you have not already done so, I encourage you to see the movie
'Waiting for Superman.' It is a commentary on what is happening
in today's schools. It saddened me, alarmed me and made me
angry. For what we have known, and in some small way have tried
to change, for too many years has come to naught. This business
of pointing fingers and placing blame does not benefit our students.
I'm afraid we have lost the battle. There are not many, speaking
for themselves or their children, who have not struggled with
schooling somewhere along the line. This is unacceptable from a
nation such as ours. We
are wasting our student’s time and cheating them of a productive
Now, if you have
not seen or are not familiar with the events in Chili, please
familiarize yourself with this story of a group of people and a nation
that caused a miracle to happen. It occurs to me if an
impoverished nation can move itself to produce the startling results
that it did for 33 miners, then why can't we as a people and a nation
produce similar results for our children? What is holding us
will not be educators and politicians who will bring about change or
it would have been done before. The
responsibility for making the drastic changes needed if we are to
improve education will come from parents and the students themselves.
I am often asked
why I started eTutor. It
was because after many years in public and private schools, I felt
students and parents need to have a choice.
I recognized that online learning may not work with all
children, but it could provide an alternative for traditional
schooling. We sought to
capture the strength of the technology that that Internet offered.
In so doing, over 10,000 students have benefited from a new and
different learning environment.
We give our most heartfelt
thanks to each of you who have supported us
over the years.
Look for eTutor
Welcome to the new eTutor
logo. You will see the new logo slowly move out over the next
few months as we launch a new home page.. And as you may have
guessed by the logo....a difference in colors. A few of you will
be asked to participate in a trial of the new eTutor program.
There will be many different functions that we do not have in the
present system. If you would like to participate please let us
is a matter of preparation meeting opportunity.
Homework - When is enough, enough?
According to a national survey,
kids are spending twice as much time on homework as they did in
1981. And elementary school children account for the brunt
of that jump. It is controversial as to what whether this is good
or bad and whether there is such a thing as an ideal amount of
Alfie Kohn, author of "The
Homework Myth," thinks giving homework is a tradition based
in folk wisdom and that, in reality, it does more harm than
good. "The amount of homework is increasing, at least
for younger children at precisely the same time that more research
is failing to show any benefit whatsoever." He believes there
is no evidence showing that homework is beneficial academically,
but it may be the single greatest extinguisher of children's
curiosity yet invented. "It's all pain, no gain," he
On the other hand, Harris Cooper of
Duke University defends the worth of homework in measured doses
and for certain grade levels. He used available research
showing the success of homework to frame what is called "The
10 Minute Rule." It stipulates 10 minutes of homework
per night, per grade level beginning in 1st grade. So 1st
graders should get no more than 10 minutes of homework each night,
2nd graders 20 minutes, etc.
For parents who see homework
eroding their child's sleep, affecting their health or eliminating
their free time, experts encourage them to take the issue back to
the school or pulling in like-minded parents. The idea is to
help parents and educators advocate for saner homework
Adapted from Chicago
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.
Have Fun Indoors
It is getting to that time
of year when the weather does not give us the opportunity to spend as
much time out of doors. What to do with children (and parents)
who need to release some energy?
Have a dirty-sock
fight...Got cranky kids? Take the socks right off your feet
and challenge them to a throwing battle and watch the whines turn
to gigles and squeals. Make up teams to help out your
Play Simon Says, redux...Put
a twist on the game with Spider-Man Says...or whoever's popular in
the house that week...and everyone can take turns being their
favorite superhero. Mix it up every time: "Spider-Man
says, 'Pretend to spray a web on the wall!"
Go on a free field
trip to the pet store...It's too cold for the zoo; spend an hour
checking out the cute puppies and kittens. If your kid's
really into wild things, look for a store with exotic creatures.
Jazz up "Head,
Shoulders, Knees, and Toes"...Keep a pack of stickers in your
purse; when your toddler's getting antsy in a restaurant, stick
them all over her body. Sing the song, then ask her to find
them, and name the body part each sticker is on together.
Adapted from Practical
I learned that if you want to make it
bad enough, no matter how hard it is, you can make it.
Listen for the Spiritual Language
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
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
in Writing at Home
can turn your home into a writing center by making writing a regular
household medium of communication.
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.
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.
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
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
somewhere between sunrise and sunset, two golden hours, each set with
sixty diamond minutes. No reward is offered, for they are gone
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
purpose is to prevent bullying in our society through education
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.
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.
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
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
a bewitching month!
From the Knowledge HQ Staff
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