In The News
                        May 2007   Vol. 10-5

President’s Message

We are looking with anticipation toward the summer.  There is always a wave of students as some leave for a summer holiday, while others come on board to get on the fast track for the next school year.  We enjoy working with new students, greeting those returning and wishing those leaving for the summer, a happy holiday.  Every season brings something new.  As the school year winds down, don't forget to celebrate the achievements of your children.  Each educational milestone is important.    

Is there building going on in your part of the world?  Here,  it seems to be everywhere!  A beautiful new home is going up on my block.  Trucks, cars and vans have choked the street.  Here in the office we have had construction across the street.  Big steam shovels, backhoes, rollers, cranes, machinery and men have distracted us for weeks.  All during this going and coming, I have thought what a delight to have children be able to watch and talk about what is happening.  The sounds and sights are not what we are used to and we often rush by a building project as a nuisance.  But our children can learn by watching, modeling and talking about such events. And, even the oldest of us, can try to figure out what will come next or how it could have been done differently.  The next time you see construction, take the time to stop and watch from a distance.  Your child will benefit and you may, as well.  

I'm enjoying the blue sky and warmer weather.  
I hope you are too.  Have a great month!




 Summer Courses! 

Registration for Summer Course Work is taking place now.  Continued learning over the summer months keeps student minds active and there is no learner gap when they return to studies in the Fall.  Receive a five percent discount when registering for three months.  

If you would like more information call 877-687-7200.


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If we get everything that we want, we will soon want nothing that we get. 

Vernon Luchies

 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.  

Introduction, Problem Statement, Vocabulary, Resources, Study Guide, Activity, Extended Learning, Quiz and Exam

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.  e-Tutor makes recommendations for subjects that students should concentrate for each grade 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.  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.  Students should respond to the Problem Statement before and after completing the lesson module as a self check.  They can write a few sentences about each of the Resources. Vocabulary words should be used for spelling, writing sentences or creating word puzzles.

Parents are to review the completed  Activity and Extended Learning  for each lesson module.  These are frequently off-line projects and parents can  use them as a springboard for discussion....."What did you learn by doing this?" "How could you have done this differently?" "Explain this concept to me."  To help students keep track of their work a simple filing system can be created using four manila folders.  As the student finishes an Activity or Extended Learning, they can put them in the appropriate folder.  

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 education and the arts. 

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.

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

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


   The Book Case

              Where The Red Fern Grows
              by Wilson Rawls
              Ages 7 and Up

This is a book about a man who helps a dog and remembers his childhood with his dogs. Billy remembers his longing for two coon hounds. Not just one coon hound, but two! His parents couldn't afford this, but he was determined to get his hounds. From berry picking in thorn bushes to doing odd jobs to earn a few coins that he can add to his "jar". Finally, once he has enough money, he orders the puppies. But how will he get them home? Where does the red fern actually grow? Find out in this book!

The novel is full of descriptions of how things are done. We learn how Billy earns his money; we learn where he found the can that he puts his money in. These details do more than teach us how to do things. They do more that embellish the plot. They serve to demonstrate what kind of character Billy has. By seeing his persistence and his willingness to do hard things, we learn that he is full of determination. Later, we will learn about Old Dan and Little Ann by seeing how they do things. The author, Wilson Rawls, tells us about his characters by showing in detail how they accomplish simple tasks.

 Automotive Courses! 

There's still time to sign up for the opportunity to take automotive courses!  We are exploring ways to offer electives for our students and have an opportunity for a project with www.todaysclass.com for online automotive technical training.  The course modules include automotive electronics, brakes, suspension and steering, and more.  Students can print summaries for each of the modules.  The program is used by career-based schools and community colleges.  In addition, a technical instructor will be available online or by toll free phone when needed.  

We are pleased to offer a limited number of this trial automotive course to our high school subscribers.   If you would like to sign up for the course or would like more information, please call Knowledge Headquarters at 887-687-7200.  Call quickly!  Registration closes May 31, 2007.     


