your being overwhelmed by countless email? We are! In spite
of the fact there are many filters on our systems, we still get many
emails we would rather not receive. Speaking of filters.....if
you have written to us, and do not receive a response within 24 hours,
please write again. We do monitor the filters, but we also
recognize that some emails may have been missed. We apologize if
we have missed you. Our responses, usually begin with
"Strategic Studies, e-Tutor" in the subject line. We
enjoy hearing from you. So, please, keep those emails coming.
is winding down already. Can you believe it? Families are
getting ready for their children to begin school again. Many
homeschool families follow the same calendar as schools. This
year we have discovered a new trend we haven't seen in the past.
Students are finding us on the Internet and often call for more
information. They then ask the parents to call us with their
questions. We think it is a great sign! One of our
principal goals is to have students be responsible for their own
learning. We like this trend and hope it continues.
It has been a busy month again.
First, there was the Education Industry Conference here in
Illinois. It was wonderful to meet many of you there. The
conference gave us an opportunity to share what we have learned about
online learning and homeschooling over the years. We look
forward to meeting more of you at other
conferences in the future.
Then, attendees at a business expo in
the Chicago area had an opportunity to learn more about our new Center
and the e-Tutor Program. It was in our neighborhood and we used
the occasion to exhibit right outside our offices!
Although the Expo focused on many types of businesses, there was much
interest in online learning. More people, than one can imagine,
were looking for alternatives in education. Students, as
well as parents, had questions for us. We look forward to
offering an extension to e-Tutor by using it as a basis
for one-on-one tutoring at the new Center.
must be the change we wish to see in the world.
you Have To Reprimand
talking about positive discipline, we sometimes minimize the necessity
of dealing with a child whose action is unacceptable. But like
it or not, our job as parents is to reprimand when necessary.
Here's how to do it, when it must be done.
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 action that does not
have your approval.
Gunny-sacking is saving up all of your complaints and problems
until the bag is full and then dumping it on the child.
Reprimand as soon as possible after the problem occurs.
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
Tell him how you
feel about what he did or did not do. If you are surprised
or angry or disappointed, tell him.
Put the reprimand
into perspective. You are reprimanding the child for a
specific action in a specific situation, not for being a "bad
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.
If we did all the
things we are capable of doing, we would literally astonish ourselves.
You a Slave to Time?
Are there so many demands
on your time that you can't squeeze another second out of your
schedule? If so, you have "timelock." Just as
gridlock stops traffic, timelock stops productivity. Here's what
to do to get unlocked:
Think of what you want
out of life....not how much you can get done. Assess all
your activities. If they add to your life, keep them.
If not, eliminate them whenever possible.
Understand your body
clock. It is irregular and not as uniform as time from a
clock. Identify its peak times. That's when to
schedule especially difficult work.
Don't crowd every
minute with some task. If you do, tension rises and
Slow down. Don't
be addicted to rushing. Ask, "Why am I
rushing? What'll happen if I don't?" Know the
difference between necessary haste and impatience.
Subtract an old
activity when you add a new one.
Ralph Keyes, writing in Parade
You Really Listening?
Here's a roundup of tips that can
help all of us become better listeners. Many are based on
research studies in business.
Spend more than 50 percent of
your time listening, especially if you're a parent. And
don't offer your opinion until you have given your children a
chance to air their views first.
Listen for ideas, not just for
facts. Listening only for facts often prevents you from
grasping the meaning of the topic.
Avoid jumping to conclusions
when someone is speaking. Don't anticipate what someone is
trying to say.
Try to stay interested in what
is being said even if the delivery is boring or wordy. Avoid
the tendency for your mind to wander. You have to work at
Don't evaluate or judge how
something is said. Keep listening for ideas and avoid the
tendency to become upset by strong words
that may tend to irk you.
Never rush or interrupt someone
who is speaking. And don't change
the subject until you are sure the child has finished.
Ask questions to clarify points
and to let the child know you are paying attention.
Tell yourself that everyone is
important enough to listen to. Don't fake paying
don't see things as they are, we see them as we are.
American writer (1903-1977)
Your Own Child
Parent involvement in their child's
learning can benefit both students and parents. Miriam Stearns of the
Stanford Research Institute has found that
when parents act as tutors for their children, three benefits result:
Students become more
Their skills improve
The parent's self-image is
First, the parent motivates the
child to work on improving skills. The child sees that the
parent thinks education is important. The parent learns how to
teach her own child. She gives her child individual attention to
teach skills. The child learns better and
performs better on tests. As the child become successful, that
in turn, reinforces the parent, who sees that her action led to
As the parent feels more able to
control what happens, she reflects that attitude to the child. Gradually
the child realizes that his success depends on his own efforts.
That leads to increased motivation to work even harder.
Miriam Stearns, cited in
Oregon School Study Council Bulletin.
Up Your Study Skills
Is studying by yourself at home the
only way to prepare for a test? While no one disputes the value
of individualized study in a quiet place, you might find some of the
following strategies complement your solo efforts:
Peer Study groups.
