Diana dropped out of school at 16.
2. Thomas Edison whose inventions included the electric light globe: He got a late start in his schooling following an illness and then dropped out after only three months of formal education.
3. Benjamin Franklin who wore many hats from being politician, diplomat, author, printer, publisher, scientist, inventor, founding father, and coauthor and cosigner of the Declaration of Independence. He dropped out of school at age 10.
4. Bill Gates, the co-founder of the software giant Microsoft and ranked as the richest person in the world for a number of years, dropped out of Harvard.
5. Albert Einstein dropped out of high school at age 15.
6. Walt Disney dropped out of high school at age 16.
7. Richard Branson, suffering from dyslexia meant Branson was a poor student - he quit school at age 16.
8. Colonel Sanders founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken (now KFC) was forced out of school at a young age to work when his father died. Charles Dickens left school at age 12.
9. Ringo Starr missed a lot of school due to illness and then dropped out after his last visit to hospital at age 15. He was barely able to read or write.

Hard work, charisma, drive, natural talent, and luck are all factors that can help individuals overcome a lack of education. However, note many of these people did return to various forms of higher education later in life.

Because (some) people have become successful with little or no formal education does not mean that education is not necessary for success. For every one non-educated successful person there are 100’s of thousands of people with no future or hope.

My point: self-determination, experience and self-education are the key to success.

In every aspect of life there is a bit of luck – hell, I count it lucky that God allowed me to wake up this morning. But luck is not everything and we cannot allow ourselves to believe that the reason we, you or I are not successful is because of bad luck, poor timing or even of a lack of education. If we do, all we are doing is playing the blame game: it is everyone else’ fault that I have failed in ….. this, that and the other.

Success comes in many shapes, sizes and forms – it can also happen quickly or it can take a life time to achieve. The key is that we should desire to continue to seek it. Through continued self education, with a desire to learn and to never give up so easily on our dreams – to take calculated risk, we can achieve much. Success could be waiting for you just around the corner.

What is my Motivation? - for children and adults

What is my Motivation?

I know, it’s usually used as a punch line for an actor who wants to “become the character” in a movie. But you have to consider this: in everything we do – there is an underlined “motivating” factor behind it all. Why did I chase after my wife when we were dating – because she was a beautiful girl (did I win some brownie points honey?)
All kidding aside; we do things, we strive for things, to accomplish things, because we are motivated to do so. What does it mean to be motivated?

Definition of motivation: in the simplest way possible – The reason or reasons one has for acting or behaving in a particular way.

motivation learn better life
I am sure Webster’s dictionary can give you several long meanings to the word motivation but it all comes down to – the reason why I am doing this or that. We all need an initial “motivating” desire, reason or pull to get us to do something. Especially if it’s something we have never done before or may be afraid of doing.

Here is a perfect example of what I am trying to say.

Every year I participate in the elementary 5th grade chess club. Every year on the first meeting of the year I ask the group a question: What can chess do for you?

What I get is a bunch of I don’t really know answers – but this year one student spoke up and said “My uncle is a chess champion and he made a lot of money playing chess as a professional.”
The rest of the group became very motivated in learning chess after that one statement.

My point: we all need motivation – a reason why we do what we do. We need a goal, a desired outcome that we want to attain. Without this “motivation”, there is no reason to learn, no reason to work hard, no reason to live – it becomes easy to give up.
The reason why people fail – in marriage, at work, education, in life in general is because they lose their motivation. When there is no goal, no desired outcome – no reason to struggle or fight; we lose interest, we lose hope and we give up.

motivate children learn
Many people say that life should be about meaning, your life should mean something. But in truth – giving meaning to your life, having purpose in your life – is the motivating factor in your life. A person who wants to be successful strives to become successful (in whatever it is they want to succeed in) because the desire to achieve that success propels them, motivates them to move forward.

When it comes to my children and their education: I look for what motivates them. What do they like? What gives them purpose or drive? What do they like: I use that to motivate them to learn. I ask them about their dreams, I tell them about how others have struggled and succeeded in life in order to “motivate” them.

