In The News                     April 2009   Vol. 12-4

President’s Message

Ah, Spring is in the air.  This week I went out to buy groceries and couldn't get past the flowers.  Do you think store managers plan for this event?  At any rate, I came home with a car filled with flowers and few groceries.  My hope is to get them in the ground before they tire of their little containers.  

The school year is winding down for many of our students.  I find myself reminding many that learning is not a horse race.....learning takes time and dedication.  After years of being programmed that schooling is finished within one year or after so many chapters or books have been completed,  it is a hard sale.  Time taken in the first twelve years of learning will last a lifetime and hopefully will lead to increased interest in learning more.   Many want to get through the process as quickly as possible.  What do they hope to achieve when they have run through learning without giving much thought to what has been presented to them?

Have you checked us out on Twitter (which is the talk of everyone these days).  We can be found at etutors.  You will also find us on Facebook and and MySpace.  It takes time to stay connected, but we are making the effort and hope you will take the opportunity to connect with us as well.  If we have enough students and parents who are interested, we would like to start a Twitter page for each group.  Let us know if you might like to be a part of a group.  It might be nice to 'tweet' one another.  

Our reach is growing....we continue to welcome students from China, Japan and Korea.  This year students have enrolled from India, Venezuela, Saudi Arabia, Canada and  the Dominican Republic.  We believe there is a need for strong instructional programs throughout the world.  Education is what can bind us together.   We are pleased that e-Tutor is leading the way. 

Wishing our dedicated and loving mothers a wonderful day.

Happy Mother's Day!   



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Learning without thought is labor lost; thought without learning is perilous.


Learning with e-Tutor


 Last month we started giving you the goals and objectives for the broad curricular areas offered by e-Tutor.  The e-Tutor program focuses on the four major areas of Language Arts, Math, Science and Social Studies.  Twenty-three subjects are included in the curriculum.  

This month a parent commented that the math lesson modules were advanced for his student (middle/junior high).  Lesson modules range from easy to advanced.  Students who find success in the easier lesson modules dive right into the harder ones and are surprised to learn that they are quite adept at even the most challenging concept or skill.      

As you may recall in your primary studies, you worked with unknown numbers.  Although it may have been helping you with addition or subtraction, it also was an introduction to Algebra.  So, in the e-Tutor program, primary students have algebra lesson modules.  At the high school level, math subjects are a precursor to  higher level Algebra and Geometry.  In most, curriculums the subjects are labeled, pre-Algebra, Algebra I, etc.  In the e-Tutor program they are labeled based on where the emphasis lies.  

Students will be able to perform the computations of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division using whole numbers, integers, fractions, and decimals.

A.   Read, write and name numbers in several different ways.
B.   Perform operations with numbers with and without a calculator.
C.   Translate word problem situations to mathematical expressions or sentences and solve.
D.   Order numbers.  
E.   Apply computational and problem-solving skills to common life situations.

Students will be able to understand and use ratios and percentages.
A.   Interpret ratios.

B.   Construct and solve proportions.
C.   Apply ratios and proportions in real-life situations.
D.   Interpret percents in various settings.
E.   Apply percents in real-life situations.

Students will be able to make and use measurements, including those of area and volume.
A.   Measure in a variety of contexts using appropriate units.
B.   Estimate measurements.
C.   Relate lengths, areas, and volumes in common geometric figures.
D.   Convert measurements within one system and from one system to another.
E.   Apply selected measurement systems, instruments and techniques.

Students will be able to identify, analyze and solve problems using algebraic equations, inequalities, functions and their graphs.

A.   Describe general patterns with expressions, equations, or inequalities.
B.   Solve simple equations and inequalities and interpret the solutions.
C.   Translate verbal descriptions into algebraic expressions, equations, or inequalities and vice versa.
D.   Evaluate, solve, and apply formulas with and without calculators.
E.   Perform operations with algebraic expressions.

Students will be able to understand and apply geometric concepts and relations in a variety of forms.

A.   Understand simple geometric figures and patterns of relationships in two and three dimensions.
B.   Apply symmetry and transformations.
C.   Apply the concepts or congruence and similarity. 
D.   Apply formulas and construct arguments and proofs to solve geometric problems.
E.   Define common geometric figures and use deductive reasoning to relate properties of those figures.

Students will be able to understand and use methods of data collections and analysis, including tables, charts and comparisons.

