I'll introduce myself here and I'll do my best to give you a clear idea, feeling, picture of who I am. The most important introduction, though, is when we meet and you get a chance to tell me all about what you and your child want to do and be. I have helped a lot of friends (and strangers, too ! ) over the years to make solid progress on their goals, and it always starts with them telling me about their dreams and desires and needs. We work together to get you where you want to go.
I'm Bruce. I love to learn, and in my experience that's contagious. I have been told my whole life I have a gift for explaining things, and since I am retired I am following through on a life long goal to explore the learning process with a wide variety of subjects and students.
One of my formative experiences when I was about 8 years old, was watching my father paint a sign. He had decided to sell our home so we could move, and he made a very professional looking sign. I had seen enough amateur signs by that point in my life that I could tell my father made a completely professional looking sign. I asked him how he knew how to do it, and he said: "I got a book about it out of the library. Anything you want to do, you can go to the library and get a book about it that will show you how". I was enchanted by this idea, that learning was so freely available. Truly, the sky is the limit when a person is motivated enough to find that way to achieve their dreams.
My profile photo shows me in a flight simulator ( I now wear 'Professor' glasses and no facial hair... just so you're not shocked when we meet). One current project is coaching another student pilot, Alice, on studying for the Private Pilot written exam. Honestly, I had a mental block about studying for my pilot's license because I would much rather get in the plane and fly, than sit and crack a book. I am equally a hands-on learner and a book-learning person; you need both. But I just enjoy flying so much I couldn't study about without feeling frustrated that I wasn't actually in the cockpit, swooping around up in the sky. When you find something that really gets you enthused, there's nothing like it. That's what I hope for you and your child: together we can find a way to get so excited about doing something, to love it so much that studying will be easy. There's always a way, to _find_ a way, to get real pleasure out of anything. Mindset is the first thing and the main thing that determines success.
When I began coaching my friend Alice for her written exam, I really caught fire with my own studying. At first I was puzzled by the change in my approach, my feelings, and then I realized what was missing from my studying. I was missing two things: human interaction (talking - an interpersonal connection), and also I was missing practical demonstrations. When we study together, I get out of my chair and demonstrate flight maneuvers, using a simple model of an airplane I created out of wood. I draw, I show Alice physical things that illustrate the concepts we are discussing. She says she is learning so much more, and so much better with me than with her flight instructor. I'm learning so much better than studying by myself.
Studying together, and how it works so much better for me, is an example of _finding the key_ that unlocks the learning process. It's also an example of what's called 'synergy': the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. In synergy, 2+2=5, maybe 6 or 7 on a good day.
You have goals and dreams for your child, and they have their own. I have my own drive, to constantly learn more about people and all the subjects that interest them. Together we can make substantial progress toward our goals and create something greater than we could ever make separately. Synergy.
Before I retired, I had a very interesting job. I worked for the Department of Homeland Security using psychological techniques to look for bad guys. It's called Behavioral Profiling. Besides working at the job myself, I also trained new people to do my job. All day I was constantly looking for ways to establish rapport with an enormous variety of people, discern their motivations, and guide the interaction to a successful conclusion.
I'm good with words: I'm a published writer, scored in the 97th percentile in English on the SAT. I have a house full of books; I read like crazy, I always have.
I found out that I have a gift for relating to children when I was a paramedic working in the Emergency Room at the Naval Hospital in Iwakuni, Japan.
I'll give you a few samples of times past when I helped other people solve problems by learning new things.
I even inspired my friend to start reading and love books when we were 14. His parents were a university professor and a school teacher, and they were tearing their hair out trying to get him to read. He's now a teacher himself.
I had a friend whose younger brother had a terrible time at bat in baseball. In one ten minute lesson, I had him connecting solidly with the ball and swinging for the fences.
I have a lifelong history of solving problems when other people had given up: I coached a friend at work on how to use a behavioral/physiological approach to manage migraine headaches. Based on my few simple instructions, he went home and coached his wife and her migraines stopped. I've done a lot of educating myself in anything I've wanted to learn.
I believe that no one is lazy or totally learning disabled, they just have not either seen a goal that grabs them, or been given the one key, the one skill that will set free their drive to live life fully.
I'd be happy to have a cup of tea or coffee with you and go over your goals and see how we can work together to inspire a love of learning in your child.
University of Hawaii at Manoa