|_In The News
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!
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
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.
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
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
The Festival of Lights
Christmas Around the World
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
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
- 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
- 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
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.
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
- 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
- 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
Soup for the Soul: 101 Stories to Open the Heart and Rekindle the
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.
The Staff at Knowledge HQ wish
you all the joys of the holiday season. May they last throughout the
Portions of this newsletter
were taken from past newsletters.
Copyright © 2004
Knowledge HQ, Inc. All Rights Reserved. www.knowledgehq.com