In The News                          October 2010   Vol. 13-04


President’s Message 

It has been our goal to establish a program where students are totally involved in their own learning and make choices about what they will study.  We have found over the years, that when a student is given the opportunity to select from a wide variety of topics and subjects, the learning becomes spontaneous and enjoyable.  We put the selection of lesson modules in the hands of the student rather than specifying what should be done each day.  It works!  Most eTutor students are self-motivated and understand the value of their learning activities.  And, they actually end up learning the same or more than what most students learn at their age. 

This concept is sometimes hard for parents and educators to accept, as we are used to being given a step-by-step process for learning.  This method doesn't take individual strengths and interest into consideration.  We trust the student's desire to learn. Children understand when they are ready to walk, to talk, or to ride a bike.  Why, at five years of age, do we begin to dictate when and what to learn?  Unfortunately for most students, this pattern continues throughout the school years.  

It surprises me each time I get a phone call from a parent who just wants their child to get through school, no matter if the student has learned anything. Well, I shouldn't be surprised.  The student and parent probably did not have any say in the learning process.  And when the same old way doesn't work and the student fails, everyone stands around shaking their head.  Students are blamed.  Parents are blamed and schools are blamed.  Given choices about their learning program early on and throughout the school years, perhaps we would not see so much failure. Students need to be given the respect they deserve in deciding their own best way to learn.  Educators need to provide multiple ways for learning to take place, a wide variety of instructional content that inspires and motivates; they  need to facilitate learning rather than instruct.  And finally, they need to step back and let the student take charge. 

The Geese
Richard Peck

My father was the first to hear 
The passage of the geese each fall.  
Passing above the house so near 
He'd hear within his heart their call.

And then at breakfast time he'd say: 
"The geese were heading south last night," 
For he had lain awake till day.   
Feeling his earthbound soul take flight.

Knowing that winter's wind comes soon  
After the rushing of those wings, 
Seeing them pass before the moon, 
Recalling the lure of faroff things. 

Enjoy this most colorful time of year. 
from Boulder, Colorado  

 


Open Enrollment 

Online learning affords many benefits that one cannot find in traditional schooling. One advantage is open enrollment.  You may enroll your student at any time during the year.  eTutor students come from around the world, so the school year in the US may not be the same as in China or Europe. You can enroll at https://www.e-tutor.com/enroll.php or call 877-687-7200.  We are happy to welcome students any time during the year. 

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Quality is never an accident.

Willa A. Foster





Learning with eTutor

Thirteen years ago, we knew that the Internet could offer students a new challenging way of learning.  Struggling students deserved to have a choice in learning...something different from what they were familiar with and with programs which may have failed them.  It was important, from our point of view, to develop a program which was based on guiding principles that were based on good teaching/learning precepts and would stand the test of time.  We think we have succeeded.  Where we have seen many programs and companies fail,  eTutor continues to be a well-recognized program and reaches more students each year.   eTutor integrates innovative, research-based components into each lesson module.  e-Tutor began conducting research in the fall of 1997 and determined that the online instructional program we would develop should be guided by the following standards:

1.      Instructional lesson format needs to be consistent

2.      Immediate feedback is necessary for both student and parent

3.      Instruction should be customized to student progress

4.      Parents need to be part of the teaching-learning program

5.      Instruction should be linked to National and State Learning Goals

6.      Appropriate Internet links need to be an integral part of each instructional lesson

7.      Instructional lessons should be available to students from grades K – 12

8.      Students should learn the value and appropriate use of the Internet while completing instructional lessons

Seventeen New Lesson Modules  
were added to the 
eTutor Lesson Library since our last eNews!

Join the e-Tutor world of learning today to view 
over 3,000 lesson modules.  

www.etutor.com



   The Book Case            

Honk, the Moose
Phil Strong
All Ages
              

What do you do when a moose takes over your town?  When two boys discover a moose residing in Ivar's father's stable, eating up the hay, chaos ensues. Soon, everyone from Ivar to the mayor and the city council is involved in deciding the fate of the poor, tired moose.  A 1936 Newbery Honor Book, this children's classic is sure to please children of all ages.  


