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Posts Tagged ‘home school’

eTutor Offers New App – eTutor Unplugged!

Thursday, March 13th, 2014


In an effort to provide more access to the wealth of instructional content in the eTutor bank of lesson modules we have created an additional program. eTutor Unplugged has been developed to give students and parents another way to access instruction over the Internet. Individual lessons may be purchased for a nominal fee and can be accessed unlimited times for one year.

For instance, in this lesson module on Figurative Language, you can see how the use of graphics and pictures enhance the information and skills being taught. The use of internet links within the Study Guide and in the Resource section provide additional information for student learning.

Lesson Modules cover 27 subjects in the four major areas of Language Arts, Math, Science and Social Studies. Subjects are recommended based on the grade level of your student. Of course you may adapt your selections based on student need.

eTutor Unplugged offers users the option of receiving credit for lessons completed. When enrolling in eTutor Virtual School for a minimum of three months, students may transfer their work for credit which is accepted in public and private schools, universities and colleges, military and when applying for jobs. eTutor Virtual School is accredited through AdvancEd and North Central Association (NCA).

Outsmarting Stress

Monday, September 23rd, 2013
Relieve stress by understanding which brain hemisphere is stressed. If you feel depressed or emotionally overwrought, your stress is in the right hemisphere….the creative, emotional, holistic side.
What to do:
  1. Switch to your matter-of-fact left hemisphere by doing math, writing factual prose or organizing. The emotional right brain will calm down.
  2. If you feel time-stressed and overburdened, the left hemisphere is involved. Switch to your right brain by singing or playing a sport.
Jane Cole-Hamilton, Wellspring Seminars

Super Heroes

Friday, May 10th, 2013

Symbols of action hero favorites decorate shirts and pajamas, wallpaper and sheets. Heroes are huge with kids…both small and of the grown-up variety. A “hero” is anyone worthy of being respected and honored for his or her courage, noble exploits or outstanding qualities. On a TV screen or through a child at play cartoon characters and fictional action-figure heroes routinely exhibit great courage. But the contrived and scripted stages on which they act are so artificial their actions are usually of little value in guiding the real world behavior of kids. Children, though, don’t always draw this distinction clearly. So, it is a wise parent who builds “thought bridges” across which these heroic actions of fantasy champions can be translated into real life principles and acts a child can imitate on the stages of their own family, school, community and social relationships.

Use questions like these to help you and your children notice and value everyday heroes and heroics:

After you have watched a hero perform in a game, a movie, on a TV show, or in a newspaper or news report, ask:

  • What do you think he/she was thinking at that moment?
  • What is the lesson to be learned from what happened?
  • What would prevent me from doing the same thing?

When a friend, neighbor or family member does something “heroic” (selfless, of true value and worthy of emulation), ask:

  • How can I/we best applaud and truly appreciate what this person has done? (Imitation is the highest form of flattery.)
  • Is jealousy or rivalry coloring the value of this act?

When your “hero” fails to perform, ask:

  • Should this failure or mistake change my “hero’s” status?
  • Did my hero have the character to express regret/apologize?

Leisure-Time Reading

Saturday, May 4th, 2013

Leisure-time reading outside of educational activities is a key to superior learning performance, according to a study which examined the reading habits of 155 ten-year-olds. The most surprising finding was not the link between outside reading and educational proficiency, but rather the low amount of outside reading that is actually needed to improve instructional performance.

Astonishingly, ten minutes a day of outside book reading makes a vast difference, according to the study published in Reading Research Quarterly. Improvement tends to level off as outside reading time increases beyond twenty minutes a day.

Unfortunately most students read very little on their own. Therefore, the study suggests, parents and educators should make sure children have access to interesting books at a suitable vocabulary and comprehension level, and that adults read aloud to them and provide time for reading during each day.

Motivating Your Child

Wednesday, March 20th, 2013

Sometimes a child doesn’t seem motivated to start a project because it appears overwhelming. You can help by teaching your child to break a large job down into smaller parts. Say, “First, we will plan a trip to the library to get the materials you will need. Then you will need to schedule some time each day for your research.”

As your child completes each step, he will gain confidence and motivation. That will keep him working until the job is finished.

