In The News
                        July 2007   Vol. 10-7

President’s Message

Summer brings with it a time for relaxing, for having fun, for enjoying family and friends and for trying new things.  Because we are outside so much of the time, we may tend to scatter and not take the time to spend talking with our children or our friends.  The warm evening hours give opportunity for quiet reflection of the days events.  A shared spot on a step, a porch swing or a blanket on the grass encourages talk.  Although my days are busy, those quiet, after dinner hours give me an opportunity to hear from my neighbors and friends about the new and/or favorite things they have been doing.   Just when you think you have done everything and know where every place is, you learn something new!  I have learned so many places to visit or things to see virtually in my own backyard.  I am grateful for what I learn in the quiet, warm evening hours of summer.    

Not long ago, a friend down the block invited me to dinner.  I was astounded to learn that she has turned her kitchen into an incubation room for monarch butterflies.  She has them at all levels of development, from eggs, to baby caterpillars, to cocoons, and to the hatching butterfly.  

Several years ago, Julie planted milkweed plants along her alley.  She searches for butterfly eggs every day.  It is hard to spot them,  they are tiny white spots, smaller than a pinhead,  on the milkweed plant.  Once the egg hatches, they turn black and it is even harder to see them.   The little black spot is the baby caterpillar. She places the eggs in a plastic container with damp paper until they hatch.  Once they hatch she puts them in another container with milkweed leaves to grow and develop.  Once the caterpillar is large it will build a cocoon, where it stays until it has developed into the beautiful monarch butterfly.  She sets these out in her garden so the process can start over again. 

Julie shares the adult caterpillars with the neighbor children.  They keep them in a plastic container, feeding them milkweed leaves, until they hatch into butterflies.  I credit all of the monarch butterflies in my garden to Julie and the neighbor children who help her grow them.  The habitat for the monarch butterfly has continually decreased from encroaching industry, homes, roads and business.  It is through the efforts of people, like Julie, that the creatures of our environment continue to survive.   She says it doesn't take much for each of us to do our part.  

Enjoy the simple pleasures of summer this month!




Fall Registration Begins August 1st!

Receive an additional five percent off the registration fee when enrolling for e-Tutor Virtual Learning before the end of August.  Simply put the word "Special07" in the referral spot on the entry form.  

If you would like more information call 877-687-7200.

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The strongest and sweetest song remains to be sung. 

Walt Whitman (1819-1892), Poet

 Learning with e-Tutor

Mathematics Curriculum
Last month, we shared with you the Language Arts goals and objectives for the e-Tutor Virtual Learning Program.  e-Tutor lesson modules focus on the essential skills and concepts necessary to be successful learners.  Below are the goals and objective for Mathematics, including the subjects of Computation, Ratio and Percent, Measurement, Algebra, Geometry, Data Analysis and Estimation.  The lesson modules are age-appropriate and include information and skills that are necessary for success in learning.   It is important to note that at the high school level, the e-Tutor lesson modules cover Calculus, in Algebra, and Trigonometry, in Geometry.  

Students will be able to perform the computations of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division using whole numbers, integers, fractions, and decimals.

     A.   Read, write and name numbers in several different ways.
     B.   Perform operations with numbers with and without a calculator.
     C.   Translate word problem situations to mathematical expressions or sentences and solve.
     D.   Order numbers.  
     E.   Apply computational and problem-solving skills to common life situations.

Students will be able to understand and use ratios and percentages.

     A.   Interpret ratios.

     B.   Construct and solve proportions.
     C.   Apply ratios and proportions in real-life situations.
     D.   Interpret percents in various settings.
     E.   Apply percents in real-life situations.

Students will be able to make and use measurements, including those of area and volume.

     A.   Measure in a variety of contexts using appropriate units.
     B.   Estimate measurements.
     C.   Relate lengths, areas, and volumes in common geometric figures.
     D.   Convert measurements within one system and from one system to another.
     E.   Apply selected measurement systems, instruments and techniques.

Students will be able to identify, analyze and solve problems using algebraic equations, inequalities, functions and their graphs.