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Waste no more time arguing what a good man should be. Be one.. 

Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, Emperor and philosopher (121-180 A.D.)


You Cannot Touch It

Love is something like the clouds that were in the sky before the sun came out.  You cannot touch the clouds, you know; but you feel the rain and know how glad the flowers and the thirsty earth are to have it after a hot day.  

You cannot touch love either; but you feel the sweetness that it pours into everything.  Without love you would not be happy or want to play.  

Anne Sullivan, Educator (1866-1936)

Smart Consumers Read Labels

Studies indicate that reluctant readers learn to read most rapidly when their instruction relates to their lives and to real-life situations or materials they might encounter.  Here is an idea you can use with your child.

Find a label from each of these products:  an article of clothing, a food item and an over-the-counter medication.  Ask your child the following questions:

  1. For the article of clothing, what is the brand name?

  2. Who manufacture the garment?

  3. What is the best way to care for the garment?

  4. Of what kind of fabric is the garment made?

  5. For the food item, which ingredient is present in the largest quantity?

  6. How many servings does the food item contain and what is the cost per serving?

  7. What is the expiration date on the food item?

  8. Does the food have any additives?  What are they?

  9. What illnesses or symptoms is the medication designed to treat?

  10. How often should you take the medication and how much is each dose?

  11. Who should not take this medication?

  12. What warnings are included on the medicine label?

Adapted from Illinois Association of School Boards

Discipline - Know Your Child

When it comes to discipline, the task for the parent boils down to this:

  1. Do not allow yourself to be fooled by the surface appearance of a discipline problem.  What a child does and how he acts are not clear indicators of the real source of the discipline problem. 

  2. You can find the trouble by analyzing your discipline problems with these questions:

    • What does the behavior really mean?

    • To what extent is the behavior produced by past experiences of the child?

    • What personality factors are involved and to what degree?

  3. On this basis you will want to add these further questions, into your calculations:

    • What do I plan as an effect on the child and how can I respect his need for growth?

    • In which direction do I have to aim....the change of surface behavior or the modification of basic attitudes?  

    • How can I evaluate whether what I want to do will work without  false comparisons and without neglecting subsurface effects over a more visible result?

We are encouraged to think through discipline problems instead of applying techniques without critical examination.  Parents are often troubled about their consistency.  We seem to fear that it is somehow wrong to temper consequences for a child because of his anxieties and sensitivities.  At other times we wonder if we are right to hold to penalties that have been agreed upon in advance.  

Consistency does not lie in a set of standard penalties.   Our children vary in security and insight and are motivated by many dynamic influences.  Consistency comes through the analysis of causes and a clear definition of the purpose toward which action is directed in any given incident.  

Adapted from The Public School Administrator

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We imitate only what we believe and admire. 

Robert Aris Willmott, Editor (1809-1863)


Your Child and Books

When our children grow beyond the "read me a book" stage, we begin to be concerned about what they choose to read and what is available for them to read.  We want them to enjoy reading, to experience our culture through books, and to find in books the information they seek.  At the same time, we have concerns about wise reading choices and about the place of books and reading in their lifestyles.  

Sometimes a part of our concern about our children and books centers around our fear that they will choose to read no books at all.  In today's world, where it seems that our children and youth spend all of their time with television, high-energy music, the Internet and video games, it comes as a surprise to many to learn that our students are also tremendous readers of books.  Of course, the amount of reading varies from one student to another and changes a great deal at different stages of growing up, but for the most part, our children are readers of books of all kinds.  

Children love to go the library in the early grades, enjoy having stories read aloud to them and like stories they can read for themselves.  By the intermediate grades, students are branching out into choices that include adventure, mystery and fantasy.  In the seventh and eighth grades, the volume of books read reaches its peak.  Choices made by these adolescents and early teens are unpredictable and cover a broad spectrum of interests and reading abilities.  The number of books read at the secondary level decreases as students become more involved in activities that take up increasing amounts of their time.  But they still read books.  

