February 2004 Vol. 2

   

http://www.strategicstudies.com
 ..

President's
Message


Learning With e-Tutor

Building Strong Families

Using Community Resources

Helping Your Child Study

Learning Outside the Box

Family Time Capsule

Goal Setting With Children

Time Management Tips for Teens

Great Leaders

Fabulous February Links!

Top of Page

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

President's
Message


Learning With e-Tutor

Building Strong Families

Using Community Resources

Helping Your Child Study

Learning Outside the Box

Family Time Capsule

Goal Setting With Children

Time Management Tips for Teens

Great Leaders

Fabulous February Links!

Top of Page

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

President's
Message


Learning With e-Tutor

Building Strong Families

Using Community Resources

Helping Your Child Study

Learning Outside the Box

Family Time Capsule

Goal Setting With Children

Time Management Tips for Teens

Great Leaders

Fabulous February Links!

Top of Page

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
President’s Message

In most years, once January has passed, it seems we have turned a corner on winter....not this year in our part of the world.  The snow and cold has lingered, leaving many of us out of sorts and anxious for any sign of warmth.  Although the days are longer and the afternoon shadows shorter,  it hasn't seemed to help.  

As always there just does not seem to be enough time to get everything done.  Perhaps it is the shortness of the days or, just perhaps, we really are getting busier. In spite of the cold weather or maybe because of it, we have remained very busy.  It is an exciting time for us at Strategic Studies as we take on new responsibilities and continue to grow.  Our family of subscribers continues to grow throughout the world.  Our cadre of writers and editors continue to increase the number of lessons in the e-Tutor lesson bank, nearing 1700 now. 

In the months  ahead we look forward to moving to a new headquarters, where we can spread out and try some new concepts we have been working on.  It will be our pleasure to introduce you to the new establishment.   Without your generous support and encouragement we could have not have grown as we have.  

Even though there is still snow on the ground,  we hope to soon see, at the edges of melting snow, a little green pushing up through the brown soil and leftover ice crystals....signaling that another season will be here before we know it. 

Enjoy the waning days of winter....the quiet time of year....store up and energize for the active days ahead.

Don't forget to check out the resources and links at Homeschool Corner.  You will find  interesting information by reading through some of the postings on the bulletin board.  Homeschooling is a growing phenomena.  Students who are homeschooled have proven their expertise in national spelling and geography bowls.  They are being accepted in top ranked universities and colleges throughout the country.  e-Tutor is a favorite educational program for many homeschooling families.Learn more about the homeschooling movement at Homeschool Corner.

 

 
Learning with e-Tutor:

Nine new lessons were added to e-Tutor this month.  At this time of year students are ready to concentrate hard on their learning skills.  Take advantage of this time to help your student establish good learning habits. 

Students can customize features of e-Tutor by going to the icon at the top of the student page called "My Desktop." 

The options allow you to change your own password, to change the font size and to change the opening window in e-Tutor.  


Change password

To change a password, choose one that is at least five, but no longer than ten, characters long. Please use letters and numbers only. Then, enter your old password, new password, and confirm the new password in the appropriate boxes. If you decide not to change your password, or if you make a mistake, choose "Clear Form," and begin again. When finished, click on "Change Password" to save and activate the new password.

DON'T FORGET TO WRITE YOUR PASSWORD AND PLACE IT IN A SAFE PLACE SO THAT YOU WON'T LOSE OR FORGET IT.

chg_passwd.gif (19299 bytes)

Figure 20. Change Password

Configure desktop

To change any of the desktop settings on your account, click on "Configure Desktop."

Figure 21. Configure Desktop

  • Set the font size by highlighting a number and then clicking "Update this font setting." You will notice that the first sentence changes as you change the font size to demonstrate how it will look in the lesson.
  • If you would like a page other than the default page to appear upon logging in, change that by clicking on a given option.
  • Decide if you want links to pop up on separate windows, or within the frame of the screen.
  • Finally, update all of the settings by clicking on "Update My Preferences," or restore the old settings by clicking on "Restore Settings."

New lessons are added on a regular basis.

