|The eTutor curriculum meets National Goals for Learning in Language Arts, Mathematics, Science and Social Studies, including twenty-three subjects. It is designed for students from kindergarten through grade twelve and can be adapted for the adult learner.
eTutor provides age appropriate lesson modules which teach ways to understand more difficult concepts. When the student approaches a more difficult problem, perhaps in Physics, Economics or Politics, they may recall earlier learning that can provide a way to solve such a problem. Often students have difficulty linking previous learning to newer concepts.
The eTutor curriculum is a continuum that begins in the early years and progresses through a life time. While there is much overlap in subjects, we find it helpful to know that the simple task for the young learner of pushing a truck up a ramp (inclined plane) is a basic concept of physics that he will revisit many times in his educational experience. Although our students may find the words physics, economics and politics hard to know and understand, we as educators must be aware that these are subjects to be included in any well rounded curriculum. We want students to have a solid foundation in all subjects in order to meet success in their later learning experiences.
In Physics for example – simple machines teach about principals of physics.
In Economics – most young children play store and, the boys especially, like to play with trucks. Transportation fits int Economics, as does going to the store.
Politics – The idea of choice is not new to our young learners and although we might not call it politics, the idea that they might choose one pet over another or one friend out of many, is an example of politics Our young children vote every day on things in their every day life.
As the student progresses through the eTutor curriculum the courses required may be somewhat different than what they would experience in a regular public or private school. Subjects are integrated across the curricular area. For instance, Algebra is often labeled “pre-Algebra,” “Algebra” or “Algebra I and II”, or “Advanced Algebra”. In the eTutor curriculum, algebraic concepts are taught throughout the subjects, Computation, Estimation, Data Analysis, Measurement, Ratio and Percentage, and Geometry. eTutor recommends Algebra at the eleventh grade, as the course covers the basics to calculus.
Knowledge Headquarters has developed a unique and innovative model for creating the e-Tutor educational content. The company launched LessonPro in 1999 as a new and promising application for writing online K-12 educational coursework. The purpose of the web site is to promote the highest standards for Internet-based instructional content to the educational community. Teachers from across the nation write lesson modules using the LessonPro template. Only those lesson modules that meet the standards of excellence for eTutor are used in the Program. The result of this innovative approach to curriculum development is a curriculum that is rich and varied, where each lesson module has its own voice.
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Teaching is loving. It is trust and respect. These are the emotional attitudes of the parent or teacher that are the vitamins of learning effort. Compare the attitudes of those who expressed doubt, indifference, or even hopelessness to those whose students know they are needed and respond in positive ways to instruction and direction.
The attitudes of the parent who communicates love and trust to the son or daughter is bound to get a different result than the parent who is consumed by fear that the juvenile is going to get involved with drugs, or other delinquent behavior.
Homeschooling can be both a wonderful and difficult task. It is wonderful because you have the opportunity to truly guide the instruction of your child. It becomes difficult when you have to choose materials and a curriculum that will target all the many things that a student needs to learn in order to be successful. eTutor makes homeschooling wonderful every day of the week! We make a difficult task, a wonderful task!
Key reasons for home educating:
- Transfer beliefs and values to children
- Close family relationships
- Controlled/positive peer social interactions
- Quality academics
- Alternative approaches to teaching and learning
Science, statistics, and studies are wonderful but sometimes they are little more than verifications of obvious truths. We know, for example, that if you smile at a student he will learn more than if you criticize him. People do better with praise, encouragement, and expressed confidence than they do with humiliation, impatience, and indifference.
If human beings could be perceived as potentials rather than problems, as possessing strengths instead of weaknesses, as unlimited rather than dull and unresponsive, then they would thrive and grow to their capabilities.
Every student needs to develop a core of essential knowledge with which to negotiate the world. From the very beginning, students need to see connections…not a slice of science, a slice of history, a slice of literature.
Students keep asking “Why?” precisely because they are looking for relationships and patterns. “Why?” is a curiosity question. “Will this be on the test?” is a conformity question.
The main priority of an effective learning program should be the study and use of symbols. A deepening understanding of the words, numbers and arts that make up a language provides the best possible foundation for adult life.
- words as the system of symbols to express feelings and ideas;
- numbers as a universal system of communication about quantities, space, time and energy;p
- the arts as expression of our most evocative ideas and feelings
The headline of our local newspaper read, “Keeping online schools in line.” (http://www.denverpost.com/search/ci_19022226) The premise of the article is that online schools are not keeping up with student achievement, costs too much and are not meeting instructional standards.
