eNews                                           July 2014 Vol. 17-7

President's Message

Summer blossoms this month!  Have you noticed how quickly the summer is passing?  This is such  relaxing time of year. It is hard to believe that our students will be going to school again in another month.   

Our staff works through the summer....but many of us celebrate our home location by taking advantage of the sights, sounds and culture around us.  During the summer there are many concerts, plays, festivals and outdoor activities in my part of the world. It is fun to put away the car keys and walk to many of these wonderful functions. The warm weather, even hot, beckons us out of doors. I like to have friends and family over for backyard games, chats and food.  It is a friendly time of year and it seems to pass all too soon each year. 

We continue to pursue large educational agencies in an effort to introduce them to the concept of scaleable learning. Our technology gives us advantages that we have not had in the past to provide quality learning to large groups of students.  As those in charge of educational programming make decisions and prepare for a new year of instruction,  using online technology we can provide content for multiple methods used for instruction, flipping, blended learning, supplemental, gifted, remedial. During the next school year many more students will have access to computer tablets and laptops. How these technology purchases are used by educators for instruction will determine the worthiness of the investments.

Continue to enjoy a wonderful summer. 


Enrollment for School Year 2014-2015 Begins

It is hard to believe that another school year is upon us.  Enrollment for the new school year has begun. Our students will be happy to see a new format to lesson modules this year.  All eTutor curriculum is accessible on hand held computers, such as tablets and smart phones.  While many students of eTutor Virtual Learning take a break from their instructional program during the summer, we encourage new enrollees to register now. There is a discount in fees for those who enroll by quarter, semester or full year.  

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



Connect to Us

 Creating Community! 

Parents and students like to stay connected with one another. While there is no one 'best' way to engage in the eTutor community, the following are several ways we have found to be the most useful..

   Facebook - Don't forget to "Like" us. 

   Twitter - Sign up to receive our tweets.   

   eTutor Blog - You have an opportunity to really express yourself here.   

  Pinterest - You will find favorites from our newsletters here.  

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You must be like a rubber're most useful when you stretch. 

Learning with eTutor

eTutor Focuses on Creativity
Internet technology gives us an opportunity to do something different in education.  We believe that in order for online education to succeed it must be different than what is offered in instruction today and it should foster creativity.  All online learning should be highly interactive.  There should not be long passages to read, or long videos to watch. Students should do something meaningful every few seconds. Without this we have a deadening effect on creativity for many students.

Online learning should continuously adapt to the individual learner.  In this adaptive environment students can discover much of their knowledge individually.
Most educational curriculum on the Internet has been adapted from other learning materials.  These educational offerings include web-quests, games, targeted topics and reference links. eTutor has incorporated the best of each of these in a format that replicates the best qualities of instruction for the Internet.

eTutor lessons include many parts….vocabulary, lesson problem, resources, study guide, activities, extended learning and evaluation.  eTutor lessons incorporate related websites within the body of each study guide that reinforce the concepts or skills being taught in the lesson. 

The eTutor program helps students to take sensible risks and the program rewards their risk taking. This is a giant step toward creativity. 


  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

Just one more month to prepare online instructional content for your students. Use LessonPro! 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:  

  • Relation of B/W Electric Field and Potential
  • Cancer Biology
  • Powergraphs
  • The Power of Drugs
  • Human Rights 
  • Similarity
  • The Devil and Tom Walker 
  • Squares and Square Roots

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

   The Book Case            

The Secret River
by  Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings
Illustrated by Diane and Leo Dillon 

                           Ages:  4 - 10 


There are no fish left in the rivers and streams; hard times have come to the forest, and everyone is poor and hungry. Calpurnia is determined to find fish for her father to sell in his shop. Mother Albirtha, the wisewoman, advises her to follow her nose to a secret river teeming with fish. She finds this amazing river and politely asks the fishes’ permission to catch some of them. On her long journey home she shares her catch with several animals and, of course, Mother Albirtha. Father sells the fish for promises of payment, which are all fulfilled, and soft times come to the entire community. In this reworking of a classic tale, Rawlings’ voice is warm and tender, employing lilting syntax and descriptive language that resonates with warmth and humor. Calpurnia is a sweet delight, at once poet and adventuress, whimsical and practical, filled with love and compassion. The Dillons’ glorious, glowing earth-toned acrylic illustrations capture Calpurnia’s spirit and soul and imbue the tale with images that are nothing short of breathtaking. Magical.  

1956 Newberry Honor  Book

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I am a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it. 

Stephen Leacock

 eTutor Unplugged makes it easy for educators to offer students online learning in twenty-seven different subjects.  Parents can choose individual lesson modules to reinforce regular school learning. eTutor Unplugged is the ideal solution for individual or large groups of learners.  Try a few of the student lesson modules and let us know your comments. 

A Child's Freedom of Choice 
Versus Parental Choice

Every child....every human being....needs and wants to exercise her or his own individuality and autonomy. Parents can decide what areas are comfortably left to the child's freedom of choice and what areas are subject to parental discretion. To try to control every aspect of the child's life not only smothers the child's sense of worth, but it also causes the parents to waste time and effort on things that are not really essential.

In disciplining children, parents need to maintain consistency of thought and action. It is confusing and unfair to tell children they can't have dessert because they didn't eat their vegetables, and then give them dessert anyway to stop their fussing.  It is also inconsistent to demand with equal force that a child stop playing with matches and that he or she stop picking on a younger brother or sister. 

While it is important that children develop a sense of self-worth based on the fact of their unique existence, the task of instilling such a degree of self-acceptance is not easy. 

National Education  Association

Must Winning Be Everything?

