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Archive for the ‘Online Learning’ Category

Six Ways to Help With Learning

Friday, March 1st, 2013

You can help your child succeed in learning by building his or her self-confidence at home. Use these guidelines:

  • Respect your child by treating him or her with the dignity you would a friend.
  • Have faith in your child. Don’t be afraid to give your child increasing responsibility and independence.
  • Concentrate on the positive; avoid using discouraging words or actions.
  • Recognize your child’s efforts, not just his or her accomplishments.
  • Build self-esteem and feelings of adequacy by using positive phrases such as…
“I can tell you worked very hard on that.”
“You are getting much better at that.”
“I appreciate what you did.”
“You really handled that situation well.”
  • Discourage competition (in all forms) between brothers and sisters.

And, remember, don’t feel guilty if you “blow it”, but use your energy to try again more effectively.


    Special Help in Test Taking

    Tuesday, February 26th, 2013

    Many students will soon be preparing for those annual tests that have become so much a part of the public school experience.  Different types of tests are tackled in different ways.  It is important for your child to recognize what kind of test it is and plan the right strategy.   Here are some special helps for your child to remember:

    • In a true/false test
      Everything in the statement must be true for the correct answer to be “true.”
      Watch for key words.  Always, never and only frequently point to a false answer.

      Sometimes, usually and typically tend to point to a true answer.

    • On a matching test
      Check first to see if you can use an answer more than once.  If not, be sure to mark off the answers as you use them.
    • On a multiple choice test
      Watch for qualifying phrases which can change the meaning such as:  the only, the last, which one is not an example of.
    • On an essay test
      Prepare for essay tests ahead of time by thinking of essay questions which might appear on the test.
    • Organize relevant information from the text that answers these questions.
    • Write out actual answers to your questions using as much detail as possible.
    • If your answers aren’t satisfactory, begin again.check.gif (1162 bytes)

    Be sure you answer the specific question that is being asked.

    Safety on the Internet

    Sunday, February 17th, 2013

    We published this in our newsletter in 1999.  It is still relevant today.

    The Internet is an excellent tool for students to use, but is it really safe? Every experience a child encounters contains some element of risk, but here are some guidelines to follow to insure a safe journey on the Internet without infringing on your child’s privacy.

    Take pro-active action.Whenever possible, try to address issues before they become a problem. When your children begins to use the Internet, talk to your child about appropriate use of the Internet or install parental control software. Keep the computer in a well-trafficked area so you can monitor the activity without imposing too much into their privacy.

    Parental Control Software

    Filtering programs that block out inappropriate sites containing adult language, topics or graphics is one safeguard, but it is not the ultimate solution. Many browsers also contain screening software such as Cyberpatrol. These programs are effective in screening out the majority (but not all) of inappropriate material, however, if children are determined to access the material, they will find it somehow. These programs may also cause a delay in downloading websites that are appropriate since they must be “screened” first.

    Discuss Your Concerns with Your Children

    Discuss with your children the risks of the Internet. Have your children agree not to reveal any identifying information online including their last name, town, age or school. They should never agree to meet anyone online without your permission.

    Use your children’s experiences on the Internet as a way to discuss what your child is interested in. Go online together and visit sites that are informative, fun and/or educational. Stay involved and explore the Web with them to familiarize yourself with the areas they visit regularly.

    Stay informed

    Change

    Saturday, February 9th, 2013

    The only constant in life is CHANGE. Change permeates everything we are and do. People change, plans change. Organizations change. Change is natural, it is normal. Yet, the resistance to change is also just as normal and natural a part of human nature as the acceptance of change. The secret of growth and advancement is learning how to deal with the pressures of change…..turning positive actions to our advantage, while blunting negative ones.

    The capacity to be alone is a valuable resource when changes are necessary. In a culture in which interpersonal relationships are considered to provide the answer to every form of distress, it is sometimes difficult to persuade well-meaning helpers that solitude can be as therapeutic as emotional support. (A. Storr, 1988)

    Personal change is the most powerful route to system change. Individuals today can leverage change far more effectively than most institutions. (Naisbitt and Aberdene, 1990)  We at Knowledge Headquarters have been fortunate to see change come in a variety of ways to the those we work with. Our greatest challenge has been convincing individuals that they do have power and can initiate change, not only for themselves, but for those around them.

    Remember When

    Sunday, January 20th, 2013

    A computer was something on TV

    from a science fiction show of note

    a window was something you hated to clean…

    And ram was the cousin of a goat….

