In The News                     October 2007   Vol. 10-10

President’s Message

Another month.  And it has been a busy one.  There seems little time to slow down.  But, I appreciate the opportunity to keep busy.  In spite of the fact there seems not enough hours in each day, it feels good to keep my days full.  I appreciate the quiet restful times so much more.  

We have been so pleased to speak with so many of you this month.  One mother called to tell me about her twelfth grader.  She started with, "I know all the things I have done wrong."  Her comment brought a smile to my face as we all as parents feel that way at some time or another.  My response to her was that of course we can look at what we have done after the fact....hindsight is always twenty-twenty.   You know, as parents we do the best we can, our intentions are good, but we are not perfect.  We make mistakes, we say the wrong thing, we do something silly.....but if our children know they are loved, they will survive our foibles.  And, at some time our children need to take responsibility for their actions as well.  Parenting is difficult even on the best of days....but I would not pass up the experience for anything.  What my children gave and continue to give is precious beyond expression.  It warms my heart just to think of them.  

We want to thank those students and parents who have written to us to tell us their feelings about the new format for e-Tutor.  Your input is import to our planning.  We will continue to implement new features and usability options in the months and years ahead.  Please keep those emails and phone calls coming.  We so enjoy hearing from you.    

May your month be filled with the brightness and crispness of the season.    


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A torn jacket is soon mended; but hard words bruise the heart of a child.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, American Poet 

 Learning with e-Tutor

A New Look for e-Tutor!

e-Tutor subscribers are experiencing some new features.  Intermediate and Middle/Jr. High students have a whole new look and feel as they login to the program.  

While the original of these new pages did not have a search tool.  A request was made to include this on the new pages.  Although not shown here, the search tool has been added to both pages. 



As you continue to use the e-Tutor program, we hope you will keep us informed of additions, deletions and changes that you would like to see in e-Tutor.  We will review these on a monthly basis and report any changes in the next eNews.  

Coming Soon: 
            Parent Handbook

Twenty-four 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.  



e-Tutor includes 2200 lesson modules at this writing.  Over the months, you may have noticed that we frequently add new lesson modules to the program.  Writers of e-Tutor lesson modules come from all over the country.  This is one of the reasons the e-Tutor curriculum is so rich and varied. 

If you are interested in writing lesson modules for the e-Tutor program, please send an email to admin@knowledgehq.com.  We will send you information on how you can participate in this exciting endeavor and earn money at the same time. 


   The Book Case

              Once Upon A Banana
              Armstrong, Jennifer; Illus. by David Small
              Ages Pre-School-Grade 4

Jennifer Armstrong and Caldecott Medal winner David Small have collaborated on this slapstick, nearly wordless book that offers something new to see with every look. The cover shows a man juggling some balls on a street corner, with a monkey on his shoulder. The front endpaper shows the monkey breaking his chain and running down the street, where—on the title page—he leaps into a box of bananas and grabs one. We then see the monkey tossing a banana peel on the sidewalk next to a trash can that bears a sign, “Please Put Litter In Its Place.” In the background, the shop owner is screaming, and the juggler is looking for the monkey. Next page, the monkey is leaping over a van while two leather clad bikers on a motorcycle pull up and park where a sign clearly reads “No Parking In This Space,” which is right next to the banana peel. The obvious happens, which leads to a series of accidents and mishaps involving many unsuspecting people until, at the very end, the juggler and monkey are reunited on the same corner where the story began, along with most of the characters we’ve seen in the preceding pages. They are all eating bananas.

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The best way to make children good is to make them happy. 

Oscar Wilde, Poet, Playwright, Novelist

Saving the Family Meal

Parents consider family meals important.  Many parents try to provide family meals and those who don't, think they should.  Experts agree that family meals are important. 

As you have no doubt noticed, however, it is becoming increasingly difficult to get a meal on the table....and get the family to the table.  Schedules are busy, kids don't think it's important (or won't acknowledge they do), and it's hard to find a menu that will please everyone.  We are left wondering if family meals are such a good thing after all.  

They are.  Kids need the parenting....and the nutrition.  You need to know that it is okay to want the kids at the table, how to get them there, and what to do when they get there. We think this subject is so important that we will spend the next few months answering these questions.   Let's start with the first:

It's OK to Get Them There
The family meal is an essential part of parenting....and of parenting with food.  Every family needs structure in order to function and family meals are an essential part of that structure.

A regular mealtime makes checking in with the family a priority.  That really becomes important during the teen years, when kids are on their own most of the day.  Keeping in touch with their children is one of the responsibilities of parents.  You do not have to apologize for keeping in touch or for making the family meal their tool for doing it. 

