November 2003 Vol. 11
http://www.strategicstudies.com
 ..

President's
Message


Learning With e-Tutor

Healthy Eating: Teaching Good Life Skills

Reading for Meaning

How Schools Are Supported

Cliques and Sub-Groups

The Child Who Is 'Fine"

Becoming Good Spellers

The Child's Freedom of Choice Versus Parental Choice

Enjoy the Holidays Wisely

Notable November Links

Top of Page

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

President's
Message


Learning With e-Tutor

Healthy Eating: Teaching Good Life Skills

Reading for Meaning

How Schools Are Supported

Cliques and Sub-Groups

The Child Who Is 'Fine"

Becoming Good Spellers

The Child's Freedom of Choice Versus Parental Choice

Enjoy the Holidays Wisely

Notable November Links

Top of Page

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

President's
Message


Learning With e-Tutor

Healthy Eating: Teaching Good Life Skills

Reading for Meaning

How Schools Are Supported

Cliques and Sub-Groups

The Child Who Is 'Fine"

Becoming Good Spellers

The Child's Freedom of Choice Versus Parental Choice

Enjoy the Holidays Wisely

Notable November Links

Top of Page

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
President’s Message

 As I look out my window the vibrancy of orange, red, gold is everywhere. Leaves are blowing, there is a nip in the air. I want to take snapshots in my mind or paint pictures of what I see, because it won’t be long now and the color will be replaced by gray and white. This season is so short I want to capture it and store it away someplace so I can pull it out on one of those bleak and dreary days that I know are ahead.

Remember when we had time to relax between the end of year holidays?  Or is that an age-related impression?  It seems that Christmas came before Halloween this year.   The significance of this special time of year seems to get lost in the shuffle.  Lost are the wonders of Fall when all around us nature is preparing for winter.  The birds have flown south, the flowers have spent their last bloom and the trees have shed their leaves.  Our children need to experience this miracle of nature as well as the excitement of the holidays.  

Thanksgiving is a time for family and friends to gather and celebrate the successes of the year. Our family is spread across the country.   This year I will be sharing the holiday with new family members.   Every year is a treat, because it is  a time for laughter, recalling, and boasting. We are fortunate to have this time together and would wish that everyone could have the same. So the success we celebrate each Thanksgiving, more than any other, is the opportunity to be together. Wishing you a Thanksgiving full of many blessings!

Don't forget to check out the resources and links at Homeschool Corner.  You will find  interesting information by reading through some of the postings on the bulletin board.  Homeschooling is a growing phenomena.  Students who are homeschooled have proven their expertise in national spelling and geography bowls.  They are being accepted in top ranked universities and colleges throughout the country.  e-Tutor is a favorite educational program for many homeschooling families.Learn more about the homeschooling movement at Homeschool Corner.

 

 
Learning with e-Tutor:

Forty-six new lessons were added to e-Tutor this month.  Your child will need quiet time during the holiday season.  e-Tutor is a good way for the child to have down time while learning.  

Selected Lessons for the Season  

Primary

  • A Thanksgiving Pumpkin  
  • Months of the Year - November 
  • Months of the Year - December
  • Pumpkin Time
  • The Festival of Lights
  • Kwanzaa
  • Christmas Around the World     

Intermediate                                                                                   

  • Christmas Around the World - France
  • Christmas Around the World - Italy
  • Christmas Around the World - United States
  • Christmas in England
  • Children's Daily Life in Colonial America
  • Thanksgiving and Other Harvest Holidays

Middle/Junior High

  • The Life and Work of Leonardo DaVinci
  • Nonverbal Communication
  • The First Americans
  • Analyzing Advertising
  • Together Town
  • Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

High School

  • Music of the Classical Period
  • The Colonial Period
  • Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
  • Freefall   
  • Building Self-Esteem                                                                     

New lessons are added on a regular basis.

If you are not an e-Tutor subscriber, we are waiting to hear from you.  Parents and students, alike are excited about this great way of learning!

www.e-tutor.com

Page 2


It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed. 