A.   Interpret data from an experiment.           
B.   Interpret tables, graphs, charts, arrays, schedules, experiments, and surveys reported in media sources.
C.   Construct tables and graphs to indicate selected trends or relationships.
D.   Understand commonly used summary statistics.
E.   Design and conduct an experiment or survey using sampling.

Students will be able to use mathematics skills to estimate, approximate, and predict and to judge reasonableness of results.

A.   Round numbers.
B.   Estimate present and future values from graphs or numerical information.
C.   Apply intervals as estimates.      
D.   Apply problem-solving procedures to solve or suggest a solution to a given problem.
E.   Use mental arithmetic to estimate results of computations.

   Twenty-three New Lesson Modules  
were added to the 
e-Tutor Lesson Library this month!

Join the e-Tutor world of learning today to view 
over 2,600 lesson modules.

Summer is Coming!

Summer signup has started!  Can you believe it?  It is hard to believe that another summer is just around the corner.  If your child is in need of a summer refresher, preparation for another grade level or continuation of studies, you will want to get on the list.  There are a select number of slots for summer school students.  You can enroll at  If you have questions, please call 877-687-7200 we will be happy to answer your questions.   


   The Book Case            

By Eloise McGraw

Ages 9 - 12

This selection is one of the most acclaimed fantasies in recent years and the winner of a Newbery Honor Medal.  The Moorchild is set long ago in an unfamiliar place where fairy folk and humans sometimes intermingle. Yet at its heart, this distinguished novel is about the timeless issues of fear and prejudice. Half-folk and half-human, Saaski has no place in either world and unable to shape-shift or disappear at will, she threatens the safety of the Band. So the Folk banish her and send her to live among humans as a changeling. The human villagers ridicule and taunt her because she's different. They blame her for a pox that's plaguing their children and for the death of their cattle. Her life is threatened. But Saaski has no desire to hurt others. She is searching for the truth about herself and for some place where she can finally fit in. An "unusual blend of fantasy and contemporary concerns.

Excerpts from Simon and Schuster

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Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work.



 Try to Understand

Children crave parents who understand them.  Whether they are learning to ride a bicycle or cooking breakfast for the first time, your children are mastering new skills and need you to understand that life is also difficult for them.  If you understand your child, he will feel safe to come to you.  When life shuffles and tosses your children around, they will find solace and protection in the shelter of your understanding.  

Understanding means not only that you understand what they are saying, but also that you are aware of when they are down, need to be left alone, or are hurt or frustrated, even if they don't say so with words.   

Understanding is not jumping to conclusions, thinking you know for sure what is going on.  Try to understand the meaning behind the words.  

Understanding means letting your child be in charge and not quickly taking over.  A child learning to tie his shoes may get easily frustrated, but even so he does not want you to do it for him.  Instead suggest, "You might try it this way."  When your child asks for your advice, don't rush in with your answers so quickly; instead ask, "What do you think?"  This gives him confidence to solve his own dilemmas.  He relaxes, tensions melt away, and he is able to accept the challenge of the task at hand. 

Adapted from Wonderful Ways to Love a Child by Judy Ford

Coping with Anger

Parental anger is a useful tool when it is expressed in nonjudgmental language.  When parents firmly state their anger, they emphasize the rules and let children know clearly and strongly how they feel.

Parents need to match their expressions of anger to the way they are truly feeling.  If a parent is only mildly annoyed, he or she can say, "I'm a bit annoyed" or "This is irritating me."  If a parent is very angry, it is more appropriate to say, "I'm very mad about this" or "This has made me very angry."  Parents should avoid yelling and shouting; instead they should express their anger in a firm voice. 

Adapted from Nation Education Association

Create Routines

Your day is already jam-packed with activities.   Save time with minor adjustments to your daily routine.

  • Plan the day's activities...and prioritize them...first thing in the morning.
  • Forget multi-tasking and instead concentrate on one activity at a time.
  • Take some time off, or give yourself a reward when you complete important tasks.
  • Set a place for everything; looking for items wastes precious time.
  • Eat a light lunch so you won't get sleepy in the afternoon.
  • Establish a regular bedtime for yourself and your kids.  A consistent sleep schedule means everyone is more alert the next day. 


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An idea can turn to dust or magic, depending on the talent that rubs against it.

Bill Bernbach


Teens and Their Attitudes Toward Sex

Teens' attitudes toward sex differ from those of adults.  Because teenagers' attitudes about sexual behavior are unique...very different from those of adults...teenagers are at great risk of pregnancy when they engage in sexual activity.  According to the Center for Early Education and Development at the University of Minnesota, teens often don't have enough information to protect themselves, don't use contraceptives, and may even choose pregnancy.  

