has finally bloomed in our part of the world. Grass is greening,
buds are popping, fresh leaves are introducing themselves to the sun
and warmth.....what a beautiful time of the year! I find myself
drawn to my garden to check for new growth all too frequently.
My fascination with the rebirth of plants is revitalizing. The
season's energy and growth spreads to each of us in different
ways. Old challenges, become new, old habits are thrown off and
new started, another direction has renewed possibility, and tired
bones and muscles become active again. One can only celebrate
and embrace such a time of year!
This month I took a week off to attend a conference
held annually in Boulder. The Conference on World Affairs brings
noted leaders from around the world to speak on a variety of
topics. In one session we heard from a twenty-four year old
woman who was instrumental in using public media to spread the
word for the overthrow of the government in Egypt.
But the session, I was most interested in was from
Liz Coleman, the president of Bennington College in Vermont, who talked about
the values of democracy and how they relate to education. She
stated that the idealization of the expert (teachers), fragmentation
of knowledge, emphasis on mastery, neutrality as a condition of
academic achievement hampers our ability to pursue the important
connections between the public good and education, between
intellectual integrity and human freedom, between thought and
action. And so, education is more likely to breed a learned
helplessness than a sense of empowerment. We made the schools we
currently have; hence we can unmake and remake them. She
concluded with "The world is correct in its ongoing, passionate
commitment to the power of education despite everything. Imagine
what could happen if we do it right. Imagine what will happen if
we do not."
In our small way,
Knowledge Headquarters continues to chip away at the perceived notion
of schooling. It is our belief that online learning can change
the way education is offered today, if created with innovative
thought, values the development of student potential to reason, to
imagine, to communicate and to understand those things that are of
value to an informed citizenry.
Enjoy this beautiful
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by Meindert Dejong
Illustrated by Maurice Sendak
This is the story
of Candy from when he was a puppy. As a puppy he is punished
with a broom. Candy learns to adjust in his puppy way, but never
recovers from his fear of the broom.
On the way back
from a trip to the country to see family, Dad has a flat tire by
a bridge on a deserted country road. Catherine, the girl, takes
Candy with her down to the creek. After the two have played
there and had a wonderful time, Catherine hears Dad putting the
tools back in the car and starts back. Suddenly a thunderstorm
with hail is upon them. Catherine calls Candy, assuming the dog
will follow her. Indeed he starts to, but there, in a pile of
mud in his path, is a broom. In spite of the wails of the
children, the family goes on home, with Dad promising to bring
the children back to search after the storm.
Candy runs far from the bridge and is not found. He learns to
live as a stray. He is rescued by a woman in a wagon, but she
has an accident and Candy is taken to the pound. Will he ever
find a real home?
1954 Newbery Honor
SMILE! It's a
good habit to start.
How to Smile
"Tis easy enough to be
pleasant, when life flows along like a song;
But the man worthwhile is the one
who will smile when everything goes dead
from "Worthwhile" by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
When you are building the habit of
smiling try smiling different ways. One of the ways that
smiling is taught is the vowel method. Look at yourself in
the mirror. Now with a smile say the vowels. You will
notice that with the "A" comes a friendly, amused,
smile. "E: is the greeting, passing on the street sort of
smile. "I" is a laughing smile. "O" is the
sly, coy, "I'm enjoying myself" smile. "U" is
the casual, "I'm glad to know you" smile.
You may feel you do not have a
pleasant smile. That is not true. What you are saying
is, "I have a difficult time letting my feeling
show." There is a natural reluctance to expose to
others how you feel on the inside. If this is a strong
feeling for you it may cause your smile to be stiff, mechanical,
held back. If this is your problem, practicing in private
Smile with your eyes, your
eyebrows, the corners of your mouth. Make sure most of your
top teeth are showing and very little of the bottom teeth.
And relax! Want to smile! Want to add joy and brightness to
your days and the days of others. There is no gift you can
give as inexpensively as a smile.
As the ancient Talmud reveals:
"Better is the person who shows a smiling countenance that
the one who offers mild to drink."
And the habit of smiling can be a
valuable source of strength in facing those situations which might
otherwise cause you to sink in discouragement and despair. Make
today a happy day for yourself and others.
Adapted from Chicago
Believe in Possibilities
As parents we have a
tendency to think it's our role to guide our children toward worldly
success, and although this is partially true, it is not the entire
picture. Your children are spiritual beings; their souls as well
as their bodies need your care. Parent who put the emphasis on
things...success, fame, possessions, and worldly thrills...are doing
their children a great disservice.
Believing in possibilities
means trusting in the divine nature of your child and seeing the
divine nature in yourself. Parents can light the way to deeper
fulfillment in little ways, the most important of which is by your
example. Live more simply, treat every living thing lovingly,
learn to live in the moment, and take time to enjoy the things in life
that truly matter. Spend time with your children in
nature. Whether or not you go to church, you can add a spiritual
practice to your life.
A vital part of our
spiritual quest is coping with the down times, the hard times, the
turmoil, the anguish. Children too feel blue and feel the
longings of their souls. As parents we sometimes jump in too
quickly to make it all right. Sometimes it is wiser to be with
them in spirit and let the answers unfold. Believing in
possibilities, we know that although tough times come, we can
transcend them and survive. That with each struggle, comes a
lesson and a fresh possibility.