 

Healthy Eating:  
Teaching Good Life Skills

While many have heard the common phrase, "breakfast is the most important meal of the day," lunch may be just as important for the growing child living in a world where TV commercials enhance their craving for colorful, flavorful sweets.  

Since it is important to start doing what's best for your health in the long run at an early age, even children need the proper cancer-fighting agents that are only found in certain foods.  If someone is eating just pasta for lunch, they are not getting the health-promoting agents they need.  Fruits and vegetables have vitamins and minerals that are necessary for everyone's diet.  

Daily food consumption also takes a large toll on the physically active child's health.  Exercise doesn't replace good nutrition.  It is a matter of getting balance from all areas. 

 It's not always easy, however, to get kids to eat healthy.  Getting them involved in choosing and preparing their food is one way to catch their interest.  According to specialists, if kids are a part of lunch-making, they are more likely to eat it.  It makes them feel proud and gives them self esteem. 

To save time have on hand ready-made food such as pre-cut meat and pre-packaged snacks like sliced veggies with salad dressing, which are easy to just throw into a lunch sack.  Other healthy snack choices include fruit cups, homemade oatmeal cookies, wraps, bagels, pudding and Jell-O.  Rice cakes with peanut butter are a good source of protein.  For children who are vegetarians, protein can be found in beans and whole grains such as brown rice.  Meat-eaters can get protein from egg whites and lean meat such as chicken or white pork.  Canned tuna and tuna salad should be limited because of its high mercury content.

Carbohydrates are needed to give kids energy and to feed their brains and nervous systems.  Pretzels and dried fruit can provide the carbs they need. 

Pack a lunch the night before in order to save time in the morning.  There isn't time in the morning, plus we are more awake at night.  Also, to save time, throw an extra few pieces of chicken on the grill during dinner.  

Once eating healthy becomes a regular routine, develop a list of what the child's favorite foods are.  If there is a question as to whether or not the child is really eating all of the healthy snacks, ask your child to bring home all of what was not eaten every day.  The art of packing a healthy lunch is really a "life skill."  It will instill curiosity of the kitchen, which will soon lead the child to want to help with dinner.  What a reason to work on those lunches!

Adapted From Pioneer Press

 


If you judge people you have no time to love them. 

 

Reading For Meaning

Children become curious about printed symbols once they recognize that print, like talk, conveys meaningful messages that direct, inform or entertain people.  By school age, many children are eager to continue their exploration of print.  

Readers bring knowledge and past experiences to the reading task to construct interpretations and to determine if the print makes sense to them.  It is easier for readers to understand print when the content is relevant to their personal experiences.  Familiar content and topics convey meaning or clues when reading.  When students are comfortable and familiar with the content of a passage, they can predict upcoming text and take greater risks in reading.  Research has repeatedly shown that fluent readers risk more guesses when interacting with unfamiliar print than poorer readers.  They derive more meaning from passages than readers who frequently stop to sound or decode words by individual phonemes or letters.  

Knowledge of word order and the rules of grammar which structure oral language, guide readers' predictions for printed language.  Readers should constantly question the text to ensure that what they are reading makes sense and sounds like language. Reading experiences that focus on relevant and familiar content, vocabulary and language patterns increase students' chances of constructing meaning and being successful readers.  At the elementary level, successful reading experiences reaffirm students' confidence as language users and learners.   

When print is translated into words that are in their listening vocabularies, readers will recognize and comprehend the words.  If the sounded words are unfamiliar to readers, they must rely on other methods to construct meaning.  Students may know the common sound-letter relationships and still be unable to obtain meaning from print.  It is useful to teach phonics or practiced in context and in conjunction with other reading techniques.

 


How Schools Are Supported

Recently the teachers in our local community had a strike.  Students were out of school for a week.  In talking with neighbors, I found that few understood how the schools were run.  Someone has finally done something that has needed doing for a longtime.  The Pennsylvania School Boards Association has prepared a mini-course for senior high school students to teach them about school boards and how public education is supported.  

Most high school graduates have learned about how a community is run, how the state and federal governments are run and even how governments in other countries are run.  Most graduates, however, have not been taught how local schools are conducted.  This needed curriculum information is a good start. 

