eNews                                          May 2014 Vol. 17-5

President's Message

Finally, we are having  a stretch of warmer weather.  What joy it is to get out for a walk, to hear the sound of birds and the warmth of the sun. I am enjoying planting flowers and replacing shrubs, even weeding.   

During the month I have spoken with several people, who are willing to listen to me, about the benefits of scaleable educational programming. Traditionally we have thought of education to be necessarily in the hands of a teacher with a student or group of children.  While one on one education is no doubt the best, I like the possibilities offered by an educational program which is scaleable to hundreds of thousands of students.  We have the technology to do such a thing.  However, we have to view schooling as something different than what it is today. With exceptional use of present-day technology, we can offer students throughout the country, indeed, the world, a first class educational program based on high standards, outstanding content and of high-interest to students. While there are pockets of innovation going on around the country, these still consider the classroom as the place of education. If we begin to look at learning space as different, perhaps we can view a future educational system that addresses the needs of all students, no matter the state, city or neighborhood they come from. Today's learning space consists of a school and classroom with teacher.  Why are we still bound by this tradition? 

We are failing a majority of children we purport to educate.  Over the last many years, our work has been to provide students and parents an alternative to traditional schooling. With the onset of our latest program, eTutor Unplugged, we have released instruction from the constraints imposed by current techniques and programs.  No matter what community or circumstance a students comes from they can access quality instruction over the internet.

  • Levels playing field for all students

  • Aligned to academic standards

  • Student guided

  • Parent involvement

  • Assessment and evaluation

  • Communication with others, peers, mentors, educators

  • Less expensive than current practice

So, time and space seem to be the stumbling blocks of such a program.  Are classrooms really necessary?  What role, if any, would teachers play?  Administrators? We need to trust student desire to learn in order to get past traditional thinking regarding schooling.

Consider that ninety-five percent of young people have a very powerful micro-computer in their hip pocket or purse. These young people are proficient in the use of technology and the programs such technology offers. Yet when they go into a school/classroom, they are asked to put these aside and go back to a way of schooling from yesteryear. We can do better. We must do better.  

The month has been one of remembrance, from Mother's Day to Memorial Day. We have so much to celebrate, so many to thank and so many to remember.  May we not forget what has been given us by so many.  Enjoy a beautiful month.


Enroll for Summer Courses Now! 

Registration for summer school and credit recovery courses 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.  Special pricing is available for a two and one half month program. 

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



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 Connecting Students and Families to the Best in Online Learning

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To be able to fill leisure intelligently is the last product of civilization. 

Bertrand Russell

Learning with eTutor

It is that time of year, when students and parents are looking for ways for learning to continue through the summer months.  Online learning has become a wonderful choice where traditional summer school is not offered or where an alternative to regular schooling is desired.

The student role is one that can change and evolve as a student progresses through the curricular levels. Starting as early as possible, students should begin to take responsibility for their own learning. This means applying oneself to his or her studies in a focused and serious manner, working hard, becoming engaged in the lesson modules and activities, exploring their personal interests, improving areas of academic weaknesses and capitalizing on individual strengths.

Students should consider that an online course requires additional time and effort. Time management is essential. Online courses are definitely more convenient and flexible, but are in some ways more demanding. Students should plan on spending twenty (20) hours a week working on their lesson modules for a full curriculum and 8-10 hours a week for a supplemental program.  At a minimum, students are required to login and perform work in their online lesson modules at least five times a week, dispersed throughout the week (i.e., not five visits in one or two days.

Students should verify to parents their ability to pursue online learning by stating that they are:

1.   Self-directed, highly motivated, and self-disciplined.

2.   An independent learner.

3.   Able access e-Tutor and send email.

4.   Able to manage their time wisely.

5.   Always able to finish what they start.


  We continue to edit eTutor instructional content to make it more adaptable for hand-held devices. 

Over 3500 Lesson Modules
are included in the 
eTutor Lesson Library!

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

Writers' Circle

As educational programs break for summer, it is an ideal time to create online instructional lessons for the next school year.  Use the template at to create online lessons to motivate and inspire your students to really delve into the concepts or skills about which you are teaching.  Interesting topics from LessonPro this month:  

  • The Art of Listening
  • Variables and Expressions
  • How To Solve Liner Inequalities
  • The Bluest Eyes
  • Completing the Square 
  • Voices of North Carolina 1861-65: Call to Arms!
  • Common Themes Across Cultures 
  • Hook Sentence

If you have questions or comments, please contact us.  We hope you will join The Writers' Circle today!

   The Book Case            

A String in the Harp 
by Nancy Bond 

Ages:  9 - 12 

In an ideal blend of absorbing fantasy and realistic fiction, A String in the Harp tells the story of 12-year-old Pete Morgan who, on a visit to Wales, finds a harp key that shows him scenes from the life of the ancient bard Taliesin. Set in both present-day and ancient Wales, this Newbery Honor title has become a contemporary classic.

Relates what happens to three American children, unwillingly transplanted to Wales for one year, when one of them finds an ancient harp-tuning key that takes him back to the time of the great sixth-century bard Taliesin.

1977 Newberry Honor  Book

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When I was younger, I could remember anything, whether it had happened or not. 

Mark Twain


Keep your learners engaged during the summer months. At only $1 per lesson module, it is a rare opportunity to experience the broad range of instructional content from eTutor. 

Expectancy and The Good Life......

