has been a beautiful September in our part of the country. The
leaves are just beginning to change, the nights are cooler with warm
day. The vibrancy of the days with the beautiful colors, at this
time of year, can only warm your heart and put a smile on your
evening, which I do most weeks, I spent several hours of
laughter and fun with a group of friends. It is an opportunity
to let the child in each of us come out. What fun we
have....laughing at the most silly things and enjoying the hilarious,
every day stories each has to share. Humor and laughter is so invigorating.
It carries us through the week and
makes it easier for us to laugh at antics that might have frustrated
us in the past. So, I am
grateful for my friends and for the time we have together. As I
write this I have a smile on my face. I hope each of you have
friends and family with whom you can laugh and be silly with.
Possibly, because it is
the first of another school year, I have had many discussions about
our education system during the past month. I wish I had an
answer. Quite clearly what we are doing is not working and
tweaking and adding onto a failed system is not what is needed.
A new system needs to be invented which will prepare our students for
a different life than we are all used to. Methods which
functioned in an industrial era will not work in today's rapidly
changing world. Can
you forecast what the next ten years will be like? Are we giving
our students the tools
necessary for this ever-changing world? The answers are not easy, but
we must find them.
Enjoy this beautiful
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tomorrow what you can do today.
All Feelings Are
Feelings are part of
being human; they bring sensitivity to life. Without feeling
we would all be predictable robots on automatic pilot...boring,
dull, lifeless. Children who've been allowed to express all
their feelings, including the not-so-loving ones, have a big jump
start toward believing in themselves and getting along with
others. From the many shades of fear and anger to the subtle
expressions of love and contentment, you and your child will
experience a wide range and intensity of feelings. That's
Accept all your
child's feeling as natural and don't dwell on whether they make
sense. Many times feelings come in contradictory
pairs...eagerness and hesitation, happiness and sadness, love and
hate. You can feel two or more feelings at the same time, so
don't get hung up on one.
Never tell a child
that what she is feeling is wrong. If you are uncomfortable
with negative emotions, remember that when a negative feeling is
expressed and not judged, it miraculously loses its destructive
power; it is when such feelings are repressed and internalized
that they do their damage. When a child's feelings are
accepted, she will feel less lonely, angry, and fearful, more sure
of herself, and not so compelled to behave so toughly and
When a child expresses
any kind of feeling...from anger, to fear, to joy...she does not
want judgment, logic, advice, or reassurance. In the midst
of a strong emotional outburst, she does not want to explain or
justify; she simply needs your understanding. A child wants
you to comprehend whatever she is feeling, and when you do, it
gives her great relief, knowing she can trust you with her
feelings. Your acceptance of these feelings dispels them, so
once again your child is calm.
Parents who cannot
tolerate their child's feelings know the child only on the surface;
they will never be close or know one another's hearts, and there
will always be distance between them. But parents who accept
the waves of contradictory feelings within themselves and their
children foster depth and authenticity in their
Adapted from Wonderful
Ways to Love A Child, by Judy Ford
The Power of Saying
The ability to say
"no" just might be the most powerful time management tool at
your disposal. Whether a request for your time comes from your
spouse, your child, a friend, or a community leader, you probably have
a tendency to say "yes" even when you would rather say
"We usually agree
because we feel pride or honor, or because we want to be viewed as
being cooperative," says time management guru Alec Mackenzie,
"or we want to win brownie points to trade for future
favors." The first step out of the trap is to
"recognize that you are a pushover, to see how easily you say
'yes' when you ought to say 'no'."
"Most fear saying
"no" to others because they fear offending someone.
Try the following four steps to help you learn how to fend off
requests for your time without causing hard feelings.
Listen. Make sure you understand what is being asked of you and the
priority of the request.
if it's appropriate. The sooner you say it, the better.
If you hem and haw, you give the person a chance to argue with
you. Be polite, but firm. Don't build false hopes with
wishy-washy answers. If your decision is "no," say
Help the person understand the reason for your rejection.