    Meg was the name of my girlfriend

    and gig was a job for the nights

    now they all mean different things

    and that really mega bytes

    An application was for employment

    a program was a TV show

    a cursor used profanity

    a keyboard was a piano

    Memory was something that you lost with age

    a cd was a bank account

    and if you had a 3 1/2″ floppy

    you hoped nobody found out

    Compress was something you did to the garbage

    not something you did to a file

    and if you unzipped anything in public

    you’d be in jail for a while

    Log on was adding wood to the fire

    hard drive was a long trip on the road

    a mouse pad was where a mouse lived

    and a backup happened to your commode

    Cut you did with a pocket knife

    paste you did with glue

    a web was a spider’s home

    and a virus was the flu

    I guess I’ll stick to my pad and paper

    and the memory in my head

    I hear nobody’s been killed in a computer crash

    but when it happens they wish they were dead

    Sent by Jamie Stauder

    A Holiday of Reading

    Friday, December 28th, 2012

    It’s not unusual for adults to stop reading to children once they are old enough to read for themselves.  however, even children in the intermediate grades still like being read to now and then, says Texas instructional specialist Sam Ayers.  He suggests that parents continue reading aloud to children on a consistent basis even as they get older and that teachers and librarians can make age-appropriate recommendations to parents who don’t feel comfortable selecting books on their own.

    Mr. Ayers has found older children often enjoy reading to younger children.  “Parents should provide opportunities for children to read to each other,”  he says.  “This provides them with oral reading practice and may positively affect their self-esteem.  it also provides the listener with a positive role model.”

    Researchers at Clark University and the Harvard Graduate School of Education suggest that you do more than just read books to preschoolers.  They suggest that you discuss the books and vary the types of books as well. 

    The researcher recommend asking “what” and “why” questions that encourage the child to think about a character’s behavior and motivation and connect the events in the book with his or her own experience.  Ask the child to name colors and label objects.  Also vary the types of reading material.  For example, one time you may want to read a work of fiction.  The next time, read a nursery rhyme or a non-fiction informational book.


    Pressures on Children and Youth

    Sunday, December 16th, 2012

    As a parent, you want your child to learn from the experience of pressure as part of the process of growing up.  You also want to do whatever you can to help your child cope with the pressures in life and to prevent the pressures from becoming insurmountable.  Obviously, you cannot eliminate many of these pressures, even if you really wanted to.  But you can help your child face them and you can avoid adding to them to make them worse.

    • Provide guidance in dealing with pressure.  Your child could take one of three general approaches…retreat, capitulation or action…to reduce the stress.  You can help your child determine what action would be most effective in a given circumstance.
    • Let your child know you care.  Be available to help her or him work out difficulties.  When a child has the security of parental love and respect, pressure can be met with self-confidence.  Be supportive, not smothering.  The more children feel they have solved problems themselves, the more assurance they feel the next time.
    • Be a positive force in your child’s life, not a major pressure point.  Throughout school years, avoid making unrealistic demands.  It is fine to start education early, but don’t pressure children to learn or to read before they are ready.  Let them feel they are reaching for their own goals, not satisfying your needs.  Don’t push children into early social experiences…they will mature emotionally and physically at their own rate.
    • Teach your child to live with limitations.  No one excels in everything; no one is perfect.  It is not your child’s particula
    • r handicaps that are crucial, but his or her attitude toward them.  Children should know their limits and recognize their strengths.
    • Help your child find time to be alone….time to think, to dream,  to plan, to make decisions.
    • Ground your child in a system of values.  Even if pressures become overwhelming, you do not want your child to seek ethically unacceptable means of dealing with them.  Students who have cheated report a wish for more parental direction, firm rules and guidance in                        determining right and wrong.
    • Encourage your teenager to develop self-responsibility.  Volunteer service, such as community work, provides one of the few remaining outlets in adolescence for independence, cooperative rather than competitive activity and useful and socially necessary work.

    Navigation! Graphics!

    Wednesday, December 5th, 2012
    Navigation! Graphics! Those two things are the name of the game in Internet websites. eTutor is proud of its graphics, which appeal to a diversity of students. We use cartoons, current baseball stars, accurate diagrams of the circulatory system, and photographs of Tasmanian Devils, to name just a few. Photos of the starry night sky show the position of Orion and the Pleiades. In a lesson on comets, there are actual photos of comets. For younger children, we use appealing graphic representation of tomatoes, bunnies, and clowns.

    The graphics are important because they must catch — and HOLD — a student’s interest and imagination. We choose graphics that illustrate our lessons — sometimes precisely (as in the graphics of the brain in our science lessons), sometimes whimsically (an octopus to illustrate the eight parts of speech.) Consistently, users tell us that our graphics are one of their favorite features.

    Sample pictures from E-Tutor lessons. Clikck here to take a quick tour of E-Tutor.

