In The News                              July 2008   Vol. 11-7

 


President’s Message

Have you taken time to read this summer?  I have.  My favorite time of day is when I can sit down and immerse myself in a story about different times, suspense, struggle, intrigue, and the journey of life. When I visit the library, I have no destination in mind when searching for books to read.  Randomness, I have found, gives me the most of a vast array of titles, writers and authors.....some new, some famous, some legendary.   

Our children need to see us reading.  They will model our behavior....maybe not as frequently as we wish, but it will come.  Some books, I have read are so lyrical, they are almost like poetry and would benefit from oral reading.  

It occurs to me that we don't see adults reading to teens and adults.  Our children have many opportunities to hear stories when they are younger, but as we age, that tradition fades away.  What would your children think if you spent a half hour reading a good novel to your wife several times each week.  Wouldn't it be wonderful if they got into the spirit of things and wanted to join in.  I could envision a half hour several times each week where one family member gets to choose a book, a chapter or newspaper or magazine article to read to other family members for that evening.  What a wonderful tradition to start in your family!       

August sign up for e-Tutor is coming soon!  You will want to make sure that your child is enrolled and ready to start his educational program.  Last year enrollment grew by leaps and bounds.  We expect another busy year of returning students, as well a host of new students.

Our programmers are busy working on refining the program, our editors have been working to format lesson modules so that they are easy for students to understand and our writers have been submitting high quality lesson modules that will stimulate and excite e-Tutor learners.  It has been a busy summer and we will continue to challenge our thinking to improve and enhance our students' e-learning experience.    

Experience all that summer has to offer so that when the harsh winds blow you will have fond memories of sun and fun!

 



Your Chance to Write and Earn!!!

Knowledge HQ is still seeking Curriculum Writers. Writers use the template at LessonPro to write lesson modules.  Take time to sign up and review the template.  If you have a college degree and are interested in earning a few extra dollars over the next few months please send inquiries to:

admin@knowledgehq.com

We will be happy to send you a list of subjects where we are seeking curriculum content.  

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There are no hard times for good ideas

H. Gordon Selfridge (1858-1947) Entrepreneur

 

 

Learning with
 e-Tutor
                

    

Studying the e-Tutor Way

Students have a huge responsibility in the success of their educational program.  They can find many ways of getting around good education and it is up to them to take advantage of what is offered in any educational program.  Students who understand that their main task is to gain knowledge to increase their opportunities for a good future are the most successful.  The following are what is expected of e-Tutor students.  

Guidelines and Expectations for Students

  • Know which subjects and lesson modules are recommended for your grade level. 
  • Carefully read and complete each section of the lesson module. 
  • Review Study Guide and Vocabulary before taking the quiz or exam. 
  • Share with a parent or another adult the Activities and Extended Learning Assignments you have completed. 
  • Spend at least one hour on each lesson module.
  • Complete no more than twenty lesson modules each week.
  • Keep track of when you start to study and when you stop each day.  Keep record of sport and art activity on your list, as well. 
  • Have a notebook, pencil, paper and any other necessary materials available before starting e-Tutor each day. 
  • Establish a schedule for learning and start, as much as possible, the same time each day.
  • Share with your parents the goals and time management plan you have established for yourself.
  • Contact e-Tutor if you are experiencing any difficulty with the program.

  Twenty-three 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.  

www.e-tutor.com




e-Tutor Connections

e-Tutor PenPals: A great way for students to learn from others in the U.S. and around the world.  Miss Kate is already gathering names and email and postal addresses for students who are interested.  Contact Kate at kateb@e-tutor.com.

e-Tutor Parent's Connect:  Are you interested in connecting with other e-Tutor Parents?  Find out how other parents respond to and use the e-Tutor Program.  For more information or to add your name to the list contact Anna at annap@knowledgehq.com.  



   The Book Case

  The Hero and the Crown

                         By Robin McKinley 
                         Grades 6 - 8
              

A 1985 Newbery award winner, this is the story of Lady Aerin the Dragon Slayer. Aerin is the king's only child and she's the only one around with red hair, so some believe she is  the daughter of a witch.  Aerin doesn't know much about her mother, whose is dead.  Her father is quiet. She reads a lot and finds a recipe for fire-resistant ointment and spends a great deal of time mixing up  batches until she eventually discovers the right combination to resist fire. She keeps her discovery a secret to see if it works against the local dog-sized dragons. 

Thus she begins dragon slaying, wearing makeshift armor and riding her father's old war horse. The ultimate challenge arises when a really huge dragon flies into town and wipes out a village. None of the king's men can help the villagers since they're on their way to prevent a war, so Aerin goes off to the kill the dragon. The dragon is huge and terrible beyond her worst nightmares but she manages to kill it. 

