January 2003 Vol. 6.1   
http://www.strategicstudies.com
 ..

President's Message

Getting Around e-Tutor

More Than a Chore

Motivation for Learning

Perfectionism:  It Can Go Too Far

Writing the Right Way

Life's Pressure Cooker

Blueprint for Learning

January Links: Education Online

Top of Page

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

President's Message

Getting Around e-Tutor

More Than a Chore

Motivation for Learning

Perfectionism:  It Can Go Too Far

Writing the Right Way

Life's Pressure Cooker

Blueprint for Learning

January Links: Education Online

Top of Page

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

President's Message

Getting Around e-Tutor

More Than a Chore

Motivation for Learning

Perfectionism:  It Can Go Too Far

Writing the Right Way

Life's Pressure Cooker

Blueprint for Learning

January Links: Education Online

Top of Page

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

President's Message

Getting Around e-Tutor

More Than a Chore

Motivation for Learning

Perfectionism:  It Can Go Too Far

Writing the Right Way

Life's Pressure Cooker

Blueprint for Learning

January Links: Education Online

Top of Page

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

President's Message

Getting Around e-Tutor

More Than a Chore

Motivation for Learning

Perfectionism:  It Can Go Too Far

Writing the Right Way

Life's Pressure Cooker

Blueprint for Learning

January Links: Education Online

Top of Page

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

President's Message

Getting Around e-Tutor

More Than a Chore

Motivation for Learning

Perfectionism:  It Can Go Too Far

Writing the Right Way

Life's Pressure Cooker

Blueprint for Learning

January Links: Education Online

Top of Page

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

President's Message

Getting Around e-Tutor

More Than a Chore

Motivation for Learning

Perfectionism:  It Can Go Too Far

Writing the Right Way

Life's Pressure Cooker

Blueprint for Learning

January Links: Education Online

Top of Page

 

 

 

 
Presidentís Message

Happy New Year!  What a difference a month makes!  Most of our nation is in a deep freeze now.  Although most Januarys are cold this burst of cold air from our northern neighbors seems unusually bitter.  Or, maybe it is my old bones protesting.  One thing is certain in a few months we will be complaining about the heat.  The yearly cycles seem to pass faster now and at this time of year, I am grateful for the pace. 

As world conditions for peace seem to be heading in the other direction, it is important that we surround our children with security, warmth and love.  More than ever they need to feel the security of a warm and loving home and family.  Their questions need to be honestly answered.  Newspapers and television programs are focusing on many parts of the world.  This is an ideal time to reinforce world geography, customs and history.  Use your child's interest as a guide.   Don't overpower them with too much information.  

This month I had occasion to witness something that we so often take for granted.  I live far from family and so, my friends and neighbors provide an extended family for me. Although we are often reticent to take advantage of these connections, I found that they wanted to be of help when I needed it the most.  Friends and family  connections are necessary to our well-being and we need to make time to extend ourselves to maintain these relationships.  These precious connections are strengthened when we allow ourselves to receive and to help one another.  From the child next door who shared his chocolate bar, to the friend who held my hand for an afternoon, I am stronger and wiser this month than I was last.  

Have a wonderful and productive month.  Stay warm and enjoy this month of quiet restfulness. 


Another dinosaur has been found!  These ancient reptiles provide continual interest and exploration.  The latest edition of KnowledgeHQ  focuses on The Age Of Dinosaurs.  You will find ideas, information, activities and links for students, parents and teachers.  The website focuses on educational instruction around a different theme or topic each quarter.  Past issues include the themes of Olympics, Ecology, Underwater, Space and more.   
 

 

Getting Around e-Tutor

Many new subscribers have joined the e-Tutor learning community.  We welcome subscribers from around the world. And as our numbers grow questions arise about how best to use e-Tutor.  While this is, for the most part, an individual decision, there are some things that we can pass on that might make the learning experience more enjoyable.  Whether new or a long-time subscriber, the following may help you in getting around e-Tutor.   

  • e-Tutor is used by many subscribers as their main curriculum.  We recommend supplementing the online program with good literature books, texts and workbooks when available. 

  • Approximately ten fully completed lessons are comparable to one unit of high school credit.   

  • A simple file system is helpful for both parents and students in following up with Activities and Extended Learning.  Students can place their work in the folders when completed.  Parents know where to find the work and it provides a way for students to see their progress. 

  • Parents can view lessons before students by going to the student login.  Select Curricular Area and then Subject Area.  Click on a lesson and then go to "Print Lesson."  A pop-up window will show the complete lesson. Return to the menu to view additional lessons.