This also works for adults. Things don’t change because you got older – the principals are still the same. Life is not easy; no one really likes to work – even if you are a workaholic. I have heard people say that they love to work – but when you listen to them speak about why they work, it all boils down to not being perceived as what they consider as being lazy.

Why is your marriage struggling?
Why is your family relationship struggling?
Why are your studies, education struggling?

I could go on, but the truth is this – someone lost their motivation to work at it. Life is hard, things – bad things will happen. But our motivation is what drives us to continue forward. Once you lose that, there is no reason to study, no reason to strive, and no reason to stay committed. With that said, I know it takes two, in a relationship, it takes two to tango: but what I am trying to point out is that if you lose your motivation that drives you (my love for my wife motivates me to do more, forgive even when I don’t want to and that same love she has for me motivates her to continue to put up with all my failings) without that drive that comes from the motivation to achieved a desired goal, an outcome.... then what is the point of it all.

Find the motivation, the reason you need to make life better for yourself and those around you.

Things I hate about you - just a few

Things I hate about you [ wife and kids ]

Parenting is a give and take kind of thing. For all the things your kids give you - love, joy, hope... any real parent knows that there is a lot that parenting takes away from you. So to be fair I thought I would mention some of the things I hate about you [ kids and wife ]. I know parenting deals with kids - but since the significant other is part of the parenting process - I thought I would include her. .... LOL (that's going to cost me...)

funny things I hate about you
Public Nudity: As a Parent I know that I have to consider my kids and everything I do around them. But who told my son that it was ok for him to run around in his tidy whitie undies or worse - in the buff. Look kid - put some cloths on, cover that crack I said boy...

Stealing Hot Water : As any parent knows getting your kids ready in the morning is a chore - but I hate cold showers and it doesn’t matter if I’m first in the shower or not - some how they find away to steal all of my hot water. If it’s not washing dishes, it’s turning on the washer - it’s always something - I hate cold showers I said.....

Wet Towels: It never seems to amaze me [ it annoys me ] but it’s never a surprise to find that all the towels in the bathroom are wet. Not humid or moist - I mean wet... If I forget to take a dry towel in with me - I can forget enjoying drying myself down - cold, yikes.....

parenting tipsHungry buggerts: Any parent should know that your kids come first. I would go hungry to make sure they had what they needed. But my goodness, these kids act like their starving third world children who haven’t seen real food in weeks. I can’t take out a snack or something without them jumping all over me asking me for some.... Back, get back - it’s my ice cream… back I said. AAAAaaaaaaa....

Public Domain: Last time I checked - what mine was not yours and what's yours - I bought! So why is it that everyone in my house thinks that anything that belongs to me some how is public domain and anyone can use it. Dog gone it - who took my cup of coffee...????

Privacy : Ok, I am an adult and last time I checked I have rights. But it amazes me that I can’t close the door to my bedroom without someone wanting to come in. And god forgive me if I was wrong in thinking that you knock before coming in... I can’t even go to the bathroom without someone needing to use the bathroom too - hey, we do have two bathrooms in this house.... holy crap man...

advice to children from parent

While reading my 9 yr old cries - joy of reading

While reading my 9 yr old cries

My 9 yr old reading a fifth grade level book starts to cry.

Ever read a good book? Have you ever gotten so involved in the story, so attached to its characters that you were touched, moved – even cried when something tragic happened to the characters? In fact, I shouldn’t say characters; by this time these are people, friends, and loved ones that you feel truly connected too. I know people cry at movies – but have you ever cried reading a book.
My 9 yr old did and it surprised me.

When he was younger he would cry during movies: I remember the Irion Giant. The robot was destroyed thought to be dead and my son broke out in tears – scared the wits out of my wife. But I’ve never seen him do it with a book.