Back home, while recovering from her injuries, a mage comes to Aerin in a dream and calls her to him. She finds the mage and is healed. Then she goes to find her long lost uncle.  He caused her mother's death and has the magic crown that has been missing for eons. 


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People are known as much by the quality of their failures as by the quality of their successes. 

Mark McCormack (1930-2003) Sports Agent/Manager

 

Hard Work and High Expectations:  Motivating Students to Learn

Across America, in state after state, years of major reforms in education have so far failed to produce the anticipated improvement in the academic achievement of students.  The reform debate has intensified during this election cycle.  Notably muted in the debate has been discussion of the engagement and motivation of the students themselves.  It is a curious omission, for even if we raise standards and succeed at restructuring education as we know it, the result may be little or no improvement unless our children also increase the level of their effort.  After all, now as before, it is the students who must learn more, and it is they who must do the work.  

Questions, therefore, arise:  What part should students play in learning?  What are their responsibilities?  What can we do to raise the amount and quality of student effort to the levels that excellence requires. 

Unless the untapped power of student effort and engagement is activated and harnessed to learning, we are unlikely to realize the benefits in achievement we wish to see. We as parents understand that the obstacles to learning far exceed the limits imposed by student ability and background.  Understanding the many reasons why students avoid hard work is important, but understanding alone will do little to alter the situation.  Other steps must be taken:

  • We must make learning the highest priority in our children's lives; they have no future without it.

  • We, as a nation, must act to focus the attention of students on the educational substance we agree is critical to the nation's future as well as their own. 

  • We must act on the knowledge that the connection between learning and academic effort is powerful.  

The best reforms and the best intentions will not carry the day unless they tap the effort, as well as the ability of our children. 

National School Boards


At Home Projects for Students and Families

Here are some inexpensive projects to keep your children busy during the last months of summer.  The only "tools" required for these projects are newspapers, large pieces of blank paper, scissors, paste and imagination.  They can be adapted for a broad range of students. 

  • Study information given on maps, charts, and graphs in the newspaper.  Discuss the legends and the relation of the information to an article. 

  • Find articles about home fires.  See if there is a cause stated, and discuss how safety measures can be used in all homes in case of fire.  

  • Make a scrapbook or your home state, including articles on history, government, jobs, cultural attractions, and social awareness.

  • Look at advertisements and discuss the psychology used to make you want the product.

  • Find pictures of people with different jobs.  Talk about their jobs.  What kind of education do they need?  How much money do they make?

  • Help your child find your state on the weather map.  What states border your state?

  • Have your child circle all of the familiar words in a news story, a headline, and a cartoon.

  • Help your child measure the height and width of your newspaper and several different pictures and ads in it.

  • With your child, read the television listings for one night, and break down the different types of shows into categories such as police/crime, medical, variety, situation comedy, and so on.  Which category has the most shows?

Adapted from Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction


Thank Them For the Little Things

Saying thank you to your child and acknowledging all her contributions to your family life is a modest yet magical way to motivate kids.  It works so well, in fact, I'm astonished that more parents don't do it.  It's a fact that when someone notices the little things you do, you are more willing to keep on doing them.  Honestly expressing your appreciation is not only gracious in itself, it instills graciousness in your child. 

No matter how insignificant the act may seem, be sure to thank your child for her contributions...putting her laundry in the basket, picking up her toys, or not interrupting you while you were on the phone.  A child who lives with constant criticism will grow to feel incompetent and unimportant, he will start finding fault with others and condemn himself.  Whereas a child whose efforts are continually acknowledged will develop a healthy sense of self-confidence and capability.  Even if the made-up bed is rather lumpy, praise the accomplishment.

Remember, periodic rewards are most effective for keeping a child motivated.  Children, like all people, respond to recognition; so even if your child receives an allowance for chores, it's a good idea to give an occasional bonus:  either money or a special treat.  Praise and thanks maintain friendly relations and will energize your child to keep on contributing, knowing that his efforts are noted and appreciated.   

Adapted from Wonderful Ways to Love a Child, Judy Ford


eScience Labs - Hands-On, Home Science   

eScience Labs, develops at-home science kits for the modern learner at the high school and introductory-level college levels.  The hands-on kits provide a blended approach to enhance comprehension and learning outcomes.  The Introductory Biology and Accelerated Biology is joined by a series of hands-on labs for middle school learners.

eScience Labs middle school science kits lay the foundation for scientific literacy in a fun, dynamic way.  The kits include labs on the Scientific Method, The Basis of Life, The Kingdoms of Life and Environmental Science.  This series will be followed by an Earth Science and a Physical Science series, set to release by the end of 2008.  Though each will be designed with the same standards and rigor as the upper level series, they will be written at the 6th to 8th grade levels.  Each series will provide the fundamental skills and knowledge students need to meet and exceed their states 8th grade science standards.

To learn more go to http://www.eScienceLabs.com.

Please call 877-687-7200 to receive your e-Tutor discount.   