Adapted from Master Teacher

Fill Your Home With Talk

Writing may be the most difficult thing your child can learn to do.  Youngsters need a great deal of help in juggling all the learning involved in the complicated skill.  You can do much to support and encourage their children's success in learning to write well.  

A child who is raised in an environment rich in words knows the power and joy of language. 

  • Talk with your child.  Share your experiences, feelings, favorite stories, and memories.

  • Listen when your child talks.  Children must believe their words matter before they are willing to put them on paper.

  • Encourage wordplay in your children....rhyming, role playing and making up stories.  These activities give children a sense of control over words. 

  • Provide a wide variety of experiences....trips to zoos, parks, museums, worksites, sports events, concerts.....to enrich children's background, knowledge and vocabulary.

Adapted from National Education Association

Build Lots of Blanket Forts

Have you noticed that little children like to play and sleep in cozy places?  It seems to be a natural instinct that little folks have.  Forts in the house and tents in the backyard bring delight to every child.  Some of my fondest memories are of may mother taking the cushions off the couch and letting us use blankets to design our hideaways.

Forts provided hours of entertainment for the kids in our neighborhood as well.  One mother let the kids build forts in the basement.  One child built a ship in the bathtub, complete with rugs so he wouldn't slip.  A fort is fun, be it a tree house or a cardboard box; imagination unfolds and children spend hours creating an exciting new world.  It's possible that imaginary playmates might join in the fun.  

Nothing can turn a rainy day into an adventure, or a bored and cranky child into a creative genius, like a blanket fort in the dining room; and eating lunch or spending the night in one is pure luxury.  In the summer, tents in the backyard or on the deck are great for sleepovers.  Try it, you'll see what I mean. 

Adapted from Wonderful Ways to Love a Child, Judy Ford

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The poor man is not he who is without a cent, but he who is without a dream.

Harry Kemp, Poet (1883-1960)

Magical May Links:

The Cave of Lascaux:  A Webby Award 2000 winner (the oscars of the Web), this site from the Ministry of Culture in France lets you take a virtual four of the Paleolithic wall paintings of Lascaux.  Students of all ages can explore the caves, learn more about the images in the paintings, and discover the materials used by the artists 15,000 years ago. http://www.culture.gouv.fr/culture/arcnat/lascaux/en/ 

Windsor & Newton:  Attention all art teachers....this site has some great areas you can use to supplement your studio art classes and to draw other disciplines into your class.  See factory tour for the history of Windsor and Newton and how to make the paints.  "How did you do that?" has basic information on how to paint picture frames, paint on fabric, tint photos, etc. http://www.winsornewton.com/index6.html

Learn Spanish:  A free online site that lets Spanish language learners study a variety of terms.  Access the tutorials, verb drills, vocabulary practice, and idiom generator (try it out if you don't remember what an idiom is).  Easy to navigate, with lots of useful information. 

A Century of Physics:  Let's bring physics into the real world...this site highlights advances in physics over the last hundred years.  Review the Panorama pages to view highlights, decade by decade.  View these discoveries in context with political and artistic movements of the time.  For a list of all the events listed, consult the Index.  Entries are color coded to differentiate between discoveries on a cosmic scale, a human scale or an atomic scale. http://timeline.aps.org/APS/Timeline/

Perseus Online Coin Catalog:  From the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, this coin catalog has something for coin collectors and historians, tracing the use of coins through time.  Use the search to find certain types of coins and images (try Caesar or Crete).  Includes thumbnail images which can be enlarged with a click of the mouse. 

Fire Wars:  This Nova program looks at wildfires and how they work.  There is a fire-growth computer model, used to simulate conditions such as wind, speed and direction.  A virtual laboratory lets you explore the basics of combustion, including how a fire ignites, what a flame is made of and how burning molecules rearrange themselves.  

Spread Sunshine This Month

From the Knowledge HQ Staff

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