The book: Dewey the library Cat.
By Vicki Myron with Bret Witter
Published by Scholastic

I was a bit taken back because he is not a fan of reading, he reads because he sees me do it, his older sister do it and I guess so that he doesn’t feel left out (jealousy) he will sit and read with us. Other times I have to coax him to read – that’s right, bribery, threats you name it I am not ashamed to use it. Reading is important and I believe children should be “encouraged” to learn to love reading.

But when he came up to me and told me with sorrow in his eyes that Dewey had died, I didn’t realized he was talking about the cat in the book – his raw emotion caused me to think we were talking about a real person. When he explained to me that it was Dewey the library cat (from the book) I was relieved.

In part I was glad that the death of the cat was important to him. It meant that he was reading not to please me but out of interest, self interest. This meant that he understood what he was reading and he was making it a part of him – books should ignite the imagination, they should become real in your mind and heart.

Luckily I didn’t have to explain the “Death is a part of life” thing with him – he plays so many video games death is not a topic we had to discuss.

But I was glad to see that the story touched him, he was so excited for the librarian when two years later she was introduced to a cat that reminded her so much of Dewey. Books have a way of molding you, shaping your thoughts – your heart. I still remember a book I was forced to read in high school by my English teacher: Lisa Dark and Bright. Now that was a book that still lingers in my mind, I received a failing grade on the book report – but I have never forgotten the book, or Lisa.

Funny old man - I want to be him.

Funny old man – I want to be him.

I was gathered around with a group of family and friends helping a new local business get started in the neighborhood. Times are tough and smart businesses understand that they have to work with the community if they want to succeed in this economy.

funny old man joke silly
So here we were getting to know the owner, listening to him express what his vision and dream is for the local business: a new restaurant called BBQ Topia. He explained how he wanted it to be a community restaurant where people could come eat good southern cooked food, listen to live band music and that it could connect with the community by being open to community organizations that may want to hold events at the restaurant.

It was a very interesting time, but the fun didn’t start until an older gentlemen found the owners authentic Mexican hat. This guy puts on the hat and starts dancing – now please, don’t jump the gun, don’t get offended, so please leave the politically sensitive attitude at the door: the guy was just having a bit of fun.

What struck me was, his attitude – he didn’t care what others thought, he just wanted to make people laugh and to have a good time. I remember those days as a kid when all that mattered was having fun. You know, before I became a teenager and I was too embarrassed to do spur of the moment antics because I had to protect my image. Or before I became an adult and it was not considered proper to crack a good joke because – hey, adults don’t do that or this is not the time. My favorite excuse for why we can’t have fun as adults is: because someone will get offended.

I think the only good thing about getting old, aside from the pain, aches and the wrinkles – it’s that you don’t have to be worried about your image. You don’t have to care about what people think, who cares – it’s not like you have long to live any way (live long and prosper – right, more like lived too long might as well laugh on the way out). But hey that’s just me.

After all I know a lot of old grumpy people who still walk around like they have a stick up ........

All I am saying is: I love to laugh; I love to joke around and have a good time. But way too many people take everything way too seriously. At least when I am old and I make an inappropriate joke, I can laugh and blame it on dementia or something like that.

....oh I’m sorry. Was that too much?

Want more LUCK! - can you create it or just happens?

Life is strange; you never really know what can happen – especially when you’re not looking for it. You know what I mean?

Things you thought were impossible or out of your reach – things you thought you would never do: they just fall in your lap. Now, don’t get me wrong: I believe in hard work. I believe people should strive for more, learn as much as one can (that pertains to their goals in life) and that life should always be a progression of ‘learning’.

teach children
“The meeting of preparation with opportunity generates the offspring we call luck.”
~ Tony Robbins

To be honest I am not a fan of luck, I don’t believe things happen just because – yes you can be lucky. Someone can come and give you an opportunity of a life time: but what if you don’t have the skills, the mind set, the work ethic? How can you benefit from that lucky opportunity? Also, luck as in 'opportunities' seem to find people who have the right work ethic, skills set and frame of mind.

