April 2003 Vol. 6.4   
http://www.strategicstudies.com
 ..

President's
Message


Learning With e-Tutor

A Success Guide

Parent Involvement Helps Children

Evaluate the Value of TV

Five Major Time Wasters

Spinning Into Control

Dropout Danger Signals

Those Who Persevere

Astounding April Links

Top of Page

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

President's
Message


Learning With e-Tutor

A Success Guide

Parent Involvement Helps Children

Evaluate the Value of TV

Five Major Time Wasters

Spinning Into Control

Dropout Danger Signals

Those Who Persevere

Astounding April Links

Top of Page

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

President's
Message


Learning With e-Tutor

A Success Guide

Parent Involvement Helps Children

Evaluate the Value of TV

Five Major Time Wasters

Spinning Into Control

Dropout Danger Signals

Those Who Persevere

Astounding April Links

Top of Page

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

President's
Message


Learning With e-Tutor

A Success Guide

Parent Involvement Helps Children

Evaluate the Value of TV

Five Major Time Wasters

Spinning Into Control

Dropout Danger Signals

Those Who Persevere

Astounding April Links

Top of Page

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

President's
Message


Learning With e-Tutor

A Success Guide

Parent Involvement Helps Children

Evaluate the Value of TV

Five Major Time Wasters

Spinning Into Control

Dropout Danger Signals

Those Who Persevere

Astounding April Links

Top of Page

 

 

 

 

 

 

Presidentís Message

The past month has been another very busy time for us. We continue to add to our library of lessons while creating educational content for businesses and organizations.  Busy, I guess is a relative term, the time I spend working is all-consuming.  Last week an accountant friend called.  She shared how she had been working seventy and eighty hours the past few weeks. She had "gone over the wall" and did not know how she was standing. Well, I am sure I have been there on any number of occasions, but our work is simply interesting, fascinating and constantly changing and the hours of work do not seem grueling....they are just there. I am learning so much every day.....at times my mind is tired, but I want to continue on because the possibilities are endless. So for me busy is okay....not enough time in a day or week.....never. But the challenge is invigorating and I relish the "busyness".

April brings growth and flowers to our part of the world. The trees are alive with buds, flowers dance to every color of the rainbow, green bursts from the brown soil.....what an explosion to the senses. There is a freshness in the air bringing a sense of revitalization.  It is becoming increasingly hard for me to stay inside....I am drawn to the garden for a period each day.  There is much to explore as new plants spring up each day.  The unfolding is intriguing and magical. 

Each day I try to walk several miles. It provides me the opportunity to exercise and helps me set my priorities. These days there is actually a "spring" in my steps as I embrace the sights and sounds of these wonderful Spring days.

We continue to delight in the frequent phone calls we get from you.  Your comments stimulate our thinking and help us with the ongoing improvement of  instruction.   

Celebrate each day this  month!

 

 

The study of animals is fascinating and interesting for children of all ages. The subject of animals covers all areas of the curriculum.  Discover and learn with your children and students!  Go to Knowledge HQ for information, activities and ideas for students, parents and teachers!
 


Learning with e-Tutor:

Twenty new lessons were added to e-Tutor this month.  The lessons cross all levels and all curricular areas.  Lessons are written by writers from across the United States.  A few international writers have even submitted lessons.  e-Tutor has nearly 1600 lessons now.  

Accreditation  -
All e-Tutor lessons follow National Goals for Learning.  These are broad statements of learning in the major curricular areas.  Goals and objectives can be viewed for each lesson completed by the student by going to the parent login, viewing the report card and the lessons the student has completed.

e-Tutor will give a Certificate of Completion for those who request it.  This can be used in lieu of a diploma if need be.  Report cards can be printed and should be kept with the student records.  

Entrance to Colleges and Universities -
Students who have been homeschooled are being accepted in universities and colleges across the country.  Students will have to take the SAT or ACT necessary for all entrants.  A diploma is no longer required.  However good records and a broad range of subject matter is expected.  e-Tutor provides parents and students with records that can be used as proof of learning for institutions and state or local education agencies. 

