April 2000
In The News


President’s Message

Happy Spring! It is a beautiful and revitalizing time of year! As I write this, I look out my window at an exploding  garden…yellow daffodils bobbing in the wind, tulips trying to open their face to the sun, plump buds on trees and bushes, and green pushing through brown in every corner. It’s the time of year when one wants to grow and expand personally as well as professionally.
Spring has come to e-Tutor with all of its energy and force. In just a few days we will be moving to a wonderful new space, we are hiring talented people to continue to bring to you quality educational material over the Internet, and we are planning ways that we can reach out to more of you, to share our story and to join you in the work of educating young people.
Many bright and energetic people have taken the time to visit with us and express their hopes and aspirations for their future with e-Tutor. We look forward to introducing these fine individuals as they join us. Like the plants in the garden, we spent the winter establishing our foundation, planning our future and we are ready now for growth and expansion. May your month be sunny and bright.


The best preparation for tomorrow is to do today’s work superbly well.

Sir William Osler

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Build Self Esteem

1. Be patient and tolerant. Respect your child’s feelings. Let him know that it is all right to feel discouraged occasionally about a task.

2. Encourage self-expression and creativity. Let your child know you value his originality. He needs to feel acceptance when daring to use imagination.

3. Focus on what your child does right. First recognize your child’s achievements; then offer corrections.

4. Plan for success in learning. When your child begins a challenging new task or assignment, help insure success by creating a plan for learning.

5. Make time to talk with your child. Ask your child about what he is learning. Listen attentively to what your child says.

6. Practice positive, constructive criticism. Used constructively, criticism can guide your child to success on an assignment and increase his self-esteem.

7. Compare your child’s progress to his own record rather than that of brothers and sisters, classmates, your friend’s children, or external norms.

8. Avoid labeling your child. A child who has been labeled in an off-hand comment may carry that label into adulthood, doing permanent damage to self-esteem and confidence.

9. Focus on today. Always look at your child’s current performance. Don’t let experiences from yesterday, last week, or last year cloud today’s successes.

10. Raise your expectations. Monitor your child’s progress closely. As the quality of work improves and your child becomes a "can-do" kid, raise your expectations. Continue to challenge your child.


apr_img4.gif (1147 bytes) We must view young people not as empty bottles to be filled, but as candles to be lit.

Robert H. Shaffer

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Get Rid of Unnecessary Projects

Unnecessary, redundant projects are like weeds in a garden. They just keep growing, draining time and attention from you, your associates and your staffers. Try these low-tech approaches that will help you to identify and kill project “weeds.”

Step 1. Using index cars, have your project managers write a one-sentence description of each project they are working on, putting one project description on each card.

Step 2. Arrange all the cards so that similar projects or related projects are next to one another.

Step 3. As you categorize the project descriptions, you will notice that a number of projects connect, duplicate or overlap on another. Kill duplicate projects. Consolidate other projects where possible and appropriate.

It sounds simplistic, but it works according to Christopher P. Higgins, senior vice president for Bank of America in San Francisco.

Allan E. Alter, Computerworld


  • Watch your thoughts; they become words.

  • Watch your words; they become actions.

  • Watch your actions; they become habits.

  • Watch your habits; they become character.

  • Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.

Frank Outlaw

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Learn About Your Child’s School

How do you learn about your child’s school? Educational researchers at Cornell University recommend seven methods for getting to know your child’s school better:

  1. Make an appointment to visit the school or class.
  2. Drop in to look around and talk with people.
  3. Call or write the teacher or principal.
  4. Talk with other parents and children about their experiences.
  5. Read school board minutes in the newspaper.
  6. Read the school newsletter.
  7. Attend school events, especially open houses and PTA meetings.

The more of these methods you use, the better. And remember…the better you know the school and teachers, the better job you can do as a key part of your child’s education team.

If you are feeling low, don’t despair. The sun has a sinking spell every night, but it comes back up every morning. apr_img8.gif (2638 bytes)

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The ‘Rush Hour’

In many homes, the morning scene looks like something on “America’s Funniest Home Videos.” Kids fly out the door, eating their breakfast as they run for the bus. Paper flutter out of their backpack (if not lost at home). Let’s face it: not everyone is a morning person. But children do need to learn to get to places on time and ready to go to work. These tips may help:
  • Help your children establish good habits. Make sure they hang up their coats as they walk in the door. Give each child a place to keep boots, hats, and school bags.
  • A successful morning begins at night. Before your children go to bed, have them set out everything the will need for school. This is the time to make sure everyone has lunch money, homework, and the permission slip for the field trip.
  • Establish a regular bedtime. Kids who conk out watching the 11:00 news can’t rise or shine at 6:45.
  • Set everyone’s alarm clock 15 minutes earlier. Even a few extra minutes can make a real difference.
  • The night before, set out some easy-to-fix breakfast foods. Kids learn better on a full stomach. Cereal, muffins, toast, or yogurt are all good choices. A peanut butter-and-jelly sandwich will do when kids are in a hurry.
  • Before everyone leaves, take a minute to say, “I love you” to each child. Nothing will get their day…or yours…off to a better start.

The Parent Institute, 1992

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Conversational Writing
Apply the Conversational Test developed by John Louis DiGaetani of Hofstra University to improve your writing. Ask yourself if you would ever say to your reader what your are writing.
For example, would you say, “Enclosed please find the price lists you requested”? You would probably say, “Here are the price lists you requested.” The Conversational Test helps you get rid of business jargon and impersonal writing. It forces you to write in human terms and adds color and interest to your writing. This does not mean it gives you a mandate to use slang. You still have to assume a proper tone in your writing. Remember:
  • Jargon, wordy expressions and puffy sentences don’t make you appear more polished. They impress only the nave.
  • Business writing isn’t supposed to seem stuffy and impersonal.
  • Trying to hide bad news in a fog of wordiness just doesn’t work.

The Wall Street Journal On Management

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Want to know more? Check the Why Files.

Make a simple craft item on a rainy spring day.

Have you been reading about the gigantic icebergs breaking from Antarctica? Follow their progress.

Studying the Presidents? Don’t forget the first ladies. http://www.firstladies.org/Flbib2.htm

Creative spending while saving money.

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