Family meals are essential for allowing kids to eat a nutritionally-adequate diet and for establishing good food habits for a lifetime.  We program our kids to eat well when they regularly present them with nutritious food in a non-pressured environment.  Without the family meal, our kids do not get that programming. 

Adapted from Ellen Satter, How to Get Your Kid to Eat....But Not Too Much

Learn From Them

Children have a fresh point of view, and if you choose to, you can learn from them. The old philosophy that parents always know what's best is not necessarily true.  Although it might be a blow to our egos to acknowledge that we are still learning, our children will respect us when we do. 

Not all parents find this easy to do.  Don't be afraid to admit when you don't know something.  You won't lose credibility when you say honestly, "I don't know," or "I'm not sure about that."

Every parent can learn something valuable from a child.  From computer games and fashion trends to the newest slang and how to us a VCR, we can always learn something new, even if, as we get older, it seems we don't catch on so quickly. 

To keep learning, stay curious about the world.  To be connected with your child, be inquisitive about their world.  Learning from a child sends the message, "I am glad you're growing up."  As your child grows, he will go through many changes, stages, and phases.  It will be easier if you stay flexible.  Adjust your attitudes and rules and let them guide you.  Don't be so set in your ways.  When a big person says to a child, "Maybe you're right," or "I never looked at it that way," or "I see what you mean," their spirits naturally soar. 

Adapted from Wonderful Ways to Love A Child, Judy Ford

Learn How You Learn Best

Do you know your learning style?  Suppose you need to get to a meeting in an unfamiliar location.  Would you want written directions and a map, or would you rather follow verbal instructions.  Perhaps you would prefer to just figure out your route as you go?  You reference in this scenario is a clue to how you learn best.  Researchers have discovered three main ways that people learn:

  • By seeing (visual learners)

  • By hearing (auditory learners)

  • By touching or working with things (kinesthetic learners)

Visual learners understand something best when they have something to read or look at, or when they can see a picture in their minds.  

Auditory learners use their ears for learning.  If you are an auditory learner, you may be able to tell someone the answer....but find it harder to learn if you have to write down responses. 

Kinesthetic learners are what we might call "hands-on learners."  They learn with their entire bodies.  When kinesthetic learners have to sit still, their brains seem to go to sleep.  

Of course, everyone uses all three methods to learn.  So even if you think you're primarily one kind of learner, different methods of studying for other kinds of learners will probably work, too. 

Adapted from American Association of School Administrators

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It is a wise father that knows his own child.

Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice

Bill of Rights - Amendment One

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.


Every family should extend First Amendment rights to all its member, but this freedom is particularly essential for our kids.  Children must be able to say what they think, openly express their feelings, and ask for what they want and need if they are ever able to develop an integrated sense of self. 

Stephanie Marston, Psychotherapist 

Seven Ways to Become A Good Conversationalist

  1. An interesting conversationalist conveys a sense of leaving many things unsaid.  Telling everything can be very tiring for your listener. 

  2. Don't tell an uncomfortable truth if you can avoid it.  Check your motives when you feel impelled to voice unpleasant facts.  "Be careful of the words you say and keep them soft and sweet; You never know from day to day which ones you will have to eat."

  3. Ask a trusted fried to tell you if you whine, speak shrilly or nasally, or with affected accents.  These faults make listening to you a chore.  Knowing about them makes them correctable.

  4. Don't interrupt the person who has the floor.  Raising your voice to get attention is a sure way to turn others off.  Waiting your turn makes what you say more interesting when the right moment comes. 

  5. No mater how brilliant or original you are, if you monopolize a conversation, minds will wander.  Hold the conversational ball briefly.  Then toss it. 

  6. In relating an incident, beware of back and forth dialogue such as "I said to her and then she said to me..."  The sense of what you wish to say can be condensed easily without these phrases.

  7. Refrain from slang and worn-out clichés.  These devices may make it easier for you to express yourself, but they are dull to listening ears.


What Teens Need From Us

In today's society, youth face a multitude of challenges that can make developing into mature and responsible adults a difficult task.  Adjusting to major physical changes in one's body can be strange and stressful.  Renegotiating relationships with parents can strain some parent adolescent relationships.  Facing important questions about the present and future, such as how to succeed in learning and what career choices lie ahead, can be both exciting and frightening.  Finally, personal and societal risks, such as negative peer pressure, drug abuse, sexual activity and its consequences and suicide and social alienation, can make growing up in today's world difficult and dangerous. 

We often wonder what we can do to help teenagers successfully negotiate the multitude of challenges they face.  Following are a number of suggestions based on some of the developmental needs of teens.

