In The News                            May 2011   Vol. 14-03

President’s Message 

What hardship many of our subscribing families have been facing....flooding, tornadoes and unseasonable weather patterns!  While our hearts and thoughts go out to those families who are impacted, these abnormal happenings also provide for teaching moments for our students.  There is much information about the Mississippi River, tornadoes and extra-ordinary weather events on the Internet (see links below).  The opportunity for discussion, charting, illustrating and problem solving should be on all our agendas, whether our students homeschool, attend private or public school or are on vacation.  

Like the rest of the country, the weather in our part of the country, has been unseasonable.  In a part of the country that sees sunshine almost every day of the year...we have missed the light and brightness more days than we would like this year.  While the rain and clouds have put a frown on many a face, the gardens and mountain plains are a beautiful green.  The abundance of water has given plants that normally struggle to reach beyond the soil level a boost and we are seeing green shoots coming up everywhere (another teachable moment).  So, what is taken away is often given back in abundance in other ways....the flowers, fruits and vegetables will be extraordinary this year.  

I had one of those 'aha' awakenings this past week.  My three year-old granddaughter was visiting.  I had the radio on in my office and she could hear the sound through a baby monitor I use when they are here.  She was confused with the sound and wondered where it came from.  When I told her a radio, she wanted me to explain to her a radio.  This is a family who listens to lots of music, but through wireless equipment.  They do not have a television nor a radio.  It occurs to me that radios, televisions, land line telephones and many other things that we grew up with may soon be antiquated things of the past.  Can you remember when you last used a floppy disk?  Times are a-changing!

We remember, especially this month,  the service our veterans have given to each of us.  Happy Memorial Day!


eNews Library 

eTutor has been on the Internet for fourteen years now.  Each year we have published eNews, sometimes once a month and other years just a few times.  You may be interested in looking at some of our early editions.  It might give you a perspective on how we have changed and adapted over the years.  
Learn more.

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Teach your children to discover wisdom rather than expect you to provide it.

Learning with eTutor

Studying the eTutor Way

eTutor lesson modules are grouped at Primary (about K-3), Intermediate (about 4-5), Middle/Junior High (about 6-8) and High School.  This cross-aging of lesson modules has been very successful for eTutor students as they can work at their own pace.  Some lesson modules may be easier and can be used for review and some will be more challenging.  Students should do no more than four lesson modules each day.  We recommend one lesson module in each of the four major curricular areas.  One lesson module a day is sufficient for those who use eTutor for supplemental work or credit recovery. All curricular areas support one another.  

Lesson modules take from one hour to one and a half hours to complete.  Some may even take several days to complete.  The default for passing quizzes and exams is set at eighty percent.  Students are expected to fully complete lesson modules.  Parents or another adult are asked to review the finished Activities and Extended Learning with each lesson module since these are most often completed off line.  They can be used as a springboard for discussion, ‘What did you learn by completing this,” “How could you have done this differently,”  "Explain this concept to me," etc.

There is much reading and writing in the eTutor program and users will have excellent reading and writing skills if the program is used consistently.  We suggest the student respond in writing to the Problem Statement before and after completing each lesson module to act as a self-check.  The vocabulary words can be used for writing sentences or creating word puzzles.  Students should write a short description of each of the resource links.   eTutor is a Pass/Fail program.  Completed lessons are reflective of those where the student has successfully completed Quizzes and Exams.  Students are expected to spend approximately four to five hours studying each day when using eTutor for their full curriculum.   We suggest that the student keep track of his hours of study each day on a piece of paper or a calendar.

Nearly 3200 Lesson Modules  
are included in the 
eTutor Lesson Library!

Join the eTutor world of learning today to view 
the lesson modules.

   The Book Case            

The Hidden Treasure of Glaston 
by Eleanor Jewett

Jr High/High School

This historical fiction book takes place in the year immediately following the murder of Saint Thomas Becket (who died in 1170 AD). Hugh, the young crippled son of one of the knights who committed the dreadful dead, is left in the care of the Monastery of Glaston, allowing his father to flee the country in the wake of riots and uprisings against the nobles who were involved in Becket's death. Although Hugh is haunted for a time with painful memories of the riots, he has inherited a love for books from his mother and settles down rather happily into a position of assistant to the scriptorium monk where he learns to make the beautiful inks and dyes used for illuminated manuscripts.