For instance: A friend asks my father-in-law to visit a radio station because she believed that he could be of help. He visits the station and finds that they need more help than he can offer – they need someone who can devote hours to this work. He offers to have his wife help, his wife offers to work full time as a volunteer. Being a diligent, hard worker who does the best she can at whatever she may be doing – the radio station owner feels confident and relies on her judgment to find more people like her.

teach children success
The need arises for someone to help with the technical side of things – computers, FaceBook, website and so forth. Who does she recommend – the one person she trusts with all her computer needs: me. So I volunteer some free hours to help this local radio station with the website and other technological needs. My father-in-law who has been also helping here and there is son offered a chance to have his own radio show on Sunday mornings (The owner has spent much time conversing with my father-in-law and believes that he can do it – so without interest in having a radio show – the owner offers him one of his own accords).

Notwithstanding, the owner of the radio station ask me to work with my father-in-law on the show and offered me to be the co-chair on the show. Now, here I am with an opportunity to reach thousands of people – because I was lucky? Because I happen to be at the right place, right time, know the right people? Yes and no.

The opportunity, the luck – it happened because I try to have contacts, because I do my best to learn the new technologies, because I made myself available to do volunteer work and because God (yes I do believe in God) put this opportunity before me. Luck is sometimes more than just luck.

We often sit around waiting for something lucky to happen to use. We hate the fact that people are “luckier” than us. But in truth – sometimes, luck is about putting yourself out there. It’s about doing a little more, being a bit better and being friendly. Believe it or not – contacts, the right contacts, is all about being friendly.

Sometimes: if you want some luck in your life – you have to work for it.

"I've found that luck is quite predictable. If you want more luck, take more chances. Be more active. Show up more often."
~ Brian Tracy

Kindle Ebook, slipping into madness - someone kill me already!

Kindle EBook, slipping into madness - someone kill me already!

How did we ever survive without technology – its wonderful right? Not, not if it means little ‘bots’ roam the internet with a pre-written generalized order and end up creating havoc and accounts because there are no human beings that do these jobs.
But let me explain my rant before I go on.

kindle amazon blocked account why
I am a simple self published author who wrote a book for his two children as a Christmas gift. His children liked the books very much and even the wife (including several other non bias people) were very impressed with the book. So I humbly put it on Amazon and after receiving a few order decided that this being a digital computerized world – people will buy eBooks instead of hard or soft cover (physical books).

After I put it on kindle I decided to put it on B&N’s nook, Google books, Kobo and left it at that.
Like I explained to the wife – I don’t expect to sell millions of copies but I would like to sell a few. After all, the book is something personal, it’s a part of me, and I created it for my children and poured much of my heart in to it.
My point?

My point is that I go to my author kindle account and there is an issue – no word from kindle, no explanation in or on my account. I can use the account, I can check reports and all that – I just can’t do anything with the rest of the account (the side that deals with my ebook file, pricing and all that).

So lo and behold – there is no number to call, no online tech or customer service to speak with – the contact link leads you to a generalized page that ask you for “what is your problem” and then does nothing else than to inform you that you may be contacted in 24 hours – hello?

I am sure if I owed them money they would call me, email, send me letters - but since I am the one with a problem, “good luck Charlie trying to get a hold of anyone here bub” is the attitude I am getting. What good is all this technology if when you need help, you can’t get help.

kindle ebook for children

I believe I mentioned this in one of my blogs once: I refuse to use those automated self-service cashier centers at the stores. As I explained to my wife, because I do not want to be the one to cause someone their job (even if people complain of low wage) and because if something goes wrong – I want a living breathing human being to help me.

Here I am: call the bank – machine. I call the cell phone company – machine. I call any company that says they care about their customers and what do you and I get – a machine that seems to do its best to keep us - you or me from getting real help.

Ever noticed that when the company has a problem with you – you get a call from a person, a human being?

Here I am in need of help with a simple and probably small problem – but can I get any help at all, no. I have to sit and wait until someone decides to read my email and considers if I am important enough to call back. This is truly annoying. Viva the information age.

This is just another reason why I prefer physical books to ebooks – your nook or kindle breaks, lose account or ebooks disappear – good luck Charlie.