Every school board member and every concerned parent who cares about how people vote on school issues and how people run the schools should do what's necessary to make this mini-course available to students.  

Communication Briefings

Page 3


Real generosity is doing something nice for someone who will never find out.

 

Cliques and
Sub-Groups 

Our children bring perceptions, moral attitudes and whatever else needs to be taught to places of learning.  They bring their bodies....and every part of them, no matter how disturbing or unnecessary for what we want to teach.  And they bring the whole inventory of all the emotions they use at home and in play, as well as those which are relevant to the acquisition of wisdom and knowledge.  This means that they form attachments and hatreds, cliques and sub-groups; they hope, love, hate and fear.  They experiment with each other as potential friends, sweethearts, rivals, cooperators, bosses, even slaves.  They try to experience the whole scale of person-to-person relationships with which they have become acquainted in their private life.  

Cliques and sub-group formations are often the backbone of group life, the greatest pillars of learner-morale.  Sometimes, though, they may confuse us no end.  There may be sub-groups set against each other, so that anything you say becomes unacceptable to group one just because it is so enthusiastically received by group two.  Or you may find that various sub-groups begin to impress each other by degree to which they vie for or rebel against your leadership. 

Many fights and instances of undesirable behavior are an expression of such sub-group tensions, rather than a direct attack upon the order you represent.  Such sub-group formation may take place according to similarities in developmental age, sex or degree of sophistication.  Some groups are formed because of social discrimination or racial or national differences.  Others are drawn together because of academic interest and many other reasons. 

Adapted from The Public School Administrator, University Outreach Services


The Child Who Is 'Fine'

How do you communicate with a child or teen who answers all your questions with "fine," "nothing," or "I don't know"?  Try these tips from Parents magazine to get your child talking:

  • Figure out the best time to talk to your child; at bedtime, in the car, while walking the dog.

  • Start the conversation with something she's interested in, such as music, movies or fashion.

  • Ask questions that can't be answered with a "yes" or "no."

  • Listen with empathy.

  • Ask for and acknowledge your child's opinion....even if you disagree with it. 


Common sense is the knack of seeing things as they are and doing things as they ought to be.


Becoming Good Spellers 

Correct spelling has become, in our society, one mark of a well-educated, conscientious person.  It is vital to effective written expression.  Consequently, parents are concerned about their child's ability to spell.  Parents are not expected to become expert spelling teachers at home.  However, there are some things you can do to help your child become a better speller.  

  • Show your child why it is important to learn to spell correctly.  Find some children's books that emphasize this theme.

  • Help your child learn to pronounce words correctly.  Singing songs and reciting poetry help children hear the sounds of words. 

  • Encourage your child to perform tasks that require knowing how to spell....writing letters, thank-you notes, invitations; making shopping list; labeling objects.

  • Praise your child for recognizing misspellings. 

  • Provide your child with a dictionary.  Instead of spelling words for her or him, insist that a dictionary be used.  Help your child think of possible alternative spellings until the word in question can be found.

  • Help your child distinguish between such pairs of letters as w and m, n and u, l and t, b and d, i and l.

  • Teach your child to use correct tenses of verbs and plurals of nouns. 

  • Have your child make a list of the words that cause trouble and help him or her master their spelling.

  • Help your child increase vocabulary by defining words not understood and provide new experiences, such as a trip to the zoo, a firehouse or a ballgame. 

  • Play word games such as anagrams, alphabetizing words, working and making crossword puzzles, and so on.

  • Develop your children's interest in reaching by providing books on their favorite topics.

If your child is a poor speller, offer sympathetic understanding.  Give him or her a chance to succeed at the task by starting with easy words that can be mastered quickly.  Don't give up.  Almost everyone can learn to spell. 

National Education Association

Page 4

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Politeness cost nothing and gains everything.


The Child's Freedom of Choice Versus Parental Choice....

Most parents want to raise their children to be responsible, caring members of society.  In order to attain that end, they must sooner or later use some form of discipline.  

