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May 2000
In The News


President’s Message
Another month! The months move by so quickly. I guess it means that we are busy and really don’t notice the passing days. Nevertheless, it would be nice to catch our breath to watch the world around us. It is all a sign of the times in which we live and, more certainly, in the work we do. Our lives at e-Tutor revolve around the Internet world which, as you know, is dynamic, constantly changing and rapidly growing. We are, traditionally, accustomed to things being finished.
e-Tutor remains a work in progress and will continue to change and grow as our students’ needs change. Unlike a typical product, like a CD-ROM or a book, e-Tutor will always be in a state of growth and development. This dynamic is what gives the Internet it’s fascination…the facility to provide material that grows and changes with the user is something we have never been able to adequately capture before. It means that those of us preparing content and programs for our young people have a huge responsibility to remain current, in our research and our vision, for the possibilities this medium offers us in the teaching/learning process.
We look forward to working with you and all of our users to continue to provide outstanding educational content and programs for students and their educators. Please let us hear from you about the ways we can better serve the Internet education community.


The purpose of learning is growth, and our minds, unlike our bodies, can continue growing as we continue to live.

Mortimer Adler
Professor and Author

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Please Welcome e-Tutor Staff
It has been another exciting month at e-Tutor. We are pleased to announce the appointment of Serifino (Sandy) Posa as CEO. Sandy brings experience as vice president of Polaroid, Kraft and Quaker Oats. Scott Strausser comes to us as Chief Marketing Officer from Ingalls Health Systems. Three new technicians have joined our staff, Ron Fernandez, Alex Litvinsky, and Bill Wolter. Two sales people, James Alfred and Molly Meiners, two writers and editors, Adriana Stanoiu and Katie Klatt-Bowen, and two clerical staff, Carmen Pfeifer and Julie Cottone round out our new staff members. We have hired these creative, wonderful people to help us continue to improve e-Tutor and to assist us in reaching more students around the world. e-Tutor continues to raise the bar in providing outstanding educational content over the Internet.

100 Year Old 'Quotable'

When you show an interest in our work, we are inspired thereby to do much better…..get acquainted with your teachers as soon as possible….invite them to your homes….Call at the schoolhouse often. Don’t go to be entertained by the teacher. Don’t take her time; it is valuable. But go to see how your boy or girl stands in class recitation or general deportment…."

Letter to School Patrons from W.A.H.Hobbs, Dade County (Florida) Public School Teacher, September 25, 1896

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Dealing with Homework

Here are some tips to help make homework time a lot less of a hassle for everyone.
  • Know what teachers expect. Meet with your child’s teachers. Ask what kinds of assignments they give.
  • Expect your child to have homework every day. Set aside a regular time for homework (but let our child choose the time.)
  • Don’t micro-manage. As kids grow older, they need to feel that homework is their responsibility. If they do their best work early in the morning, encourage them to do homework at that time.
  • Set a limit on extracurricular activities that interfere with study time.
  • Talk with your children about what they have learned.

The Parent Institute, 1992

The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

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Pain is Good?
Pain is good! Michael Jensen of Harvard University came to the surprising conclusion after studying leadership traits that bring the greatest success. By pain, he means the willingness to make the tough decisions that many avoid. It’s a given that we balk at making changes that may hurt ourselves and others over the short-term, even when there are long-term benefits to making these breaks.

Based on his work with Harvard’s university-wide Mind, Brain, Behavior Initiative, Jensen holds that many of us operate under what he calls the Pain Avoidance Model, or PAM. It’s not a rational mode of thinking, but a set of responses imprinted in our minds that helps us escape pain by readying us to fight danger or flee from it.

Jensen points out that the very signals that tell us to avoid pain can, with training, be redirected to the rational part of our brains. We can teach ourselves to face up to painful stimuli, recognize what must be done and act. Even though change is one of life’s constants, never before has its pace been so rapid. Those who embrace change…including the pain it brings…will prosper.

If you reach for the stars and come out with a piece of sky, it’s better than not having reached at all.

Marva Collins
Founder Westside Preparatory School, Chicago

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End of the Year Test Hysteria

We have received several e-mails from parents seeking help for their children in preparing for tests and exams. There has been so much emphasis placed on testing over the past few years that it is not surprising that students as well as parents are feeling the pressure.Your child is responsible for taking the test, of course. But there are some things you can do to help your child do better on tests. Be sure your child:
  • Studies for several days (or weeks) before the test. Real learning takes time. Students who "cram" for a test, don’t do as well as they would if the had more time to prepare.
  • Gets a good night’s sleep. And see that your child eats a good breakfast on the day of the exam. Rest, exercise, and good nutrition are especially important on test days, when stress is high.
  • Reads the directions carefully. Emphasize that if they do not understand what to do, they should ask the teacher.
  • Looks quickly over the test when it is handed out. Once a student knows the types of questions that are being asked…and how many questions are included…it will be easier to make sure everything gets completed on time.
  • Doesn’t spend too much time on any one question. Help your child understand that it is important to answer as many questions as possible. One technique is to mark unanswered questions and then return to them at the end if time permits.

Actions Heroes
Symbols of action hero favorites decorate shirts and pajamas, wallpaper and sheets. Heroes are huge with kids…both small and of the grown-up variety. A "hero" is anyone worthy of being respected and honored for his or her courage, noble exploits or outstanding qualities. On a TV screen or through a child at play cartoon characters and fictional action-figure heroes routinely exhibit great courage. But the contrived and scripted stages on which they act are so artificial, their actions are usually of little value in guiding the real world behavior of kids. Children, though, don’t always draw this distinction clearly. So, it is a wise parent who builds "thought bridges" across which these heroic actions of fantasy champions can be translated into real life principles and acts a child can imitate on the stages of their own family, school, community and social relationships.

Use questions like these to help you and your children notice and value everyday heroes and heroics:

After you have watched a hero perform in a game, a movie, on a TV show, or in a newspaper or news report, ask:

  • What do you think he/she was thinking at that moment?
  • What is the lesson to be learned from what happened?
  • What would prevent me from doing the same thing?

When a friend, neighbor or family member does something "heroic" (selfless, of true value and worthy of emulation), ask:
  • How can I/we best applaud and truly appreciate what this person has done? (Imitation is the highest form of flattery.)
  • Is jealousy or rivalry coloring the value of this act?

When your "hero" fails to perform, ask:

  • Should this failure or mistake change my "hero’s" status?
  • Did my hero have the character to express regret/apologize?
Before everything else, getting ready is the secret of success.

Henry Ford

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Great May Links
The New Americans
A new look at immigration in America. This site includes teaching resources.

Dot Com Statistics
Learn more about .com names. Take a peek at the numbers behind the names.

Harris Kid Zone
The Harris Poll for Kids. Taking the pulse of our young people.

Save For America
Helping students build a nest egg, the only U.S. Department of Education approved Bank-At-School program.

The What, When, and Where of World War II
World War II maps and drawings that were created and published during the war.

Visit 17th Century Korea
Follow Hendrick Hamel’s original 17th century manuscript of a land not yet known to most of the world.

Magazine articles, research papers, and links about the terrible Chernobyl nuclear accident.

Journey into Amazonia
The PBS website includes the seasonal deluge of Waterworlds, the creatures of Life on Land, and the conservation efforts of the Sacred Ground.

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