In The News                            September 2008   Vol. 11-9


President’s Message

Time has gotten away from us this month as we have been settling into a new environment.  When one moves there is always more to do than what was planned for.  So we are a bit late in getting this newsletter off to you.  Without our blinking, September has crept past us and we are almost into October.  Nevertheless, we haven't forgotten you and thank you for your patience.

Although we have been busy setting up a new office in Boulder, our faithful staff in Chicago have lessened the burden, by taking over when there just was not enough time in a day.  We welcome the many new students who have enrolled in the e-Tutor program.  We are pleased to welcome back our returning students.  It is gratifying to hear the many fine comments you have shared with us about the benefits your children are receiving through e-Tutor.  When we hear from you, our day is brighter.  So,  we hope you will keep those emails and phone calls coming.

Our thoughts and prayers have been with those families affected by the recent string of hurricanes and flooding.  Several of our students lost days and weeks of their instructional program due to lack of electricity.  Thankfully services seem to be back to normal, but the scars of the devastation remain.  Although it is hard when there is so much trauma to think of instruction,  there are opportunities for learning to take place in even the most dire of circumstances.  Photo-journalism, diaries, pictures, volunteering, etc. during and after such events can encompass the four major curricular areas of  mathematics, science, language arts and social studies.  Some of our students have shared with us what they have learned through these latest events.  

Recently a parent asked about her child who is three. With a birthday in September, she has been told that it might be better if she holds him back from attending school a year. Her concern is that he will be the youngest child in the class and may be immature and not do well in the school. This is a difficult question for me.....my own children have October birthdays and I did not hold either back. I know they struggled not only through elementary and high school, but college as well. Nevertheless, they both were bright enough and I didn’t see the problem as theirs, but that of the schools. In hindsight would I have done things differently....probably not. It is painful, though, as a parent, to see your child struggle.  

So, my response to the parent was "wait and see, he is still young." My children are adults now and there weren’t as many options then. However, it saddens me to think that a parent has to even consider this question today. Many parents choose to keep their children home for schooling, but others are unable to do this. So, do they have to worry that their child may not be ready? "Who is not ready, the child or the school?"

May the fruits of this month carry you through the seasons approaching.    


Note:  Some of this newsletter is taken from past eNews articles. 


Fall Semester Sign Up Continues Through October

Although registration can take place at any time, many parents and students prefer to keep their instructional program in line with their local school district.  Subscription gives the student access to all lesson modules at his/her level, both parent and student unique logins and passwords, monthly newsletter, online resource material and contact with educators through email. Go to: https://www.e-tutor.com/enroll.php to subscribe.   

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

 

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Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe.

H.G. Wells

 

 

Learning with
 e-Tutor
                

    

Online education represents a new kind of challenge for students. Each student’s and parent’s expectations differ widely, and the e-Tutor response may not always meet expectations. There are some things all students can expect. Students can expect to be challenged academically. They can expect to not understand everything they experience in an online educational program. They can expect to not always see the relevance of what they are asked to do. But, they also can expect that resources will be available to help them.

It may seem obvious, but it sometimes comes as a shock to students that online learning will require increased academic skill.

    Academic Tips

    • e-Tutor's instructional program is renowned for academic rigor. This is exciting and at the same time challenging. Help your student understand the benefits of the knowledge and skills they will gain while studying with e-Tutor.
    • Time management is crucial from the very beginning. Encourage your student to use one of the e-Tutor planners and to transfer every lesson module and time commitment to it.
    • It is okay to get help! Remind your student that everyone can benefit from the resources available to them.
    • Take advantage of the expertise of e-Tutor instructional staff.
    • Encourage your student to analyze each part of the lesson module. What is he/she expected to do? This often includes analysis and critical thinking beyond memorization.
    • Check daily with your student - Is he or she completing the recommended number of lesson modules, keeping up with Activities and Extended Learning, completing the self check by answering the Problem Statement and using the vocabulary and resources appropriately?
    • Encourage recreational activities.

  Thirty-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


Calling All Writers!

As our reputation grows, our need for interesting, exciting and challenging curriculum grows.  If you are enthusiastic about your area of expertise and would like to share your knowledge with students throughout the world, then we would like to hear from you.    