Every child....every human being...needs and wants to exercise her or his own individuality and autonomy.  Parents can decide what areas are comfortably left to the child's freedom of choice and what areas are subject to parental discretion.  To try to control every aspect of the child's life not only smothers the child's sense of worth, but it also causes the parents to waste time and effort on things that are not really essential.  

In disciplining children, parents need to maintain consistency of thought and action.  It is confusing and unfair to tell children they can't have dessert because they didn't eat their vegetables and then give them dessert anyway to stop their fussing.  It is also inconsistent to demand with equal force that a child stop playing with matches and that he or she stop picking on a younger brother or sister. 

Adapted from National Education Association


Enjoy the Holidays Wisely

  • It can't be said enough....even to adults....Drinking and Driving Don't Mix.  About 40 percent of all highway fatalities are alcohol related.  Each year, alcohol-related fatalities result in more than 600,000 years of potential life lost before age 65. 
  • Take it slowly.  Excessive speed is a major cause of highway fatalities.  Remember, it's better to arrive a bit late than not at all.
  • Buckle up.  Nearly 15,000 lives could be saved and 375,000 injuries prevented annually if all front-seat passengers would use safety belts.
  • Throughout the holidays, maintain the healthiest eating habits possible and continue to exercise.  The easiest weight to eliminate is the weight you don't gain in the first place.
  • Relax and enjoy.  Do whatever is necessary to make the holidays a time of rejuvenation, not a blur of activity that leaves you worn out. 

Leader's Edge, American Association of School Administrators

Page 5


Hidden talent counts for nothing.

Nero

Notable November Links!

National Archives:    Mine a treasure trove of information at this web site.  Using this expanded resource from the national Archives, student, educators and researchers now have online access to more than 50 million historical records....from Civil War battles and labor disputes to immigration files and engineering plans. A free registration process is required to access the site.
http://www.archives.gov/aad

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Secret of Photo 51:  In the 50 years since famed molecular biologist Rosalind Franklin first immortalized the double helix structure of DNA in Photo 51, there have been countless cures and controversies attributed to the discover.  This web site is a companion to a NOVA television special about the double helix discovery.   
http://www.pbs.org/nova/photo51

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Rebuilding Iraq: This timely web site from Scholastic Inc. takes students inside post-war Iraq for a look at the issues faced by United States troops and Iraqi citizens as they begin constructing a new future for the region.
http://teacher.scholastic.com/scholasticnews/indepth/war-iraq

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Yes I can Science!:  Learn more about the role the Canadian Space Program plays in the International Space Station. Students can experiment and create activities using the themes of water, ecosystems, robotics, and energy. 
http://www.yesican.yorku.ca/home/index.html 

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Codes and Ciphers in World War II:  Everyone I know has played spy at one time or another. Let students see the practical side, and how technology and mathematics helped break codes during World War II. Take a virtual tour of Bletchley House,  where code-breaking operations were housed, and learn about Enigma, the coding machine that was so tough to break.
http://www.codesandciphers.org.uk/ 

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EuroTurtle:   This site despite the name, covers turtles worldwide. This great resource has information on the biology of turtles, species of turtles,  their location, and their chances for a long and happy life. Early  childhood teachers can share great images and information with their students, while older students can spend hours accessing the information and activities on the site. 
http://www.euroturtle.org/

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Chaucer Metapage:   For educators and students trying to understand Chaucer, or for those trying to get a feel for life in 14th and 15th Century England, visit this site to read about Chaucer's work, hear the work read aloud, and figure out the meanings of Olde English words found in his work.
http://www.unc.edu/depts/chaucer/index.html 

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Virtual Alphabet:   Educators can use this site to review the alphabet with their students. Each letter has an animal character associated with it, an original song with a familiar melody, and links to other pages about that animal.  Check out the letter x with Felix Fox.
http://www2.minot.k12.nd.us/classrooms/madden/virtual_alphabet.htm

Enjoy a Wonderful Month!

From the Staff at Strategic Studies Corporation

 
Copyright © 2003 Strategic Studies Corp.
http://www.strategicstudies.com