Washington Irving once wrote:  "Great minds have purposes; others have wishes."  His insight leads to the realization that without expectancy, we lack purpose.  Achievers, in particular, exhibit this attitude of expectancy.  This shows itself most forcefully in the way they minimize their losses.  They do not grieve over failures or what might have been.  Rather, the achiever looks around the corner in anticipation of the good things that await him.  All he has to do, he believes, is show the determination to get there.  He rejects the notion of "can't."  As a result, he is able to open more doors than others, strike better deals and attract more energetic and resourceful people to work with him.  He sets higher standards and gets others to help him meet them.  He wins confidence and nurtures vitality in others.  He expects to succeed.  When combined with desire, expectancy produces hope.  And hope makes all things possible.  Living the expectant life is simply an act of good judgment.

The Making of An Achiever,  Allan Cox

The Value of Play

Everyone senses on some level that the ability to be spontaneous and to play is a basic need and an important characteristic of healthy human beings.  However, not everyone can channel this force for ultimate health and happiness.  Unfortunately, learning to play is something we must do as children; if we do not learn how to play as a youngster, often it is a skill that cannot be learned as an adult.  Teach your child how to use her brain, body, emotions and imagination as vehicles for celebrating her higher self.  When you teach your child to play, you are showing her the path of intellectual, social and emotional transformation...a path which ultimately leads to self-actualization! 

For our young children, everything they do is learning.  Adding fun to the doing and learning will make even the tedious seem like a game.  The more your child plays and does, the more opportunities, she has for finding favorites.  Imagine if you will, what would have happened if Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's family had never set him on a piano bench and place his little hands on the keys?  Nothing.  What a loss that would have been for the world.  One of your most important jobs as a parent is to find out what natural talents lie within your child.  

When a child is born, he has over a hundred billion brain cells.  Through play, trillions of synapses develop connecting these hundred billion cells in the brain.  Each time your preschooler plays a game, listens to music or stories from picture books and interacts with you, new synapses develop and the child's intellect is enhanced.  Play, although it sounds simple, must be taken seriously.  Play is your child's work!

Adapted from The Playful Preschooler,  Instructional Fair

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Youth is the trustee of posterity.

Benjamin Disraeli, English Prime Minister


An Investment That Will Not Return Void

Sure, the stock market may continue to fall or your new car could break down.   There's even a good chance that the expensive French shampoo you purchased may leave your hair dry and lifeless.  Many investments can leave you wondering why you ever invested the time or the money.  

Believe it or not, there is an investment that will not return void.  In the words of Garrison Keillor, "Nothing that you do for children is ever wasted."  The stories, songs, chauffeuring, dance classes, soccer coaching, model cars, recitals, concerts and lessons and even the sleepovers....are investments of time and care that will reap a lifetime of fullness and value for the child who benefits.  

Adapted from School Public Relations Service

Protect Your Child From Crime

Every day, children of all ages are victimized by crime.  You can help make sure your child stays safe.  Following are some tips from a book on ways to protect your child:

  • If your child comes home to an empty house after school, have him or her empty the mailbox.  Most burglaries occur during the day, when the house is empty.  A full mailbox tells a burglar there is no one home. 

  • Be sure your child knows how to find a police officer or other responsible adult when necessary.  The authors say they spoke with one child who believed that police automatically show up when there is trouble.  Good sources of help are store clerks, outdoor work crews or anyone wearing a uniform.

  • Remind children to avoid back stairs, deserted buildings and secluded short cuts. 

  • Try not to frighten your children or be overly anxious yourself.  The authors note that making children overly fearful can do as much long-term damage as a brush with crime. 

76 Ways to Protect Your Child from Crime, Jerry Simmons and George McCall


Reading Out Loud

When reading orally, children must not only decode the printed words on a page, they must also communicate the author's meaning to others by varying the voice volume, pitch, phrasing, pauses, tone and reading rate.  When reading orally, children must understand what they are reading in order to communicate the meaning successfully.  As a result, the regular practice of oral reading boosts children's comprehension, producing gains that will transfer to their silent, independent reading of fiction or nonfiction.  

Oral reading also provides opportunities for those not reading to sharpen their listening skills and become active, involved listeners.  Some activities to increase oral reading skills: 

  1. Reading Specific Sentences Aloud.  Have your child read a passage silently.  Ask questions and direct him/her to locate and read the sentence that has the answer.

  2. Multimedia Models.  Play records and tape recordings of poetry, prose and plays.  Encourage discussion of  the way the speakers use their voices to convey meaning. 

  3. Reading Duets.  Have your child choose a reading partner.  Alternate the partners as readers and listeners.

  4. One Minute or Less Oral Reading Fun.  Provide daily opportunities for your child to read orally, such as reading notices, signs or advertisements.

  5. Choral Reading and Play-Reading.   Select poems, dramatic scenes from stories or story description  to rehearse for choral readings.  Model the chosen selection.  Have your child choose a part to practice reading orally.

  6. Recording Oral Reading.  Tape or video record plays, choral readings or radio dramas that your child has prepared and practiced.

Adapted from Silver Burdett


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The teacher, whether mother, priest or schoolmaster, is the 
real maker of history.

H. G. Wells

Marvelous May Links - Inventions:

Instructables Step-by-Step Collaboration:  Find out how to make millions of cool things such as a pinball machine table and a 3-D scanner! You can also add your cool projects to the site.

Power Play: A fun online game to "capture power" by putting together some crazy virtual machines. You'll need the free Flash Player.

The Grid on Try Science: What's "grid computing" and how can it solve huge problems like finding a cure for cancer? You'll learn through several online and offline activities available on this site. You'll need the free Flash Player.

Invention At Play:  Play exciting interactive games and learn how play connects to the creative impulse of inventors. This site was developed by the Lemelson Center at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History in partnership with the Science Museum of Minnesota. You'll need the free Flash Player.

First Flight: This visually attractive site explores the Wright brothers' first flight. You can check out the experiments that lead to the successful flight. The site includes a flight simulator that requires the Shockwave Player.


We want to hear from you even during the summer months! Happy June! 

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