_In The News                          June 2004   Vol. 7-6

Presidentís Message

We talk each month about how quickly the month has passed.  And, we do find time slipping by, but each day brings something new and exciting for us to think about, to act upon and to enjoy.  We like the days full and with not quite enough time to do everything we had wanted to do.  It is the anticipation of each day that we find so vitalizing.  Each of you are a big part of our day.  We enjoy talking with you, learning about your efforts and working with your students. Thank you for the confidence you have in us and our programs.   
When you go to a few of our websites, you may find something new that has been added this month.  Several pages, like the Bulletin Boards and  Education Online, now have ad placements from Google.  Hopefully the ads will provide you with additional information that you may be able to use.  We have had a long standing working relationship with Google and look forward to continuing it in the future.  We do not and will not advertise to students, however.  Please let us know your reaction to this new addition.    
Just because it is summer, does not mean that our students should take a vacation from learning.  Summer learning can be more experiential and hands-on.  Students can learn a new sport, a new art form, plant a garden, plan a bike race, create a skateboard park, plan a trip, develop a travel brochure or document birds and insects in their neighborhood.  Let their imaginations soar.  You will be surprised at their capacity for creating something new and different.

Summer also provides parents an opportunity to change schedules and practices.  Our days need to flexible enough to adapt to our child's summer activities.  Much of what keeps us occupied during the rest of the year, can wait during the summer months.  If we are relaxed, our children will gain more from a summer devoted to learning, as well as playing.  

Wishing you much happiness this month. 


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.


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The trouble with the future is that it keeps getting closer and closer. 

       Learning with e-Tutor:

The e-Tutor Report Card

One of the important features of the e-Tutor Program is reporting  student achievement.  If you have not been printing these out on a regular basis, you will want to take time now to review the feature and print out reports for your student.  e-Tutor sets up individual portfolios for each student.  The report cards can also be emailed. 

After logging in to e-Tutor, using your unique ID and Password, select "Report Cards" on the menu at the left side of the screen.. To review student progress,  click on a curricular area tab (Language Arts, Mathematics, Science or Social Studies). You will  find a report similar to the one below.  This is a report for Science.


 Student Portfolio




The table lists the lessons the student has accessed.  These can be reviewed by clicking on the title. Quiz and exam scores may also be viewed by clicking on a given score.

In the example above, Carl has read the first lesson but has not completed the quiz or exam.  In the second lesson he has taken the quiz several times.  Each time he takes the quiz the scores are averaged.  In this case his scores are improving.  

In the example below, John has taken a quiz for the second lesson and his scores are going down.  In the third lesson he has taken an exam and received 80 percent.  This is the default score for quizzes and exams.  We put a check mark by the score if it is equal to the default.  If it is higher there will be a smiling face.  If it is lower there will be a frowning face.  

Report Card

In the example shown above, the student John Smith has read the lesson "Antartica" but has not completed the quiz or exam. In the event the student was not seriously thinking when taking either the quiz or exam, you may clear the scores so the student can take them again.

To print the report card, click on the printer icon next to the words "Print Report", located on the top of the page. You may also have the report e-mailed to you. To receive the report card by e-mail, your e-mail program (such as MS-Outlook, Netscape communicator, etc.) must be able to read HTML code. Please refer to your e-mail program help section on how to enable HTML emails.

The book icon, under the "Study Materials" column, will launch a separate window that will list additional study materials on the topic of the lesson as they become available. This feature has not yet been activated.  You will receive a message explaining this if you click on the icon.

e-Tutor has many features that stimulate and enhance learning for students.  It was years in planning and is continually being upgraded and improved upon.  

Summer is an ideal time for students to begin exploring lessons at e-Tutor.  Summer learning opportunities keep important learned skills and concepts active.  

Ten new lessons were added to e-Tutor this month.  Subscribe today for your child!


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Quality is not an act.  It is a habit.


Raising a Healthy Child

Your child's health is absolutely critical to success.....in every stage of life, in every endeavor.  You  can manage your child's health by seeing that your child receives medical attention, by guarding her or his safety and by providing balanced meals and encouraging physical activities.  

As part of growing mentally, every child must gradually learn to become the custodian of her or his body by taking on the responsibility of individual well-being.  It is a gradual process....a learning process.  No one can teach a child alone.  

Through adequate education in health, we can provide our children with:

  • Opportunities to clarify values and attitudes about health that develop a sense of personal health responsibility. 
  • An understanding of growth and development.
  • Pride in developing and maintaining good health.
  • Access to reliable counseling....opportunities to discuss problems with an adult who is interested and knowledgeable.
  • A critical attitude toward health services and products.
  • An interest in health and safety aspects of their daily lives.
  • Needed information on the crucial health problems we encounter.

