In The News                          Summer 2010   Vol. 13-03


Presidentís Message 

It seems hard to believe that we are three quarters through the year.  Where has the time gone?  We continue to be extremely busy and have welcomed many, many new students and their families to the e-Tutor program.  

The first of July we closed the Chicago office and have centralized all major business to Boulder, Colorado.  We still have a telecommuter, Kate, in the Chicago area.   Many of you have spoken to her or your students may be working with her.  She will continue to provide the excellent service to us that all of us have become accustomed to.  

There were many reasons for making the change in our business operations.  Boulder has a vibrant tech community and we have been able to tap into some of the excellent resources available to us here.  The e-Tutor program is being totally reconstructed from the bottom up.  Over the years we have made many changes to the program which have provided added benefits for our students and parents, but that has also come with some costs.  The new program will look and feel differently.  Many new features will be added and the speed and ease of use will even become greater than what you are used to.  In the next few months we may be contacting a few of you to give the new program a try.  If you are interested in being in this select group of users, please send us an email at admin@e-tutor.com to let us know of your interest. 

We so enjoy what summer offers in our communities.  One of our favorite places to go on Saturday mornings is the local Farmer's Market.  Each week we come home laden with fruits, vegetables, and goodies from local producers.  We take the opportunity to meet with friends, eat a bit and enjoy performances by local artists. 

Afternoons and early evenings can find us out on walks and hikes taking advantage of the cooler hours.  It gives us a chance to reconnect with the splendors nature has to offer, visit with neighbors and meet new ones and relax after a busy day at the computer.  

Many of your may recall that gardening is one way I like to relax a bit each day.  While I continue to monitor a new breed of flower in a different climate, I find I am not spending as much time tending the new buds as I would like.  In spite of time restraints, I've enjoyed learning about different plants that will thrive in this new climate while still relying on some of my old favorites.  Hopefully by next year I will see the results of my meager efforts this year.  

Please enjoy the remainder of this wonderful summer of 2010.  We hope you will continue to stay in touch with us and will let us know how your summer is going.

Best wishes from Boulder, Colorado  


Enroll Now for Fall Courses 

It is that time of year again when many parents and students are looking for the educational program that will meet their needs.  Don't delay in signing up your students for the school year.  e-Tutor is accepting enrollment right now.  You can enroll at https://www.e-tutor.com/enroll.php or call 877-687-7200.  We look forward to welcoming many new students, as well as receiving those students who have taken a break for the summer months.   

 

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I never have let my schooling interfere with my education.

Mark Twain





Learning with eTutor

We have worked many years to provide a program which gives you an alternative to what students experience in regular public and private schools.  eTutor will help you solve the problems your child is facing in regular education.

The difference between regular school and online learningÖÖ.

Online education represents a new kind of challenge for students. Each studentís and parentís expectations differ widely, and the eTutor response may not always meet expectations. There are some things all students can expect. Students can expect to be challenged academically. They can expect to not understand everything they experience in an online educational program. They can expect to not always see the relevance of what they are asked to do. But, they also can expect that resources will be available to help them.

It may seem obvious, but it sometimes comes as a shock to students that online learning will require increased academic skill. Consider the following:

Traditional School

eTutor Online Education

  • Attendance is required

 

  • Attendance is not enforced
  • Teachers often test over clearly reviewed materials

 

  • Three forms of testing take place in each e-Tutor Lesson Module: Self Check (Problem Statement), Parent Review (Activities and Extended Learning), Quizzes and Exams are automatically scored by eTutor.  e-Tutor emphasizes critical thinking and problem solving skills
  • Students study an average of one hour per week per class

 

  • Students are expected to complete no more than four lesson modules each day and to spend one to one and a half hours on each lesson module. 
  • Weeks are full of structured activities

 

  • Possibilities for family, individual and outside involvement are endless and sometimes overwhelming
  • Teachers often remind students of deadlines, overdue work, and their current grades

 

  • eTutor expects students, with parents assisting, to schedule their own learning program and to keep track of the number of lesson modules completed, as well as scores for quizzes and exams.
  •  Class structure is discussed in detail at the beginning of the year

 

  • Recommended learning programs are spelled out in the original email that goes to parents.
  • Teachers can usually be found in their classrooms throughout the day

 

  • eTutor can be contacted anytime 24/7 via email.  Response is within twenty-four hours.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eighty-seven New Lesson Modules  
were added to the 
eTutor Lesson Library since our last eNews!