Life gets more interesting when Hugh teams up with Dickon, a young oblate at the monastery, to investigate secret underground treasure caves. A mystery unfolds involving the monastery, King Arthur, Joseph of Arimathea and the Holy Grail.

1946 Newbery Honor Book

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See things that haven't been and ask why not.


Frame Their Art and 
Hang It on the Wall

Have you ever noticed that all young children are artists?  Creative geniuses ready to bloom and be discovered.  Children can teach us so much about creativity...just watch them when they paint a picture.  They become completely absorbed in the drawing and put their complete attention, concentration, and love into that one picture.  They don't worry about what others think...they give it their all.    

Creativity takes many forms.  A four-year-old boy I know can take a watch apart and put it back together almost exactly the way it was.  When his father discovered this curiosity, he recognized his son's mechanical ability.  He buys old watches and clocks at garage sales;  the little boy loves them better than toys. 

With art children learn to solve problems.  When your child is angry, frustrated, or scared, drawing a picture and telling a story can help him work it through.  Always encourage creativity, for you never know where it might lead.  A top Seattle department store carries jewelry designed with the drawings of a twelve-year-old girl.  One mother used her son's pictures to make greeting cards; he now works on movies.  A father designed his business cards using a logo that his daughter had scribbled on paper.  It gave her quit a she is a graphic designer.  

When a child explores her creativity she discovers her potential.  When her potential is recognized and acknowledged, her future is secured.  Frame their art and suddenly it looks suitable for any gallery.  Hang it on the walls and they are ready to fly. 

Adapted from Wonderful Ways to Love a Childe, by Judy Ford 


Daily Math:  Traveling Activities

Will you be traveling this summer?  Here are a few math activities that you can do with your child...

  1. Discuss directions (north, south, east, and west) to give your child a sense of coordinates.  Use street maps to find travel routes and addresses.  Have your child estimate the time of your arrival and compare that to the actual time it took to arrive at a given destination.

  2. Have competitions when traveling.  Count red cars or see who can find the largest number formed by the numerals on a license plate.

  3. Have your child practice record and read the large number on license plates viewed.  Find the largest number in a given time period of travel.

  4. Estimate, then time how long before a street light changes.  Estimate, then count how many stores are in a block.

  5. Point out speed limits and distances between towns.  Talk about the time it takes to get from one town to another when you drive at different speeds.

  6. Have your child check the odometer in the car to determine distances on a trip....starting point and ending destination.

  7. Find the differences between certain distances traveled.  Find out how much farther you traveled on the first day than you did on the second day.

  8. Practice reading the numbers on the odometer. 

Adapted from Illinois Teachers of Mathematics

Get Your Way

Do you know how to get what you want from your family and friends without ordering them around or begging?  And do you know how to refuse a favor that you don't want to grant without antagonizing anybody?

Too many of us don't because we are leery of using manipulation to gain an end.  It's a mistake.  Our daily interpersonal relationships are tailor made for effective manipulation.

Mostly, it is a matter of approach and language and the use of the proper skills.  Here's one approach psychologists use that has merit.  It's call DEARMANN and her is how it works:

  • Describe what you want.

  • Express your feelings.

  • Ask clearly.

  • Reinforce your request.

  • Mindfully keep him focused on what you want.

  • Appearance keeps your both out of a corner and leaves a way out.

  • Nonjudgmental is the tone your should use.

  • Negotiate all over again if the first try falls flat

The point here is to be effective, to ask for things in a way that brings results, even if it does take you two or three passes to succeed.  In the end, you are lining up the other's support so that he wants to help you, thinks the whole thing is his idea. 

Adapted from Executive Strategies


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Don't worry about being wrong, just be right more often.


