In The News                           December 2008   Vol. 11-12


 Presidents Message

Happy Holidays!  This time of year brings families and friends closer together.  It is often hard during the year to stay as connected as we wish with all those who have touched our lives in the past and often, even current friends and family members.  The daily comings and goings keep our time fully occupied.  So, we put off making contact with the important people in our lives who have helped make us who we are.  But, for this time of year we might lose all contact, but even as busy as we are, we seem to find time for a Holiday wish for good cheer.  

Christmas Everywhere

Everywhere, everywhere, Christmas tonight!
Christmas in lands of the fir-tree and pine,
Christmas in lands of the palm-tree and vine,
Christmas where snow peaks stand solemn and white,
Christmas where cornfields stand sunny and bright,
Christmas where children are hopeful and gay,

Christmas where old men are patient and gray,
Christmas where peace, like a dove in his flight,

Broods o'er brave men in the thick of the fight; 
Everywhere, everywhere, Christmas tonight!

For the Christ-child who comes is the Master of all;
No palace too great, no cottage too small.

Phillips Brooks, 1835-1893

There has been much activity at Knowledge HQ, e-Tutor this month.  As you may have already noticed, we have added a blog to our home page.  You can access it by going to www.e-tutor.com/blog.  There are just a few entries now, but we will expand to offer something for homeschoolers, parents and students.  We encourage each of you to participate as well.  This is an opportunity for those who have thoughts about online education and our other topics to participate in the online discussion offered by this new feature.  We see it as another way for our community to stay connected. 

Wishing you all the joys of the holiday season!




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May Peace be your gift at Christmas and your blessing all year through!  

 Author Unknown

 

 

Learning with
 e-Tutor
                

    

 Academic Tips

  • e-Tutor's instructional program is renowned for academic rigor. This is exciting and at the same time challenging. Help your student understand the benefits of the knowledge and skills they will gain while studying with e-Tutor.
  • Time management is crucial from the very beginning. Encourage your student to use one of the e-Tutor planners and to transfer every lesson module and time commitment to it.
  • It is okay to get help! Remind your student that everyone can benefit from the resources available to them.
  • Take advantage of the expertise of e-Tutor instructional staff.
  • Encourage your student to analyze each part of the lesson module. What is he/she expected to do? This often includes analysis and critical thinking beyond memorization.
  • Check daily with your student - Is he or she completing the recommended number of lesson modules, keeping up with Activities and Extended Learning, completing the self check by answering the Problem Statement and using the vocabulary and resources appropriately?
  • Encourage recreational activities.

  Twenty New Lesson Modules  
were added to the 
e-Tutor Lesson Library this month!

Join the e-Tutor world of learning today to view the Lesson Library.  

www.e-tutor.com



   The Book Case

Santa Mouse Where Are You 
by Michael Brown
Primary - but Appropriate for
All Ages
              

This book was a favorite of my children when they were young.    As they grew I continued to read to my young students.  As an art project we made little mice ornaments out of walnut shells to hang on the Christmas tree.  The book went out of print for awhile, but thankfully this charming story is back in print.  Silly as it may sound, I find myself putting a special light on the Christmas tree each year for Santa Mouse.  It is a memorable story that I think you will find enchanting. My son now reads it to his daughters.

Each Christmas, Santa Mouse becomes Santa's little helper. A special light is placed up high upon the Christmas tree so that Santa Mouse can see when he's placing those very special mouse-sized presents on the limbs of the tree. Santa's ready to take off in his sleigh, and Santa Mouse scurries onto his shoulder, only to fall off into the deep, dark, snowy ground below. How will he ever find Santa and help deliver presents to the children?

A good book gives us meaning in many different ways.  I hope you will share your favorites with us.  

 

 

 

 

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I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year.  

