November 1998 - Volume 2.3
e-News
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President's Notes

Teamwork

November Already

Homeschooling

How Not To Argue with Your Kids About Homework

E-Tutor Update

December is Just Around the Corner

Thanksgiving Links

President's Notes

As I look out my window the vibrance 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.

Thanksgiving is a time for family and friends to gather and celebrate the successes of the year. In our family, my brother prepares the meal....that is, with a lot of help and advice from the rest of us. Every year is a treat, because he has tasks for each of us to do in preparing the huge meal. We all feel a part of the preparation....this has become 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!M Angulo


Teamwork

This fall when you see geese heading south for the winter, flying along in "V" formation, you might be interested in knowing what science has discovered about why they fly that way.

It has been learned that as each bird flaps its wings it creates an uplift for the bird immediately following. By flying in a "V" formation, the whole flock has at least 71% greater flying range than if each bird flew on its own. People who share a common direction and sense of community can get where they are going quicker and easier, because they are traveling on the lift from one another or teamwork makes the difference.

 

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President's Notes

Teamwork

November Already

Homeschooling

How Not To Argue with Your Kids About Homework

E-Tutor Update

December is Just Around the Corner

Thanksgiving Links

Whenever a goose falls out of formation it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of trying to go it alone, and quickly gets back into formation to take advantage of the lifting power of the bird immediately in front. If we have as much sense as a goose, we will stay in formation with those who are headed the same way we are going.

When the lead goose gets tired he rotates back in the wind and another goose flies point. On good teams it pays to take turns doing hard jobs. The geese honk from behind to encourage those up front to keep up their speed. What do we say when we honk from behind?

When a goose gets sick or is wounded by gun shot and falls out, two geese fall out of formation and follow it down to help and protect it. They stay with the goose until it is either able to fly or until it is dead.

Then, they launch out on their own, or with another formation, to catch up with their group. If we have the sense of a goose, we will stand by each other like that. Good ideas require the strength of teammates looking out for each other.

November Already

About this time each year our calendars get full and there just doesn’t seem enough time in a day to do what we had planned. Sometimes the harder we try the slower we go. Try these Ten Great Ways to Relax. They may get you back on track and make this busy season go more smoothly.

Your shoulders are tense, your back hurts. You feel grouchy and know it’s all due to stress. What can you do? The following can help relieve both the physical and emotional tension that often follows stressful situations.

 

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President's Notes

Teamwork

November Already

Homeschooling

How Not To Argue with Your Kids About Homework

E-Tutor Update

December is Just Around the Corner

Thanksgiving Links

Relax Your Body
  • Breath slowly and deeply
  • Practice simple stretches
  • Exercise
  • Take a bath
  • Get a massage

Relax Your Emotions

  • Talk
  • Laugh
  • Cry
  • Read
  • Do something you love

Create Your Own Stress Reducers

Homeschooling

We have many friends who are homeschooling their children. Many of the subscribers for E-Tutor Connected Learning are homeschoolers. Although we value public schooling, we also place value in the need to have alternatives. Parents can then choose the most appropriate learning approach for their child or children.

According to Newsweek (October 5, 1998), the number of homeschoolers is bigger than the nation’s largest public school system in New York City and may be as high as approximately 1.5 million. Although critics of homeschool argue that it can’t replace the social and educational tools offered in traditional schools, Patricia Lines, a senior research analyst for the U.S. Department of Education argues homeschooling is instead "reinventing the idea of school." Homeschooling now uses tools such as the Internet and educational software to provide a new avenue of learning. Newsweek states that with the right training and resources, homeschooling can provide opportunities for students with special needs such as gifted or learning disabled students.

 

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President's Notes

Teamwork

November Already

Homeschooling

How Not To Argue with Your Kids About Homework

E-Tutor Update

December is Just Around the Corner

Thanksgiving Links

How Not To Argue with Your Kids About Homework:

You remember those days: they want to do something else or just not do it at all. You want to help them make sure homework gets done, but sometimes you ask if it’s even worth the fight. It doesn’t have to turn into an argument. Whether its about homework, staying out late or doing their chores…you CAN avoid an argument with your kids.

First, Three Basic Rules About Rules:

Make sure the rules are clear. Are your expectations about what is supposed to be done, and more importantly, HOW it’s supposed to be done the same?

