In The News        Spring 2010   Vol. 13-2 

ident’s Message
here is no quick trip in education.  From time to time we receive phone calls seeking a "quick fix" in the teaching-learning process.  There are many reasons a student may fall behind his or her peer group.  In a desire to  "catch up," these students are looking for ways to get through their studies in the shortest amount of time possible.  It is often impossible for us to tell when a student has taken a "short cut" but we are not the losers.  The student is the one who will suffer in the long run.  Facts, figures, information and knowledge important for a successful future are compromised.   The idea that learning stops at a certain time in our life is wrong.  Learning is something that goes on throughout life.  Often we squander learning, by wasting our time on that which may not serve us well for the future.  Our goal at Knowledge HQ is to create an environment where an expanded understanding of learning is central to a balanced and productive life.  

We have had a busy quarter.  In spite of the down turn in the economy, a good education is always needed.  We have been heartened by the support and encouragement of both students and parents.  We continue to expand into different parts of the world.  Schools and organizations are seeking stronger online instructional programs and e-Tutor is meeting their needs.  So, we have actually grown in the first quarter of 2010. 

Our work remains simply interesting, fascinating and constantly changing.  I am learning so much every times my mind is tired, but I want to continue on because the possibilities are endless. So for me busy is okay....not enough time in a day or week.....never. The challenge is invigorating and I relish the busyness. 

This season of the year has brought growth and flowers to our part of the world. The trees are alive with buds; flowers dance to every color of the rainbow; green bursts from the brown soil.....what an explosion to the senses. Oh, how the sights and sounds of these wonderful Spring days lift our spirits and puts a "spring" in our step.

Delight in this season of the year!

           e-Tutor News      

Did you know that we have been offering online learning since 1997?  It seems like just yesterday that we started.  So, we thought you might like to see what we have been during all these years.  Take a look at some of our past newsletters.  You will notice how we have grown and changed over the years.              

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Only you can be yourself.  No one else is qualified for the job. 

Learning with e-Tutor

e-Tutor was developed to provide students and parents a choice from traditional schooling.  It was not developed for fast track learning.  Each section of the lesson module provides a function which when completed appropriately provides the learner important tools for further learning.  

e-Tutor lessons are grouped at Primary (about K-3), Intermediate (about 4-5), Middle/Junior High (about 6-8) and High School.  This cross-aging of lessons has been very successful for e-Tutor students as they can work at their own unique level.  Some lessons may be easier and can be used for review and some will be more challenging.  Students should do no more than four lessons each day.  Each lesson should take from an hour to an hour and a half to complete.  We recommend one lesson in each of the four major curricular areas for those in a home school program. One lesson a day is sufficient for those who use e-Tutor for supplemental work.  e-Tutor provides recommendations for subjects to be completed in the instructional program at each grade level.  All curricular areas support one another. 

There is much reading and writing in the program and users will have excellent reading and writing skills if the program is used consistently.  Parents are encouraged to review the completed  Activity and Extended Learning  for each lesson.  This is required for those receiving credit or diplomas.  These are included with every lesson.  They are frequently off-line projects and so e-Tutor relies on parents to review these.  Use them for a springboard for discussion.  

Parents will quickly know which areas their children are struggling in and which topics they favor by frequently checking their portfolios.  Parents might need to make recommendations to their children about trying new subjects or topics.  New lessons are added frequently.

Students are encouraged to keep track of the time they spend learning.  They can jot down the time they start to study and the time they finish on a piece of paper or a calendar.  Make sure and include time spent in physical development and the arts. 

Ninety-two new lesson modules were added to 
this quarter!

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

We want to hear from you.  If you have questions or comments, please do not hesitate to contact us.  We enjoy hearing from parents, students and others.

Give Praise

During a recent conversation a psychologist mentioned, "Raising children is not so difficult if parents would realize one thing.  Children need constant praise.  When the children cut their meat right.....great! Praise them!  When they tie their first shoelace....great!  Praise them!  Even if they are just good all day....great!  Praise them!  The human psyche seems to feed and thrive on praise and attention."  And people never really grow out of that constant need for praise and appreciation. 

