In The News
                        August 2007   Vol. 10-8

President’s Message

It is back to school time again!  How did that creep up on us so quickly?  In a blink of an eye, summer is almost over.  It has been a busy one for us.  No matter how we try to taper things down, there is always more to do.  For me, it is a pleasure.  Over the years I have been fortunate to be surrounded by people who have helped me to continue learning and growing.  I often feel that I am "losing it" when I can't remember something.  But, then I realize there is so much that we are called upon to know these days, that it is hard for anyone to keep track of everything....including an old mind.  I find the busyness invigorating. 

We are pleased to welcome back old subscribers (some have been with us for five years now) and to welcome new students.  Parents and students are becoming more and more interested in how online learning can help them.  There is much disillusionment with traditional schooling and the frustration seems to be growing.  

It is our position that online education has the capacity to change the way schooling has traditionally been delivered.  Online learning is a cost effective way for schools and school districts to meet the needs of their varied populations.  The paradigm must change, however.  To merely expect online education to mirror how traditional programs operate is a recipe for failure.  Our parents and students want and deserve a quality education that matches the advances which we see in business and industry throughout the world.   Unfortunately, there are many who would take a less controversial approach.  While we don't have all of the answers, our experience has shown that students of all ages can benefit from a rigorous course of study embracing the unique strengths the Internet has for learning.

Have a wonderful month!



Fall Special Ends August 31st!

Receive an additional five percent off the registration fee when enrolling for e-Tutor Virtual Learning before the end of August.  Simply put the word "Special07" in the referral spot on the entry form.  

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

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To know oneself, one should assert oneself. 

Albert Camus (1913-1960), Writer

 Learning with e-Tutor

Science Curriculum
e-Tutor offers twenty-three subjects in Language Arts, Mathematics, Science and Social Studies.  In the last few months we have been sharing with you the goals and objectives for subjects in each of these major curricular areas.  The subjects covered in Science include Astronomy, Biology, Botany, Ecology, Geology, Physics and Chemistry.  These subjects cross all grade levels with age-appropriate lesson modules that provide the skills and information necessary to be successful learners. 

Students will understand the composition and structure of the universe and Earthís place in it.

A.    Identify relative sizes and positions of bodies in the solar system.
B.     Describe earth as a sphere in the space and a part of the solar planetary system.
C.    Describe what is known about objects in the solar system.

Students will understand how living things function, adapt and change.

A.    Identify orderliness in nature and the schemes we use to express this order.
B.     Identify symmetries or patterns in the natural and physical world.
C      Identify fundamental entities which are useful in expressing the structure of nature.
D.       Understand cycles in which conditions or events are repeated at regular intervals.
E.        Understand organism as a system which can be characterized by the processes of life.

Students will understand how living things interact with each other and with their environment.

A.    Identify the growth responses of plants under differing environmental conditions. 
B.     Identify ways organisms adapt to life in various ecosystems or habitats.
C.    Describe the relationship of environmental conditions on the diversity of plants and animals.
D.    Describe how a community interacts with its physical environment. 

Students will understand properties of matter and energy and the interactions between them.

A.    Describe energy/matter and their various forms and relationships.
B.     Describe interactions of two or more things and the effect each has on the other.
C.    Describe how different atoms are categorized.
D.   Understand cause and effect relationships which allow predictions to be made.

Students will understand concepts that describe the features and processes of the Earth and its resources.

A.    Understand cycles in which conditions or events are repeated at regular intervals .
B.     Understand change including its rate, stages and mechanisms.
C.     Understand structure and function.
D.     Unders
tand force as push or pull.

Twenty-five 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.  



Welcome Koala Learning!

We are pleased to welcome Koala Learning Center to e-Tutor!   Koala Learning Center offers students in grades three to twelve a highly-personalized virtual studies program. Students use high-speed notebook computers to access e-Tutor lesson modules for their instructional program. The school is noted for awe-inspiring fieldtrips which support the learning experience. Koala Learning Center is located in Pembroke Pines, Florida.  

   The Book Case

              Watership Down
              by Richard Adams
              Ages Teens to Adults

Watership Down is the tale of a hardy band of Berkshire rabbits forced to flee the destruction of their fragile community and their trials and triumphs in the face of extraordinary adversity as they pursue a glorious dream called "home."  The story tells of the remarkable life that teems in the fields, forests, and riverbanks, far beyond our cities and towns.  We read of courage, leadership, and survival.  

Watership Down was first published in 1972. The book, originally began as a series of stories Adams told to his two young daughters on long car trips.  Adams's tale of a band of adventurous rabbits has become a huge success.   It has the rare distinction of being read by both children and adults and of receiving wide critical acclaim.

Listening Requires Effort

"Do you have trouble hearing?"  asked the teacher of a youngster who sat dreamily at his desk. 

"No, Ma'am," replied the boy, "I have trouble listening."

