_In The News                    February 2007   Vol. 10-2

President’s Message

What a month it has been!  Just keeping up with what seems like very strange weather has kept all of us hopping here.  Between frigid cold and snow we managed to balance all of the work we do.  There's nothing for it other than to put  a smile on and keep plugging away.  Like anything that is uncomfortable this to will pass.  It won't be long now and we will be wishing for some cooler weather.

After these many years of providing online education to students throughout the world, the excitement does not diminish.  We have been fortunate to watch skepticism turn into enthusiasm.  The gifted and talented people who work to keep our programs moving ahead continue to delight and invigorate me. Each day brings many "Aha" moments!  Your support and encouragement makes what we do even more special.  Thank you!   

We want to welcome our many new friends and subscribers.  It is our pleasure to work with you and your child.  The e-Tutor Virtual Learning Program continue to improve.  New and engaging lesson modules are added each month.  We hope you will take an active part in the program by letting us know how we can make e-Tutor more successful for both you and your student.  Please don't hesitate to share with us your success stories.  We are always happy to hear from you.  

Have a great month!


Save on Enrollment Fees

The very successful "Refer a Friend" program can help you cut the cost of enrollment fees.   You can earn  $100 for each new subscribing family you recommend to e-Tutor.  It is easy to participate, just ask your friends to include your name in the referral section of the subscription form

If you would like more information call 877-687-7200.


Page 2

Imagination is the beginning of creation.

Learning with e-Tutor:

Expectations for Success......

Students who fully complete lesson modules assigned to them will be successful learners and well prepared for future endeavors.  Each part of the lesson module is an important part of the learning experience.  No part of the lesson module should be skipped.   In order to fully complete the lesson modules, students should  use the following guidelines:

  • Complete no more than four lesson modules each day.  Lesson modules take from one hour to one and a half hours to complete.  Some may even take several days to complete.  
  • Respond in writing to the Problem Statement before and after completing each lesson module.  This acts as a self check for the students. 
  • Use the vocabulary words for spelling words, writing sentences, creating word puzzles, make dictionaries, etc. 
  • Complete the offline Activities and Extended Learning.  Put these in a folder so that parents can find them.  Teach your parents or another adult what you have learned.  Parents are to review these with the student, using them as a springboard for discussion.  
  • The default for passing quizzes and exams is set at eighty percent.  e-Tutor is a Pass/Fail program.  Completed lessons are reflective of those where the student has successfully completed Quizzes and Exams.  
  • Write a short description for each of the resource links.  Resource links are in the Resource section and in the Study Guide.  These reinforce the concepts and skills taught.  

Thirty-three new lesson modules were added 
to e-Tutor this mo

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


            The Book Case

           The Pull of the Ocean
           Jean-Claude Mourlevat 
           translated from French by Y. Maudet
           Intermediate - Middle/Jr. High

A well-crafted mystery awaits anyone reading this fabled jigsaw puzzle. Very short chapters, each told in different voices, recount the tale of the seven Doutreleau brothers: three pairs of twins and Yann, the youngest, who is tiny for his age and mute. Yet his brothers understand him, and when he says that their rough and unkempt parents are going to kill the boys, they believe him and flee their dismal home.  Malnourished and poorly clothed, the brothers head out in stormy weather toward the ocean. On their journey, they cross paths with a list of unsuspecting characters, each strangely compassionate toward the boys' plight, each unknowingly contributing to a doomed adventure. Poverty and hardship echo throughout this modern "Tom Thumb" story, but it is ultimately the spirit of brotherhood that is the highlight of this tale. It is a memorable novel that readers will find engaging and intellectually satisfying.
Page 3

Success is a result, not a goal.   



That success is gained through thorough and diligent efforts is the point of this historical anecdote:

During the Tonkin Gulf situation, Henry Kissinger asked an assistant to prepare an analysis.  The assistant worked night and day for a week and put the document on Mr. Kissinger's desk only to receive it back within an hour.  Affixed to the report was a note asking that it be redone.  The assistant dutifully redid it;  he slept a total of nine hours for a week. The document again went to Mr. Kissinger's desk and an hour later it was returned with a note form Mr. Kissinger asserting that he expected better and asking that the work be done again.  And so the assistant went back to the drawing board once more.  Another week of intense work, and then the assistant asked if he might present it personally to Mr. Kissinger.  When he came face to face with Henry Kissinger, he said, "Mr. Kissinger, I've spent another sleepless week.  This is the best I can do."  Said Henry Kissinger, "In that case, now I'll read it."