Learn more by going to the Lesson Pro at:   

www.lessonpro.net  

and sign up to begin writing immediately.  Or, write to us at admin@knowledgehq.com and we will send you ideas to get you started.   
    



   The Book Case

  Where the Sidewalk Ends

                         By Shel Silverstein 
                                                  All Ages
              

Having a good laugh is a great way to reduce the stress of family life.

Create your own "humor first aid kit" for days that don’t go well. Collect items that will make you and your kids laugh....silly books, squeaky toys, cartoons, and funny videos.

Find a special place to tape up cartoons and other funny items....if your kids like silly poems, they’ll love Shel Silverstein’s Where the Sidewalk Ends (Harper & Row).

Some families like to write stories about funny things that have happened to them....you may want to create your own silly stories.

Every library is full of humorous stories and songs that your children will love. And don’t forget the joke and riddle books. Ask your librarian to recommend a few.

Laughter is not a cure-all, but it certainly helps.


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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

 

TEN Ways to Make the Most of STUDY TIME

Relax a bit after learning before doing homework. Then....

1. Find the best time to study

After school, after dinner.....homework should have a definite start and finish time. If the homework is finished early, the remaining time should be used to double-check and review.

2. The best place to study

Homework headquarters should be away from television, stereo, telephone, and other distractions. A writing surface and good light are necessities. A small table may be the best place for a young student, while a desk or table, even the floor or a bed, may work for an older student.

3. Be prepared

Have all the materials needed to complete assignments. Pencils, sharpener, eraser and paper for younger students, a pen, ruler, dictionary, thesaurus, and more may be necessary for older students.

4. Make a homework list

Make an easy two-part homework checklist:

______ List homework assignments in each subject each day as they are made.

______ Check over the list at the end of the instructional day to make sure you have all the materials necessary to study.

Show the assignment sheet to educators. They can help to see that you have everything to complete assignments.

 

5. Keep a homework calendar

Recording due dates for major long-range assignments on a special calendar brings the task into focus. Work backwards, identifying all the steps along the way to completion of the assignment.

  • If a short paper is due on Friday, the last step is to write the final draft on Thursday.
  • The first step is to begin reading and note taking on Monday.

6. Study rhythms

Tackle the most difficult assignments when you are most alert and save easier tasks for off-peak times. Schedule several smaller segments of time for memorization. It is easier to learn in short stretches than at one long session. Try using an easier assignment as a break from something more difficult.

7. When you get stuck

Ask these questions.....

  • Have you read and followed directions carefully?
  • Are you taking short cuts that are confusing you?
  • Are you using your book properly?
  • Read the directions aloud....now do they make sense?
  • Have you tried making a picture, table, graph, or diagram to represent the known facts and relationships?
  • Have you tried to solve a similar, but less difficult problem?
  • Have you checked the glossaries, the table of contents or the indexes for help?
  • Did you copy the words or numbers correctly?
  • Are you trying to do too much of the work in your head?
  • Have you checked for careless mistakes?

Still stuck? Do other homework assignments for awhile. Start your instructional program early and check with your educator. Remember.....educators want success from their students.

8. Ask for help

It is okay to ask for help. Ask parents, older brothers and sisters, just ask.

9. Take a break

Schedule one or more short breaks during the study time. Stretching the mind for an hour, calls for stretching the body for a few minutes. Do jumping jacks, play ping pong or the drums.....get up and move.

10. Book bag at bedtime

Create a fail-proof method for getting completed homework assignments, activities and extended learning assignments ready for educators on time. A good slogan is "homework goes in the book bag at bedtime."


If All the Trees Were Oaks 

What If all the trees were oaks. 
How plain the world would seem; 
No maple syrup, banana splits, 
And how would orange juice be? 
Wouldn’t it be a boring place, 
If all the people were the same; 

Just one color, just one language. 
Just one family name! 

But 

If the forest were the world, And all the people were the trees; 
Palm and pine, bamboo and willow, 
Live and grow in harmony. 

Aren’t you glad, my good friend, 
Different though we be; 
We are here to help each other, 

I learn from you, and you, from me.

Author Unknown


Outsmarting Stress

Relieve stress by understanding which brain hemisphere is stressed. If you feel depressed or emotionally overwrought, your stress is in the right hemisphere....the creative, emotional, holistic side.