Charles Dickens

 

 Acceptance: A Four-Stage Process

When change is thrust upon us, as it often is these days,  we tend at first to resist it.  They gradually we learn to accept it and finally to work constructively with it.  Change often appears as a threat to one's ego...it means leaving the tried and true.  We usually respond first by trying to stay on safe ground.  If we understand the stages most people go through when they react to uninvited change we are better able to get through a transition period.  Learning about these stages also helps us understand ourselves better. Ralph Killmann and Teresa Covin have identified four key stages in the change process and ways to deal with them:

Stage 1:  Shock.  The person shuts down thinking and as many systems as possible (as in physiological shock).  He seeks information and reassurance.  Give information (it will need repeating) and support. 

Stage 2:  Defensive Retreat.  The person is angry and wants to hold on to her old ways and dwell upon the past.  Identify areas of stability, things that are not changing.  Ask "What is risky?"  and provide reassurance regarding exaggerated dangers. 

Stage 3.  Acknowledgement.  The person has a sense of sadness over loss, but are letting go.  He is beginning to see the value of what is coming and looking for ways to make it work.  Involve him in planning for what lies ahead, but use a careful decision-making process for structure. 

Stage 4.  Adaptation and Change.  What is coming has arrived.  The person is ready to establish new routines, help others and do whatever is called for. Support risk-taking by pointing out ways you will support it.  

Only by recognizing the behaviors characteristic of each stage will we be able to sort out what is needed and how we can help.  

Adapted from the Pryor Report  

 


Never Be Afraid to Say:

  • "I don't know."

  • "I made a mistake."

  • "I'm sorry."

  • "I need help."

Hope Health Letter, The Hope Heart Institute

 


Dealing with Challenging Types

Some people are more difficult than others to deal with.  The book, What to Say What You Want, offers specific suggestions to deal with forty-four challenging types of people.  The key tip:  You must know your audience....whether it's one person or a group.  

One example: rhinos.  Rhinos have a powerful need to have their own way.  They like to tell you what to do.  They reject guidance and believe that rules were made for others to follow.  They're aggressive and sometimes hostile.  Mistakes to avoid when dealing with rhinos:

  • Don't back off.  They're counting on it. 

  • Don't go head-on with them.  They'll try to stampede you.

  • Don't become flustered...because then they win. 

What to do:  

  • Listen to them until they blow off steam and run out of things to say.

  • When they begin to wind down, jump in with an assertion of the needs to be met.

  • Don't let them interrupt you.  Say, "I'm not through yet."

  • Avoid the word "you," which sounds like a counterattack. 

  • If necessary, startle them to get attention.

Adapted from What to Say to Get What you Want, Sam Deep and Lyle Sussman


Open Up to the Miracle of Transformation

Children touch your heart in ways you cannot predict...a child will change you inside out and introduce you to a new dimension of your spiritual being.  They will bring new adventure, new people, new ideas, new feelings, joys and sorrows into your life.  They will take you to places inside your soul you may never have known before.  This can be an enlightening blessed journey if you open your heart and remain vulnerable, but if your heart is closed and your mind locked tightly in a rigid mind-set, you are going to have many struggles and not much success.  When you remain open to all the wonderful miracles of transformation, life with your child will become deeply fulfilling. 

My experience is that most parent read adulthood with some emotion scars of their own.  Staying open to your children will give you the opportunity to heal the wounds of your own childhood. 

Stay open, listen closely, and you will learn about yourself.  You will come to know yourself well enough that you can make sensible choices about what is right for your family.  Being open does not mean drifting aimlessly.  Being open means considering all the options before you decide.  Talk to other parents and see ho9w they are coping, but never follow their advice blindly....listen to your intuition and trust yourself to know what's right for you and your child.  Being open to transformation means that you will conscientiously search for answers within your own heart.  When you let the love of a child transform you,. you have become rich, you are renewed. 

Adapted from Wonderful Ways to Love a Child, Judy Ford

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Christmas is the season for kindling the fire of hospitality in the hall, the genial flame of charity in the heart.  

 Washington Irving


Needs vs. Wants

Have you ever had this experience?  You are shopping for a new outfit when your eyes spot something you covet....an expensive leather jacket, perhaps.  You don't need the jacket.  You need the outfit.  But somehow, when you must make a decision, you can't resist choosing what you want over what you  need. 