Join the e-Tutor world of learning today to view 
over 3,000 lesson modules.  

www.etutor.com



   The Book Case            

My Father's Dragon
by Ruth Stiles Gannett
Grades 3 - 5
              

Elmer Elevator hears about a  baby dragon being held on Wild Island from a stray cat he took in.  He decides to go and run away from home and rescue it.  He stows away on a ship and manages to seek out the Island of Tangerina, which was right next to Wild Island.  Elmer must rescue the baby dragon, but he will have to face all the other animals on the island to do it. 


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Teach your children that "life ain't fair."

 

Using the Newspaper for Learning

Your daily newspaper, either in paper form or online, provides a source of inexpensive learning activities.  As well, getting your child into the habit of reading, the newspaper will benefit him throughout life.  Here are some ways to use the newspaper to help your child achieve in learning.

  • Choose a "person of the week."  Cut out a photo of this newsmaker and place it in a prominent place.  During the week, encourage her to read as much as she can about the famous person.  Try to include a range of male and female celebrities, athletes, and world leaders of all nationalities and races. 

  • Use the weather map to learn geography.  Check out the temperature in the cities where relatives or friends live. 

  • Use newspaper information to make charts and graphs.  A sports fan can track batting averages.  A future financial analyst can chart fluctuations in the stock market. 

  • Discuss an editorial on a controversial issue with your child.  Discuss whether you agree or disagree with the point of view expressed.  Then, listen to your child's point of view.  Encourage him to write a letter to the editor in response to what you read.  This is a good way to share and explore values.

  • Understanding sequence is an important reading skill.  Cut comic strips into individual panels.  Have young children place them in the correct order.  Or, for older children, follow a story for a week and discuss how and why events unfolded. 

  • Look through the newspaper to learn about free activities in your community.  You may find out about concerts, plays, story tellers, or dance performances.  Plan to enjoy one of these activities with your family.

American Association of School Administrators


Why Superheroes are 
Seriously Super

Spider-Man, The Incredibles, Wonder Woman.....A lot of kids love imitating these mighty superheroes, battling the bad guys and flexing their superpowers.  You, however, may be less than thrilled about the idea...the running, the jumping, the fighting.  "But from a psychological standpoint, superhero worship can be beneficial," says Jeff Greenberg, Ph. D., a professor of social psychology at the University of Arizona.  "Kids are pretty powerless and vulnerable, so pretending they are superheroes is one way for them to gain a sense of confidence and competence in a positive way."  

Think of it this way:  We all want to feel like we're doing good in the world, but 6-year-olds don't necessarily understand how a doctor, scientist, or lawyer can have an important impact.  The concepts of their work don't resonate very well yet.  A superhero, however, can hold up a building and save hundreds of people!  Now that a kid can understand.  And rest assured, the whole superhero thing is a phase that will pass as your child gets older and begins to find other ways to nurture his confidence.  "But for now," says Greenberg, "I say let him pretend.  What parent doesn't want a creative, accomplished-feeling kid?"  We couldn't agree more.

Parenting Magazine


 

Allow Them to Love Themselves

A little person who loves himself grows up to be a responsible adult, able to live life fully.  High self-esteem is the best foundation for your children's future.  Experts in child development tell us that when children have high self-esteem they are able to learn and function better in school, they have friends, they feel connected with others, and they know they belong.  They are competent, can make meaningful decisions, and are willing to try.  They are optimistic, curious, and enjoy life.  Loving oneself develops true character that cannot be swayed by such things as peer pressure or the countless outside influences your child will surely face.

Helping your children accept themselves just as they are is what unconditional love is all about.  So above all else, don't base your love on what they do, but rather simply on the fact that they exist.  

When a little person finds herself through the miracle of self-acceptance, her life becomes a self-fulfilling journey; suddenly she's powerful enough to bravely cope with all the challenges and the ups and downs that life will bring.  The bonus is, as she learns to be compassionate toward herself, love for others is sure to follow. 

Wonderful Ways to Love a Child, Judy Ford

 

Page 4


Teach your child that a closed fist cannot accept a gift and a closed mind cannot accept ideas.  

 

Something to Live For

We must have something to live by, to live on, and to live for.  We must stand aside fro the world's conspiracy of fear and hate and grasp once more the great monosyllables of live:  faith, hope, and love.  Men must live by these if they live at all under the crushing weight of history.  