     A.   Describe general patterns with expressions, equations, or inequalities.
     B.   Solve simple equations and inequalities and interpret the solutions.
     C.   Translate verbal descriptions into algebraic expressions, equations, or inequalities and vice versa.
     D.   Evaluate, solve, and apply formulas with and without calculators.
     E.   Perform operations with algebraic expressions.

Students will be able to understand and apply geometric concepts and relations in a variety of forms.

     A.   Understand simple geometric figures and patterns of relationships in two and three dimensions.
     B.   Apply symmetry and transformations.
     C.   Apply the concepts or congruence and similarity. 
     D.   Apply formulas and construct arguments and proofs to solve geometric problems.
     E.   Define common geometric figures and use deductive reasoning to relate properties of those figures.

Students will be able to understand and use methods of data collections and analysis, including tables, charts and comparisons.

     A.   Interpret data from an experiment.           
     B.   Interpret tables, graphs, charts, arrays, schedules, experiments, and surveys reported in media sources.
     C.   Construct tables and graphs to indicate selected trends or relationships.
     D.   Understand commonly used summary statistics.
E.   Design and conduct an experiment or survey using sampling.

Students will be able to use mathematics skills to estimate, approximate, and predict and to judge reasonableness of results.

     A.   Round numbers.
     B.   Estimate present and future values from graphs or numerical information.
     C.   Apply intervals as estimates.      
     D.   Apply problem-solving procedures to solve or suggest a solution to a given problem.
     E.   Use mental arithmetic to estimate results of computations.

Thirty-two New Lesson Modules were added to the 
e-Tutor Lesson Library this month!

Join the e-Tutor world of learning today to view the Lesson Library.  


   The Book Case

              The Mixed-Up Chameleon
              by Eric Carle
              Ages 4 to 8

Except for catching flies and changing colors occasionally, this chameleon doesn't find life very exciting. When a surprise visit to the zoo makes this wistful lizard realize it can change its shape and size as easily as its color, it ends up wanting to be like all the animals in the zoo at once......with hilarious results. 
 Read this book to find out what happens this day to the chameleon.

Sharing Summer Reading

Summer reading is invaluable for our children.  Sharing books with others encourages children to develop an independent reading habit while motivating them to read about people and subjects that interest them.  The following ideas for sharing books are intended to encourage children to express ideas in artistic and dramatic form. These are wonderful ways for children to share with their parents, siblings and friends what they have read.

  • Dress up as one of the book's main characters and tell the story from his or her point of view. 

  • Recreate the setting of a favorite scene by constructing a diorama or a detailed drawing. 

  • Make a puppet of their chosen character and dramatize his or her role in a specific scene from the book.  Or, create two or more finger puppets and have them act out a story scene. 

  • Create a sculpture of a character.  Use any combination of soap, wood, clay, sticks, wire, stones, old toy pieces, or any other objects. 

  • Construct a mobile to illustrate the characters, setting, conflict and solution of the story. 

Adapted from Ginn and Co. 

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It is better to be approximately right than precisely wrong. 

Warren Buffett, Investor and Business Leader


Delight in Silliness

Can you be a silly-willy or are you too far gone?  If you can't act a little goofy once in a while, it might just be that you've grown so parental you've become disconnected from your mischievous, playful side.  It could mean that you've forgotten about having fun in life.  Are you more than likely to be slightly cranky? Or, worse yet, are you on the verge of becoming terribly bored and boring?  Are you a workaholic?

Do your children often see you laugh?  Sadly some parents squelch their children with too much seriousness, mistakenly equating teaching responsibility with always being stern and hardworking.  Perhaps they don't know that silliness is a natural way of burning off excess energy after learning a new task or feeling a strong emotion.  If you find yourself giving lectures about the good old days, you're stuck in a rut.  It's probably time to take a leap forward, let your hair down, and see another point of view.  

