In The News                              March 2012   Vol. 15-3

President’s Message

It has been another busy month for us.  We have been preparing for the Quality Assurance Review for accreditation.  Gathering the many documents to support each goal and objective has been a daunting task. The process normally takes three days.  A team of investigators comes to the agency to review documents, interview parents, students, staff and directors, and inspect the agency.  Although each year we review goals and objectives from the previous year, this full investigation takes place every five years.  During those years, some protocols may have changed, which we want to make sure there is documentation to support that we have continued to make progress in spite of changes.    

If you or your student would like to be involved in the interview process, please do not hesitate to contact us.  We would be pleased to include anyone who is interested. 

Are you beginning to warm up?  It has been a delightful week in our part of the world.  The time change has gotten us up early enough to see, once again, beautiful sunrises.  The warmer air pulls us outside to enjoy the warmth of the sun.  Little spots of green can be seen popping up through the brown earth, branches are swelling with buds and the birds have begun their daily symphony.  While every season has its own beauty, I must say that Spring is a favorite of mine.  

Enjoy all this month has to offer. 


 Keep Connected! 

Are you taking advantage of the opportunities we have for you to connect with other eTutor families and students?   Just click on one of the icons below and you will jump to more information which will get you started.  

   Get tips and information, plus share your own ideas with others.   

   How about a short video of your child using eTutor?  We can help you download it to the eTutor page.  

   Tweet something that inspires you.   

   Do you have a special activity you do with your child?  Post it on the eTutor blog.   

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Genius is initiative on fire! 


Learning with eTutor

Questions to Ask Your Learner...
Here are questions that you might ask your student in one form or another when reviewing the Activities and Extended Learning included with each eTutor lesson module.  

  • "What questions or comments do you have about the Study Guide?"  Students like to have a say in what they learn.  Failure to express this information can impede the learning process.  Encouraging learners to take an active part in learning will provide you with information on whether the student understands the concept or skill.

  • "What were some of the key points from the lesson module you just finished?"  Responses reinforce the material that was covered.  Meanwhile, you will learn what is being overlooked or lost.  Is now the time to have your student repeat the lesson module?  Can the concepts be tied into some future discussion?  Is omission acceptable?

  • "What information do you think will be most useful to you, and why?  Is there anything that you think will be difficult to use, and why?"  Responses review information, add perspective and stimulate ideas.  Questions that focus attention beyond lesson module facilitate the transfer of learning and ideas.  Questions that focus attention beyond the instruction facilitate the transfer of ideas to action.  

Twelve New Lesson Modules were added 
to eTutor this month.

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            

Up a Road Slowly
by Irene Hunt
Grades 5 - 10 

After her mother's death, Julie goes to live with her Aunt Cordelia, a spinster schoolteacher, where she experiences many emotions and changes, including love, jealousy, and tragedy, as she grows into a young woman. 

Julie would remember her happy days at Aunt Cordelia’s forever. Running through the spacious rooms, singing on rainy nights in front of the fireplace. There were the rides in the woods on Peter the Great and the races with Danny Trevort. There were the precious moments alone in her room at night, gazing at the sea of stars.

But there were sad times too—the painful jealousy Julie felt after her sister married, the tragic death of a schoolmate and the bitter disappointment of her first love. Julie was having a hard time believing life was fair. But Julie would have to be fair to herself before she could even think about new beginnings…

1967 Newbery Medal Winner

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Life happens when you are busy making other plans. 

Work in Comfort

Neck, back, and wrist pain and eye strain are common problems for those of us who spend a lot of time at a table or desk.  There are, however, some simple solutions that you can implement for yourself and other family members, according to a research engineer and a specialist in ergonomics.

  • Adjust your chair so that your legs are horizontal to the floor.

  • If you use a document holder, make sure it is the same height as your computer screen.

  • Get rid of any glare on your computer screen by making sure your light source is above, rather than at the sides, back, or front of your computer. 

  • If you use a keyboard and the edges of your desk where you rest your wrists are sharp, pad or soften the edges.

  Adapted from Working Smart

Open Channels

In the greatest confusion there is still an open channel to the soul.  It may be difficult to find, because by midlife it is overgrown, and some of the wildest thickets that surround it grow out of what we describe as our education.  But the channel is always there, and it is our business to keep it open, to have access to the deepest part of ourselves. 

Saul Bellow

 Business of Learning

School is kids' work.  When adults have work, often they have home offices.  These work for kids, as well. Setting up and equipping a student office sends the message that learning...and important. An office makes it serious business.

Parents often want to keep their child in view during learning activities.  But all of us need to focus on one thing at a time and so the student office should be away from distractions.  This means the office can be in the child's room or another non-public area of the house.

Creating the study environment.  All students should have a large paper calendar on the wall with important due dates of projects and upcoming events.  Encourage your child to think about how long each will take and note that. 