Reading at Home:  Phonics

In phonics, the child learns individual letter sounds and how to blend them to form words.  Where the sight approach is visually oriented, the phonics approach is auditory-oriented. Children learn beginning and ending consonant sounds, short and long vowel sounds, and rules for putting these sounds together.  They start by blending such words as "cat," "top," and "mud." 

National Education Association

Teach Patience

What is so nice and so unexpected about life is the way it improves as it goes along.  I think you should impress this fact on your children because I think young people have an awful feeling that life is slipping past them and they must do something...catch something...they don't quite know what, whereas they've only got to all comes. 

Nancy Mitford (1904-1973) 
Novelist and biographer

Your Imagination

The part of your mind that plays the greatest role in achieving the things that you want from life is that part of your mind that imagines.  It is a strange fact, in view of this, that this part of your mind is the one that is developed and controlled the least.  You spend years developing the part of your mind that stores knowledge, reasons, analyzes, judges, memorizes, and learns but almost no time in developing the immense power of your imagination.  Here are some interesting facts about this enormous personal power and the benefits you will receive by tapping its potential.

Fact No. 1:  Your imagination affects your emotions.  Scientists have discovered there is a kind of "hot line" running from the part of the mind that imagines to the part of the mind that controls your emotions.  This explains why you can imagine yourself in a frightening situation and actually get emotionally upset.  It is simply because your imagination is sending pictures directly to your emotional control center which, in turn, affects the feelings and functions of the body.

Fact No. 2:  Your imagination is more apt to act destructively rather than constructively unless managed by you.  All of your problems in living are rooted in your imagination. It is the imagination acting negatively that becomes congested by fear, doubt, worry, and makes you feel inferior, unhappy, and depressed.  It even keeps you from getting along with others and is the breeding place for jealousy, envy, suspicion and hate.  Letting your imagination run wild can be one of the most destructive forces in your life. 

Fact No. 3:   The untapped power of your imagination is almost unlimited. Psychologists say that, at the very most, people use only 10% to 20% of their mental potential.  They must certainly be referring to the imagination.  Your imagination is a rich source of ideas, mental pictures, and dormant forces that yu can use to develo9p0 your life into abundance and happiness.

Adapted from The Public School Administrator

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Remember, positive lessons are not always learned in positive ways..  

Marvelous May Links:

Peep and the Big Wide World:
  Look behind all the fun! See which science and math concepts are being explored as kids play our online games. If you want to take that exploration into the real world, we also suggest a few Anywhere Science and Math Activities to try.

Build a Monstor:  Created by Goobo, this site has several games that students can entertain themselves with.  One of the games requires flash.

Bubbles:  What is so fascinating about bubbles? The precise spherical shape, the incredibly fragile nature of the microscopically thin soap film, the beautiful colors that swirl and shimmer, or most likely, a combination of all these phenomena? Why does a bubble form a sphere at all? Why not a cube, tetrahedron, or other geometrical figure?

Fun With Music:  The San Francisco Symphony (SFS) created this site to share their love of music and are committed to music education, within the community and beyond. The website, in conjunction with live performances, provides a great way for people of all ages to hear, learn, and have fun with music.

Carmen San Diego Virtual Detective Agency: Presented by the publisher, Houghton Miflin, the site offers several games that students can play online.

Optical Illusions:  These pages demonstrate visual phenomena, and optical or visual illusions. The latter is more appropriate, because most effects have their basis in the visual pathway, not in the optics of the eye.

These pages demonstrate visual phenomena, and »optical« or »visual illusions«. The latter is more appropriate, because most effects have their basis in the visual pathway, not in the optics of the eye.
These pages demonstrate visual phenomena, and »optical« or »visual illusions«. The latter is more appropriate, because most effects have their basis in the visual pathway, not in the optics of the eye.
These pages demonstrate visual phenomena, and »optical« or »visual illusions«. The latter is more appropriate, because most effects have their basis in the visual pathway, not in the optics of the eye.


Enjoy the Bloom of a 
New Season

From the Knowledge HQ Staff

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