Of course you want your children to earn good grades.  You encourage them to participate in sports and other activities.  But when does encouragement become excessive pressure?

An obsession with perfect grades may actually interfere with learning by keeping children from taking appropriate risks.  Some students are reluctant to sign up for a physics or calculus class for fear of spoiling  a straight A average. Some children can't form close friendships with peers, who are seen consistently as competitors. Some respond by developing emotional or stress disorders and others simply stop trying, since they view perfection as a hopeless goal.  

Sports offer another source of frustration for some kids. The National Youth Spots Coaches Association has expressed concern about parents who live vicariously through their children, pushing them to become star athletes. Unnecessary pressure drives some kids to cope by abusing drugs and alcohol.  In a society that often values winning over being nice, how can parents avoid pressuring their kids too much?

Reward good grades with praise and respond to poor grades with simple words of encouragement or offer to provide help (a tutor, for example).  Avoid rewarding good grades with presents, such as money or car use and withdrawing them if grades fall.  The point is to teach kids to value intrinsic rather than extrinsic rewards. Learning, or enjoying an activity just for the sake of it, can relieve the pressure to always be the winner.

Most importantly, let your children know you accept them as human beings. They are individual's with their own set of abilities and talents.   Try to resist comparing them to other children...including brothers and sisters. No one can be perfect at everything, first time, every time.  Your children need to know that their personal best can make you just as proud as a blue ribbon.

Adapted from Illinois School Public Relations

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When people share their fears with you, share your courage with them.


Just Arrived!

Our children have not been on the earth very long. Sometimes we forget that the children have just arrived on the earth, and we expect way too much, way too soon.  We become impatient, urging them to learn it all, know it all, and "act their age," whatever that means.  Although it is true that children learn quickly about  life by observation, it is unrealistic to expect them to be on top of it all and always get it right. 

When you find yourself beginning every sentence with "Don't," stop and ask yourself, "Have I explained what I do want?  Have I showed him how to shut  the door softly?  Have I explained how to get my attention when I'm busy?" Explaining the dos works much better than constantly harping on the don'ts.   Try this three-time teaching and practice formula:  

Share information three times in three different ways. 

Give your children lots of practice time for whatever they are learning, and remind yourself that, after all, they have been here a very short time. 

Adapted from Wonderful Ways to Love a Child by Judy Ford

Get Your Child to Open Up

Buried underneath that sullen look is someone who does want to talk to you. REALLY.  Imagine what it might feel like for your son to say, "Hey there, Mom.  I'm starting to have some feelings about girls.  Can we chat?" Ain't gonna happen.  It can be scary or embarrassing for him to bring up touchy topics.  And a lot of topics are touchy to kids this age.  Try a tactful game of 20 questions.  

Open with something such as, "It seems like you're upset.  Do you want me to try to guess what's bothering you?"  Then ask your child to tell you if you are hot or cold." You could also ask if he wants to write a note for you to read...either right away or after he's in bed.  Anything that takes your child off center stage may help him open up.  If he's not ready to talk, let him know you're always available later, and then lit it go for now.

Sometimes the indirect approach works even better.  When you are hanging out with your child and he's feeling comfortable, resist the urge to probe.  Beat around the bush a little instead.  Ask a question like "Hey, if you were interviewed by a reporter, what would you tell him are the best things about fourth grade?  And the worst?" Or, "If a genie gave you three wishes right now, what would they be?  And if the genie could erase three things that really worry you, what would those be?"

Yes, your smart child may figure out what you're up to. But that's okay.  If he really does want to tell you what's on his mind, he just needs a safe way to do it. 

Adapted from Parenting, Laurie Zelinger, Ph.D.

It's Not Done That Way

Don't listen to those who say, "It's not done that way." Maybe it's not, but maybe you will do it anyway.  Don't listen to those who say, "You're taking too big a chance." Michelangelo would have pained the Sistine floor,  and it would surely be rubbed out by today.

Most important, don't listen when the little voice of fear inside you rears its ugly head and says, "They are all smarter than you out there.  They are more talented, they are taller, blonder, prettier, luckier, and they have connections.  The have a cousin who took out Meryl Streep's baby-sitter...."

I firmly believe that if you follow a path that interests you, not to the exclusion of love, sensitivity, and cooperation with others, but with the strength of conviction that you can move others by your own efforts, and do not make success or failure the criteria by which you live, the chances are you will be a person worthy of your own respect.

Adapted from Playwright Neil Simon

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Pride is something we have.  Vanity is something others have.

Links for July:

Off the Map:  A look at backyard paradises created by visionary artists. These people did not consider themselves to be artists ? but what they have built is amazing and very difficult to categorize.

Cool Cosmos: Learn about infrared light through fun games, cool movies, images, and more. Classroom activities and a Spanish-language version of the site are also available. You'll need the free Flash plug-in to access the Flash version of the site. HTML version also available.

Chemsoc Timeline: Super cool chemistry timeline with funky art. You can enter the Flash version or html version. Each entry lists the date, a pictorial representation, a small paragraph about the event, and links for further information. You can also suggest a historic event for inclusion in the timeline.

Virtual Cave:  Does popcorn grow in caves? Do sharks' teeth exist there too? Find out by checking out the beautiful photos of natural cave features at this site.

Smithsonian Institution - The Ocean Portal: A beautiful website containing these sections: Ocean Life & Ecosystems, Photo Essays, The Ocean Over Time, Ocean Science, and The Ocean & You. There's also an Educators section that has lesson plans, activities, and ways to use the Ocean Portal's features.


We hope you are enjoying your summer! 

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