  • Respect from Adults.  Youth need to be seen as people in their own right who are equal to adults in their worth and dignity.
  • Decision-Making Opportunities.  In order for youth to develop the ability to make wise decisions, they must be given real opportunities to make choices. 
  • Experimentation and Risk-Taking.  We need to provide opportunities for our youth to experiment and take risks without suffering detrimental or dangerous consequences.  Taking risks and experimenting are a necessary and normal part of growing up.
  • Peer Interaction and Sense of Belonging.  Like adults, teens need to feel that they are part of a larger group that has a purpose.  Such a group can provide adolescents with a transitional identity as they strive to develop their own unique sense of self.  
  • Sharing Beliefs and Forming Value Systems.  In order to form a consistent and healthy value system, teens need opportunities to share with others their viewpoints and opinions, consider the pros and cons of issues, and experience how others react to what they say. 
  • Assuming Responsibility.  We should try to provide activities for youth that allow them to assume responsibility for themselves.
  • Responsibility for Accountability to Others. If youth are to grow up to be parents, workers, and citizens who are responsible for the welfare of other people such as their children, they need to have opportunities where they experience what it means to have others dependent on them. 
  • Role Models for Teens.  We need to serve as positive role models.  Teenagers look up to adults whom they like and respect. 

Adapted from Wisconsin Dept. of Public Instruction

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Anything which parents have not learned from experience, they can now learn from their children. 


Outstanding October Links:

Electric Heart: One of many online resources at NOVA, this program tells the story of the pursuit of a practical artificial heart.  Here's what you will find online: 1) Map of the Human Heart; how the human heart works with an automatically changing color graphic of a heart in cross-section; 2) Amazing Heart Facts; 3) Artificial Human; 4) Pioneering Surgeon,  O.H. Frazier who has done more heart transplants than anyone else alive, well over 700.  He talks about his work, his thoughts, and his hopes; p 5) Operation - Heart Transplant: try your hand as a heart-transplant surgeon in this simplified online procedure; 6) additional resources. 

Anecdotage:  This is home to several thousand anecdotes.  Webster's Collegiate Dictionary defines an anecdote as "a usually short narrative of an interesting, amusing, or biographical incident."  Anecdotage is chock-full of anecdotes.  According to them, their scope is largely confined to biographical incidents as well as "origin stories, mythological tales, practical jokes, and wisecracks of the Oscar Wilde-Groucho Marx variety."  If you need a quick quip for a speech or maybe some catalyst to get your creative juices flowing, this might be the place. 

Build a Prairie:  The prairie is one of North America's great ecosystems and a vital habitat for many plants and animals.  The prairie once spread across 1.5 million square kilometers of the Great Plains!  Today, only two percent of native prairie remains.  Build-A-Prairie is an interactive game which lets you restore the prairie.  In addition to the game, you have access to a Field Guide of prairie plants, birds, insects, and mammals as well as Quicktime movies and VR panoramas of prairies.  http://www.bellmuseum.org/distancelearning/prairie/build/index.html

Webquests:  These web quests were developed by teachers for teachers as part of a San Diego City Schools Technology Grant.  The Triton and Patterns Projects are a multi-partner educational collaborative that integrate technology with the education reform efforts of the San Diego City Schools to create new learning opportunities for students and teachers. The results are some great webquests for a range of learners.  The Featured Projects are exemplary units ready for implementation.  Guess what?  You can do it too! http://projects.edtech.sandi.net/projects/featured/featured.html

Westward, Ho:  Westward Ho is now taking registrations.  The waon train leaves in January, so pack your wagon and start heading to Independence, MO, the starting point for the journey. 

World Almanac for Kids:  This almanac is very easy to use.  Students can find information about animals, inventions, space, sports, and research who was born on their birthday. 

Fishyfarmacy Diagnosis: If you don't plan on taking your fish to the veterinarian any time soon, this website may help.  For at-home or in-school diagnoses, try this area of the fishyfarmacy, created by a pharmacist with years of experience with sick fish. 

Handwriting for Kids:  Worksheets online to help our children tackle Manuscript (printing) or Cursive letters.  Sheets for manuscript handwriting include months of the year, days of the week, and basic sentences.  http://www.handwritingforkids.com/handwrite/

Tutorials for the Calculus Phone:  This site is maintained by Mike Kelley, an award-winning teacher from Maryland.  Calculus students and teachers can brush up on skills and test knowledge of calculus.  Students will appreciate the interactive cheat sheet, listing all the formulas needed for the AP test. http://www.calculus-help.com/funstuff/phobe.html

Treat Yourself This Month!

From the Knowledge HQ Staff

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