Music can inspire with no words, that is, such as "brain-friendly" background sounds such as Baroque music...Bach, Handel, Pachelbel, Vivaldi.  Have your student make affirmations for the wall, such as, "I BELIEVE IN MYSELF," "EVERYTHING I DO DESERVES MY BEST EFFORT," "I CAN LEARN THIS!"   Provide the bins, shelves, cubbies and drawers necessary to keep the space picked up and restful.   Clutter can lead to scattered thinking. 

Study guidelines. Besides allowing your student to select colors and equipment and co-design the "business-of-learning" space, set a time for study and then do not nag your child to get started.  Comment for effort, not just grade or mark.  Listen more, talk less.  

Adapted from The Seven Biggest Teen Problems and How to Turn Them Into Strengths, 
by Bobbi Deporter 

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A determination to succeed is the only way to succeed.

Applying to Several Colleges? 
Use One Application

You are ready to begin the application process.  Check the college or university you have chosen to see if you can apply with the Common Application. It is accepted by 255 colleges and universities and is designed so that you can apply to several colleges with just one application.  Briefly:

  • The Common Application has four forms and can be done online.

  • Colleges accepting the Common Application generally also require you to fill out a supplemental application.

  • College-specific applications work only for that specific college.

  • No matter which application you use, it is your responsibility to verify that the college has received all the forms. 

  • Be sure to read the directions for each college's application process.

Adapted from The Next Step Magazine

The Challenge of Change

A group of Amish people pulled up stakes from their religious settlement in the Mid-West and moved to a remote area in Peru.  When asked their reason for doing so one of them responded, "We got tired of having to move our wagons to the side of the road to let the cars go by."

They were, of course, voicing the frustration from their resistance to change.  How many people today get tired of "moving their wagons to the side of the road to let the cars go by?"  How many are constantly being upset by the inconvenience of having to step aside as the world goes rushing by?  It's the "challenge of change" and it's a pretty good question for you to face and perhaps do something about.  Humanity's greatest problem in the days ahead may not be environment pollution, population growth, or the threats of war.  It may be the acceptance of change as a way of life.  

A Canadian neuro-surgeon discovered some truths about the human mind which revealed the intensity of this problem.  He conducted some experiments which proved that when a person is forced to change a basic belief or viewpoint the brain undergoes a series of nervous sensations equivalent to the most agonizing torture. 

People find it difficult to change.  They fear the uncertainty of change.  They often see it as a threat to their security.  It upsets their established patterns of behavior.  So they resist change.  What is a problem for the individual becomes a problem for the larger community.  When several large organizations were asked "What is the greatest problem you face today?" Without exception the answer was,  "The problem of change!" 

Adapted from Public School Administrator


See Yourself as a Leader 

Although we often don't take credit for it, we are all leaders as parents.  Acting as a leader takes work, self-scrutiny and commitment to expand.  Commit to the process by the following:

  • Accept yourself.  Improve something every day...your knowledge, insight, ability to listen.  But don't bash yourself for the strengths you have yet to develop fully.  Just put your weaknesses on a list of things to improve.

  • Solicit other viewpoints.  Accept criticism without directing blame at the messenger.  Then show the extra courage to correct what is wrong and move ahead. 

  • Cultivate personal diversity.  Diversity, a trait of our great leaders, comes from involvement in the things that really interest you.  It rounds out a leadership image. 


Adapted from Strategy Files

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Nothing is easy to the unwilling.


Marvelous March Links:

Molecular Expressions:  Science, Optics and You is a science curriculum package being developed for teachers, students, and parents. These activities are designed to promote the asking and answering of questions related to light, color, and optics. The program begins with basic information about lenses, shadows, prisms, and color, leading up to the use of sophisticated instruments scientists use to help them understand the world.

Salt the Essence of Life:  There is much to learn about salt. Salt, sodium chloride, touches our lives more than any other chemical compound. The chemical properties and physical properties of sodium chloride are a treasure to mankind.

Green House - Green Planet:  Of all the planets in our solar system, the Earth is the only one that—as far as we know—supports life. So why is our planet alone so hospitable?

Walt Disney:  For more than eight decades, the name Walt Disney has been preeminent in the field of family entertainment. From humble beginnings as a cartoon studio in the 1920s to today's global corporation,  From this page move on to games, creating and more.  Caution there is advertisement on some pages.

Count On: Your student will enjoy selecting from a series of math and logic games.  Some require Flash.  Several other resources are included on the site, but the main draw are the games. Keep your student interested and thinking.

Virtual Cave:  From the comfort of your keyboard, browse the wonders of the underground! This site tells the story of caves in words and pictures: what's in them and how it got there. Grab three sources of light, a helmet, some sturdy boots, and your mouse, and have fun exploring - there's LOTS to see!


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.

An Irish Blessing to each of you!

From the 
Knowledge HQ Staff

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