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Luck is a matter of preparation meeting opportunity.

Oprah Winfrey

 

Friends for Life

Good social skills help kids meet...and keep...good friends, and it's never too early for parents to start teaching friend-making strategies. Maybe your child doesn't have a problem making friends...but you're just not too pleased with the friends she has chosen.

You want your child to stay away from bullies or those who do not consider other people's feelings or perspectives, according to experts.  Also, if there is an imbalance of power or no give-and-take, it's not a good match.  Your goal as a parent is to help your child find decent friends, not dominant ones.

If your child spends time with an inappropriate friend, her behavior will change.  Be alert if your child does something very uncharacteristic,  such as abandon learning activities or become secretive about her social life.

Clinical psychologist and author, Neil Bernstein, says that if friends seem overly influential, talk to your child about what aq true friend should be.  Ask him to consider if his friend is someone he can trust, who will be there for him, who won't encourage him to do something dangerous, and with whom he can be himself. 

And as difficult as it can be, try not to judge potential friends by their hairstyle or dress.  "Just because a kid has blue hair and an earring doesn't mean he is an ax murderer, and the preppy kid who says 'please' and 'thank-you' may be the worst person for your son or daughter to be with, says Bernstein. Look at a new friend's track record.  Check with other parents or neighbors to see if the child has been in trouble.

The best weapons against negative peer pressure are a loving, accepting home and open communication.  "The choice of peers is a barometer for a kid's sense of self," Bernstein says.  "If you don't talk to them, they will talk to anyone who listens, relying on peers for validation, instead of you."

Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens


Talk....to Yourself?

Talking to yourself when you are alone is not unhealthy.  It can help to identify and solve problems.  Close the door, let the thought come and write down the issues they raise.  Added bonus:  the process provides the opportunity to identify emotions that are allied to an issue you may not have realized were out there.  Example:  You talk out loud about frustrations regarding the people you work with and fid out you were angrier at one of them than you realized. 

Working Smart


Don't Procrastinate

To procrastinate means to put off doing a task...for no good reason.  The last phrase, "for no good reason,"  is the key, because there are sometimes excellent reasons for putting off a certain task.  In fact, deciding to do one thing before another is what prioritizing is all about.  However, if you have organized your "To Do" list and are having trouble working through it in priority order, then procrastination may be the problem.  If that's the case, try these ideas.

  • Persuade yourself - Convince yourself that the task is worth doing.

  • Challenge your excuses - for putting the assignment off.

  • Counterattack - Forcing yourself to do something uncomfortable or frightening helps to prove that it wasn't so bad after all.

  • Remove the reward -. Don't let procrastination be a pleasant experience

  • Write a contract - Make a written promise to yourself that states a goal and includes a reward for accomplishing the goal.

  • Jog your memory - Signify important items on your "to do" list with a red star.

  • Divide and conquer - Break big jobs into small pieces and complete on piece every day. 

  • Discipline yourself - for five minutes.  If you really don't want to do a project, promise yourself that you'll work on it for five minutes. 

  • Develop a routine - Schedule frequent tasks for regular times.

  • Post a chart - and make sure you can see it.  Give yourself a gold star for each task completed in priority order and a red minus for any you miss. 

Adapted from Practical Supervision

 

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I learned that if you want to make it bad enough, no matter how hard it is, you can make it.  

Gale Sayers


Listen for the Spiritual Language

Children are innately spiritual, and if you pay close attention they can speak to you about the subtle energies of another dimension; whether or not you believe, it can be intriguing to listen to what they have to say.  Children's intuition is highly attuned, and frequently they hear and see things that we miss, as they aren't so tightly immersed in ":reality" yet. 

Before about age six, children are highly attuned to the spiritual world and with thins unseen and unspoken, but they are more than likely to lose touch once they start school and are exposed to traditional thinking and logical reasoning.  Until then they are adept at tuning in to our thoughts. 

Children have highly develop intuition...they can feel the energy and vibes of others.  Sometimes just seeing somebody will cause a child to start crying loudly she move to avoid that person and, although she can't put into words why, she can feel the person's energy and wants to stay away.  Trust this instinct in your child. 