Home Alone

Thursday, March 14th, 2013

Are you considering leaving your child alone for short periods of time? If so, you are not alone. Statistics show that    occasional self-care is a normal experience for a large number of young children.

An estimated two million to six million children are considered to be “latchkey” children….7 to 10 percent of all five to 13-year-olds. Should your child be staying alone? The answer depends on several factors, according to Christine Todd, extension specialist for child development at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. “Self-care can be a rewarding experience for children who are ready for it,” she says. “However, if the child is not ready, self-care can be a frightening and potentially dangerous situation.”

Benefits of self-care by children who are ready for it include increased independence, increased knowledge of self-care skills, increased sense of responsibility, greater self-esteem and a sense of contribution to the family. Concerns related to children who are not ready include reduced learning opportunities and social contacts, increased misbehavior and legal consequences for parents.

Ask yourself the following questions when determining a child’s readiness:

  • Is the child physically capable of taking care of and protecting himself or herself?
  • Is the child mentally capable of recognizing and avoiding danger and making sound decisions?
  • Is the child emotionally ready? Will he/she feel confident and secure or afraid, lonely and bored?
  • Does the child know what to do and who to call if a problem or emergency arises?

There is no “magic age” at which children are ready for self-care, and that other factors besides a child’s age or maturity may influence your decision. For example, if your neighborhood is unsafe, if there are no adults nearby to call in case of emergency, or if your child must remain alone for a very long time, it is best to continue to use some form of child care even if your child seems ready to stay alone.

Adapted from Illinois Association of School Boards.

Eight Ways to Help Your Child Assume Responsibility for Learning

Tuesday, March 5th, 2013

How can you help your child build a “take-charge” attitude and assume more responsibility for learning? Read and discuss these self-management strategies together:

1. Set Goals

Help your child learn to set goals and work to achieve them. Let your child know that successful people set goals. To succeed goals should be:

  • Short-term – do-able in a brief period of time
  • Specific – “75% on the weekly math test” or “completing a research report on schedule” are clearly defined goals. You will both know when a specific goal has been met.
  • Realistic – set only slightly above current level of achievement so that improvement can be recognized frequently.
  • Planned – to include the when, where, why, how, and how long of meeting the goal successfully.

2. Be an example

Give examples of goals you have set and met. Tell results and benefits of meeting goals. Let your child know that you feel good about what you achieved.

Discuss stories about people in the news who have set and met goals so that your child sees the value of taking responsibility for achievement

3. Introduce checklists

Checklists build responsibility and provide the sense of achievement that comes from checking completed items off a list.

4. Encourage a positive approach

A “can’t do” approach weakens a child’s will to “take-charge” of learning.

5. Understand instructions

Your child can’t gain a sense of responsibility, work independently, and “take-charge” in learning situations without understanding directions and instructions. Help your child know what to do with everyday instruction words by explaining, using, and reviewing the key words and phrases of instruction, such as:

circle P cross out P underline P delete P omit P graph
compare/contrast P explain P outline

6. Ask questions

When students sense that they need to know more about a topic, their motivation increases and they want to take responsibility for more learning.

7. Give praise

Praise used effectively can increase your child’s motivation and build a sense of responsibility for learning.

Praise for successful or improved performance, not just working on a task. Wait until you see that enough effort has been put forth, or enough work accomplished, so that praise is truly deserved.

8. Build on success

Once your child’s skills are beginning to expand and you see a “take-charge” attitude toward learning, you can help build on this success.

  • Give opportunities to practice skills informally
  • Encourage interests, activities, and hobbies that provide practice in learning
  • Give increased responsibility

Reading At Home

Sunday, February 24th, 2013

Learning to read is much like learning any other skill. It requires a combination of instruction, experimentation, and practice. But the first step must be motivation. The child must want to learn to read. Parents can encourage their children to read  by demonstrating that they think reading  is important. Parents can help their children discover the benefits of reading:  new ideas…relaxation…adventure…fun.