One study of a number of large corporations revealed the number one reason why people quit their jobs was because, as they put it, "No one appreciated what I did. "  William James, the best known of America's psychologists, said that the desire to be appreciated is one of the deepest drives in human nature.  So get in the habit of being "praise minded."  The way people dress, act, do their jobs and express themselves as personalities can all be characteristics for some words of praise from you.  Perhaps your own family and friends would be a good place to start.

The Public School Administrator

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The ladder of success doesn't care who climbs it. 


Although note-taking generally is thought of as a strategy for older students, lower elementary pupils can be introduced to this strategy through simple activities such as the following:

Have your child play the roles of message-taker in a telephone-message activity.  Have someone be in a message-receiver role and leave the room.  A message-giver begins by reading the message aloud to the message-taker at a normal rate of speech.  Then the message-taker takes notes of the pertinent information.  Remind the message-taker to keep the message-receiver and the purpose of the message in mind when selecting those facts worth noting.  Once the message-taker has the message, the message-receiver may return to the room.  The message-taker can refer to the notes as he or she recounts the message.  Others who have observed the activity should determine whether or not the message has been adequately conveyed. 

The following will introduce note-taking to intermediate students.

Select a short expository passage and have a family member read the passage while another models note-taking procedures on a pad of paper.  Think aloud to clarify your purpose for listening to the passage.  Then, as the passage is read, make notes relevant to your purpose for listening.  You might also vocalize why you are noting some points and not noting others.  Use indenting and skipping spaces to indicate the relationships and subordination of ideas.  Next, ask your child to take notes over the same passage, but with a different purpose for listening.  Ask your child to explain as he or she takes notes why he or she is noting particular facts and not others.   

Silver Burdett and Ginn

Surviving Your Studies

Some do's and don'ts that will help you get the most out of the time you are studying, whether completing an e-Tutor assignment, doing homework or going through a lesson module.


  • Invest in folders.  Get one folder for each subject, just for your assignments, activities, extended learning or homework.
  • Start with a plan.  Create a work schedule every day that outlines all of the work that needs to be done and give each assignment 30 to 45 minutes for completion.  Do your work in small chunks and you will find that it will prevent you from feeling overwhelmed. 
  • Go get a snack and take a five-minute break to clear your head.  This will help you to stay positive and give you enough time to remind yourself that the work is all just a part of the overall grade.  If you are still stuck when you get back to work, call for help. 
  • Work in the same place every day and make sure you have a good source of light. 
  • Make a bargain with your parents.  If you work hard and finish your assignments and learning activities in a decent timeframe, maybe you deserve a little some time on the Xbox.


  • Invest in just one big mega-binder.  Get separate binders for separate subjects to help keep your papers organized. 
  • Beat a dead horse.  If you have been stuck on the same math problem for an hour and it's not getting any easier, you'll burn yourself out and develop a bad attitude.  All you're doing is wasting time.  If your parents can't help you, call a friend.  Or move along to the next problem and ask e-Tutor about it the next day.
  • Work yourself into a frenzy.  Don't get mad if you're stuck on a problem or if one assignment takes longer than scheduled. 
  • Listen to music or watch TV while you're studying.  Even if you think you can multi-task, it's not a good idea.  By working in a quiet zone, where you are really focused, you will be able to shave off time in those math and English assignments.  

Knight Ridder/Tribune News

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Wisdom is oft times nearer when we stoop than when we soar.  

Being Successful

To cope with the many changes ahead, the successful person will have to exhibit four traits:

  • Foresight.  The successful one must possess an intuitive insight into what styles, fashions and technologies will be hot weeks, months...or even advance

  • Fearlessness.  Successful individuals will have to act on hunches, even when everyone else says they are crazy. 

  • Effectiveness.  Technological change is rapid and trends are short.  Successful individuals will have to act quickly, before the window of opportunity closes.  And they won't have the luxury of  time to wait for consensus in decision making.

  • Greatness of character.  Knowledge value will be burned up and disposed of rapidly.  Those in the work force will be asked to be "artists," racking their brains for tiny improvements to be more "cutting-edge" than a competitor.  To make it all happen the successful person will have to inspire others to exert themselves to their limits

Adapted from Success, New York, NY.  