Adapted from Wonderful Ways to Love
A Child, by Judy Fordt
Study Skills: How
Some people need absolute
peace and quiet so they can concentrate. Others seem to do
better with some soft music playing in the background.
In fact, researchers have
found that for some students, soft music...not loud, pulsating music
like rock or heavy metal...actually can help concentration and
memory. Baroque music, such as Bach, with no words and about
sixty beats per minute seems to promote the best learning
(Source: William Allman, "Mindworks," Science 86, May
1986, p. 23).
Do your own
experiment. Try having your student study with the music on and
with it off and see what works best for him.
But researchers and
educators agree on one thing. Yu can't study effectively with
the TV on. Television hinders studying because you need to have
your eyes on your work. You need to ay attention to what is
being read, not to what is happening on television. So when it
is time for studying, turn off the TV.
Adapted from American
Association of School Administrators
Have many definitions for
Develop The On-Time
You can begin
to trim much of the time you waste waiting if you adopt the on-time
habit. Hopefully, your family and friends will follow your
lead. Here are some steps to help"
needs. How long will it actually take to complete what
you need to do? Running out of time often results from not
considering how much time you really need.
Start on time.
Don't wait until the last minute. Give yourself plenty of
time to be able to do the job right and still finish by your
Set your watch
early. Vince Lombardi, the legendary coach of the Green
Bay Packers football team, told his players that if they weren't
15 minutes early they were late. The players set their
watches ahead to make sure that they were on time.
Focus on leaving
time, not arrival time. For example, suppose you must
leave by 2:15 to get to a 3:00 meeting. Think 2:15, not
3:00. Focus all your efforts on leaving by 2:15. If
you focus on 3:00, you are more likely to be late.
Avoid the tendency
to finish "one last thing" before you depart.
When it's time to leave, go. Don't give in the temptation to
take one more call, handle one more question, or write one more
note. Trying to squeeze in one more task will often make you
Allow for the
unexpected. Things frequently go wrong. When you
are in a hurry, more things go wrong. Allow extra time in
your schedule to handle unexpected problems.
Change your habits.
Commit your self to being an on-time person.
writers are often good readers. Children who love books are
usually hooked by the magic of writing.
to your preschool child. Talk and ask questions about the
books you read.
children of all ages with appropriate reading matter in the
home. Take them to the library regularly. Give
children's books and magazine subscriptions as gifts.
a model. Let your child see you reading...the mail, a
newspaper, a book, a recipe, or a set of instructions.
from National Education Association
When You Have To Reprimand
In talking about positive motivation,
we sometimes minimize the necessity of dealing with a child whose
actions are unacceptable. But like it or not, part of parenting
is to reprimand when the action warrants it. Here is how to do it,
when it must be done.
- Don't smile. The moment
you smile, even though you are trying to put the child at ease,
you have reduced your effectiveness. Smiling indicates
approval, and you are talking about actions that do not have your
- Don't gunny-sack.
Gunny-sacking is saving up all of your complaints and problems
until the bag is full then dumping it on the child.
Reprimand as soon as possible after the problem occurs.
- Be specific. Tell the
child what he did wrong. Tell him what you observed and how
that differs from what you expected. Give him a chance to
clarify the issue. But don't accept "excuses."
- Tell her how you feel about
what she did or did not do. If you are surprised, or angry
or disappointed, tell her.
- Put the reprimand into
perspective. You are reprimanding the child for a specific
action in a specific situation, not for being a "bad
person" or a "naughty child." Let him know
that you value his actions in general and in other specific
situations though not here.
- Don't repeat the reprimand.
Once the reprimand is given, you've done it. Go back to what
you were doing.
Adapted from Practical
Promise big. Deliver bigger.
The Journey North: This annual Internet-based
adventure engages students in a global study of wildlife migration and
seasonal change. Students predict the arrival of spring from half a
world away. From the Annenberg/CPB Math and Science Project.
Land: Created by high school math and physics teacher Ed
Zobel, Zona Land provides resources for students to fully grasp major
concepts in Algebra, Geometry, and Physics. Divided into two sections,
"More Mathematics than Science" and "More Science than
Mathematics" students can better visualize waves, graphing, and
The Cave of
site from the Ministry of Culture in France lets you take a virtual
tour of the Palaeolithic wall paintings of Lascaux. Students of all
ages can explore the caves, learn more about the images in the
paintings, and discover the materials used by the artists 15,000 years
ago. This website is available in English, French, Spanish, and
Gardens "teach children not only about plants, nature, and the
outdoors, but other subjects as well." This site includes school
garden themes, things to consider before you create a garden, a
step-by-step guide, curriculum ideas, and more.
to the Preservation of Early Recorded Sound: Would you like to
hear the sounds of the early 20th century? Visit this website to hear
the music of the times originally preserved on wax cylinder
recordings. Students can learn about the early technology used to
record sound and hear bands, singers and statesmen of the day. The
Cylinder of the Month Archive links to a variety of sounds, both in
WAV and Real format.
Particle Data Group, this site introduces the Standard Model theory of
fundamental particles and forces. It explores the experimental
evidence and the reasons physicists want to go beyond this theory. In
addition, it provides information on particle decay, a brief history
section, and materials to support learning
the World Around You!
From the Knowledge HQ Staff
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