Buy as many children’s books as you can afford.
• Give books as gifts.
• Visit the library regularly.
• Allow your children to choose their own books.   Don’t rush them.
• Show your children that you enjoy reading. Make sure they see you reading newspapers, magazines, and books.
• Set up a special place for reading.
• Encourage older children to read to younger children.
• Surround your child with words; point out street signs; label objects in the house such as table, desk, and stove.
• Play word games like Scrabble, Anagrams, and Ad Lib.
• Watch educational TV programs together. Some stress reading development.
• Read to your child, especially at bedtime. Reread favorite stories.
• Ask you child to read to you.
• Stress the things your children do well in reading rather than any mistakes they make. Remember:  Success breeds success.

Learning

Friday, January 11th, 2013

In an educational sense learning and behavior are inseparable.  Learning is said to have occurred when there is an observable change of behavior.  All learning results from exposure to stimulation.

The source of stimulation is referred to as the stimulus. For the newborn all stimuli are unique in that they have not yet been meaningfully associated with a personal response mode.

With the passage of time the child begins to associate specific stimuli with specific personal reactions. By way of example a child may relieve personal discomfort by moving the head away from an intensely bright light. Conversely the child may associate auditory sound patterns made by an adult with the satisfaction of his need for food.

Through continual exposure to stimulation, the child begins to accumulate a pool of stimulus bound information. In this way he is ultimately able to predict his personal reaction to any stimulus which he has previously experienced in some meaningful way.

A stimulus is not sufficient unto itself. A stimulus must be sensed or received if it is to have instructional value. Some sensory organ on the body must be able to detect the stimulus. Having a stimulus and the process of receiving it cannot complete a learning sequence. The received stimulus must be processed by the brain to cause some form of expression. The final part of the learning model which must be considered is what actually happens as a result of having detected a stimulus, or the terminal behavior. By combining all of these elements the basic learning model, in its simplest form, looks like this:

Stimulus —» Reception —| Processing |—» Terminal Behavior (Expression)

The learning model graphically represents a chain type of reaction commencing with receptive skills, proceeding to process skills and concluding with some form of expressive activity.

Parents Influence Student Reading Skills

Wednesday, November 21st, 2012

The importance of parental involvement in their child’s reading activities does not diminish because of the prevalence of computers and technology.  School-age children still enjoy listening to a good story.  A child’s entrance into a learning program should not mean the end of a parent’s reading to the child.  Early learners like fairy tales and books that have corresponding puppets or other toys.  First graders like easy readers because they can recognize some of the words; they also like picture books with strong characters and a solid story.  At the second and third grade level books should be somewhat above the child’s current reading (but not emotional) level.  Nonfiction works, “How to Do It” books, nonsense books, and riddle books are popular with children in these grade levels.  As with pre-school children, parents should encourage active participation when they read to their school-age children.

At some point, a child may want to read independently.  Many times, however, when the parent stops reading to the child, the child stops reading.  Studies have shown that students who read at home, not surprisingly, improve their reading ability.   A closer look at the home reveals that parents and siblings in the home also read during their leisure time.  There are books available in the home, or there are trips to the library.  Television and computer use is limited.

If a home does not have books for children, and if there is no library close to the home, a parent can use a newspaper, catalog or magazine to encourage a child to read.  Parents often are seen reading a newspaper or a magazine, so that role model is ready-made.  Not only is a newspaper or a catalog inexpensive, but it has something of interest for nearly everyone.  A parent might clip a news article and ask the child to read the article to him or her.  Pictures can be chosen, and the child can either make up a story about the pictures or list descriptive words that tell about the pictures.  An appealing news or magazine story can be clipped into paragraphs; the child can read the paragraphs and put them into the correct sequence.

To keep reading skills sharp, a child should read for at least fifteen minutes a day.  Reading also can be built into everyday activities.  A chid can help a parent prepare a meal by reading recipes to the parent.  Locating names, emergency numbers, or ads requires reading.  While grocery shopping, a child can find specific items on shelves or read label information.  A child can read a restaurant menu to the parent.  If the family is planning a vacation, the child can read maps and tour guides.

Parent involvement means instilling the values of self-discipline, hard work, and responsibility in children.  It means an emphasis on the importance of learning.  It means stepping away from electronic devices in order to provide your child opportunities to practice reading skills.