Of course, somewhere down the road (when you must wear your faded outfit to an important function) you will pay dearly for your compulsiveness.  You may even vow never again to be swayed by your emotions. 

If you can stick to your plan, you will have effected a major change that could have positive results, not only for your wardrobe, but also for your daily life.  If we could boil it down to a simple lesson, it would be the one put forth by Johnson in his book, "Yes" or "No": The Guide to Better Decisions: "When I pursue only the real need, I am more decisive and I make better decisions sooner."

Try this method the next time you must make a decision.  Start with something small, so that you will be able to delineate your choices quite clearly.  You will discover that this process allows you to step back and become more objective.  

When you can study your choice based on wants vs. needs, you will find it not so difficult to make the right move. 

Adapted from Working Smart


Saying Good-bye Saves Time

Directing your time toward your new 2009 commitments sometimes means letting go of some older ones.    

Approach:  Perform a periodic examination of your current duties, and get rid of some.  Don't be ashamed to resign from a committee that doesn't really need your input, or to remove yourself from the information loop of a project that is being handled well by other people.  

Reality:  Even though you may hesitate to let other people down, clogging your schedule with low-priority items does neither you nor your colleagues much good.

  

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It is Christmas in the heart that puts Christmas in the air.  

W.T. Ellis

 

Delightful December Links:

Mr. Pitonyak's Pyramid Puzzle:  This site features an interdisciplinary Web-based project designed for middle school math students to determine how much it would cost to build an Egyptian pyramid today. Watch the advertisements. 
http://users.wcvt.com/tiggr/

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State of Entropy:  If your children are creating graphics for school or personal websites, or if they want to polish their  graphics skills, check out this great site with lots of tutorials for Paint Shop Pro. Learn the tricks of the pros and have the snazziest lettering on your site. Apply those tips to buttons and other images you use on the web and in print work. Many of the features demonstrated are available in other paint programs.
http://www.state-of-entropy.com/

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Mountain Voices:  How does development affect individuals in different countries? Oral testimonies have been gathered from communities in the Himalaya, the Andes, the Sierra Norte, Mount Elgon, the highlands of Ethiopia and Lesotho, China, the Sudety mountains and the Karakorum mountains. Students can learn of the past and present of many native peoples in the world, as well as the realities of the global economy in these regions.
http://www.mountainvoices.org/

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Ribbit's Math Ventures:  Ribbit contains three applied mathematics problems that we hope bloom into more. Read the text on the Parent and Teacher Pages, then work with students on the problem appropriate for their grade level. Hop to it! http://web07.mohonasen.org/staffdev/mathven/Ribbit/rdefault.htm

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Cleopatra:  A Multimedia Guide to the Ancient World:  Cleopatra: is an interactive guide to the Ancient Art Collection of The Art Institute of Chicago. Cleopatra, queen of Egypt from 51 to 30 B.C., embodied the three great cultures of the ancient Mediterranean region: she was Greek by birth, ruled Egypt as its queen, and lost her kingdom to Rome. To see the "Close-up" views of the Ancient Art objects, their "Stories" and listen to the Glossary pronunciations you will need QuickTime. Includes printable lesson plans for grades 4 thru 12 http://www.artic.edu/cleo/index.html

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Multiflyer:  This is a fun online game developed to help anyone who is learning multiplication tables. It takes place in space and even sprinkles in learning about the planets. You can play it online, or register and receive a full downloadable version as well as downloadable interactive support tools. The game lets you figure out the answers, or you can turn off the table and wing it on your own. Simple, fun diversion to help reinforce multiplication skills.
http://www.brainormous.com/ppage_multiflyer.html

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Orisinal:  A beautiful site built with Flash. A bit of a time waster? Or really more like a trip to an online interactive museum of new media--but hey, that's educational too! Features a considerable collection of lovely, addictive games and a smaller collection of interesting media called "Experiments" (roll down past the News).
http://www.ferryhalim.com/orisinal/

 

Best wishes for a joyous holiday season!

From the Knowledge HQ Staff

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