Studying with e-Tutor
Each e-Tutor lesson takes from one hour to one and a half hours to complete.  Some lessons may take longer, especially at the High School Level.  A literature lesson about "Animal Farm" will take the student four days to complete.  It is important that the student complete the Activity and Extended Learning parts of each lesson.  These reinforce the concept or skill taught in the lesson and build critical thinking skills.

Take a tour of e-Tutor and view four lessons.  Use the opportunity to subscribe for your student today!

www.e-tutor.com

Page 2

Quality is not an act.  it is a habit. 

Aristotle

 

A Success Guide:  
Self-Reliance, Self-Esteem and 
Self Discipline

How can you help your child develop these important attributes?  Here are a few suggestions:

  • Let your child know how interested you are in what he or she has to say.  Show how carefully you are considering his or her opinions. 
  • It is good to add "Do this instead" when you must tell your child no.  Substituting a permissible activity takes the child's mind off the thing forbidden and promotes a positive view.
  • When answering your child's questions or reviewing spelling words, suggest that he or she look up the answer in a reference source.  help your child find the answer, but don't be too quick to "give" it. 
  • Speak proudly and frequently about your child's strengths.
  • Help your child find time each day that is his or hers alone.  Children need time to think, dream, plan, make decisions and free their minds from problems.
  • Allow your child, when possible, to experience the consequences of actions.  A lost toy, for example, might not be replaced.
  • Proudly display your child's accomplishments at home.  This includes everything from a five-year-old's artwork to a teenager's merit badge. 

Adapted from National Education Association

No furniture is so charming as books. 

Sydney Smith


Ask Yourself Four Questions

Every once in a while, get off the merry-go-round and ask yourself these questions:

  • What are we doing?

  • What should we be doing?

  • What should we be doing next?

  • What should we not be doing?

From 36,000 Feet...., Minneapolis, MN




Parent Involvement Helps Students

From studies so far, we have learned several important things:

  1. The family provides the primary educational environment.
  2. Involving parents in their children's formal education improves a student achievement.
  3. parent involvement is most effective when it is comprehensive, long-lasting and well planned.
  4. The benefits are not confined to early childhood or the elementary level; there are strong effects from involving parents continuously throughout high school.
  5. Involving parents in their own children's education at home is not enough.  To ensure the quality of schools as institutions serving the community, parents must be involved at all levels of the school.
  6. Children from low-income and minority families have the most to gain when schools involve parents.  Parents do not have to be well-educated to help.
  7. We cannot look at the school and the home in isolation from one another; we must see how they interconnect with each other and with the world at large.  

The Evidence Continues To Grow:  Parent Involvement Improves Student Achievement, An Annotated Bibliography by Anne Henderson

Page 3

Children need love, especially when they do not deserve it. 

Harold S. Hulbert

 

Evaluate the Value of TV

The average American child watches television five hours a day or 1,825 hours a year.

  • Protect your child's reading, studying and activity time by controlling the television.
  • Consider time limits or keeping the TV off until after homework is completed.  Or you can schedule special programs into your family calendar, but limit total TV time.  Some families us TV as an incentive, letting children earn TV hours with chores or well-done homework.
  • Keeping activities in proportion

Sports, after-school classes and music lessons are all beneficial activities.  However, your child's schoolwork can suffer if he or she doesn't have time for relaxing, phoning and socializing. 

Watch your teenager's schedule carefully to be certain he or she does not become harried and pressured.  Communicate clearly that school is the top priority.  If a parent doesn't help protect study time, it can easily be whittled away. 

National School Public Relations Association



Five Major Time Wasters

  1. Spreading yourself too thin by trying to do too many things at once.
    Suggestion:  Set  priorities for each day and if necessary each hour.  Get the most important things done first.

  2. Being afraid to delegate.
    Suggestion:  Convince yourself that it is not necessary to do everything yourself.  You can still be certain things are being done the way you want them to be when you delegate. 

  3. Not wanting to say "no" to requests.
    Suggestion:  You can't say "yes" to everything without getting in over your head.  Decide what you must do...and want to do...and say "no" to all other requests.