 

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When we dream alone, it is only a dream.  But when we dream together, it is the beginning of a new reality.

 Unknown


Prepare Your Child For Academic Success

As parents, we hope our child will excel in all subjects.  Every parent wants a successful student, but not every parent knows how to foster one.  The key, in fact, lies in what parents do when their children are not in the learning situation. Parents can take several steps to ensure success in learning.

  1. Create a "reading culture" in the home.  A love of reading helps student with their vocabulary and problem-solving skills.  Thus, parents must start early when encouraging their children to read.  

  2. Encourage your children to be independent problem solvers.  If parents are ready to solve the slightest problem for their children, from tying their shoes to cleaning up spilled juice, their kids will not be willing to complete more challenging learning projects.

  3. Make learning a priority.  Parents who want successful students need to show their children that learning is of utmost importance.  

Adapted from Pioneer Press


The Wrong Crowd

You may just not be too pleased with the friends your child has chosen.  You worry that she may be lapsing into the wrong crowd.  You want your child to stay away from bullies or those who do not consider other people's feelings or perspectives.  If there is an imbalance of power or no give-and-take, it's not a good match.  "Your goal as a parent is to help your child find decent friends, not dominant one," according to Kenneth Rubin, Ph.D. author of The Friendship Factor (2002).  

If your child spends time with an inappropriate friend, her behavior will change.  Be alert if your child does something very uncharacteristic, such as abandon school work or become secretive about her social life. Neil Bernstein, a clinical psychologist says that if friends seem overly influential, talk to your child about what a true friend should be.  Ask him to consider if his friend is someone he can trust, who will be there for him, who won't encourage him to do something dangerous, and with whom he can be himself.   

The best weapons against negative peer pressure are a loving, accepting home and open communication.  "The choice of peers is a barometer for a kid's sense of self.  If you don't talk to them, they will talk to anyone who listens, relying on peers for validation, instead of you," according the Bernstein.  

Even if you've confirmed your instincts about an inappropriate friend, avoid criticizing the friend or forbidding they see each other.  This may cause your child to defend her friend and push the two closer together.  Try subtle ways to make it less convenient for inappropriate friends to have influence.  Look for reasons to decline invitations with the friend.  Curb the friendship with limits, such as making a phone curfew.  Or when the friends do get together, have them at your house so you can exert some control.  You may find your child is relieved to have a parent step in.  

Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens

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You can find on the outside only what you possess on the inside. 

Adolfo Montiel Ballesteros, La Honda Y La Flor

Juicy July Links:

Color Maker:  ColorMaker makes it easy to create colorful web pages without having to bother with confusing hexadecimal numbers. This useful site includes a tutorial, links to other web pages about color design, and links to a TableMaker and a FrameShop. A useful tool for Web developers at any level. http://www.bagism.com/colormaker/

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Statistics:  With the winning combination of statistics and politics, this Annenberg/CPB Website offers an original, educational, and entertaining online experience. Visitors follow a fictional race between two candidates by reading news bulletins, then learn basic statistical concepts in a real-world context. Find the out what a random sample really is, what "margin of error" means, and why polls aren't always right. 
http://www.learner.org/interactives/statistics/

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Black Hole Gang:  Created by teacher and author Stephen Kramer, this site introduces four kids and a dog named Newton who are crazy about science, and points kids and their teachers to some of the best kid-friendly science on the web. 
http://www.blackholegang.com/

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Turn of the Century Child:  This project involves students in a study of the life and times of children in the early 1900's. Making use of primary source material, students become apprentice historians engaged in genuine historical inquiry. Based on their analyses, students assemble both a physical and digital scrapbook of letters, oral histories, artifacts, diary entries, narratives and images to create an invented child within a family. The learning activities require research and problem solving and will help students develop an understanding of the major historical themes of the period and how these might impact a child born in 1900. http://www.noodletools.com/debbie/projects/20c/turn.html

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Young Biz.com:  YoungBiz.com presents business, investing and entrepreneurial ideas to young people. With features for educators as well as students, the site includes portfolios, profiles of young entrepreneurs, message boards and more. http://youngbiz.com/

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Skateboard Science:  Momentum, gravity, friction, and centripetal force have never been so interesting. This online exhibit from the Exploratorium explains how skateboarders seemingly break the laws of gravity with tricks shown and explained in physics terms. The site includes a video webcast, glossary, and information about equipment. 
http://www.exploratorium.edu/skateboarding/

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Be World Wise:  Travel the seas virtually aboard a Tall Ship on a 19 month,22 country voyage. On board, you will learn about the two teachers who signed on for the journey and their fellow crew members.  So join in and track their progress. Includes activities and lessons on Exploring the Oceans and Environmental Investigations. 
http://www.beworldwise.org/

Have a Beautiful 
Warm Month!

From the Knowledge HQ Staff

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