  • Each e-Tutor lesson has a question bank with anywhere from 20 to 60 questions.  Each time a students takes a quiz, the questions as well as the answers are rotated. 

  • Parents should take an active role in the teaching-learning process when using e-Tutor.

  • e-Tutor has nearly 1,500 lessons.  

Over 15 new lessons were added to e-Tutor this month.

Page 2

'Tis the good reader that makes the good book. 

Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

More Than A Chore

Recently there was a news clip about a mother who went on a housekeeping strike.  She wanted her children to assume more responsibility in keeping their home neat.  That seems like a rather drastic measure, however one that we might all relate to.  When considering how to lower the boom on cleaning a room or mowing a lawn, child experts agree that the first, most important step is to establish a routine.  But setting and keeping a schedule of chores requires family involvement, time for training and discipline on the part of parent and child.  Here are some tips in setting up a routine:

  • Involve the family in choosing chores and consequences
  • Create simple, clear visual aids that nudge children
  • Set deadlines for completion, with clear consequences for missing the moment
  • Take time for training
  • Make sure responsibilities are age appropriate
  • Be sure to praise a job well done
  • Be consistent
  • Avoid doing chores for the child

 

Children have more need of models than of critics.

Joseph Joubert

 

Motivation for Learning

As parents, we want our children to learn.  We know the benefits of being able to read well, to write clearly, to solve problems and to communicate effectively.  Not only do these abilities allow us to earn a decent living, but they also help us to enjoy life and to appreciate its wonders ad beauty.  So, as many generations before us, we preach the benefits of a good education and try with deliberate effort to uphold, at least verbally, the values of studying..."of hitting the books and burning the midnight oil."  

Actively demonstrate your value for learning.

The basic question here is "Can your children see that you are still a learner?"  Do you read books, go to the library, watch educational TV programs, write letters or attend local educational functions?  Do you discuss ideas at home, share opinions on social and political change or wonder out loud about new scientific and aesthetic discoveries?  Do you read to your children, play educational games like Monopoly and chess with them or facilitate their involvement in creative projects?

Our modeling is a powerful incentive to our children's learning.  If they see us doing it, then they know it's worthwhile and can identify with us.  If they don't see us enjoying learning, then they can dismiss our support for learning as another example of "not practicing what we preach."  

Adapted from National Education Association

e-Tutor Approved  for Wisconsin

Under the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, e-Tutor has been selected as one of the approved supplemental educational service providers for the state of Wisconsin.  The Act requires low performing schools to provide a list of approved programs to parents of students who are at the most risk of failure.

It is our philosophy that parents have a right to chose the educational program that will best meet their children's learning needs.  We are pleased to have been chosen by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. 

Page 3

It may be that games are silly.  But, then, so are human beings.

Robert Lynd

 

Perfectionism:  It Can Go Too Far

Does your child fuss in front of the mirror each morning, only to end up in tears because of looking "stupid?"  Is your child mysteriously ill the day of a soccer game or oral book report? Does your child lock himself in a bedroom for an afternoon because of only a 95 on a math test?

If these scenarios are common in your house, you may be living with a perfectionist.  Children who are perfectionists tend to be high achievers with above-average intelligence who constantly fall short of their own unattainable expectations.  Their perpetual dissatisfaction with their performance can result in stress, anxiety and depression, often causing them to avoid tasks for fear of failure.  Inside, they may lack the confidence to confront new challenges.  

Unfortunately, these young perfectionists are motivated by fear of rejection rather than ambition.  They are concerned that parents, friends and teachers will no longer accept them if they are not always successful.  

Most experts agree that children learn perfectionism from adults.  Parents can pass the behavior on to their children, often unconsciously.  Many parents will remake a child's bed, refine his school project or question his clothing selection...sending the message that what he did on his own just wasn't quite good enough.  Teachers routinely give the most praise to the students with the highest grades; thus children quickly learn that being perfect is the way to get approval.   

A certain amount of perfectionism can be a good motivator for children.  But to ensure that it is not carried to the extreme, parents should stress that:

  • Mistakes are okay
  • Success takes time
  • Standards must be reasonable
  • Effort is most important
  • New pursuits can be fun
  • Your love is constant

The Community Link

 

Writing the Right Way

Here's another reason for emphasizing writing.  

A recent national survey of executives indicated the need for improved writing and communication skills:

  • 65 percent of the 455 respondents saw a need for improved writing skills.

  • 62 percent said interpersonal communication skills needed to be improved.