National Education Association

The art and science of asking questions is the source of all knowledge.

Dr. Adolf Berle

Decisions, Decisions

Whether you have one especially vexing problem to resolve or many small ones, you can ease the decision-making process.  Here's how:

  • Consider all the alternatives open to you.  Look at both the negative and positive consequences of each alternative. 
  • Base your decision on the outcome you are seeking and your personal philosophy.  Otherwise, whatever the merits of your decision, it will add  little to the big picture. 
  • Take the feelings of those involved into account.  When family and friends know you do this, their responses to unpopular decisions are often softened. 
  • Realize that your decision must please you, not necessarily enhance your popularity.
  • Once you have considered the information, make your decision in a timely   fashion.  Procrastination can be costly.
  • Announce your decision with confidence.
  • Act on your decision without waiting for praise to validate it.  You can't always count on achieving consensus.
  • Remember that not all decisions will prove to be successful, even though you based them on the best information available.  But no decision is irrevocable; new paths can be charted.  The success of what you have planned, not just one aspect of it, is what counts.

Adapted from Executive Female, Connie Sitterly and Beth Duke     


Tips on How to Tip

With summer here, many of us have planned much deserved vacations.  I'm always in a quandary about just how much is enough.  Your own common sense is probably just fine, but in the event you need some help, here are some suggestions:

  • Bellhop.  Tip $1 per bag if your bellhop shows you to your room or takes your bags down when you check out.  Tip more for heavy or large bags. 
  • Concierge.  Tip only for certain services....such as making airline or restaurant reservations or getting tickets for a show.  Tip either when you are serviced or before you check out. 
  • Doorkeep.  Tip $1 or $2 if the doorkeep carries your luggage and 50 cents to $1 for flagging a taxi.  A tip is not required for opening a car door. 
  • Maid.  One dollar per night is the suggested tip for a maid.  Leave the tip in a marked envelope.
  • Parking attendant.  Tip $1 or $2 when your car is delivered. 
  • Room-service.  Tip the room server the same as any restaurant server....15 percent of the bill.  If a room service charge is added, still tip.  This is not a gratuity.  (Check the bill to see if a gratuity is included.)
  • Musicians.  Tip strolling players $1 per request; a small band combo, $2 or $3; larger bands, $5. 

Adapted from Resorts and Incentives       


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You can teach a student a lesson for a day; but if you can teach him to learn by creating curiosity, he will continue the learning process as long as he lives.

Editing the Key to Good Writing

Although we are taught early in school to edit our writing, it usually consists of grammatical and punctuation errors.  Some of your children or students may be writing to Universities for entrance or to employers seeking jobs.  Experience shows that few people know how to write well and even fewer understand what it takes to edit their own copy.  These general editing suggestions may help you and your students:

  • Put your work aside for a while before editing it.  if possible, allow 24    hours to pass before looking at it again.  You will view it with a fresh perspective. 
  • Edit only typewritten or hard copy that is double- or triple-spaced.  This format invites you to make changes.
  • Be completely brutal with your first draft.  Nothing should satisfy you.  Delete.  Substitute. Rearrange.  Insert.
  • Be especially critical of the first few paragraphs.  You probably had not warmed up at that stage. 
  • Look for special problems in any section you wrote while bored or tired.   The section just before the close often needs careful editing for this   reason. 
  • Read aloud for content and style.  When it comes to detecting errors, the ear is more efficient than the eye. 
  • Keep a list of errors to help you improve.  Often you will find the same  types of errors appearing....and studying the list should help you   eventually eliminate them. 

Adapted from Communication Briefings


Learning to Read

Learning to read begins at home.  Just as your children naturally learned to talk by following your example, they may naturally learn a great deal about reading before they ever begin a formal reading program.  Even if you are not familiar with the technical side of reading instruction, much of what you do with your child at home parallels and reinforces good reading instruction.  Following are pointers on helping children of all ages improve reading skills:

  • Read aloud to them.  Stretch older children's understanding of words and ideas by reading stories that are on their interest level but slightly above their reading level.
  • Have them read to you. 
  • Ask questions.  Thought-provoking questions stimulate the curiosity needed for success in reading.
  • Talk about events, especially past and future events.  This requires the child to use his memory and reflect on experiences, which in turn helps him to learn about concepts and build vocabulary.
  • Practice phonics.  Have small children label objects such as the clock, dresser, chair, curtains and toys to help relate the sound of the word to the written word.  Teach rhymes and alphabet songs.  Beginning readers can point out letters and words on signs, food cans and cereal boxes.  All children like to find the letters in their names. 
  • Let them practice their writing. 
  • Make wise use of the TV set.  Educational programs can encourage learning.
  • Visit the library. 
  • Take them other places.  Go on trips, walk in parks and visit museums and zoos to provide good background knowledge for reading.   
  • Use records and tapes to provide variety to reading activities.
  • Give books or magazine subscriptions as gifts.  Also, allow your child to subscribe to their own magazines.  Children love getting their own mail.
  • Set regular reading times.  
  • Let your child choose her own reading materials.  Even if you disapprove of an occasional choice, allowing your child this freedom encourages reading as a leisure activity, which encourages more reading.
  • Set an example.  

