Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It

30th April 2020

Cheery Friday Greetings to our Learning How to Learners!

Book of the Week

Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It, by Kamal Ravikant. This odd little book offers its own idiosyncratic approach to self-healing: to simply love yourself.  Many successful leaders in Silicon Valley are perhaps not in the healthiest place mentally, and Kamal was amongst this “mental dark space” group. His solution was to reaffirm his own love and support for himself.  This goes against the guilt-ridden grain many of us have been raised with, but does seem to offer solid, healing qualities, at least in Kamal’s experience, and in the many thousands who have given this book a five-star review since its recent publication. A quick read with a practical upside. Also a great book for audio listening. (Two free audiobooks may be possible through this link.)

Recent Research Finds that All That Screen Time Isn’t Impacting Children’s Social Skills

Here’s an encouraging article about recent research finding that kids today seem to have pretty much the same social skills (or lack thereof) as in times of yore.  Lead author Douglas “Downey originally formulated the idea for this study after having an argument with his son about young people’s communication skills a few years ago. ‘I started explaining to him how terrible his generation was in terms of their social skills, probably because of how much time they spent looking at screens,’ Downey remembers. ‘Nick asked me how I knew that. And when I checked there really wasn’t any solid evidence.’” What a great reason for initiating a research study. (And a good reason for listening to our children sometimes!)

Ideas for Helping School Your Children

We’ve heard great things about the following programs for educating students (like your kids!) online:

  • According to Forbes, this platform “now provides more than 4,500 online courses at all levels — high school, college, adult education and professional licensure. It’s used by more than 30 million students and teachers each month. Included on its menu are more than 200 online credit-bearing courses accepted for transfer by over 1500 colleges and universities.” 
  • According to, “provides online high school and university level courses in the subjects of Math (Basic to College), Science (Middle School through AP Physics), Language, Music Theory, Programming, Software Training, and Test Prep. Do you have precocious tweens? They’ll like the classes too! As a parent, you will as well! Really, they have something for everyone!”
  • Outschool. According to Forbes, “Outschool now offers over 10,000 live, video-enabled classes for young people ages three to 18. Connecting online in small groups with dynamic instructors, learners select content ranging from typical academic subjects to more adventurous classes such as pet trick training, forensic science, engineering with Minecraft and wilderness survival skills. Prices vary by topic and course length…” Basically, Outschool allows kids to explore many different interests as a sort of “learning buffet.”
  • A good tool that allows kids to dive deeper into an interest.
  • Smartick: Always our favorite gamified program for teaching kids math!

Learning at Home under COVID

This essay by Tara Houle ponders the education that students are getting at home nowadays. Key graf: “What are parents finding out about their child’s education thus far? Many are learning their kids can’t count properly.  In the advent of Google and calculators, kids haven’t memorized their times tables, or even heard the term “long division” (There’s no mention of it in the curriculum).  We’ve seen a decreasing trend in our kid’s reading and writing abilities as well.  Perhaps without even knowing why, most parents simply know that without these basic facts, kids cannot possibly grasp more complex problem solving, and they’re finding out it’s not that difficult to do so.  So why aren’t our kids learning these basic principles in school, yet seem to be capable of learning them at home?” 

Harvard Law Professor Forgets to Check Her Privilege about Home Schooling

This thought-provoking article by homeschooled education expert Erin Valdez tells it like it is when intellectual elites go off the rails. Key graf: “A Harvard law professor argues that home schooling is a form of authoritarian control but believes forcing all children to go to a government-run school is not… Let that settle in…”

Online STEM Education via MOOCs Just as Good as Face-to-Face

“Online and blended (online and in-person) STEM instruction can produce the same learning outcomes for students as traditional, in-person classes at a fraction of the cost, finds research published in Science Advance.” Read the whole thing here

A LTHLer Has Good News to Share about Diffuse Mode

Our learner David Goodmanson writes: “This is good news that I had to share.  The other day while doing my daily Sudoku puzzle, I was stuck, in the focused mode.  So I got up and emptied the dishwasher—another of my daily tasks, but when I got back to the Sudoku, the answers just flowed out of my pen!  I then realised that by doing the routine dishwasher I had put myself into diffuse mode, it was amazing.  Next day, the same thing, only I knew I was putting myself into diffuse mode. Again I completed the puzzle within a couple of minutes.  Today, again, stuck in focused mode in Sudoku, this time I did something else, and yes again, I cleaned up the puzzle.  This has been a watershed moment for me.  I went from knowing this stuff worked “in my head,” to knowing it experientially, it became real to me.  It was an exciting, joyous moment—I’m so motivated about this now!”

That’s all for this week. Have a happy week in Learning How to Learn!

Barb, Terry, and the entire Learning How to Learn team

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