  4. Being tied to the phone. 
    Suggestion:  Have others screen your calls.  Use an answering machine when you don't want to be disturbed.  Schedule a telephone hour to return calls.

  5. Procrastinating.
    Suggestion:  Get those unpleasant chores done first...if they're important.  Divide large tasks into smaller ones.  Reward yourself when you accomplish something. 

Woman's Own, Dr. Jan Yager

Be fanatics.  When it comes to being and doing and dreaming the best, be maniacs.

A.M. Rosenthal, The New York Times

Spinning Into Control

Remember how tops fascinated us as a kid?  Even today, a spinning mass casts its mesmerizing spell.  How long will it turn without a wobble?  Can it overcome a bump or crack in the floor?  Instinctively, we root for its success, knowing all the while the certainty of gravity's pull.

In important ways, family life is like a spinning top.  We launch our family experience with a first strong pull on the string.  Our new family, shinny and bright, delights us with the freedom and surprises as it dances.  And when the initial momentum is spent, we eagerly and lovingly wind the string and pull....again and again. 

As tops are made for spinning, so families are made for loving.  no number of bumps along the way can change these destinies.  A spinning top is beautiful.  Its nicks and worn places disappear.  Like a family, spinning strongly with purpose, we overlook the flaws in favor of enjoying the dance.  It satisfies the soul.

Of course, tops don't spin forever...the motion isn't perpetual.  And a good family requires a regular renewal of energy.  Spinning "in control" is the result of sustained commitment and hard work.  So next time your family life seems to wobble, or be at risk of toppling, quickly wind again the string of commitment and pull hard.  It's your destiny!

Smart Families

Page 4

No easy problem ever comes to the President of the United States.  If they are easy to solve, somebody else has solved them.

John F. Kennedy, 1962 

 

Dropout Danger Signals

Corporations, business groups, private individuals and large foundations are joining with parent and educators across the nation to curb an alarming growth in student dropout rates.  Here are some things to look for:

  1. Behind in grade level and older than classmates. Students held back score worse on achievement tests than similar youngsters passed along to the next grade.
  2. Academic performance. Whether the focus is on grades or basic skills abilities, dropouts are classic "underachievers."
  3. Detention or suspension. Not only are suspension ineffective in encouraging good discipline, but they keep students out of class and alienate them from school.
  4. Pregnancy. Four out of five girls who become pregnant in high school drop out as compared to less than 10 percent of those who are childless.
  5. Dislike school. Many students are scared of the potential dangers in school and feel school is a "prison." 
  6. Welfare and single-parent households.  Dropouts are three times more likely than high school graduates to come from families that receive welfare. 
  7. Attractiveness of work. The work world often seems like the only alternative for youngsters in trouble in school.  Many leave school to take entry-level jobs that offer only limited employment potential.
  8. Attraction of military service. In recent years, up to a third of new enrollees in our armed forces had not completed high school.  Currently, high school completion or GED is criteria for acceptance into the military.
  9. Not enrolled in a college preparatory program. 
  10. Undiagnosed learning disabilities and emotional problems.
  11. Language difficulties.  Language is a critical element in achieving success in school and outside. 

Dropouts in America:  Enough is Known for Action by Andrew Hahn and Jacqueline Danzburger with Bernard Lefkowitz, Institute for Educational Leardership
 

 

Those Who Persevere

It's a rare person who doesn't get discouraged.  Whether it happens to us or to a friend or family member we're trying to cheer up, the answer centers around one word:  perseverance.

The value of courage, persistence and perseverance has rarely been illustrated more convincingly than in the life story of this man (his age appears in the column on the right):

Failed in business 22
Ran for Legislature...defeated 23
Again failed in business 24
Elected to Legislature 25
Sweetheart died 26
Had a nervous breakdown 27
Defeated for Speaker 29
Defeated for Elector 31
Defeated for Congress 34
Elected to Congress 37
Defeated for Congress 39
Defeated for Senate 46
Defeated for Vice President 47
Defeated for Senate 49
Elected president of the United States 51

That is the record of Abraham Lincoln.

