In The News                              August 2008   Vol. 11-8

 


President’s Message

How time does fly!  Here it is already the end of summer and we and our children are getting ready for another school year.  Our phones have been ringing.  If you haven't enrolled your student for the Fall semester, you will want to do so immediately.  The hours with instructional tutors are limited.  

This summer we have been planning our expansion once again.  We thank you for the opportunity and find our growth potential very exciting.  In the next month we will be opening another Knowledge HQ office in Boulder, Colorado.  The new location will supplement the Chicago office.  Our plans include using the Boulder site for technology and infrastructure.  The Chicago office will continue to provide editing services and online tutoring.  Our students, parents and educators will not notice any change in service.  We look forward to keeping you informed of our plans for further expansion in the future.  

There is much to do as I move my office to Boulder.  Along with mixed emotions, I remain constantly busy with the work of Knowledge Headquarters and e-Tutor.  On one level, I find the challenges of resettling in a new environment exciting, yet, I leave behind close friends, co-workers and neighbors whom I will miss greatly.  Further in this newsletter I write about creating static in one's life.  I have static!

We are welcoming back students and parents who took the summer off.  It has been so very nice to hear from each of you.  We appreciate your kind comments and the faith you have given us in providing a quality educational program for your students. 

May you find the month of August rewarding in every way.    


 


 

Fall Semester Sign Up

Our schedule for the Guided - One to One e-Tutor Program is filling up.  If your child needs the help and guidance of a qualified educator, please sign up quickly.  Our qualified tutors hold their instructional hours in the Chicago office of Knowledge Headquarters.  By housing tutors in one office, they can consult with one another and exchange best practices.  e-Tutor educators are certified teachers who have been through a rigorous training program in online education.   

If you would like more information about e-Tutor or online education, please call 877-687-7200.     

 

Page 2

Think all you speak, but speak not all you think.  Thoughts are your own; your words are so no more

Patrick Delany (1685-1768) Cleric

 

 

Learning with
 e-Tutor
                

    

Through the experiences we have had with the many students who have used e-Tutor over the years, we know that parents who actively encourage their students to engage in daily learning activities and take full advantage of  the e-Tutor curriculum, assistance, services, and opportunities are the most likely to be rewarded by seeing their children reach their academic goals. In that regard we offer the following:

Expectations for Parents

  • Understand that you are your childs instructional and academic leader/coach.
  • Create an atmosphere for learning at home.
  • Establish learning goals with your student focusing on the subjects recommended by e-Tutor for the appropriate grade level.
  • Provide feedback to e-Tutor so that improvements to our program 
    can be made.
  • Get to know your child's learning strengths and weaknesses.
  • Review, daily, completed e-Tutor projects and activities.
  • Expect your student to spend a minimum of one hour on each 
    lesson module and approximately four and a half to five hours 
    learning each day.
  • Provide your student with adequate equipment and materials to 
    be a successful learner. 
  • Monitor and review quiz and exam scores with your student.
  • Work with your child in designating specific blocks of time for 
    studying.
  • Contact e-Tutor if there is any change in your students 
    educational program.
  • Enjoy the learning experience with your student!

  Thirty-nine 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


Welcome to the World of Writers!

We want to thank all new writers who have submitted lesson modules for the e-Tutor program.  We are pleased with the caliber and breadth of content that you have submitted.   e-Tutor students and parents will gain much from your efforts.  

If you are interested in writing lesson modules for e-Tutor, please go to www.lessonpro.net and sign up for the opportunity to have your lesson modules used by students throughout the world.  Writers receive a stipend for each accepted lesson module.  



   The Book Case

  From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler

                         By E. L. Konigsburg 
                                                  Grades 4 - 7
              

This is another Newbery award winner and although it may read like a fantasy today, this perfect, kid-size adventure is pure delight. 

Claudia Kinkaid feels unappreciated by her parents and bored with her orderly, straight-A existence. She is nearly twelve when she decides to run away from her home in suburban Connecticut. Being practical, she chooses a comfortable destination--New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art--and a thrifty traveling companion, her nine-year-old brother Jamie.

After careful planning, Claudia and Jamie arrive at the museum, hiding from the guards in the rest rooms, sleeping on priceless beds, and bathing in the fountain. But when a statue of an angel, rumored to be a possible Michelangelo, is given to the museum, Claudia decides they must solve the mystery. Their search leads them to the statue's original owner, eccentric Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, who narrates the story in a peppery letter to her lawyer. Mrs. Frankweiler both solves the mystery and helps Claudia understand why the secret of the statue is so important to her.

The quest for the sculptor's identity is bound inextricably with Claudia's own search for self. The mystery is complicated, but the irascible voice of Mrs. Frankweiler allows the author to clarify without ever seeming to lecture. An unusual choice for a children's-book narrator, eighty-two-year-old Mrs. Frankweiler makes a precise and witty storyteller. She even saves one delicious secret for the very end.