Perhaps you've been feeling a little weary and have started noticing the frown lines across your brow?  If this is the case, you might need the therapy that only a child can deliver:  jump on a trampoline and read Dr. Seuss out loud for starters.  Ask yourself, "When was the last time I goofed off?"  "When was I slightly foolish?"  Yesterday, last week, last year: It's never too late!  If you find yourself full of negativity and worry that nothing is going your way, stop to play a silly game with your child for just a half hour.  Try Simon Says, or follow-the-leader, or a game of Crazy Eights.  If doing it for yourself is not compelling enough, do it for her....let her see the child in you for a change; she'll be delighted.  

Add silliness to your breakfast with cinnamon toast, hippopotamus pancakes, and orange juice tea through a straw.  At noontime slurp root-beer floats and gobble heart-shaped mashed banana sandwiches.  For your silly dinner try veggies and fingers dipped in peanut-butter sauce and sip hot chocolate soup.  Silliness is healthy, too.

If you've become a stodgy, old crank, ask a child to teach you to play.  When feeling uptight, worried, or in a stew, pause for a silly moment; think silly, act silly, walk silly, talk silly.  If you're hopelessly out of practice, look to your child for a cue; you won't find a more willing coach.  Your child's laughter is the best remedy for what ails you. 

Wonderful Ways to Love A Child, Judy Ford

 Welcome Mathematics In Your Home!

To help your child understand the importance of mathematics, it is necessary for parents to talk about mathematics and identify how it relates to all aspects of life....at home, at work and at play.    

You can help your child succeed in mathematics by......

  • Being positive about your own and your child's mathematics ability.

  • Discussing with your child the importance of mathematics in his/her daily life and pointing out examples of how people use mathematics in daily life. 

  • Providing activities and objects that make mathematics interesting and fun at home.  Such as:
               Constructions Sets - blocks, tangrams, attribute blocks, Legos, puzzles, model kits, Etch-A-Sketch
               Maps and Schedules
               Math oriented Books and Magazines - maze books, Highlights
               Measuring Objects - measuring cups, rulers, protractor, compass, tape measure, scales, balance, clocks, watches
               Newspapers and Catalogs
               Small Objects - buttons, coins, poker chips, dried beans, toothpicks

  • Encouraging your child to ask questions, solve problems and to explain his/her solutions.

  • Modeling how to solve math problems.

  • Continuing to learn mathematics with your child! 

Adapted from Illinois Council of Teachers of Mathematics

Tips to Relieve 
Summer Doldrums

Keeping spirits high and our children motivated and energized to help around the house is among the most puzzling and critical to family harmony as the summer moves on.  Consider these approaches:

  • Match talents to tasks.  Put you child on a task where he can excel and then help him refine their existing talents.

  • Give clear, frequent feedback, negative as well as positive.  When our children don't know what we think of them, some will think the worst.  Others will do the worst.  Clueing them in honestly and often reassures the insecure while slackers will know you are watching. 

  • Set objectives that inspire.  Find a way to inject higher meaning and purpose into your family's activities and goals and you will inject energy and enthusiasm into your children. 

  • Challenge your children to reach their potential.  No matter what the task, those who enjoy what they are doing often feel energized by the opportunity to learn new skills and improve existing ones.

  • Involve the entire family in decisions.  If you always make decisions and order others to implement them, don't be surprised if the implementers drag their feet.  Children enjoy having some control over what they are doing, even if it's only being asked for their opinions. 

  • Share information.  If you involve everyone in making decisions, everyone should know what he or she is talking about.  That means being open about family objectives. 

  • Provide for flexibility.  When you recognize and validate your child's many activities, she will be more satisfied, productive and even healthy. 

  • Make everyone accountable.  When children know they can get praise, allowances and play time by blaming someone or something else for poor performance, many will take that route.  You will want to take steps to make sure this behavior isn't tolerated.  

Adapted from Crain's Chicago Business

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We must view young people not as empty bottles to be filled, but as candles to be lit. 

Robert H. Shaffer


Lack of Knowledge

A novice parachutist couldn't open his chute on his first jump.  As he was falling toward the ground, he saw another individual flying upward past him.  Calling out to the passerby, he said, "Do you know anything about parachutes?"  The man going up replied, "No....do you know anything about gas stoves?"