You need not be too specific. The best reason might be,
"I have other commitments that won't permit it."
There's no reason to burden the person with the specific nature of
if you can. Demonstrate your good faith by suggesting
other ways to help meet the person's needs.
Adapted from Working
Your Child Being Bullied?
You know your children and
you can tell if they are going through a rough time. But
sometimes finding out the root of the problem can be very
difficult. Talking with your child while doing something
together, like playing outdoors, eating dinner, or shopping can often
allow them to talk openly and honestly about what's going on in their
life. Above all, reassure your child that you are a team and that you
will work together to solve the problem.
Ask your child how you
can help and what they would like you to do next.
Let them know that
they can trust you and that your actions are never intended to
make the bullying worse.
Make a plan of action
that requires you both to document each incident and talk about
ways to cope with the current situation.
Don't accept "no" for an
answer, unless it is the answer.
Children who are easily
distracted, can improve their focus with these suggestions from
Stanley Coren, Ph.D., psychology professor at the University of
British Columbia, Vancouver;
Begin learning at the
same time and in the same place every day to help your mind
associate the time and place with concentration.
Begin with a ritual,
such as sharpening your pencils or arranging your learning space,
to clear your brain of distractions and prepare for
Concentrate only on
the task at hand, rather than on the ultimate goal.
Do the easy parts
first, to get into the swing of things.
Adapted from Working
communication, whether private or public, is a process. The idea
of process is an important one. The importance of listening
cannot be stressed enough. Actually there can never be a
complete act of communication unless there is a listener. A
spirit of respect and mutual trust is created. Requirements of the
listener should be ready to receive the message. This is
called listener attention.
listener should have the same language...set of symbols...used by
listener should have a need, or a purpose, for listening.
listener should not produce interference for the incoming message.
listener should be able to feed back her-his reactions letting the
speaker know the level of understanding, or lack of understanding,
of the message.
from The Public School Administrator
Encourage Letter Writing
encouragement from their parents to write letters. This kind of
writing is highly motivating because children receive replies to good
Have your children
write thank-you letters for gifts they receive.
Let children write and
send invitations to birthday or other parties.
Encourage children to
write and draw cards to send to relatives and friends for
birthdays, holidays, and other special events.
Promote all types of letter writing
for your children...letters to the editor, letters for information
on interests or hobbies, letters of praise or complaint to
Stop, look and listen.
Superb September Links:
Center for the History of Physics:
The mission of this site is to make known the history of modern
physics and allied fields including astronomy, geophysics and optics.
Virtual exhibits highlight the discovery of the electron, Albert
Einstein and Werner Heisenberg, the found of Quantum Mechanics.
Life on the
Shore: This website helps students explore tide pools and
learn more about oceans and the creatures within. Activities
range from interactive quizzes to ideas for a paper mache tide pool.
Several tide tables and links to major aquariums are included. http://library.thinkquest.org/J001418/
NGA Kids: The National Gallery
created a variety of activities for children learning about art.
Take a tour of the sculpture garden or explore the colors, shapes and
lines found in Kandinsky's Improvisation 31 (Sea Battle).
Requires Flash plugin and Quicktime. http://www.nga.gov/kids/
The United States Fire Administration (USFA) created this site for the
purpose of keeping children and their families safe from fire.
This site includes activities such as an interactive game, puzzles and
coloring pages. Requires flash. http://www.usfa.fema.gov/kids/flash.shtm
This site has tutorials that provide step by step instructions
for drawing and animating. Techniques are simple and can be done with
no special materials. The site is totally flash-driven and full of
examples that make sense.
Life As An Elk: In
this interactive game the user takes on the identity of a newborn elk
calf and has many adventures. In each adventure the user must decide
what to do. Users learn about the life cycle of the Rocky
elk as well as about choices and consequences. Requires Flash. Sound
can be turned off.
From the Knowledge HQ Staff
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