Adapted from Common Sense Media


Page 3


When you want to believe in something, you also have to believe in everything that's necessary for believing in it.  

Ugo Betti(1892-1953) Dramatist and poet

 

How To Make Them Hear You

What is the single most important factor that determined who won and who lost almost all of the presidential elections in the past 32 years?   What can help you gain a greater sense of accomplishment and satisfaction in life?

Answer:  The ability to use the power of the "first brain," says world-renowned speech expert Bert Decker. 

The first brain according to Decker, is our emotional brain.  It is the most primitive part of the brain...the non-rational part.  The other brain, which he calls "the new brain,"  is the seat of conscious thought, memory, language, creativity and decision-making.  Decker offers these insights:

  • When most people speak, they aim their message at the new brain and overlook the first brain.  That's why some competent people fail to effectively get their messages across to their audiences,

  • Even though we must reach the new brain, we must first pass through the gatekeeper...the first brain.

  • If we leave the first brain out of the equation, our message will be distorted or diminished...or may not get through at all. 

How do we reach the first brain?

  • By being natural, warm and genuine.  We have to be freer...less inhibited.

  • By learning how to use energy, enthusiasm, motion and expression.  

  • The most effective communicators are those who are expressive...yet fully in control.

  • To keep your listener's first-brain channels open, your first brain must be in a receptive mode...sensitive to the cues given off by your listener. 

You've Got to Be Believed to Be Heard, Bert Decker



I
nterior Attitudes May Be Steering You Wrong

Badly managed, your subjectivity can be a serious obstacle to effective parenting.  When unconscious biases cloud your perceptions, problems usually will follow.  

Complete objectivity is impossible...and undesirable.  Nevertheless, you should take some steps to keep your subjectivity manageable.  For example:

  • Take a breather.  Say you have given much thought and study over a period of time to an important decision.  It still pays to call a halt before rendering that final decision.  By getting involved in another activity for a day, or several days, chances are you will get a clearer insight into the situation.

  • Seek out some static.  While you don't want to start a debating team, have at least one other person whose views aren't in sync with yours can be very beneficial.  Maverick thinking should spur you to question your attitudes and habits of thought so that you don't proceed automatically.  Similarly, activities that take you out of your regular patterns and expose you  to different experiences and ways of thinking can keep you more objective. 

  • Monitor those "How can they be so dumb?" feelings.  When people aren't seeing things your way, it could be a warning sign that it's time to take another look at your own thinking.  Before, starting a new procedure, check out the perceptions of those who will be affected.  

Adapted from Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction


Encourage, Encourage

We all need encouragement...you do and so does your child.  In some ways we are all helpless little people trying to cope with a complex world.  The rules change practically every day and it's hard to keep up.  No one needs encouragement more than children.  There are so many pressures and temptations that they need all the support we can give.  Whatever they try to do, stand behind them.  Let them know you believe they can accomplish their goal by saying, "I think you can do it."  Acknowledge their accomplishments, however small.

Be careful not to confuse encouraging with pushing.  Too often I see parents who are actually discouraging  their child by pushing the things they care about rather than letting the child fulfill his or her own desires.  

Don't try to persuade your child to follow your dreams by saying, "I'd rather you become and engineer," to her desire to become an editor.  When you encourage, you inspire your child to be herself.  If she has a dream, tell her it's a wonderful dream...no matter what.  Don't knock it and don't put fear into her by saying, "There aren't that many jobs for astronauts."

Children have goals and ambitions of their own.  Your job is to cheer them on.  And don't forget to recognize their efforts.  Such words as, "I trust you to know what is right for you," are music to the ears of children and echo the message:  It's okay to discover who you are and to find out what you're about.  With such uplifting coaching from you, even when they have a setback, they won't be pessimistic for long. 

Love them and believe in them totally. Use words like, "Whatever you are wishing for, we wish for you."  With this kind of loving backup, you will be a light of inspiration guiding your children as they become what they are capable of being. 

Adapted from Wonderful Ways to Love a Child, Judy Ford


The ABCs of Conversation

To keep a conversation alive, try using the ABC method...Angles, Bridges and Catapults.  How:

  • Angle:  Look for a new angle on the topic, one that offers a fresh viewpoint. 

  • Bridge:  Find a way to connect the current topic to one that's related. 

  • Catapult:  When the conversation lags, just jump to another topic, one that's unrelated.  Wait about six seconds, though, before changing the topic. 

Great Connections, Anne Baber

 

Page 4


Whether we find pleasure in our work or whether we find it a bore, depends entirely upon our mental attitude towards it, not upon the task itself.