Getting together with four or five classmates periodically to
share notes and discuss lessons can be an effective way to review
for upcoming tests. Each student might agree to summarize a
different chapter or section, then share his or her notes with the
In addition to informal study groups, many teachers are
grouping students together for projects and other cooperative
learning activities. For example, students in a government
class studying the judicial process might be assigned
different topics to research and present during a mock trial.
To prepare, students would have to work together in and out of
One word of caution: Make sure your study group focuses on
the task at hand. If you and other students spend more time
socializing than working, your study time would be better spent
Tutoring programs. There's
nothing wrong with asking for extra help....in fact, it's usually
the sign of a conscientious student.
If you're having trouble keeping up in a particular subject, or if
you just think a little more review and instruction would be
helpful, ask a teacher or guidance counselor if your school offers
any tutoring programs. Tutors might be other students your
own age, older students from a nearby high school or
university or adults and other community volunteers. The
programs usually are free and allow you to meet with your tutor
regularly in one-on-one sessions.
Local libraries, community colleges and
universities can be a gold mine of study
resources....often available at little or no cost. Some
libraries offer students free access to on-line computer
and other valuable research materials. Universities and
colleges occasionally offer community workshops, speakers or
seminars on a wide range of topics and academic areas. You
should be able to find out about upcoming events and services by
calling the public information offices of any of these institutions.
By showing your interest in your
child's learning and by holding high expectations for your child, you
can develop attitudes that lead to school success. Here are some
way you can help your child do better on tests. Make sure to
encourage your child to:
Study for several days before the test. Kids need
time to absorb information.
plenty of sleep...and a good breakfast.
Also encourage your child
Listen carefully to directions. Teachers may deduct points if
students don't follow instructions.
Look over the test before answering any questions. Nothing is
worse than discovering a 15-minute essay
question when you have only five minutes remaining in the class.
not spend too much time on any one question.
It's usually better to answer as many questions as possible.
If there is time, your child can return to questions that have him
Association of School Administrators
future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.
- How To Get, How To Use It.
is a quality some men and women have that makes people like
them. It has little to do with looks and charm. Like body
language, it is projected nonverbally and it gives those who have it a
certain amount of authority and command. Charisma is an acquirable
personality trait and one that can give your life an important boost
not readily visible to others. Here are a few training guidelines:
Make everybody you meet,
feel like the most important person you'll see that day.
Sure, everybody you meet isn't as important as everybody else, but
you can effectively leave that impression and do it without
sounding or acting as a phony.
Thank others a lot,
especially members of your family. And do it in an
offhanded, natural way that doesn't seem forced or
Respond to other's feelings
more than to their words. Instead of chastising a
teenager who has blown his
stack and made perfectly unreasonable demands, you should sit him
down and find out what is really bothering him. Then see if
the two of you can't work out a solution.
Smile a lot, even if you
don't feel like it. Others gauge your mood from the
expression on your face.
Charisma is a state of mind given
visible form much more that it is a natural gift. You can
practice acting in a charismatic manner so that others will be more
likely to admire you.
Secrets of Power Persuasion,
Do you have fond remembrances of balancing Chemistry equations? This site balances those pesky unbalanced equations and performs molar
conversions equations with ease. The Chemistry Functions site is an
excellent study aid authored by professors at Stanford.
PostcardsFrom.Com: This website lists all
kinds of information about the fifty US States in a colorful, user friendly format. Picture postcards from each state contain photographs
combined with other graphic elements to give an impression of each state.
Impressionism: This unit leads students through the works of impressionist artists of
France. The included lessons look at nine French impressionists, how their
work shared common characteristics and how they viewed the world
Square of Life: Studies in Local and Global Environments:
What's in your schoolyard? Developed for grades 1-6, this project involves an up-close and personal look at a square meter of schoolyard,
observing and classifying plants, animals and non-living objects. Comprehensive or abbreviated lessons accompany the project in the
Dare to Fly with Class:
Here's an engaging project for grades 3-5. Students love to fly paper airplanes, so mix a little scholarship in with the fun. Cover the four
forces of flight: lift, drag, thrust and weight (gravity) and have students chart the results of their efforts.
Camp Silos: Exploring the Prairie, Pioneer Farming, The Story of Corn and Farming
Today and Tomorrow are the areas covered by this website. Each area is
divided into a Student area, a Teacher area (with lesson plans) and
Resources. This is a great site for combining the study of the US westward
expansion and biomes.
Bembo's Zoo: A flashy site (Flash plugin required) for artists and creative thinkers
to just sit back and watch. Turn your high school students loose trying to figure out how they did it. Beginning animators may get
some wonderful ideas, all surrounding the basic alphabet.
Ontario Science Centre Online:
Apply science liberally! The Home Lab will give you ideas for science
experiments for your classroom. Look at some of the great questions of
our day (found in Our Brains), such as Is Pluto Really a Planet ? and What Can the Ramones Teach Us about Science? Learn the science of
papermaking in Electronic Exhibit Extensions. Activities are available in both English and
Enjoy a special August!
From the Staff at Knowledge
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