Well, is it any wonder? Most online schools are being set up to mirror bricks and mortar schools. This is just mimicking a failing system and hence is doomed to fail. The value of online schooling is to be able to create a new system that actually can serve the needs of the students who enroll. This takes time, money and talent. It takes individuals who can think beyond what they are familiar with. It takes individuals who can dream of possibilities not yet in practice. The outstanding breadth of opportunity online technology gives us to innovate should not be passed up by an educational community that is steeped in the same old way of doing things.
The capability to match instruction to individual student learning; to offer students a variety of instructional methodologies; and to continuously adapt instruction to the individual learner is available now. Yet, we are hampered by our own concepts and somehow fearful of giving up what we have become accustomed to since the turn of the last century.
In an adaptive environment, students can discover much of their knowledge individually. What a concept….putting students in charge of their own learning! Students need to do something meaningful every few minutes…reading long passages or doing the same thing over and over will not keep them engaged. We lose our students when instruction lacks relevance and fails to generate positive learning experiences. Cognitive psychologists recognize that critical thinking and creativity are connected to an individual’s passion for a subject. Yet, we continue to emphasize rationality at the expense of creativity.
Is it no wonder then that now, online learning is getting a bad rap? If policy makers really want to see online learning work, they need to put on different lenses. The same old methodologies, with a new dress, cheat those who deserve more from us….our students.
The other day a neighbor visited me while I was working in the garden. She wanted to talk about the changes occurring at the local school. Comparing the education she and her husband received with that her children were receiving, she had determined that they were getting an excellent education. Both parents were pleased their children were learning “so much more” than they had.
I had to agree with my friend, that we most often use our own schooling as a standard of measurement for our children’s schooling. I certainly did when my children were young. But is this the best measure for quality in education? I asked the neighbor to consider how the world had changed, in the time since she was in school, and the amount of information we and our children have at our finger tips. It seems reasonable to assume that our children would, and should, be learning a great deal more of the information that took us years to assimilate. For the most part, children today begin school having access to more information than their parents had. By the time a child has completed one year of schooling that information has almost doubled. When I was in school it took many years for information to change. This provided me and those of my generation a certain consistency with learning information that is not available today. Therefore, I’m not certain that the same paradigms for learning, that served my neighbors and me, are adequate for today’s student.
All online courses of study should be accredited and designed according to national and state standards. Content will include:
- Technology-based curriculum activities to enliven and enrich learning
- Online communication, collaboration and reference tools
- Community-based activities
The outstanding online instructional program will deliver broad, engaging curriculum content in major curricular areas that include many different subjects. Subscribers will have access to all curricular areas at their level. Each time a student enters the program he will choose the curricular area he wishes to study: Language Arts, Mathematics, Science or Social Science. Within the curricular area the student will select subjects based on a recommended course of study.
No plug-ins, software or additional components will be needed. Teachers from across the United States will be able to create the interactive instructional modules. The amount of instructional material will be increased regularly. Instructional modules will be aligned to state and national goals and standards in the four core curriculum areas. The program will be fully accessible through the Internet, with no peripherals or ancillary material, allowing registered users to access the program from any location.
According to a national survey, kids are spending twice as much time on homework as they did in 1981. And elementary school children account for the brunt of that jump. It is controversial as to whether this is good or bad and whether there is such a thing as an ideal amount of homework.
Alfie Kohn, author of “The Homework Myth,” thinks giving homework is a tradition based in folk wisdom and that, in reality, it does more harm than good. “The amount of homework is increasing, at least for younger children at precisely the same time that more research is failing to show any benefit whatsoever.” He believes there is no evidence showing that homework is beneficial academically, but it may be the single greatest extinguisher of children’s curiosity yet invented. “It’s all pain, no gain,” he says.
On the other hand, Harris Cooper of Duke University defends the worth of homework in measured doses and for certain grade levels. He used available research showing the success of homework to frame what is called “The 10 Minute Rule.” It stipulates 10 minutes of homework per night, per grade level beginning in 1st grade. So 1st graders should get no more than 10 minutes of homework each night, 2nd graders 20 minutes, etc.
For parents who see homework eroding their child’s sleep, affecting their health or eliminating their free time, experts encourage them to take the issue back to the school or pulling in like-minded parents. The idea is to help parents and educators advocate for saner homework practices.
Adapted from Chicago Tribune