Some children already know profound spiritual truths without ever being taught.  Part of honoring your child's divine nature is recognizing her spiritual language and respecting her special perceptions. 

Wonderful Ways to Love a Child, Judy Fordt


Communicate in Writing at Home

You can turn your home into a writing center by making writing a regular household medium of communication.

  • Organize a chalkboard or bulletin board for written messages for all family members.  Ask children to leave notes telling where they are going, to write down telephone messages, etc. 

  • Allow your child to be involved in family operations that require writing...lists for shopping of all kinds, instructions for babysitters, directions for visitors to your house, plans for birthday parties, and notes for family and friends. 

National Education Association


Expectations for Learning

What  exactly do we expect of our school children?  At best, the signals we send about the purpose of schooling are mixed, especially those about the purpose of academic achievement.  Compared to other developed societies, achievement in the the U.S. often takes a backseat to the whirl of student social life and the demands of a part-time job.  

Similarly, the need to demonstrate academic achievement as a prerequisite for entering college has given way to the belief that any high school student who wants to go to college should not be denied the opportunity.  Getting into an academically elite college is still a powerful incentive to study hard for some high school students.  But even those who do mediocre or shoddy work can almost always find a college that will accept them, despite their academic deficiencies. 

In its quest for the well-rounded student, American society often steers the attention of students away from academic pursuits.  Educators and parent encourage participation in nonacademic enterprises....sports, hobby clubs, politics, pep club, and community service, not to mention after-school jobs.  For the college bound, selective colleges give preference to well-rounded applicants with outside interests and accomplishments as well as...and sometimes instead of...high grades and test scores. 

So long as we are ambivalent about the comparative importance of academic achievement, we shall continue to underwrite academic mediocrity.  So long as students can allocate major fractions of their time as they wish, they will likely give their studies less than the share necessary to meet high academic expectations.  

Yet the conflict itself implies the solution:  if students have wide discretion in their use of time, then they also have a great deal of time that could be used for learning if they chose.  This is where online instructional programs can make a difference. The ideal program will put the student in charge of his/her own learning.  And then offer instructional content that is refreshing, current, intriguing, informative and constantly changing in order to adapt to student interest and instructional strengths. 

Adapted from The Public School Administrator

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LOST:  Yesterday, somewhere between sunrise and sunset, two golden hours, each set with sixty diamond minutes.  No reward is offered, for they are gone forever.  

Horace Mann

Awesome October Links:

Airplane Math:  Find the shortest path between 2 cities, figure out how many people can board your plane, or plan a flight around the country. Nine different activities focusing on air flight include the lesson, experts, educator guides and more.  
http://www.planemath.com/activities/pmactivities4.htm

Bullying:  Bullying.org's purpose is to prevent bullying in our society through education and awareness.   The site  provide educational programs and resources to individuals, families, educational institutions and organizations. You can find online learning and educational resources in order to help you deal effectively and positively with the act of bullying and its long lasting negative consequences.  
http://www.bullying.org/

Autumn:  Why do leaves change color? It's autumn, and you're already back in school. Our hardworking trees, on the other hand, need to take a break from all that photosynthesizing. When leaves change color, from green to yellow, bright orange or red, you'll know trees are beginning their long winter's rest. 
http://www.dnr.state.wi.us/org/caer/ce/eek/veg/trees/treestruecolor.htm

Pumpkin Exploration:  Pumpkins are fun! Their size and color, smell and taste make them perfect for children's observation and exploration. In this activity students in cooperative groups search, suggest, question, predict, and estimate the number of seeds in a set of pumpkins. They will combine mathematical procedures and scientific observation to learn more about this seasonal delight. http://www.sedl.org/scimath/compass/v01n02/pumpkin.html

Walk Through Time:  A history website for seven to nine year-olds. Play interactive games, explore and put things together.  The site includes educator guides.  
http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/walk/index.shtml

October Revolution:  The October Revolution, also known as the Great October Socialist Revolution, Red October or the Bolshevik Revolution, was a political revolution and a part of the Russian Revolution of 1917. http://www.marxists.org/history/ussr/events/revolution/index.htm

 

Have a bewitching month!

From the Knowledge HQ Staff

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