    The second important part of a Website is the navigation. How easy is it? eTutor requires you to know two things to be able to navigate it. First, the “BACK” button does not work. When parents and teachers want their students using eTutor, a prime concern is that students stay within that website. We guarantee our sites are 100% secure. By NOT using the “BACK” button (and instead closing windows by clicking in the top right or left hand corner), students are kept “within”  eTutor. It is easy for teachers and students to learn this and adjust to this in our website. Second, we use the “scroll” feature frequently. We want eTutor to load quickly and accurately. By loading the lesson all at once, and using the scroll feature (or clicking on the Index), students have very little to learn in terms of navigation. Students can click on the area they want to go to —”Study Guide”, for example — or scroll through the whole lesson. Either way,  eTutor provides an illustrative trip through education!



    Safety Tips for Parents and Children Using the Internet

    Friday, November 30th, 2012
    • Keep the computer in a main area of the home, not in your child’s bedroom. The computer should be set up where it is easy for parents to see the screen and monitor behavior.
    • Spend time with your children while they explore the Internet. Let your child know that you care and that you intend to participate.
    • Keep your children out of unmonitored chat rooms. The best Internet filtering software blocks access to all chat to keep children safe from the threat of dangerous persons, masquerading as kids.
    • Become familiar with the quality family-friendly and kid-friendly sites on the Web. Load your computer with bookmarks to sites, such as www.homeschoolingingcorner.com, www.e-tutor.com and www.knowledgehq.com. These sites offer both great educational and entertaining information for children that allows them to explore safely and will discourage wandering.
    • Know your child’s e-mail password and tell your children to inform you immediately about troubling, unsolicited e-mail. Make sure they understand it is not necessarily their fault if such e-mail arrives.
    • Inform your kids of personal information that should never be given out over the Internet without your consent; telephone numbers, address, credit card numbers, name of school, age, financial information, etc.
    • Stay abreast of technology and regulatory changes regarding Internet safety.
    • Take advantage of the Web filtering software available in the marketplace. These block access to inappropriate sites related to sex, drugs/alcohol, hate and violence and gambling.
    • Let your child know that you are there to talk anytime, about anything they come across that may cause discomfort.
    • It is important to review these tips from time to time to ensure these guidelines are being implemented.

    Online Learning – Changing OUr View of Schooling

    Wednesday, November 28th, 2012

    The other day a neighbor visited me while I was working in the garden. She wanted to talk about the changes occurring at the local school. Comparing the education she and her husband received with that her children were receiving, she had determined that they were getting an excellent education. Both parents were pleased their children were learning “so much more” than they had.

    I had to agree with my friend, that we most often use our own schooling as a standard of measurement for our children’s schooling. I certainly did when my children were young. But is this the best measure for quality in education? I asked the neighbor to consider how the world had changed, in the time since she was in school, and the amount of information we and our children have at our finger tips. It seems reasonable to assume that our children would, and should, be learning a great deal more of the information that took us years to assimilate. For the most part, children today begin school having access to more information than their parents had. By the time a child has completed one year of schooling that information has almost doubled. When I was in school it took many years for information to change. This provided me and those of my generation a certain consistency with learning information that is not available today. Therefore, I’m not certain that the same paradigms for learning, that served my neighbors and me, are adequate for today’s student.

    This need to assimilate so much information makes the teaching learning process even more challenging.  The Internet offers the opportunity for students to work at their own level, at their own pace, on topics that are of personal interest.  Our work is a continuing effort to assist those we serve to understand and adapt their instructional programs by offering choices for personal learning.

    Web-based, online learning gives students a unique opportunity to explore learning and gain knowledge at their own level.  Online learning offers a way to stay ahead of the information tide of an expanding knowledge base.  Students do not need to be time bound by their learning program.   Online learning can offer real-time learning in a vast number of subjects and topics for individual instruction. The best online learning programs will provide students and parents the flexibility necessary for true knowledge to take place.   We know that what we learned in school is not enough for the future of our children.  We have a responsibility to provide programs that offer skills and tools the students can use to ensure a successful future.

    In this regard home schooling is reinventing the idea of school.  The integration of knowledge is a personal process, rather than a social process.  By viewing school not so much as a place, but the act of learning, those who home school have forced us to look at a new paradigm for schooling.  These parents recognize that acquiring knowledge does not need to be a group activity but is often more effective as an individual activity.  They know that how they learned is not the best method of learning for their children. Home schooling parents use varied approaches in teaching their children. Many have added online curricular programs to provide a new avenue of learning for their children.

    How we learned and what we learned are not adequate measures of education for our children today. When I hear about educators who continue to teach the way they have for many years, it concerns me. The tried and true paradigms of the past, that served us well, that prepared us for a successful future, are not adequate today. We all have to try harder to challenge our own methods of educating and of evaluating schooling.