_In The News
 
President’s Message

This is a time of wonder for all children whatever our age. The homes on the street are decorated with lights and figures......parents are shopping......parades are happening.......windows display stories and tales of the season.....wreaths are being hung......candles flicker......trees sprout color and tinsel. Memories of seasons past pop up in my mind when I least expect it.....surprising me and bringing me the joy I felt so long ago. Our work with and for children makes this season more special for all of us, as we watch their anticipation grow in expectation of the festivals ahead. This is an ideal time to reflect on what it is to be a child.....to recall what pleased us.....what made us happy.....what made us sad.....what caused us difficulty and then to determine what we can do to make a better world for our children. May the joys of the season remain throughout the year. Happy Holidays!


Learning Themes

There is a lot of information on the Internet. Where do you start? Well, if you are looking for ideas that center around a particular theme, you will  want to check out  Learning Themes.  While we develop a new website to house Learning Themes, you can find the latest edition at Knowledge HQ.  This site focuses on  information, activities, news and education about a specific theme every quarter.   We are parents, educators and counselors.  So, the themes are given in three different sections:  for students, for parents and for teachers.  We believe education is a partnership between the learner and teacher, whether parent or educator.  The different sections can be combined to benefit a variety of student needs.  If you have a suggestion for a theme, please let us know.  

Visit Knowledge HQ.

 

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We look at our children around us,

Each one in turn we embrace.

Each was a gift from our Maker,

He has such wonderful taste.

Author Unknown


 
Learning with e-Tutor:

Navigation! Graphics! Those two things are the name of the game in Internet websites. e-Tutor is proud of its graphics, which appeal to a diversity of students. We use cartoons, current baseball stars, accurate diagrams of the circulatory system, and photographs of Tasmanian Devils, to name just a few. Our photos of the starry night sky show the position of Orion and the Pleiades. In the lesson on comets, there are actual photos of comets. For younger children, we use appealing graphic representation of tomatoes, bunnies, and clowns. The graphics are important because they must catch -- and HOLD -- a student's interest and imagination. We choose graphics that illustrate our lessons -- sometimes precisely (as in the graphics of the brain in our science lessons), sometimes whimsically (an octopus to illustrate the eight parts of speech.) Consistently, users tell us that our graphics are one of their favorite features. 

The second important part of a Website is the navigation. How easy is it? e-Tutor requires you to know two things to be able to navigate it. First, the "BACK" button does not work. A prime concern for parents and teachers of students when using the Internet is security.  We want e-Tutor students to stay within the website.  We use a simple solution to keep students within the program.  By NOT using the "BACK" button (and instead closing windows by clicking in the top right or left hand corner), students are kept "within" e-Tutor. It is easy for teachers and students to learn this and adjust to this in our website. Second, we use the "scroll" feature frequently. We want e-Tutor to load quickly and accurately. By loading the lesson all at once and using the scroll feature (or clicking on the Index), students have very little to learn in terms of navigation.  Students can click on the area they want to go to ---"Study Guide", for example -- or scroll through the whole lesson.  Either way, e-Tutor provides an illustrative trip through education!

Holiday Lessons at e-Tutor

The Festival of Lights 
Christmas Around the World 
Kwanzaa 
Christmas Around the World - France 
Christmas Around the World - Italy 
Christmas Around the World - United States 
Christmas Around the World - England 
Christmas Around the World - Germany 

Watch for new lessons each month at e-Tutor


 

How To Beat Holiday Stress

The holidays can be the most joyous time of the year, but they can also be the most stressful. Holidays can also be a time of hectic shopping, financial concerns, family conflicts and loneliness. We are so busy trying to take care of the details of the festivities, we often forget to take care of ourselves. Here are some suggestions to help you cope with holiday stress this season:

 Try to plan ahead.

See if the stores you need to go are on another personís list.  Maybe you can divide the list and split up to get the shopping done in less time and in less trips.

If childcare is an issue, see if you can rotate days with another parent. Maybe you can take turns with babysitting.

While waiting in line at the store with the kids, give them articles or ads from newspapers or magazines (usually the stores carry copies of their own flyers).  With a pen, have them circle all the letters in their names within the ads or have them play a word search game.

 



Snowman Garland

Do you need an activity for your child while you manage the last minute tasks before the holiday?  Or when there are bad weather days when everyone is stuck inside, have activities for the family to do. Try having wintertime crafts like creating a "snowman garland"   or have your child create and decorate their own holiday cards.  

Your child can create a snowman garland by decorating paper plates like a snowman. 

You will need:

White paper plates

String or ribbon

A hole punch

Crayons, markers or paints

Felt or construction paper

Scissors and glue

Cotton balls

Use the cotton balls to create "snow. "   Then paint the eyes, nose and mouth.  Or, the face can be made using felt or construction paper.  Cut a black stovepipe hat out of construction paper or felt to place on top.  Next, punch a hole on the sides of the face.  Link the snowmen together with string or ribbon.  