Many pregnant adolescents are surprised because they believed it was the wrong time of the month, they were too young to get pregnant or had sex infrequently, they used withdrawal or couldn't get pregnant unless they wanted to.  They don't use contraceptives because sex is unplanned, they don't think to use them or are too embarrassed to get them, and they don't think pregnancy will occur.  Reasons for choosing pregnancy include a desire for marriage or to leave home, a wish to spite their parents, wanting someone to love or because their friends have babies.  

Adapted from School Public Relations Service

 Making Make-Believe Again

All but gone are the days of make-believe and improvisation.  Sandboxes and swing sets too rarely are transformed into lava pits and pretend houses.  What used to be quiet time is often couch time, spent with a TV and video games.  Today's play tends to consist of toys with programmed scripts, rigid lessons and day camps.  Instead of sending kids out of the house with nothing but an encouraging "...and don't come back till dinnertime!" parents are controlling their children's environment, keeping them safely monitored with structured activities.  That's not always a good thing.

A new study by two Colorado researchers has found that kids' play has changed radically in the last half-century in ways that have lowered the emphasis on imagination.  This overly scheduled, synthesized "play" insulates children in safe and secure settings...a logical response to the dangers of the streets.  But, too tight a leash can retard the development of necessary cognitive and emotional skills.  This has the effect, as one researcher put it, of shrinking the size of children's imaginative space.  That's the wide-open mind venue where kids go to dream, to, for example, turn a simple stick into a jewel-encrusted sword. 

Imaginative and freestyle play promote self-regulation, or the ability to gauge emotions and behaviors; in other words, self-control and self-discipline.  When imagination is the real toy, the kids write the rules.  Children lacking experience in the world of imagination and improvisation are less verbally active.  They don't babble or talk to themselves, work through dilemmas or figure out tasks independently.

The result: Problem-solving skills, concentration and task success suffer.  There  are long-run implications, too.  Children who mostly play by doing what they're told don't have the opportunity to "police" themselves:  to manage their feelings and learn to make choices. 

So give your kids an occasional break from today's swim lesson and piano practice.  Turn off the TV.  Encourage them to do what you did:  Turn a cardboard box into a spaceship, teach Hannah Montana how to read out loud.  Stockpile lumber to build a tree house come spring.  Pass down your old toys.

Then vamoose.  No teachers, tutors, instructors, coaches.  Walk away and let your children discover their own adventures.  

Let kids be kids.  Let them play.  

Adapted from Chicago Tribune

 Not in Vain

If I can stop one heart from breaking, 
I shall not live in vain; 
If I can ease one life the aching, 
Or cool one pain,
Or help one fainting robin 
Unto his nest again, 
I shall not live in vain.

Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)

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They may forget what you said but they will never forget how you made them feel.


Fantastic April Links: 

Particle Adventure:  From the Particle Data Group, this site introduces the Standard Model theory of fundamental particles and forces. It explores the experimental evidence and the reasons physicists want to go beyond this theory. In addition, it provides information on particle decay, a brief history section, and materials to support classroom activities.

Explore Science:  Nuclear physicist and educator Raman Pfaff created these interactive simulations to help students visualize physics and life science concepts. The Shockwave Plug-in is required, and the site can be easily downloaded for those with a slow Internet connection. The simulations should fit in with typical labs or demonstrations.

You Be The Historian:  Here's a fun way to explore American history by looking at artifacts. The site asks visitors to "figure out what life was like 200 years ago for Thomas and Elizabeth Springer's family in New Castle, Delaware." Students are also asked to consider what future historians might learn about them from objects in their homes.

Y? The National Forum on People's Differences:  The goal of this memorable web site is simple but profound; to get people talking. Racism, stereotyping and other difference-based problems can be the result of misinformation or ignorance. This forum offers visitors the unique opportunity to confront their feelings head-on by asking difficult or embarrassing questions of people from different cultural or ethnic backgrounds. Past topics include subtle racism, sexual orientation and ageism, and the interactions are edited to make them clear and suitable for general audiences. presents kids with a fun and educational web based activity where they make their own secret messages. Kids also learn about secret codes cryptography and how secret codes are used in real life.

Art Safari:  This site prompts kids to explore paintings and sculptures from the Museum of Modern Art. A series of questions guides children to write about what they see. Then, kids are encouraged create and submit their own art.

We Love Our Mothers!

From the Knowledge HQ Staff

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