Make sure the rules are consistent. If homework is supposed to be done everyday before television, there are no exceptions (unless, its agreed upon ahead of time).

Check to make sure these rules are still in place and reinforced on a regular basis.

How NOT to Argue (this goes for your kids, your spouse, your family).

Some keywords to remember are:

  • Validate: Acknowledge you are listening. You can do this by paraphrasing or repeating what they’ve said to you. This comes in handy when the comeback is "You’re not listening to me!" Sometimes by repeating what they’ve said first, they realize they may not have a valid argument after all.
  • Deflect: Sometimes kids will purposely try to start an argument to get out of the chores or responsibilities. They may try to provoke you by ignoring you, starting an argument (how many times have you heard: "But that’s not fair!" or "So-So doesn’t have to do this"). Stay focused on what the issue is. The issue is not that you are unfair or a "slavedriver", the issue is that the homework was supposed to be done by five o’clock. Repeat this rule ("Even if you think its unfair, the rule is no T.V. before your homework is done." "You may have more chores than your sister, nevertheless, the rule is you must get them done.")

 

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President's Notes

Teamwork

November Already

Homeschooling

How Not To Argue with Your Kids About Homework

E-Tutor Update

December is Just Around the Corner

Thanksgiving Links

  • Absorb: If they still attempt provoking an argument, stay cool. Act like a sponge. Whatever is said, simply absorb it. You can do this through "Uh-huh," "I see", "Yes,"…but the decision stands. Do not attempt to be drawn into their provocations. If you lose control, you lose the power of the rule. Remember what the issue is. Remember it’s o.k. to become angry for both yourself and your child—you’re both only human. But do not take it personally or allow it to become a personal attack.

Sometimes parents worry that by doing this, they are not allowing their children to express themselves. You can validate their feelings by saying "I can tell you’re angry, but my decision stands." Sometimes this can be prevented if all of the rules are expressed clearly before the situation arises. It helps if consequences are spelled out for specific actions. ("If your homework is not done by five o’clock, you will not go outside for the rest of the day.") Some parents (and teachers) have even drawn up "contracts" with their children, spelling out the exact expectations for performance and behavior and the consequences/rewards for each. Make the child part of this progress and ask for their input on what these should be.

These are some suggestions that may help prevent arguments in the future. Many times families repeat the same arguments over and over, on an ongoing basis. While these suggestions are not guaranteed solutions, they may be a start in providing better communication with your family.

by Suzanne Merkel-Baugher, Program Director

E-Tutor Update

Lessons are being added on a daily basis to e-Tutor.

There are three kinds of sites we use in our lessons:

  • Popular media sites such as ABC news or CNN sports
    These sites might be used to help students analyze grammar, compare the use of adjectives and adverbs, or calculate the mathematics of an earned run average. By using popular media sites, students learn to be critical thinkers and evaluators of everyday knowledge.

 

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President's Notes

Teamwork

November Already

Homeschooling

How Not To Argue with Your Kids About Homework

E-Tutor Update

December is Just Around the Corner

Thanksgiving Links

  • Educational sites
    Educational sites have been developed by NASA, libraries, science foundations, and universities, to name a few. We utilize these sites where information is presented in grade-appropriate ways.
  • Sites developed and maintained by teachers
    Teachers throughout the United States are developing and maintaining their own websites. A geography teacher in Maine has an outstanding website, and Swarthmore College maintains the Ask Dr. Math website. Many of these sites are question and answer sites where students can get e-mailed responses. Often these sites provide extensive links which serve a variety of interests and grade levels.

With all three kinds of links, students are learning to use the Web, not surf the Web. They are learning to think critically about information they see, and to use knowledge and information from many sources when gathering information or learning something new.

by Dr. Jennifer Wallace, Educational Consultant

December Is Just Around the Corner

Your children are probably like the children in our neighborhood and are already making their lists of the things they want for the holidays. This time of year gets busier as the days pass. So, if you don’t have a lot of time to get out to the stores, shop online at High-Value Technologies for those special CD-ROMs that not only teach but enchant. You will also find a wide selection of CD-ROMs for everyone else on your shopping list. High-Value Technologies will even wrap your gifts for you.

 

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Copyright 1998 Strategic Studies (http://www.strategicstudies.com)