Executive Speechwriter Newsletter


Self-Esteem a Must

Self-esteem is the nucleus for all motivation.  Activities within the family and community should constantly be aimed at enhancing self-esteem.  Often a reason for less than maximum educational attainment for many students is the lack of self-esteem.  Self-esteem erodes when one area of life is out of balance - physical, spiritual, emotional, occupational, intellectual and social.  It is often effective to address another area, for example, physical training, when a student is not performing well intellectually.    

All of our behavior is dictated for one of two reasons.  We exhibit protective behavior, which is a behavior that is defined as a controlling, hard-driving, closed type of behavior; or we exhibit learning behavior, which is described as being soft, curious and open.  The two types of behavior are mutually exclusive.  In other words, when we are protecting we cannot be learning and vice versa.  

A relatively safe environment is required to maintain learning behavior.  When people feel threatened, they will protect themselves.  It is critical that learning behavior, i.e., soft and curious, is modeled and encouraged by families.  This is one of the reasons that the emotional and social aspects of a student's health must be addressed by family and others working with the student. 

As the saying goes, we give our children roots and we give them wings.  A sound education which includes the knowledge as well as the support for a healthy and balanced individual, results in strong self esteem.  

Adapted from Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction

Genius is perseverance in disguise..

Helping Your Child Learn

A child develops in many ways.

  • Physically

  • Socially

  • Intellectually

  • Emotionally

  • Psychologically

And children vary in their rate of development; some mature faster than others.  Children's abilities vary, too....they do not all reach the same level.  Your child is an individual with his or her own rate of growth and his or her own set of abilities and talents.  Accept your child as he or she is....children are not all the same!  And try to resist the temptation to compare your child to other children.....including brothers and sisters. 

National School Public Relations

 Mathematics Today

One of the major concerns of a parent is how can you help your child improve mathematics learning.  The mathematics instruction your child receives may be very different from the mathematics instruction you received in your own learning experiences.  Mathematics is no longer just arithmetic and basic skills.  Today, mathematics instruction is richer in problem-solving, reasoning, communication and making mathematical connections with the real world.  

As our children progress through mathematics, it is essential that they develop an ability to visualize spatial relationships (geometry, measurement, patterns), to approximate (estimation and number sense), to interpret data (probability and statistics), to reason mathematically (logical thinking and reasoning), and to know why it is important to study and know mathematics. 

Problem-solving skills include the ways in which people learn how to think about a problem using such strategies as looking for patterns, drawing a picture, working backwards, working with a partner or eliminating possibilities.  When your child has a variety of strategies, this allows him/her different ways to start looking at a problem and relieving the frustration of not knowing how or where to begin.  The more strategies your child has, the more confident he/she becomes, the more willing he/she is to tackle new problems and the better problem solver he/she will become. 

Lesson modules in the e-Tutor Virtual Learning program provide practical experience in mathematical skills that are meant to prepare students for the real world.  Mathematical skills go beyond memorization and extend into a world of problem solving and reasoning. 

Adapted from Illinois Council of teacher of Mathematics

Page 4

Life happens when you are busy making other plans.


Learning:  Your Child's Number One Job

Learning is the primary opportunity before our children.  In order to turn this opportunity into successful achievement requires four goals for those of us working with children:

  • Striving to see that expectations for each child are in keeping with the job he or she is able to do.  This means that we expect the very best from each child....the very best effort, the very best performance, the very best finished product....in keeping with a realistic goal for the individual child. 

  • Other things may have to be put aside.  Learning must come ahead of all other jobs, other activities and the multitude of demands on the child's time.  Clubs, sports, private lessons, vacations, computers and television all have a rightful place in the child's life, but they will need to come after the demands of learning if learning is to be the child's number one job. 

  • Adopting healthful life styles.  We need to encourage our children to get sufficient sleep and rest.  They need to have good nutrition and eating habits. 

  • Encourage seriousness of purpose.  Punctuality, responsibility and pride in effort are a part of success in the world of work and an essential ingredient in achievement of note in the job of learning.  Dependability, commitment to task and respect for the efforts of others can be learned by our children by observing the adults around them.  Adults who go about their job with an attitude of seriousness and dedication provide a positive role model for young people. 