The Science of Memory

The brain is all about creation, connection and control.  Electrical charges flowing from axons to dendrites create chemical packages in nerve cells.  These chemical packages are like little buckets of memory juice.  Whenever we want, we can dip into these buckets to access our memories.  Cells in the brain and body are constantly creating new packages and recreating old packages.

Scientific studies affirm what seems to be common sense:  if you are extremely busy, don't get enough sleep or are nervous or anxious, your power of memory will fade rapidly.  Low self-esteem and poor self-image also inhibit memory.  Many drugs can influence the memory process.  Drugs like serotonin, adrenaline, dopamine and the endorphin group (created by the body itself) enhance memory.  Alcohol, marijuana and nicotine can greatly decrease the ability to remember.  Even prescription drugs to reduce blood pressure, eliminate pain or induce sleep interfere with the memory process. 

Finally, here are a couple of scientific no-brainers:

  1. It is difficult to remembers something you have never experienced. 
  2. It is hard to remember something that has no meaning or significance for you. 

The Benefits of Volunteer Work

Nearly everyone agrees that volunteer work is a nice thing to do for others.  But, as more young people are discovering, you benefit yourself as well as others when you donate your time to a worthy cause.  Here are several ways volunteer work can help you later, in a paying job or career:

  • Students with no employment history gain that all-important "previous experience."  
  • Volunteers learn basic skills needed by employers.  
  • You can establish contacts.
  • Volunteer work lets you explore career alternatives.  

Here are some other ways you can use volunteer work to serve yourself as well as others:

  • You'll meet people.  Volunteers who work on the same project together often share common interests and can form lasting friendships.
  • You gain self-esteem.  Those who do volunteer work learn to see themselves as productive citizens who are valued, needed, respected and have something important to contribute to society.
  • You gain a sense of personal power.  Volunteer work lets you know you can make a difference in our society and helps you realize that you do have the power to make changes.
  • You can explore your own values.  Many volunteers must confront issues like hunger, illiteracy, homelessness, poverty and environmental pollution.
  • You can improve academic skills.  Volunteer work lets you practice skills like reading, writing and math in the "real world."  Many learn these skills more effectively when they can be applied in real-life situations.

Illinois Association of School Boards

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The greatest gifts you can give your children are the roots of responsibility and the wings of independence.    

Surprising Spring Links:

Stately Knowledge:  Facts about the United States.  This site will help you find out the basic facts of any state in the Union, including Washington, D.C. Need to know the capital of Alabama? Want to know which hockey teams are in California? How about the size of Montana? All that information is here — and more!

Visual Periodic Table:  The Visual Elements Periodic Table is an arts and science collaborative project which explores the diversity of elements in a unique and innovative manner.  The website includes:  Data on the elements,  patterns in the periodic table,  atomic orbitals,  alchemical symbols,  downloadable movies, screensavers and soundtracks, e-postcards, wall charts, jigsaws and more.

How Volcanoes Work:  This website is an educational resource that describes the science behind volcanoes and volcanic processes. The site is sponsored by NASA under the auspices of Project ALERT (Augmented Learning Environment and Renewable Teaching).  Each section in the menu builds upon previous sections. For users who lack fundamental knowledge of volcanological principles and terms, it is best to proceed through the website in a progressive manner. More advanced users will find each section self-contained and can navigate through the website as their interest dictates.

NCES Kids' Zone:  National Center for Educational Statistics provides information to help you learn about schools; decide on a college; find a public library; engage in several games, quizzes and skill building about math, probability, graphing, and mathematicians; and to learn many interesting facts about education.

Constellations - Stories and Deepsky Atlas:  The Hawaiian Astronomical Society Storybook and Deepsky Atlas is a long term effort to provide a good online atlas of the heavens, combined with photographs of significant objects, and their descriptions.  Each constellation has a wide area map. There follows more detailed maps of the constellation, beginning in its northeast quadrant, and moving counter-clockwise around the constellation. Included are story(ies) behind the constellation. Many good stories from both Greco-Roman, and other civilizations enrich our culture.

Crayola: is home to thousands of Free Coloring Pages, Crafts, and Lesson Plans. Find out about the latest Crayola products or play fun creative games in the Play Zone!   To experience all that has to offer you will want to have the latest version of the Adobe Flash Player.

Have A Wonderful Quarter!

From the Knowledge HQ Staff

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