Most of us are like that.  The ability to listen is not an inborn trait.  It takes a conscious effort to do it well.  Successful listeners are people who:

  • Listen intently.  Their minds do not wander.  They concentrate on what the other person is saying.

  • Repress their own egos.  They don't interrupt.  Nor are they thinking only of what they want to say when the speaker finishes.

  • Are patient.  Nothing is more annoying than a person who has no patience to hear you out.

  • Are concerned.  They care about what the other person is saying because they care about that person. 


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Wake up with a smile and go after life....Live it, enjoy it, taste it, smell it, feel it. 

Joe Knapp


Helping Gifted Underachievers

According to the National Commission on Excellence in Education, half of gifted children underachieve.  Bright children are under many pressures.  

  • The pressure to be brilliant 

  • The pressure to be creative

  • The pressure to do something spectacular

  • The pressure to find one's self

  • The pressure to be popular

  • The pressure to be good

We can use different strategies to help bright children achieve.  The following may appear at first to be simple and obvious.  Yet, parents who have been able to carry them out have found parenting to be more pleasant and have discovered their children to be happier and more productive.

  1. Be consistent in setting goals for their children.  If one parent sets goals higher than the other parent, the child is likely to choose the easy way out and will learn a habit of avoiding challenging tasks.  If at all possible, do not ally with your child against your spouse, even subtly.

  2. Voice respect for education and educators.  Children will not work or learn from educators who are not respected by their parents.

  3. Be models of effort, work, and satisfaction of accomplishment.

  4. Emphasize the positive and plan fun family activities daily, even if family time is limited.  Television "zombie-ism" is not an appropriate substitute for family interaction.

  5. Discuss effort, problem-solving strategies, creative thinking processes and ways of dealing with failure so that children learn the routes to achievement.  

  6. Encourage independence and reasoning in their children but without giving them more power than they can handle.  Although gifted children often sound more like little adults than children, they are children.  An extraordinary vocabulary is not the same as maturity.  Parents should be clearly in charge and set limits, although children should be able to make choices and voice opinions within these limits. 

Adapted from Wisconsin Dept. Public Instruction

Get Organized!

School is just around the corner.  It's hard to manage schoolwork, with so many other demands on a student's time.  If your student wants to deal with everything on his schedule , then he'll need to learn to organize his time. 

Here are some important ways to get organized now so that as the months pass by, your student can do well in learning, score high grades and still have a life!

Write it down
The first step in organization is always to make checklists.  Start by making daily and monthly ones.  This will help you ensure setting effective targets and actually working toward them.

Do it now
Don't put anything important off for later.  "Later" never comes.  Sometimes we tend to spend more time thinking about what we want to do than we actually spend doing it.

Plan ahead
Jot down all the important events for the school year in a planner.  Put in deadlines, holidays and other important dates.

Throw things out
We know your student may not want to throw away those tickets to the first movie she ever saw, but if she wants to get organized, it time to throw things out.  Have your student get rid of clutter.  She'll thank you when she doesn't have to pull out the mouse cord from beneath a stack of papers every time she
wants to move it. 

Just say no
Make sure your student learns the art of saying no.  They often set out to do more than they can handle and will end up miserable and frustrated.  

Use your technology
Get a PDA or a digital diary to help your student keep track of important dates and events.  Or he can use free alarm or reminder software for his computer.

Adapted from The Next Step Magazine

The Innovator

An innovator is a trailblazer, a groundbreaker, a pioneer.  If you are innovative, you may have these characteristics;

  • Looks for new opportunities everywhere.

  • Challenges preconceived beliefs, biases and assumptions.

  • Spots trends before everyone else does.

  • Redefines goals continually.

  • Develops and tries your own ideas and watches for concepts you can borrow and apply in a different way.

  • Relies on intuition to assess risks, reads people and deals with complex decisions.

  • Thinks long-term and persists when others decide to quit.

  • Finds a way to do things when the odds are against them.

  • Seeks both positive and negative feedback from family members, friends and colleagues. 

  • Thrives on networking and building support to carry out projects. 

Adapted from Communication Briefings

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To have courage for whatever comes in life....everything lies in that. 

St. Teresa of Avila (1515-1582) Reformer


We can do only what we think we can do.  We can be only what we think we can be.  We can have only what we think we can have.  What we do, what we are, what we have, all depend upon what we think. 

Robert Collier

Hard Work and High Expectations: Motivating Learning

Popular opinion has it that students' academic success depends on the quality of their educators and textbooks.  Ask the students themselves, however, and you get a different view.  Here is how they account for their academic achievement:  Most students believe their ability and effort are main reasons for academic achievement.  By the same token, if asked whether they would prefer to be called smart or hard-working, they will choose smart almost every time.  Why?  Because they believe that hardworking students risk being considered either excessively ambitious or of limited ability,  both of which they would find embarrassing.  