  • 59 percent said that workers needed more training in communicating with clients.

Adapted from USA Today

A child's mind is like a bank...whatever you put in, you get back in ten years with interest.

Frederic Wertham

Life's Pressure Cooker

All children feel the pressure of our fast-paced, competitive life.  Densely populated cities limit the areas of a child's physical freedom.  Modern mass media create pressures to be popular and good looking and to acquire an array of material possessions.  Our high rate of geographic mobility causes pressure when children must move away from familiar surroundings.  Every child will also feel some degree of pressure with the arrival of a new baby in the family, the death of a loved on, or the divorce of her or his parents. 

Most young children desire to be "good"...that is, to live up to the expectations of parents and teachers.  Many feel pressured when they find they cannot always achieve this goal.  There is also the push to earlier social maturity.  Children are pressured into assuming rigid masculine and feminine roles and facing social experiences sooner in life. 

When the child reaches adolescence and secondary school, new pressures are encountered.  There is the stress on grades as the indictor of scholastic achievement and, for those who are fortunate enough, the prerequisite to college admission.  The demands of the knowledge explosion and of our complex society have placed a heavy work load on high school youth, especially on the most able students.  There is also earlier pressure to specialize...to decide on academic and career goals at the beginning of the high school years.

Adolescence brings its own pressures.  The child begins to realize that he or she will soon leave the security of family.  Youth today have few opportunities to try out adult roles as they did in a rural, agrarian society.  The must plan earlier, but they cannot do until much later. 

In reaction, most adolescents begin to turn away from parents and toward friends and age mates as a new source of recognition.  But this "peer group culture" creates further pressure...to conform, to meet social expectations.  When the norms of friend conflict with the norms of parents, additional pressures result.  

Obviously parents 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.

National Education Association

Page 4

It takes a long time to become young. 

Pablo Picasso

Blueprint For Learning

Developing a learning program for your child can be frustrating and time-consuming.  Consider the following question when preparing a program that will best meet your child's needs.

  • What are my child's strengths when learning? At play?
  • In what areas does my child need the most help?
  • What are my most important goals for my child's education for the coming year?  For the next several years?
  • How does my child best learn new skills?
  • What learning experiences have been most frustrating for my child?
  • What learning experiences have been most rewarding for my child?
  • My lifetime goals for my child include:
  • What special services does my child receive?

Where appropriate, you may also want to give these questions to an older child, so he/she can play an active role in determining their own learning program.   

Adapted from The Parent Institute

Building Trust 

If you want to persuade family and friends and have them trust you, these guidelines might help:

  • Never make a promise you can't keep.

  • Never make a decision you can't support.

  • Never issue an order you can't enforce.

  • Be accurate and truthful in your statements. 

  • Accept the blame if you are wrong.

Conversational Power, James K. Van Fleet 

Page 5

Your worst decision will be the one you never made.

Education OnLine

This month we highlight the resources that we have developed over the years.  Strategic Studies began compiling the resource list over five years ago and today there are thousands of links.  You will want to bookmark Education OnLine as a valuable source for all kinds of educational information, activities and  

Primary Grade Resources: This is an extensive list of sites that are geared to students through the primary years of school.
http://www.strategicstudies.com/html/primary_grades.htm

Higher Education:  Preparing for college?  You will find volumes of information here.
http://www.strategicstudies.com/html/higher_education.htm

K-12 Resources: This is our largest list of links.  There are sites that are archives, emphasize teaching and learning, introduce companies and organizations, give instructions for projects and more. 
http://www.strategicstudies.com/html/K12_resources.htm

Links to Libraries:  Don't rule this one out.  This site provides links to reference material, U.S. Public Libraries, the U.S. Government, Companies and Organizations, Foreign Countries and U.S. Universities.
http://www.strategicstudies.com/html/library_resources.htm

Educational Newsgroups:  This link gives you a list of educational bulletin boards that you will find useful.  Part of the list comes from EDNET Guide to Usenet Newsgroups.
http://www.strategicstudies.com/html/ed_newsgroups.htm

Just For Kids:  Try these free software downloads with your kids to improve skills, or just to have some educational fun!
http://www.strategicstudies.com/html/justkids.htm


Power Search:  Looking for a quick way to search the best sites the Internet has to offer? The Power Search will run the same search across 4 major search engines at one time, allowing you to search and display 1 to 4 databases simultaneously!
http://www.strategicstudies.com/html/powersearch.html

Enjoy a Month of Exploration!

From the Staff at Strategic Studies Corporation

This month's newsletter has been sponsored by:

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