Adapted from Becoming a Nation of Readers:  What Parents Can Do


A Soldier's Prayer

     I asked for strength that I might achieve....I was made weak that I might learn humbly to obey.
     I asked for help that I might do greater things....I was given infirmity that I might do better things.  

     I asked for riches that I might be happy....I was given poverty that I might be wise.   
     I asked for power that I might have the praise of men....I was given weakness that I might feel the need of God.    
     I asked for all things that I might enjoy life....I was given life that I might enjoy all things.   

     I got nothing that I asked for....but everything I had hoped for.   
     Almost despite myself, my unspoken prayers were answered.  I am, among all men, most richly blessed!


This prayer was reported to have been found on the body of a Confederate soldier, killed during the Civil War.  Its true origins, however, have never been documented. 

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The person who makes the 'impossible' possible is the true special educator.



Spare the Rod, Spoil the Child?

Most parents want to raise their children to be responsible, caring members of society.  In order to attain that end, they must soon or later use some form of discipline.  The question of what constitutes appropriate childhood discipline is the subject of widespread debate among educators, parents, doctors and society as a whole.  The parent as implementer is often caught in the middle.  Spare the rod and spoil the child?  Or indulge the child with unending kindness and patience so as not to damage the psyche?

Experts tend to agree that physical punishment is harmful to the child and, moreover, does not accomplish its apparent objectives.  A better course of action, they say, is to use physical reinforcement, rather than punishment.  Physical reinforcement may mean hold a child back from something or physically moving the child from one place to another, but it never means striking or shaking the child. 

Experts also agree that rewards can be just a fruitless a method of discipline as physical punishment.  Constantly rewarding a child for good behavior simply establishes in the child's mind a belief that she or he need not behave unless something specific is offered in return....something the child desires more than misbehaving.  As time goes on, the rewards a child demands for behaving properly can become quite unrealistic. 

Adapted from the National Education Association

Jazzy June Links

Your Sky:  Working with map skills? Help your students build a sky map. This 
program lets you choose a nearby city, or enter your latitude and longitude, to find out what is in the sky presently. Using fairly easy-to-use controls, you can then manipulate the data to find a star map for the next night or the next week.

Eyewitess:  The theme for this website is "History through the eyes of those who lived it." Until modern times, this entailed reading portions of diaries and other writings. For modern history, hear audio clips of famous speeches, entertainment of the era, and news clips. The snapshots allow you to view the times in a whole new way. 

Yahooligans Almanac:  Yahooligans teams up with Infoplease.com to provide a pint-sized almanac of facts for younger students. Categories range from Animals to World, with information on the body, language, and sports.

Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation:  Part of the Smithsonian National Museum of American History, this center can inspire students with stories of inventors and the history of inventions. Centerpieces features online exhibits about science and technology in the textiles industry, Thomas Edison, the electric guitar, and the quartz watch. Articles about modern day inventors are available in Innovative Lives. 

Make a Weather Station:  The interest in storm prediction is much more than simply academic in southern Florida, so this handy educational site from the Miami Museum of Science doesn't need to add incentives to the online study of home-based meteorology. The heart of the site is a series of illustrated instructions on how to build basic weather forecasting and measuring instruments from simple items found around the house and similarly constructed and equipped experiments to demonstrate and observe the properties of moisture, air pressure, temperature and wind.  Learn about the conditions that are present when stormy weather is in the forecast. 

Plants in Motion:  If watching plants move is your idea of a good time, here's your chance to go to town watching your favorite blossoms grow, twist, respond to light and gravity, and germinate in a series of ten time-lapse films (QuickTime format) from the Department of Biology at Indiana U. There are also printable flipbook movies, tips on making time-lapse films and sample laboratory exercises. 

FireWars:  This Nova program looks at wildfires and how they work. There is a 
fire-growth computer model, used to simulate conditions such as wind speed and direction. A virtual laboratory lets you explore the basics of combustion, including how a fire ignites, what a flame is made of, and how burning molecules rearrange themselves.

Braillebug:   The American Foundation for the Blind created an age appropriate site for students to learn about braille. Under games, students can see what 
their name looks like in braille or figure out words with a braille alphabet close by. Students can also change the colors on this website to make it easier to read.

Enjoy a June!
From the Staff at Knowledge HQ


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