Children Learn In Many Places and In Many Ways

Learning at home is very important to your child's development.  As a parent, you have an opportunity to make an enormous difference in how much and how well your child learns.  You are your child's most important teacher. What you do as a parent helps your child: 

  • Learn better,

  • Know more, 

  • Function better in society,

  • Develop a positive attitude about learning.

You child is never too young to learn.  The early years of a child's life provide the foundation for later learning and they can be some of the most fruitful years of all. 

Summer activities and family trips are good chances for a child to explore and see new things, like the ocean, mountains, cities, farms.....in fact anything that's different from what he or she normally sees at home.  Vacations provide a great chance to broaden your child's horizons.

  • Point out new things....like animals, plants, historical places, etc.

  • Help your child relate new things to familiar things...for example, a new kind of bird can be compared to familiar birds. 

  • Listen to your child's reaction...discuss the experience.

Have fun helping your child learn!  Learning is fun for everyone...you and your child.  Enjoy it together!

Adapted from National School Public Relations

Television Violence Is Harmful

A growing body of data indicating that television violence is harmful can no longer be denied, according the Catherine Walters, author of Cultural Violence.  Films and television programs provide male role models who use physical force or weapons to solve problems or achieve goals.  Violent movies are called "action movies," and the most popular television shows have countless murders and assaults every hour.  

The media have also glorified war, gangster killings and murder as ways to resolve conflict.  The most popular sports are the most violent ones....notably football.  "We have become so accustomed to violence in the media that increasingly extreme acts must be portrayed to generate audience response," Walters says.   

Adapted from Illinois Association of School Boards

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I am a great believer in luck and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it.

Stephen Leacock

Fabulous July Links:

Ancient Stones of Scotland:  This fascinating site is part of SCRAN, a searchable archive of history and culture.  Links lead to pictures of natural and manmade stone outcroppings, with the local lore included.  The glossary can pump up your vocabulary a bit, too. http://www.stonepages.com/ancient_scotland/

What is Photosynthesis?  A hot list of photosynthesis, courtesy of Arizona State University.  Some articles are geared to elementary and middle school, other articles are appropriate for college students.  Learn about photosynthetic pigments, preparing starch slides and how photosynthesis rates are measured in nature. 

Visual Thinking:  Sketchbooks from the Archives of American Art:  Although it would be more effective if many pages from these sketchbooks were shown, this website gives examples of sketchbooks from thirty American artists.  Examples will give students in studio art classes ideas for their own sketchbooks, and samples of different styles. http://www.aaa.si.edu/exhibits/pastexhibits/sketchbk/sketchbk.htm

All Magic Guide:  The magician in all of us will enjoy this website devoted to slight of hand and illusion.  Streaming video allows you to see how some basic illusions are created.  Articles explain how to do-it-yourself.  Links are available to Magic TV (TV picks having to do with magic), books and videos. http://allmagicguide.com/

Exploratorium: Global Climate Change Research Explorer:  At this website, you can explore scientific data relating to the atmosphere, the oceans, the areas covered by ice and snow, and the living organisms in all these domains.  Study the atmosphere, hydrosphere, cryosphere, biosphere and global effects and access current research of our changing world.  There are great links included for student researchers. http://www.exploratorium.edu/climate/index.html

California Academy of Sciences: Anthropology Collection Database:  Searching for Anthropological artifacts is a snap with this website.  Choose Search the Database, then choose the category.  Be sure to check the box for image if you want the items returned in your search to include an image.  For a test, try the category 'Raw Materials,' check image, then take a look at some of the materials humans have used in their creations. http://www.calacademy.org/research/anthropology/collection/collintro.htm

Best of History Web Sites:  This U.S. - based website reviews some of the best history websites available.  Top level categories include Prehistory, Medieval, U.S. History, Early Modern European, 20th Century, World War II, and Art History.  Many of the websites we have selected before, but sometimes it's just good to have more. 

Enjoy Time Away This Month!

From the Knowledge HQ Staff

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