Otto Pay Kretzmann (1901-1975)
Theologian and University President


The Seed of New and Different Ideas - Creativity

Creativity cannot be taught as facts are memorized, but it may flourish under conditions that give first consideration to understanding the individual and her/his uniqueness. The following suggestion may be helpful in understanding and encouraging creativity.

Cultivate the habit of questioning assumptions.  Hold the belief that an open mind does not accept or reject but continues to inquire, to investigate, to experiment in order to discover new knowledge, new information that may prove beneficial.  All answers have not been found, new horizons are ever open to the inquisitive person who is aware and seeks out and continues to ask questions.  Try to examine a problem from all its angles and facets.  To cut off this natural curiosity with stereotyped pat answers which leave little or no room for further investigation means to stifle the chances of discovery.  If mankind had not questioned down through the ages, progress or change would have been impeded.  Try not to oppose ingenuity and change.  Welcome new thoughts and questions. 

The Public School Administrator


Worrisome Reading Traditions

There are some reading traditions that most of us experienced in school which we now expect our children to experience.  One of these is "workbook pages."  You probably think of them as representing the basics of reading.  However, recent research show that workbook pages have little to do with success in reading.  On the other hand, lots of reading does relate to success in reading.  Children become better readers by reading, which is the best practice.

Another tradition is phonics.  Some parents worry if children don't do lots of phonics at school.  We know that children must develop an understanding of the sound/letter correspondences of English and the spelling patterns of words in order to decode.  However, we know that studying lots of phonics in isolation for an extended period of time is more than most children need. 

It is now recommended that phonics instruction be reduced and that learning should focus on key ideas, to be taught efficiently in short lessons, and to be completed by the end of second grade.  Short periods of focused phonics instruction will give your children more time to practice reading texts and stories.

In addition, we know that many children develop their own systems for figuring out how to pronounce words.  If these children need any instruction in phonics, it need not be the same as for other students.  Finally we know that many children develop much of their knowledge about this system through reading complete stories. 

Reading is not just "sounding out words."  Reading is the process of constructing meaning through the dynamic interaction between the reader, the book, and the reading/learning situation.  In reading instruction we work toward developing readers who are independent problem solvers and who will integrate reading into their lives for information and enjoyment.

Adapted from Wisconsin Dept. of Public Instruction

Page 5


Teach your child to wear their learning like a watch and pull it out whenever he needs it.  

Super Summer Links:

Salt: The Essence of Life:  Salt is an essential component of our daily lives with more than 14,000 known uses. Many of these uses derive from the chemical properties of sodium and its essential role in human and animal nutrition. Salt, thus, can be used to illustrate -- and teach -- principles of chemistry, biology, geology, history and economics, among others. http://www.saltinstitute.org/Education-Center/High-school-teachers

Science, Optics and You:  This is a science curriculum package being developed for teachers, students, and parents. The activities are designed to promote the asking and answering of questions related to light, color, and optics. The program begins with basic information about lenses, shadows, prisms, and color, leading up to the use of sophisticated instruments scientists use to help them understand the world. The goal of Science, Optics and You is for students to acquire the skills with which they can do microscopic analysis of a variety of samples in multiple ways. 
http://micro.magnet.fsu.edu/optics/

Global Warning, Kids Site:  Earth has warmed by about 1ļF over the past 100 years. But why? And how? Well, scientists are not exactly sure. The Earth could be getting warmer on its own, but many of the world's leading climate scientists think that things people do are helping to make the Earth warmer.  http://www.epa.gov/globalwarming/kids/index.html

The History of Ballooning:  The caged duck looked down as terra firma slowly drifted away. Above the duck, a balloon, constructed of paper and fabric, provided the lift necessary to carry aloft the duck and its companions, a sheep and a rooster. This Nova site offers a fascinating picture of early ballooning. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/balloon/science/history.html

D-Day History:  The Education Department at The National WWII Museum is provided to help students learn more about WWII and to learn about how WWII has helped shape the world we live in today. The generation of Americans who came to adulthood during the 1930s grew up in a world shadowed by extraordinary economic and military threats.
http://www.nationalww2museum.org/education/for-students/world-war-ii-history.html

Leo the Lion: Leo, the Lion, is a very majestic feline. This constellation is easy to find because his head looks like a backward question mark with the bright star Regulus at the bottom. Leo is also close to the Big Dipper, which you may have already seen. 
http://www.windows.ucar.edu/the_universe/leo.html

 

Celebrate the last of summer!

From the Knowledge HQ Staff

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