To avoid unpopular labels, students....especially the brightest....believe they must strike a balance between the extremes of achievement, not too high and not too low.  Many students adopt an attitude of indifference to hard work, a stance that implies both confidence in their own ability and a casual regard for academic success.  

At the extreme, many low-achieving students deny the importance of learning and withhold the effort it requires in order to avoid the stigma of having tried and failed.  They are the consequence of long-standing, as well as, more recent conditions in schooling  that limit student effort and academic achievement.  

  1. Students have few incentives to study.

  2. Many educational policies discourage student effort.

  3. Peer pressure may discourage effort and achievement.

  4. Good intentions often backfire. 

Most parents want their children to do well in school and get good grades.  They also want their children to have friends and to participate in after-school activities.  Teenagers are encouraged not only to learn academics but also to develop a social life, get a job, find romance and pursue myriad other activities that compete with academics for their time and interest.  

Indeed, in its quest for the well-rounded student, we often steer the attention of students away from academic pursuits.  At e-Tutor we want students to learn to be responsible for their own learning.  A clear understanding of what is required of each student  is a first step in achieving academic success. 

Adapted from The Public School Administrator

Let Go When It's Time

Letting go does not begin when your children turn eighteen or twenty-one and box up their stuff and move out.  It begins in many little ways even when they are as young as two or three.  Many a parent has sent a child off to school for the first time, waving good-bye at the bus stop and crying buckets of tears.  Many parents have felt pain as they watched the coach keep their child sitting on the bench.

Opportunities for letting go continue throughout a lifetime, and it almost always hurts.  Not only do we want to protect our children from all the unfairness and pain, but we also want to share in their happiness and glory.  Sometimes they choose to share it with someone other than you. 

Letting go means watching as your children make their own way in the world without you.  Letting go means loosening your grip and your tendency to control.  It means letting them make their own mistakes and their own decisions.  Letting go is remembering that your children are not yours forever, but are gifts shared for a time.  Some parent hold on too tightly; others don't get involved enough.  Finding the balance can be tricky, but it you listen carefully, they will guide you: "Look, Mom, I cut my hair." "Dad, can I walk to the store:" Mom, I'm going to ride my bike to town....see you later."  Mom, I'm getting my belly-button pierced."  Dad, I've decided to backpack through Europe with my boyfriend."

Each of these milestones offers a new challenge.  How much you loosen your grip, of course, depends on your child's age and the circumstances, but you will nevertheless come face-to-face with such challenges almost every day of your child's like.  

As they assert more independence, that you will experience a loss is a given, but you can rest assured knowing you have loved them enough to let them go.  One mother said, "When you finally know your children are happy, you are never alone."

Adapted from Wonderful Ways To Love A Child, Judy Ford

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There is no one else who can ever fill your role in the same way, so it's a good idea to perform it as well as possible..

Henry Osmond (1917-2004) Psychiatrist

Awesome August Links:

Bio-Interactive:  This site is filled with bio activities and tools for students of all ages.  For younger children, choose "Cool Science for Curious Kids."  For older students, especially AP students, access the latest virtual tools for the geneticist, physician and immunologist in the virtual labs.  Take twenty minutes to be introduced to the tools of the trade (Flash required).  Take part in  a sequencing a strand of DNS, and identify the virus it belongs to.  Request Free CD-Roms of these activities if you are bandwidth challenged.  http://www.hhmi.org/biointeractive/click/index.html

This Nation:  Created by a political science professor, this nation is a guide for students and the voting public, on the US Government.  The online textbook starts with an introduction "Why Government?"  which explains some of the roles the government plays in our lives.  The library links to many documents, speeches and constitutions of other nations.  Under the area marked students, you will find some very tough self-grading quizzes.  This has the easiest method to find your elected officials.  

The Last Word:  Did you ever wonder....if you did, this site is for you.  Readers of NewScientist Magazine, a weekly publication from the UK, write in with unanswered science questions.  Have you noticed brown bread toasts more quickly than white bread....several reasons are suggested.  If your student is in search of interesting science fair projects, this may be the place to begin. (Caution: There are advertisements on this site.) http://www.newscientist.com/lastword.ns

The Five Paragraph Essay:  One of the ways to communicate is to write a clear and concise essay.  If this is a skill you are trying to teach your students, this website will give you multiple ways to achieve that goal.  Some of the resources involve getting stated, all about getting organized and knowing exactly what you need to do.  How to write an essay tells you exactly which each paragraph contains and offers tips for transitions and other tricky ideas. http://www.geocities.com/SoHo/Atrium/1437/index.html

Impressionism:  This unit leads students through the works of impressionist artists of France.  Lessons include a look at nine French impressionists, how their work shared common characteristics and how they viewed the world differently. 

Bird Sleuth:  The BirdSleuth curriculum is a series of inquiry-based science modules for elementary and middle school students, developed at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Students carefully observe birds, ask questions based on their observations, answer questions using data and publish original research.

Stay Cool This Month!

From the Knowledge HQ Staff

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