If you are not an e-Tutor subscriber, help your student finish the year out strong.  Subscribe today!

www.e-tutor.com

Page 2


Other things may change, but we start and end with family. 

Anthony Brandt, Author

 

Building Strong Families

Why do some families fall apart because of stress while others survive?  What types of families handle stress best?  

Strong families handle stress better than other types.  Building strong families takes work, but that work pays off because it fosters the ability to deal with stress in more positive ways.

Strong families consist of people who are committed to each other, who spend time with one another and who meet problems head-on.  They like and enjoy each other and are not afraid to discuss disagreements.

These families are more satisfied with their lives and cope with stress better than families with some other positive traits such as emotional closeness or flexibility.  Part of the reason for this is the nature of the times in which we live.  

All families experience stress, but when families work together to change, then members will see their family as a source of support and love.  

Adapted Wisconsin Dept. of Public Instruction


A child miseducated is a child lost.  

John F. Kennedy


Using Community Resources

If you or your children are looking for help in solving a problem or getting more involved in the community, there are several different places where you can start looking for information.  These initial ideas will often lead to additional sources. 

A good place to start is a church or school.  You will find people who are aware of the community and know what services are available or they will know where to find the information you need.  Also, try your local or area library.  Not only will you find printed materials, you will also discover that librarians are aware of what is going on in town.  They may be able to direct you to the resources you want.  If they can't, they will know someone who can.  

Yet another good place to start is in the telephone book.  Some telephone books have special sections devoted to community services.  If yours does not, look under headings in the yellow or white pages that pertain to what you are seeking (recreation programs, crisis center, help hotline, clinics, suicide hotline, etc). 

Some counties, communities or school districts have compiled directories of community service organizations and agencies.  Such directories are handy things to have at home.  Contact your county or community government office or the school district office to see if such a publication is available.  It it is not, ask if some other agency has produced such a directory (United Way, for example).  If one office doesn't have one, another office might. 

If you discover there is no such directory in your community, explore the possibility of having one published as a public service by a high school class, an agency or a community service group.

 

 


Helping Your Child Study

Parents play a critical role in supporting students as they study at home.  Here are some tips on things parents should....and shouldn't....do:

  • Help your child find his or her best study time.  Just because you are a morning person doesn't mean that is the best time for your child to study.

  • Make sure to stress a regular time for study every day.  Some kids "forget" they have homework, but not if they know there is going to be an established study time every day.  If your child really doesn't have schoolwork to do, encourage him or her to read a book or research a topic you choose together.  

  • While your child is studying, try to do some quiet work yourself, such as reading or paying bills.

  • Praise your child's efforts.  Help him or her see the connection between hard work and success in school...and in life. 

  • Try to keep books and other materials that reinforce learning around the house.  Examples include newspapers and news magazines, crossword puzzles and word games.

  • Once in a while, your child will ask a question you can't answer.  Relax, your job as a parent isn't to have all the answers.  Don't be afraid to say, "I don't know.  Where can we look that up?"  By doing so, you are teaching your child an even more important lesson...that learning never stops.  

American Association of School Administrators

Page 3


Success is selecting the right course and sticking to it. 

 

 Learning Outside The Box 

Learning happens all the time.  It's part of the daily rhythm of life.  Learning happens all day long, not just inside a classroom.  Nearly every situation can be a learning tool. Consider the following techniques to bolster a child's learning potential:

  • Use the home as the classroom.  The kitchen can play host to a science lesson about condensation or a math problem about adding fractions in a recipe.  The backyard garden is a great science laboratory. Get out a globe and discuss history and current events. 
  • When buying groceries, discuss unit pricing.  Let your kids help balance the checkbook or get them involved in preparing the family's tax return.
  • Find out what children are learning in school and extend that knowledge by pursuing related activities.  If a child is studying the Civil War, take her to a historical reenactment.  if he is learning about another country, help him plan and prepare a meal from the area.
  • Partner with other families to create a co-op, of sorts.  Each parent can turn his or her area of expertise into a real-life lesson for all the children.  Someone with a physics background can give science demonstrations, while a parent with technology skills can help the children build a Web site.
  • Take advantage of the fun and often free opportunities in your community.  Attend music festivals and dance performances or visit the local children's museum, historical society or an orchard.  And don't forget the library.  One home schooling parent took his kids on a tour of a veterinary hospital. 

Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens


Family Time Capsule

Consider making a family time capsule.  To celebrate the new year, a birthday or another special occasion, consider putting together a collection of items that preserve your family memories.

You will need to find a sturdy container that will hold your family souvenirs.  Invite your children to decorate the container with their artwork, a collage of newspaper articles or pictures cut from magazines.  

Here are some things that you might include:

  • Photos of family members and pets

  • Favorite cartoons or comic strips

  • A favorite T-shirt

  • Clippings of current events

  • Personal statistics (height, weight, age, school grade level)

  • Autographs

  • School pictures

  • Copies of old report cards

  • Favorite old toys that are no longer being used.

Once you have assembled your time capsule,  "bury" it in the back of the closet.  They enjoy it in future years. 

Parents Can Help Students Achieve, AASA


Inspiration is the source of creativity.


Goal Setting With Children 

Teach your child how to set goals.  First, help your child choose one goal that is both challenging and attainable.  Examples might be, "I will complete my history reading every night," or "I will receive a grade of 90 on my spelling test."

Next, write the goal.  Post it where your child can see it.  A visual reminder will help keep your child motivated.  Now talk about strategies for accomplishing the goal.  These should be concrete steps that help your child move purposefully toward the goal.  For example, a child trying to improve a spelling grade might:

  • set aside 15 minutes of study time every day

  • make flash cards of the difficult words

  • ask family members to give practice tests.

Check progress.  If your child completes each step, be sure to celebrate her effort.  If she encounters problems, help her get back on track.

Finally, evaluate your child's progress.  Did she reach her goal?  Why or why not?  What did she learn from her success?  If she didn't reach her goal, what did she learn from the experience?  Praise your child's effort in trying to reach the goal and teach her that even though she didn't succeed as she had hoped, she has still mad positive progress.

Then help her set another achievable goal.  Every time your child reaches a goal, she is building her self-esteem so she can try to reach another one. 

American Association of School Administrators

Page 4


Treat people as if they were what they should be and you help them become what they are capable of being. 

 

Time Management Tips for Teens

When it comes to completing homework and assignments, tough adjustments are often necessary.  High school students often have so many activities happening that  it is easy to procrastinate and put your schoolwork on the the back burner.   

Procrastination can be the best friend of students or the worst enemy.  Unfortunately procrastination often leads to faltering grades, all-night study sessions and stress.  Using an effective form of time management can help eliminate all your procrastination problems.  Here are a few tips to get you started:

  1. Make triple to-do lists.  Create three separate lists to schedule your time.  First look at the next month and plan out any major assignments, tests, social gatherings or other important events.  Next break your month down week by week.  This way you know what you have to concentrate on.  Follow that us by making a daily to-do list.  Be sure to schedule some down time so you don't feel bogged down with work. 
  2. Take 10.  The first 10 minutes of work are the absolute hardest to get into.  if you can force yourself through those first few agonizing minutes, you will have somewhat smooth sailing ahead.  Ignore the commotion of your house and forget about that "Simpsons" rerun on television.  Force yourself to type that paper, research that article or open your textbooks for just 10 minutes.  By the time the 10-minute segment is over, you will be enthralled in your work. 
  3. Spread the Love.  Spreading a study schedule over time is more productive than cramming studying into a single session.  Trying to cram the night before a test can be detrimental.  
  4. Stay cool.  One of the most important things to remember is not to sweat the small stuff and stay on track.  If you manage your time properly, you can avoid all the stress that comes along with missed deadlines and overdue reports.  Stress can be a major issue for students.  

Manage your time efficiently and effectively to stay the course in your school work.  Be smart, organized and determined.  And most of all, keep your calm.  