Page 5

Children have never been good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them. 

James Baldwin

Astounding April Links

Access Excellence: The Mystery Spot 
Great online and offline activities that allow educators and  students to solve mysteries using science. Find out what happened to the local frog population, explore Arctica, or use a microscope to solve a mystery.  Fourteen activities are designed to show science in a whole new light.
http://www.accessexcellence.org/AE/mspot/

Peace Corps World Wide Schools 
This wonderful addition to the Peace Corps site offers many resources for educators and students. Connect with a volunteer, find lesson plans relating to different countries, view video clips (requiring RealPlayer) of Peace Corps educational videos, and read folk tales recorded by Peace Corps volunteers.
http://www.peacecorps.gov/wws/

Virtual Exhibits from the Virtual Museum of Canada 
View Canada in terms of the artwork of Canada and the Americas, historic events that have impacted the Canadian people, and major influences in the Canadian culture. Students can also discover how learning science, doing science, and applying science each play a distinct role in the development of a country. The Teacherís Centre includes search capabilities for museum and online educational programs. (Flash or RealPlayer is required for some exhibits)
http://www.virtualmuseum.ca/English/Exhibits/index.html

The English Room
For educators who wish to explore poetry with their students, take a look at 30 Days of Poetry. Students have a poetry writing assignment each of the 30 days, or teachers can assign several types of poems for students to experience. Research Using Technology has an activity where students research a word using several sources, then write short essays about what they discovered. Check out this site for other creative ideas that 
English and writing teachers can incorporate into their curriculum.
http://www.msrogers.com/English2/poetry/30_days_of_poetry.htm

Medieval Technology Pages 
Seeing technology and medieval in the same phrase may cause you to rethink the term technology and what it has meant to people over the ages. The Subject Index for this site alphabetically lists technology developed and used between 500 and 1600 AD in Western Europe. Or, view the timeline that shows the approximate year certain technologies were introduced in Europe. From Agricultural Tools to the Wine Press, learn how inventions and adaptations made a difference in how people lived their lives.

http://scholar.chem.nyu.edu/tekpages/Technology.html

Tufts University Child and Family WebGuide 
The Child & Family WebGuide describes and evaluates web sites that contain research-based information about child development. Websites in the areas of Education/Learning,
Family/Parenting, Childcare/Daycare, Health/Mental Health, and Typical Development are organized and reviewed to save the 
user time and provide a wide variety of resources.
http://www.cfw.tufts.edu/

Born in Slavery Slave Narratives from the Federal Writers' Project, 1936-1938
These narratives are part of the heritage of the people of the United States. First, they record the remembrances of African Americans living in the 1930s that had been born into slavery. Second, they were collected in the 1930s as part of the Federal Writers' Project of the Works Progress Administration (WPA). Previously published as Slave Narratives: A Folk History of Slavery in the United States from Interviews with Former Slaves,
this collection is now readily available to the general public. The
typewritten pages of the original transcripts have been scanned and placed online in a searchable database. More than 200 photographs from the Prints and Photographs Division are also available online.
http://lcweb2.loc.gov/ammem/snhtml/

Laboratory for Applied Biotelemetry & Biotechnology 
This may sound way too high tech for most people, but this website from LABB at Texas A&M has great links to what organization worldwide for conservation and tracking of wildlife. Learn all about their research projects, and how technology helps them monitor marine mammals around the world. Look to their
directory links at the bottom of the homepage for other great resources.
http://www.tamug.edu/labb/LABB_frame.htm

What is a Print? 
Learn the basics of wood block, etching, lithography, and screen 
printing with mini-tutorials (requires Flash plugin). The New York Museum of Modern Art, combines these tutorials with examples of each type of printing and a glossary of print terminology.
http://www.moma.org/whatisaprint/flash.html


Enjoy a Spectacular Month!

From the Staff at Strategic Studies Corporation

 
Copyright © 2003 Strategic Studies Corp.
http://www.strategicstudies.com