       Adapted from The Master Teacher

Let Them Come Back

When your children are young you are actively involved in directing their lives, but as they grow and eventually move out, your role shifts to standing by just in case they need you.  It's paradoxical, but when you give your children the freedom to make their own way in the world, to live their lives fully, they'll be more likely to come back to share their lives with you.  When they know they can come and go without feeling guilty, they'll enjoy hanging out with you more and want to know how you are doing.  Sometimes they'll surprise you and ask for your input. 

That's because, just as children want the freedom to explore beyond their own family, they also want to belong, they want to know that they have the security of a cozy home and a loving family who will be there through thick and thin, no matter what.  

As they head out into the world, you will be giving your children a great advantage if they know you will be there to listen, to understand, to provide the security of a loving home in which they can re-charge their batteries and get going once again. 

Even as an adult you probably feel comforted knowing your parents are there for you, knowing that, in a pinch, you could turn to them....for advice, a loan, whatever.  And if your parents are no longer alive or there for you, you are keenly aware of what you are missing and how you don't want your own children to feel such a loss.  When your children know they have you on their side, they feel a lot more secure in the world, trusting they can turn to you for assistance. Give your children the blessing of life-long connection by letting them know you will always be there whenever they are in need of a home, a shoulder, or just a good, hot meal.  With you as their biggest supporter saying: "Mi casa es su casa," they'll know that you'll always welcome their calls or their visits, and all of you will benefit. 

Wonderful Ways to Love A Child, Judy Ford

A Heart For You

I took a piece of plastic clay
And idly fashioned it one day,
And as my fingers pressed it, still
It moved and yielded to my will.

I came again when days were past;
The bit of clay was hard at last,
The form I gave it still it bore,
But I could change that form no more!

I took a piece of living clay,
And gently pressed it day by day,
And molded
with my power and art
A young
child’s soft and yielding heart.


Page 5  

A determination to succeed is the only way to succeed.

Fabulous February Links:

Douglas Henderson's Earth History Illustrations:  This terrific site is posted by professional illustrator Douglas Henderson.  Showcasing the blend of researched science and the fancy of human curiosity, the rich illustrations in this collection succeed on both counts.  Helpful text also accompany the detailed drawings. Click through the geologic timeline of Earth history to visualize life in prehistoric times, thus entering a special place where earth's mysteries are complimented by one artist's ability.

Frontline: Secrets of the SAT:  PBS's Frontline has created a site that explores the role of the Scholastic Aptitude Tests and how they potentially affect students' academic futures.  Besides investigating the test preparation industry and racial issues related to admissions policies, the site allows users to play the role of admissions officers.  Click on 'Who was Good Enough?' to see how your picks stack up against the professionals who admit students to the University of California - Berkeley. 

Animal Omnibus:  This site designed with children in mind,  was previously offered by the Birmingham Zoo.  The site is a list of web sources indexed by the name of the animal.  Users search by animal name to get returns in the form of hyperlinked resource lists.  The resource lists contain sites ranging from simple color photographs of individual species to sites steeped in scientific classification to publicly targeted zoo sites. 

The Official U.S. Time:  As more students collaborate with others around the nation via chat and videoconferencing, it is helpful to know the correct time.  This site provides just that in an elegant interface.  Also, in its list of related links, users can access other sites about clocks, time and calendars.  Similarly, you can access another site for the correct time internationally.

Parlo:  Language, culture, life is the motto for Parlo, a language web site that currently features English, Spanish and French language resources.  Register for a few lessons free and Parlo gives you access to vocabulary and lessons, as well as articles and discussion boards.  Your locker tells you lessons you have already covered, articles you have read and music you have heard.

DoHistory:  Delve into the diary of Martha Ballard, featured in the book and film "A Midwife's Tale."  This website allows students to learn about using primary sources in research by having access to 27 years of this remarkable woman's writings.  In addition to the diary, there is information about midwifery and herbal medicine and tips on reading older documents.  Students can compare the journal entries of Martha Ballard and one of her contemporaries, Henry Sewall.  

Your Disease Risk:  The Harvard Center for Disease Prevention designed this tool for adults to assess their risk of disease.  Individuals are asked questions about diet, personal history, environment and family history.  The results can be a little shocking, but clarify the factors that contribute to disease.  Educators can use this tool to demonstrate to students the lifestyle decisions that impact the future.  Adults can assess their risk of disease and find out ways to reduce these risks. 

Have a happy month!
From the Staff at Knowledge HQ

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Chicago, IL 60631
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