Adapted from The Next Step Magazine

 

Great Leaders

Of all the presidents who served this nation, George Washington and Abraham Lincoln stand well above the rest.  They were different from each other in many ways.  Washington was an aristocrat...aloof and serious.  Lincoln was just the opposite.  Born in a log cabin, Lincoln was folksy and had an incomparable sense of humor.  

Despite their different ways, each accomplished great things.  Deep down, however, both shared the same moral and ethical values.  Both were devoted to their country and the welfare of their fellow citizens.  Both were religious.  Both were models of honesty and integrity.  

Their lives are an everlasting inspiration and example to all who aspire to lead others. 

 

Page 5


A generous and noble sprit cannot be expected to dwell in the breasts of men who are struggling for their daily bread. 

Dionysis

Fabulous February Links!

Good Grief, Charlie Brown:   For 50 years, Charles Schulz drew and wrote Peanuts, the most successful comic strip of all time, with a family of characters many grew to love. He left behind a world he made better.  The official Peanuts place helps  us to reminisce in a world  where Charlie Brown manages to win a few ball games, everyone believes in the Great Pumpkin, and Snoopy always bests the Red Baron. 
http://www.peanuts.com/

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Where Do Languages Come From?   The Exploratorium produced this series of exercises to demonstrate  similarities and differences between words of several languages. Great  for tying geography lessons into language arts curriculum. These  activities, like Be a Word Historian, are created to be completed either online or offline.
http://www.exploratorium.edu/exploring/language/ 

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Bird of the Week:   Have you ever heard a Tree Swallow? No, not the scary trees in the  Wizard of Oz. The Tree Swallow is the only swallow to make substantial  use of seeds and berries, rather than insects. How do I know? The  Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology told me so. And let me listen to the  call of the Tree Swallow. Each week, they feature a new bird with  sounds, great photos, and other great resources. Join the Classroom  Feeder Watch or become a Citizen Science participant to help observe our fine, feathered friends.
http://birds.cornell.edu/bow/

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DoHistory:  Delve into the diary of Martha Ballard, featured in the book and film "A  Midwife's Tale." This website allows students to learn about using primary sources in research by having access to 27 years of this remarkable woman's writings . In addition to the diary, there is information about midwifery and herbal medicine and tips on reading older documents. Some of the featured diary segments feature local murders and a rape, although the style is less sensational than current newspapers. Students can compare the journal entries of Martha Ballard and one of her contemporaries, Henry Sewall.
http://www.dohistory.com

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Your Cancer Risk:  The Harvard Center for Cancer Prevention designed this tool for adults  over the age of forty to assesses their risk of cancer. Individuals are asked questions about diet, personal history, environment, and family history. The results can be a little shocking, but clarify the factors (those supported by current medical research) that contribute to cancer. Students can learn the lifestyle decisions that impact their future. Adults can assess their risk of breast cancer, colon cancer, lung cancer and prostate cancer and find out ways to reduce these risks.
http://www.yourcancerrisk.harvard.edu

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Talking With Kids About Tough Issues:  This useful site  provides an overview of the health concerns facing many of our students. Explore topics such as sex, HIV/AIDS, violence, alcohol, and drug abuse. This online resource is a helpful place for parents to go to learn positive strategies for communicating with their children. Simple, yet powerful, the message is clear that our kids need us. 
http://www.talkingwithkids.org/

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Look Who's Footing the Bill!  This site uses the national debt controversy to inspire students toward taking democratic action. After exploring the issue from four perspectives, students have to answer the question,  "What's so big about a $5 trillion debt?" They can use the interactive Thesis Maker and Online Outliner to begin the persuasive essay they will ultimately send to their congressional representatives. 
http://www.kn.pacbell.com/wired/democracy

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Daily Grammar:  Posted by veteran English teacher, this site provides simple and clear lessons on the basics of English grammar. Set up in modules of five examples and a  follow-up quiz, the simplicity of the approach and the explanations make 
this a great site for students to use themselves when they
feel they need self-paced remediation or enrichment. 
http://www.dailygrammar.com/

Enjoy a Wonderful Month!

From the Staff at Strategic Studies Corporation

 
Copyright © 2004 Strategic Studies Corp.
http://www.strategicstudies.com