You might like to have each person in the family decorate a snowman that looks like themselves.   String these together as a family activity.

 

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They say snow is Nature's peanut butter. That is, it can be either soft or crunchy, kids love it and it clings to the roof of your house.

Be Natural

Remember that you need to take care of yourself during this busy time. A good way to be remember how to do this is to "Be Natural."

B -- Breathe deeply, it will help increase energy levels.
E -- Exercise: 20 minutes, three times a week -- and running from errand to errand doesn't count!
N -- Nutrition: Three well-balanced meals each day.
A -- Attitude: Negative attitudes are contagious and destructive. Try to see the glass half full.
T -- Time management: Set priorities and don't take on more than you can handle.
U -- Uniqueness: Recognize and treasure your own uniqueness. Say 'no' when necessary.
R -- Relaxation: Private time to read or listen to music -- a time not to focus on the next item to do.
A -- Associations: Maintain contact with nurturing support systems -- colleagues, friends, family.
L -- Laughter: Still the best medicine.


 

Double Your Brain Power

You probably sometimes wish that you could think faster; grasp new information quickly and recall more of what you read and hear. If so, you will find help in Double Your Brain Power, by Jean Marie Stine. Some examples include:

  • Tackle information you ant to commit to your short-term memory in the morning. Reasons: The brain section that stores short-term memory items performs about 15% better in the morning. But switch to the afternoon for items you want to keep in your long-term memory because that part of your memory bank hits its stride later in the day.
  • "Reverse and rephrase" to overcome negative thoughts about your ability to learn something new. Example: Instead of " I wonít remember what I am learning" tell your brain "Iíve already learned to recall many thingsÖnames, dates, computer commands. So I can and will remember this."
  • Plan for an upcoming learning event by selecting a reward you will give yourself afterward. Pick something you would not usually buy or do. Picture yourself enjoying the reward just before the learning event starts. Repeat the process whenever you feel anxious about learning the information. Note: No matter how things turn out, give yourself the reward.
  • Answer these questions after you read something that you want to remember: What was it about? What parts of it were most important? What opinions, if any, did it contain? What is my opinion of it? What element makes it unique? Note: Do this mentally or in writingÖ.whichever works best for you.
  • Rely on graphic devices to increase your reading speed and to help you zero in on the main points in books and other publications. Examples: italics, boldface, underlining, bulleted lists, charts, graphs, etc. As you go through pages, ignore regular text and scan only for these devices. When you find one, slow down and read those sections more carefully.
  • Boost your thinking power by taking the time to really think about the answers to these questions about a situation, some information or a problem: What seems to be the key idea here? Does this resemble or parallel anything Iíve already learned or experienced? Do I still have a nagging question about any part of this? When I put everything together, what do I see as most important.

Double Your Brain Power: Increase Your Memory by Using All of Your Brain All the Time 
by Jean Marie Stine, Prentice Hall

 

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How much we enjoy what we have is more important than how much we have. 
Life is full of people who have more than they know what to do with, but cannot
be content. It is the capacity to enjoy life that brings contentment. 
 

When Obstacles Get You Down

Do obstacles get you down when you are trying to get something done? An excellent book, Chicken Soup for the Soul, asks you to consider the following:

  • After Fred Astaireís first screen test, a 1933 memo from the MGM testing director said , Canít act. Slightly bald. Can dance a little." Astaire kept that memo over the fireplace in his Beverly Hills home.
  • An expert said of famous football coach Vince Lombardi: "He possesses minimal football knowledge. Lacks motivation.
  • Louisa May Alcott, the author of Little Women, was advised by her family to find work as a servant or seamstress.
  • Beethoven handled the violin awkwardly and preferred playing his own compositions instead of improving his technique. His teacher called him hopeless as a composer.
  • The teacher of famous opera singer Enrico Caruso said Caruso had no voice at all and could not sing.
  • Walt Disney was fired by a newspaper for lacking ideas. He also went bankrupt several times before he built Disneyland.
  • Eighteen publishers turned down Richard Bachís 10,000-word story about a soaring seagull before Macmillan finally published it in 1970. By 1975, Jonathan Livingston Seagull had sold more than seven million copies in the U.S. alone.

Chicken Soup for the Soul: 101 Stories to Open the Heart and Rekindle the Spirit

 

The Glad New Year

Hear the bells ringing,

Ringing of the glad New Year.

Hear the children singing, 

Singing of the glad New Year.

Bells ringing. Children singing.

Ringing, ringing. Singing, singing.

The glad New Year is here.


Unknown

 

Santa Links

 

 

 

The Staff at Knowledge HQ wish you all the joys of the holiday season. May they last throughout the year.

Portions of  this newsletter were taken from past newsletters.  

Copyright © 2004 Knowledge HQ, Inc. All Rights Reserved. www.knowledgehq.com