What to do: Switch to your matter-of-fact left hemisphere by doing math, writing factual prose or organizing. The emotional right brain will calm down.

If you feel time-stressed and overburdened, the left hemisphere is involved. Switch to your right brain by singing or playing a sport.

Jane Cole-Hamilton, Wellspring Seminars


Squeezed for 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 is 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’s irregular and not as uniform as time from a clock. Identify its peak times. That is when to schedule especially difficult work.
  • Don’t crowd every minute with some task. If you do, tension rises and effectiveness declines.
  • Slow down. Don’t be addicted to rushing. Ask, "Why am I rushing? What will hap-en if I don’t?" Know the difference between necessary haste and impatience. 
  • Subtract an old activity when you add a new one.

 

 

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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


Competition

With the beginning of school, comes another season of sports of all kinds for our youngsters. We have come to believe that competition is good for us. But research show that "offensive competition." which involves aggressive gamesmanship, can be counterproductive. A study conducted at the University of Texas disclosed that people who were more concerned with winning than with performing well had lower levels of achievement. If you are competitive or your child is competitive, consider the following:

Keep in mind that competition is not the opposite of cooperation. Using cooperative strategies will often help one be more "competitive."

Learn to believe in yourself. Do not strive to prove yourself in others’ eyes.

Accept that other people are needed to get ahead. A combination of healthy competition and cooperation can go a long way.

Keep an open mind to new ideas, information and feedback. Offensively competitive people often resist others’ suggestions.

Help others to achieve their goals.

Dr. Stan J. Katz and Aimee E. Liu , Self


Tired of Political Campaigns? Think About This

Does using shorter sentences and smaller words make a political candidate more attractive to voters? According to a new study by two college researchers, it makes candidates more successful in getting their messages across to voters. Mary-Ann Leon and T. Harrell Allen of California State Polytechnic University studied the speeches of President Bush and Michael Dukakis during their two 1988 debates: They found: Bush’s remarks scored at the 8th grade level....making them clear to more than two-thirds of the audience. Dukakis tested at the 10th and 12th grade levels....comprehensible to less than 50 percent of Americans. The difference: Dukakis used longer, more complex sentences and words than Bush did.

 

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

Michelangelo

 

Superb September Links:

Monarch Butterfly Watch:  This site provided by the University of Kansas is dedicated to the education, research and conservation of monarch butterflies.  Students will find kits for tagging monarchs, creating way stations, raising monarchs and more.  
http://www.monarchwatch.org/

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HyperHistory:  Amazing clickable chart covering 3,000 years of world history.
http://www.hyperhistory.com/online_n2/History_n2/a.html

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Franklin Institute Science Museum:  A wealth of fun, educational, and exciting information from the famed Philadelphia museum. Visit the online exhibits. "Educational /hotlists” offer valuable homework connections. Check out the “Kids Did This! Hotlist” featuring the work of children in such areas as art, science, and social studies.
http://www.fi.edu/learn/learners.php

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Measure 4 Measure:  A collection of interactive sites on the web that estimate, calculate, evaluate, translate, etc.  In other words, they do the work for you.  These sites allow you to convert between different units of measurements, find your ideal caloric consumption, calculate the amount of paint you need to paint a room and much more. 
http://www.wolinskyweb.net/measure.htm

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Global Climate Change: At this Web site, 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. You’ll also get a sense of how scientists study natural phenomena—how researchers gather evidence, test theories, and come to conclusions.
http://www.exploratorium.edu/climate/index.html

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The Great Plant Escape:   Detective LePlant guides students through the information they need about plants and the part they play in our lives.  In six multi-disciplinary lessons, plants, dirt, flowers and bulbs are the center of attention. A teacher's guide integrates the lessons and online quizzes with other instructional ideas.  
http://www.urbanext.uiuc.edu/gpe/

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National Student/Parent Mock Election:   The National Student/Parent Mock Election seeks to turn the sense of powerlessness that keeps young Americans and their parents from going to the polls into a sense of the power of participation in our democracy. One of the most important ways to increase students' sense of significance – and power – is to use the Mock Election to take them out of the classroom and into the real world.
http://www.nationalmockelection.org/

Enjoy a Wonderful Month!

From the Knowledge HQ Staff

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