Me on Live Radio, does my hair look good? funny and live

Me on Live Radio, does my hair look good?

Doing some volunteer work at our local radio station: 104.9 FM.

Imagine, me on the air! The radio waves will never be the same.

Today I and the kids spent some time at the local radio station: Voz de la Verdad.

My mother-in-law works as a volunteer at the radio stations office and needing the help - my daughter was recruited by grandma to help with some much needed work. And I – well, I somehow was asked to join in on the fun, I mean work. I mean I was glad to help where ever I could.

funny on the radio and online
Of course being the kind of person that I am, I couldn’t help but think of and to start taking some pictures of me “pretending” to be on the air. Check out the picture – I look good don’t I? And that was even before I got my wonderful, I’m too sexy for my…. cool hair cut.

But it all wasn’t fun and games. I did learn of few things: being on radio is not what everyone thinks it is.

The kids and I learned today that running a radio station, be it small or large takes a lot of work. For instance my daughter help compile some music files and merged the information necessary to identify files that only had music to the files that give the music title, name of artist and other descriptive information.

Between running the station with five different computers, learning that they have to use a large amount of software they have to learn how to use and maintain: was a shock. Personally I am not sure I could keep up with it all – I guess this is why they need all the help they can get.

radio voz de la verdad

Now I wasn’t on air today, but my father-in-law is planning on starting his own Sunday morning half hour radio show and he wants me to give him a hand. He wants’ me to handle the technical side of things and to do a bit of talking on air. So even though I didn’t get a chance today to be on air, but possibly in the future, me – little old me will be able to be heard by thousands of people over the radio waves and online.

Maybe, just maybe it might be my ticket to fame, fortune and stardom…..

maria on voz de la verdad
radio voz de la verdad

Adventure in Math: multiply negative - positive numbers

How to multiply negative – positive numbers ?

Spending the summer getting my son ready for fourth grade math has been an interesting adventure in the amazing world of mathematics. I am not sure if I forgot most of the things I learned as a child or if math has changed so much over the years that I may be out of my depth.

learn math multiply negative and positive numbers fun
Re-learning or learning all this ‘Math’ as I go along has been an interesting series of events. Thank heavens the internet and YouTube are available because without these resources I would be in big, big doo doo. I’ve come to the realization that without the many math resources I have found on the internet or the good math tutorial videos I’ve found on YouTube – I would be lost.
For instance I ran into something I completely forgot…. How on earth do you multiply negative and positive numbers? Granted, it’s not something I use in everyday life – but my son will be learning this and he will be expecting me to help him with his homework.

My math is rusty – learn how to: multiplying negative - positive numbers.
This morning watching one of our MyWhyU math tutorials my son and I learned the basics of how to multiply negative and positive numbers. He was a bit freaked out about the whole thing but after watching the video for the second time he pretty much was able to grasp most of the concepts.

Personally, I find the time we spend together working on math – fun. I say that with a bit of reservation because it can be a bit stressful – kids are kids and it can sometimes be taxing on the nerves when my son plays dumb because he wants to run off and play video games.

Hint: playing video games is his reward for doing well. If he pays attention, takes some practice test – if he does well, he knows he can go off to kill aliens and all that.

learn math in fun way negative numbers
But all in all, spending time together with him is nice. As long as I remember that it’s suppose to be fun and deal with him patiently – the time spent learning math can be fun and educational to both of us. Like I said, I don’t know if I forgot what I learned in school – or if this is all knew to me to begin with. But I am walking away with a bit of knowledge of my own. And as I like to say in my book – learning should be a lifelong process.

In the weeks I’ve spent with my son – we have studied basic algebra, fractions and more. Things like commutative properties, distributive properties, the rules of how to add fractions and the rules in how to multiply negative and positive numbers.

I don’t expect him to be a math wizard – I just want him to do better in school, be prepared for all that "hard" math fourth graders like him will be facing next year. And if it means I get to spend some quality time with my son – the more the better.

Check out his work sheet on Fractions below.

fun way to learn math how to
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