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Give Kids an Education They Enjoy

Best-selling author and psychologist Dr. Kevin Leman discusses how parents can help their children have fun while gaining educational excellence. Read Transcript

Well if you heard a collective sigh of relief

over the last few days, it's probably

from parents who finally shipped their kids back to school.

But as Kevin Lehman says, the important thing for parents

isn't that they get their children on the right bus.

It's making sure that those kids are getting in the right seat.

Take a look.

NARRATOR: Bestselling author, Dr. Kevin Leman,

says, finding the right school for your child,

whether public, private, or home school,

is one of the most important decisions parents make.

Dr. Leman believes everyone deserves a quality education,

but it's vital to be sure your child is

matched to the right school.

In his book, Education A La Carte,

Dr. Leman provides much needed tools

to choose the best schooling option for the child.

It helps students prepare for life,

both inside and outside the classroom.

Well our good friend Dr. Kevin Leman is here with us now.

We welcome you back to The 700 club.

I want to mention at the top that all

of the things that we're talking about today

are included in your new book, Education A La Carte,

Choosing The Best Schooling Options For Your Child.

Boy, every parent needs to know that, don't they?

Yeah, I title my own books, and I

think Education A La Carte is a pretty good title because I

don't think most parents are even aware of all the choices

there are for kids today.

And it's not only getting your kid on the right bus,

it's getting your kid on the right seat on the bus.


And there's magnet schools and charter schools,

private schools, parochial schools.

You name it, they're out there.

Yes, you know, I think one of the things that's difficult

for a parent is to figure out what's your child's learning


Most of us just went to school and wherever you landed,

you landed.

I mean, it was true for you.

I was so surprised to read with all of your accomplishments

and your books and your studies that you were smart,

but you had terrible grades in grade school.

What happened?

Yeah, I never figured I was smart till later on,

but I spent a lot of my elementary education standing

in the corner looking at paint chips.

I mean, that was what they do with me.

But I graduated fourth in bottom of my class in high school.

Then what motivated you?

What finally-- you didn't go on to college right away.

You worked for a while.

And what was it that made you say, you know what,

I need to turn this around?

Well, I became a believer.

I met my wife in the men's room of a hospital

when I was a janitor.

TERRY MEEUWSEN: Do you want to talk about that?


Well, no, she was the inspiration

that God used in my life to help pull the trigger.

And after I became a believer, God gave me motivation,

and I went in and never looked back.

I had 13 years of college.

But, I mean, I remember being in a reading group

with a girl who ate paste.

I was going nowhere, OK.

I think I had someone in high school who ate that stuff.

But now with a book, Education A La Carte,

I challenge parents to take a look at the learning

style of your kid.

How do you know what it is, Kevin?

Well, you know, nobody is better equipped

to know who your kid is than you are.

You're the best teacher your child will ever have.

But is your kid interested in people, data, or things?

There's three areas right there.

You can see the future engineer who is working with his LEGOs.

But again you got a kid who's in music, loves music and drama,

would you send them to the public school

down the street to just slash their entire budget

and don't have much to offer?

So again, I challenge parents, if there ever

was a book that's a guide, a handy guide that--

as my publisher says, this book has legs,

it's going to be on the shelf a long time,

because there's so many opportunities out there

for kids.

And my friend Bill Bennett, who endorsed my book, by the way,

I've never asked anybody to endorse a book.

It doesn't get any better than that.

But he was so great to do that, but he

says, every elementary school needs to ensure

that kids learn to read.

I've got news for you.

That's late breaking news a lot of places

because they're not learning to read.

And we don't set the high jump bar

of life high enough for kids.

In Leman Academy, we started these schools.

Talk about that, because you started

some charter schools that are doing some pretty amazing work.

Well they are.

They really are.

We have high expectations for kids.

TERRY MEEUWSEN: Very good thing.

And we insist that parents become

involved in the education.

Making Children Mind Without Losing Yours

and Have a New Kid By Friday, two of my parenting books,

which was fun for me, is to take those principles I wrote about.

Your child is not the center of the universe, OK.

And vitamin E-- encouragement.

How do you encourage kids today?

What about vitamin N, which is No.

We put that in the classroom.

Plus, Terry, we put authority in the classroom teacher's hand.

TERRY MEEUWSEN: Which we have seen

being eroded from the public classrooms for decades.

KEVIN LEMAN: From the get go.

So when you put that in a school,

and I challenge parents to take a look around and see.

There's magnet schools that specialize

in certain types of training, and there's

high schools where kids learn auto mechanics and welding.

Take a look at the myriad opportunities for your kids.

You can be a good coach to your child

because every parent worries about peer group

and about social pressure and competing in a global economy.

The days of crayons and coloring in kindergarten are over.

Those kids are reading.

It's accelerated.

It is accelerated, and so is the work that comes home.

I think parents are sometimes overwhelmed by all

of that, Kevin.

And now you're talking about potentially,

if they're not in a charter school,

placing kids in different schools.

One family may have children in different schools.

How do you juggle that?

Yeah, when parents hear that, I

think they want to get a gun out and let me have it,

but the truth of the matter is that your kids are different.

Your first born and your second born child of any--


--family are very, very different.

But you know, it gets back to looking

at kids' potential, what they do well,

and trying to guide them through it.

As far as homework goes, hey parents,

don't do the homework for their kids.

Hey would you turn that music down,

I'm trying to finish your homework.


You know, that's the permissive parent today.

They want to do everything for their kid.

For their child, yeah.

So a principle--

B doesn't start until A is completed.

But can I ask you, how do you get a child to want to do

their homework after they've been in school all day,

and they've been focused and directed and everything's-- you

know, they come home, we're raising our granddaughter,

and when she comes home, she's only in K5,

but she wants to play.

Oh yes, and I think it's good for kids to come home and play,

then have a set time.

And you can lead that horse to water, OK, you know that one,

but you can't make them drink it.


But again I go back to a simple principle,

like B doesn't happen until A. Kids always want everything.

They're on the take.

They're hedonistic little suckers,

we know that from the day they're born.

And so they're always asking for something.

And a simple retort like, honey, I

see your homework is not done.

When that's done we'll talk about B, the next thing.

And so I just want to emphasize the authority.

And keep in mind that God is not authoritarian,

but he is a supreme what?


You need the authority in the home.

We need authority in classrooms.

Let your yes be yes, your no be no.

The kid gets in trouble at our school,

I always tell the parents, hey, expect a call from school.

But guess who's going to be on the phone?

It's little Buford saying, I don't

know how to behave like a fourth grader,

you need to come pick me up now.

And that's keeping the tennis ball alive, Terry, in the court

it should be in.

Child bearing responsibility for their own actions

and choices.

Hold those little suckers accountable.

It's great training in life.

TERRY MEEUWSEN: I want to mention,

the book is Education A La Carte,

and it's available wherever books are sold.

Want to find out more about all the school options that

are available to you?

It's in here.

And you're doing some great work with charter schools.

Thank you.

You're welcome.

You always bring wise counsel.

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