In The News                     December 2011   Vol. 14-10

sident’s Message 

Another December!  My how each year seems to pass faster than the last.  What a special time of year it is!  I hope you have a smile on your face.  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 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 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!




 Happy Holidays to our Connected Students and Families!

eTutor students come from all over the world.  Please take the opportunity that say Happy Holidays to others in our eTutor world of learners.  Connect to one of the following to express holiday greetings.  

   Happy Holidays!  Post greetings. 

   Do you have a special activity you would like to share with eTutor families.  Share it with all of on our Facebook page.   

   Tweet a merry ho, ho, ho to the eTutor world.   

   What special customs do you participate in at this time of year.  Post on the eTutor blog.  

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Peace is people talking together with a heart between them.

                                                                                                                               Author Unknown

Learning with eTutor

Students as Independent Learners....

The student role is one that can change and evolve as a student progresses through the curriculum levels. Starting as early as possible, students should begin to take responsibility for their learning. This means applying oneself to his or her studies in a focused and serious manner, working hard, becoming engaged in the lesson modules and activities, exploring their personal interests, improving areas of academic weaknesses and capitalizing on individual strengths

Students should consider that an online course requires additional time and effort. Time management is essential. Online courses are definitely more convenient and flexible, but are in some ways more demanding. Students should plan on spending 8-10 hours a week working on their courses and should login at least 3-4 times a week.

Students must verify their ability to take an online course by stating that they are:

1. Self-directed, highly motivated, and self-disciplined.
2. An independent learner.
3. Able to gain access to a computer with Internet access  and email.
4. Computer literate.
5. Able to manage their time wisely.
6. Always able to finish what they start.

Fifteen New Lesson Modules were added 
to eTutor this month.

Nearly 3200 Lesson Modules
are included in the 
eTutor Lesson Library!

Join the eTutor world of learning today to view 
the lesson modules.

   The Book Case            

The Family Under the Bridge
by Natalie Savage

Grades 2 - 4 

This is the delightfully warm and enjoyable story of an old Parisian named Armand, who relished his solitary life. Children, he said, were like starlings, and one was better off without them.

But the children who lived under the bridge recognized a true friend when they met one, even if the friend seemed a trifle unwilling at the start. And it did not take Armand very long to realize that he had gotten himself ready-made family; one that he loved with all his heart, and one for whom he would have to find a better home than the bridge.
Armand and the children's adventures around
Paris -- complete with gypsies and a Santa Claus -- make a story which children will treasure.

1959 Newbery Honor Winner

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Courtesies of a small and trivial character are the ones which strike deepest in the grateful and appreciating heart.

Henry Clay (1777-1852) Statesman

Be Open To New Ideas

Toy with ideas and items and do not be afraid of mistakes.  This implies that there is time to play around with ideas.  Most mistakes are not fatal and many times they can be capitalized upon.  Have time to try things out, arrange and rearrange, view from many angles; try the unusual, it may lead to a genuine innovation. Be open to everything that could possible help even though at first it seems absurd and ill suited.  It is said that Edison tried out several hundred substances before finding the right kind of material to use as a filament in the electric lamp.   

Adapted from Public School Administrator

The Special Gift of Children

Parenting is hard but children are a joy. Your role as parent is significant and far reaching because your child's life will carry the fragrance of you for years to come; just as your life has touched many, so will the life of your child.  Take your role as parent joyously, and if you find yourself feeling burdened, remind yourself that your love is the foundation on which your child will grow into a healthy adult...we all know that the future generations will need healthy, love-filled, grownup people running the show.

Adapted from Wonderful Ways to Love a Child by Judy Ford

Music 101 - At Home

Music does more for our children than just get them moving.  It also helps them recognize patterns and boosts their language skills and memory according to the National Association for Music Education.  Consider finding a way to get your child a healthy dose of music appreciation. So, if you can't spring for piano lessons, or your child just isn't interested, try one of these ideas.

  • When you travel, instead of buying T-shirts, choose a CD of a local band or type of music.  You'll expand your child's musical awareness, and the tunes will remind all of you of the place you visited.
  • Read aloud a children's biography about a composer and then listen to his or her music. 
  • Have your child paint while she listens to different kinds of music.  Tell her to draw what she hears and what she feels. You can compare the artwork she made while listening to the different styles. 

Adapted from Parenting Magazine 

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Yuletide excitement is a potent caffeine, no matter your age.

Carrie Latet


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.

Adapted from Parents Can Help Students Achieve
American Association of School Administrators

A Bountiful Gift

Josh spent his vacations working with a charity that built housing in underdeveloped countries.  During one project, a few children from the local village kept visiting the camp where the volunteers stayed.  One boy, Obioma, had especially endeared himself to the workers.  He was always cheerful, and always eager to help in whatever way he could. 

But Just noticed that Obioma wore the same dingy shirt every day.  So when the camp received a clothes donation from a church, Josh rummaged through the boxes until he found three "new" shirts for Obioma.  They'd be a little big on the kid, but he'd grow into them. 
Josh gave Obioma the clothing.  In return, Obioma gave Josh a big hug and a broad smile.  Then he took off. 

The next day, Josh noticed the shirts he'd just given to Obioma on two older boys.  How that had happened began to worry him.  When he finally saw the little boy, he said, "Those gifts were for you, Obioma, so you'd have a change of clothes.

The youngster replied, "But Mr. Josh, you gave me so many!"

That's when Josh realized that you don't need to have a lot in order to share.  Just a heart and mind open enough to see other people's needs. 

Adapted from More Random Acts of Kindness by Conari Press 

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 person’s 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.


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Between saying and doing there is a long road.

Spanish Proverb

Dazzling December Links:

Weedpatch Camp:  This site is a wonderful 'companion' to John Steinbeck's Grapes of Wrath. While writing the book, John Steinbeck visited Bakersfield, California and based his book on Arvin Federal Government Camp which he portrayed as "Weedpatch Camp." This site includes the history and pictures of the camp as well as personal reminiscences and music of the time.

Paper: The Exploratorium Magazine Online is a companion to selected issues of the print magazine, providing key articles and activities and including multimedia features. Learn how new materials, new methods and new ideas are transforming traditional origami. Watch videos of a master origami folder create his unique pieces. Learn how to make your own paper and how to fold your own paper airplanes. In Japan, legend says that a person who makes a thousand origami cranes will live a long life. All the more reason to explore this site!

Color:  We see red apples, green grass, and blue sky.  Did you ever wonder why this is?  Maybe it has something to do with the apples, the grass, and the sky?  Or maybe something to do with your eyes?  Or maybe even something to do with your mind? An exhibit created by the San Jose Tech Museum  is all about answering these questions.  Most importantly this exhibit is about having fun while learning about color.

Echo-photograph:  Can you match the right sound with the right picture? To find out... you have to be observant and a good listener!

Your Sky:  Working with map skills? You can build a sky map.

These pages demonstrate visual phenomena, and »optical« or »visual illusions«. The latter is more appropriate, because most effects have their basis in the visual pathway, not in the optics of the eye.
These pages demonstrate visual phenomena, and »optical« or »visual illusions«. The latter is more appropriate, because most effects have their basis in the visual pathway, not in the optics of the eye.
These pages demonstrate visual phenomena, and »optical« or »visual illusions«. The latter is more appropriate, because most effects have their basis in the visual pathway, not in the optics of the eye.

Happy Holidays!!

From the 
Knowledge HQ Staff

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