 B.C. Forbes


Qualities of an Effective Family Member

Good team members make good family members.  We often hear about the importance of being a good team player, but the term seems to be a clich, since rarely do we hear the qualities of a good team player defined.  So, let's take a look at qualities that we think make a good family member, as well as a good team member.

  • A willingness to sacrifice for the benefit of the family.  In order to be a successful, happy family unit, it must merge all the personalities into one unit that works together to solve problems.  The emphasis is not on one individual in the family but the family as a unit.  As a family member, this won't bother you.  You'll be happy to bask in the glory the entire family gets from completing tasks well. 

  • A willingness to let other family members be the leaders. You should be willing to let other members of the family be leaders from time to time.  The leader will determine overall direction the family will take on a particular task. 

  • The ability to contribute your best to the family. We all have expertise and talents in different areas.  Do your best to contribute in your specialized area.

  • A spirit of compromise. Successful families usually make decisions by consensus.  Everyone speaks his or her mind and then the decision is made.  Once the decision is final, it is your obligation as a family member to support it.  In order to arrive at these decisions usually means you must be able to compromise. 

  • A willingness to try something new. Successful family members are like good explorers.  They are always looking for something new.  The old ways may be quite good and logical, but that doesn't mean there isn't room for improvement.  Usually the best families keep an open mind.

  • The ability to see things clearly and to solve problems easily.  Often families must solve vexing problems too complicated for any one member to solve.  In these instances especially, it is important to be able to see things clearly.  If you can accurately define the problem, it is half-solved.  Cultivate a problem-solving ability, and you'll strengthen your family unit.

Adapted from Teamwork


Cause and Effect of Work

It takes no genius to figure out the very rudimentary principle of "cause and effect" is the most appropriate explanation linking accomplishment and work.  Wherever there is a human achievement (effect) there must be effort expended (cause).  It does not even have to be intelligent effort, or skilled effort, or organized effort, or managed effort, or highly effective effort, to get some results.

The Great Wall of China was surely not skilled or intelligent effort.  But it was effort and did get results.  The Pyramids of Egypt were not built with the highly effective effort that would be concentrated on such a project today.  But it was a massive effort that produced a massive result. 

So, if you are a student who wants to get ahead you must recognize that your progress is going to depend, to a degree at least, on the results you achieve.  You need not wait until you know more, get the best educator, or hope that another instructional program will come along.  Just start expending more effort...work a little bit more....and you cannot help but get results.  Perhaps you won't get results in proportion to effort expended, but you will get results.  And results are what count in this world.  Continued extra effort expended over a long period of time can mean results of considerable size with substantial rewards to everyone.  

Adapted from The Public School Administrator

Page 5

If people knew how hard I have had to work to gain my master, it wouldn't seem wonderful at all. 

Michelangelo

Awesome August Links:

Secrets at Sea:  This fun online game explores topics in ocean science. Students meet interesting characters, uncover amazing ocean facts and face challenging learning activities. The story weaves together topics such as tides, food webs, salmon, whales and more. Designed for use in grade 4-8, the site provides an online teacher's guide and requires Macromedia's Flash plug-in. http://www.secretsatsea.org/

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The Oregon Trail: The Oregon Trail has a rich, dramatic history, wonderfully retold at this comprehensive site. Presented like a colorful chapter book, major sections include All About the Trail, Historic Sites on the Trail and Fantastic Facts About the Oregon Trail.
http://www.isu.edu/~trinmich/Oregontrail.html

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Time 100: 1900s vs. Now:  Peruse this engaging site for a snapshot of the important people and changes of the past 100 years, then test your knowledge or vote for the person and event of the century. http://www.time.com/time/time100/timewarp/timewarp.html

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Choral Net:  With active e-mail lists, categorized links, and practical information, ChoralNet is a useful starting point for choir directors and singers. http://www.choralnet.org/

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This Nation:   Created by a political science professor, this nation is a guide for students and the voting public, on the US Government. The online textbook starts with an introduction "Why Government?" which explains some of the roles the government plays in our lives. The library links to many documents, speeches and constitutions of other nations. Under the area marked students, you will find some very tough self-grading quizzes. This has the easiest method to find your elected officials.  
http://www.thisnation.com/

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The Symphony: Enjoy the music and learn from the listener's guide. Users can browse, alphabetically or by country, composer biographies and hear the most famous works of each. Take a "crash course" in symphonic forms, and take quizzes to test yourself.   
http://library.thinkquest.org/22673/index.html

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Philosophy Slam: The Kids Philosophy Slam is a program designed to make philosophy accessible and fun for students of all ages and abilities. This site encourages students to think for themselves and allows them to express their ideas in a variety of formats, such as writing, drawing, painting, or poetry. This contest is for grade levels K-12 and has a special division for special education students. http://www.philosophyslam.org/

Enjoy this last Month of Summer!

From the Knowledge HQ Staff

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