_In The News                      September 2004   Vol. 7-9


Presidentís Message
 Welcome to all new students, parents and educators!  And a resounding WELCOME BACK! to all returning students.  We look forward to a busy year ahead and are pleased to have all of you in the e-Tutor world of learning.  

Our thoughts and prayers go out to those who live in the hurricane ravaged parts of our country.  We have received calls from several of you.  The news has been startling to those of us not affected by the storms.  Subscriber who have had to leave the area are still able to keep up with their studies through e-Tutor.  We are happy that the program has offered some continuity in lives that have had to deal with so much.  

This month we have started a very lengthy and time-consuming process.  We have been accepted to go through the The Commission on International and Trans-Regional Accreditation (CITA)  process. Ultimately it will give us North Central Association accreditation as well.  We hope the results we give us the option of offering diplomas to our graduates.  

The process requires us to look at all aspects of the e-Tutor program, including our purpose, organization, educational program, student services, staff, business practices, records and evaluation.   The process is meant to improve the quality of the services we provide students, parents and educators.  We look forward to doing a bit of bragging.  We feel e-Tutor is unique among distance education programs provided over the Internet.

If you would like to provide input into the process please give us a call at 877-687-7200.  We are successful because of you!  I hope you will take advantage of this very important study.  

Enjoy this transition month and the beauty it brings as it takes us from one season into another.  

Homeschool Corner

Did you know that approximately 87 percent of e-Tutor subscriber are being homeschooled.  We are pleased to work with these talented young people.  To provide information for parents, students and educators, we have created a website expressly for homeschoolers at  Homeschool Corner.  You will find  interesting information by reading through some of the postings on the bulletin board.  Students who are homeschooled have proven their expertise in national spelling and geography bowls.  They are being accepted in top ranked universities and colleges throughout the country. Homeschooling is a growing area in education.   Learn more about the homeschooling movement at Homeschool Corner.

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Good listeners are not only popular everywhere bur after awhile, they know something.

Learning with e-Tutor:

Many new subscribers have joined the e-Tutor learning community.  We welcome subscribers from around the world. And as our numbers grow questions arise about how best to use e-Tutor.  While this is, for the most part, an individual decision, there are some things that we can pass on that might make the learning experience more enjoyable.  Whether new or a long-time subscriber, the following may help you in getting around e-Tutor.   

  • e-Tutor is used by many subscribers as their main curriculum.  We recommend supplementing the online program with good literature books, texts and workbooks when available. 

  • Approximately ten fully completed lessons are comparable to one unit of high school credit.   

  • A simple file system is helpful for both parents and students in following up with Activities and Extended Learning.  Students can place their work in the folders when completed.  Parents know where to find the work and it provides a way for students to see their progress. Please use these as a springboard for discussion. 

  • Parents can view lessons before students by going to the student login.  Select Curricular Area and then Subject Area.  Click on a lesson and then go to "Print Lesson."  A pop-up window will show the complete lesson. Return to the menu to view additional lessons.

  • Each e-Tutor lesson has a question bank with anywhere from 20 to 60 questions.  Each time a students takes a quiz, the questions as well as the answers are rotated. 

  • Parents should take an active role in the teaching-learning process when using e-Tutor.

  • e-Tutor has over 1,600 lessons


Join the e-Tutor world of learning today to view the Lesson Library.  


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Success is a marathon, not a sprint. 

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 Sports Coaches Association expresses concern about parents who live vicariously through their children, pushing them to become star athletes.  Because of this pressure, the Association estimates that almost 70 percent of all children who start participating in youth sports drop out by age 13.  Most say they are "burned out."

In a society that often values winning over being nice, how can parents avoid pressuring their kids too much?  The National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) suggests that parents reward good grades with praise and respond to poor grades with simple words of encouragement or offer to provide help (a tutor, for example).  NASSP urges parents to avoid rewarding good grades with such presents as money or car use and withdrawing them if grades fall.  The point is to teach kids to value intrinsic rather than extrinsic rewards. 

The National Youth Sports Coaches Association has developed a Parents' Code of Ethics to help parents keep sports competition in proper perspective.  Among other things, parents pledge to place emotional and physical well-being of their children ahead of winning, to insist that children play in a safe and healthy environment, to do their best to make youth sports fun for their children and to remember that the game is for children and not for adults.  

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. 

IASB School Public Relations Service

Experience is what enables you to recognize a mistake when you make it again.

Earl Wilson

The Middle Years

From the time children enter school until the onset of adolescence, their lives are much more relaxed than during the preschool or teen years.  It is easy then for parents to sit back and enjoy the relative calm between two storms.  But this is really the last opportunity to build a close personal relationship with your children before they start breaking away to adulthood and it should not be lost. 

During this time, children learn both independence and dependence.  At the same time that they acquire the ability to do more things for themselves they are also learning when they can count on security and guidance from their parents. 

Receiving praise for their accomplishments helps children to see themselves as worthy individuals.  They will begin to form an opinion of themselves that reflects the opinion you....and such other adults, as teachers....convey to them.  Avoid downgrading about weaknesses; shun belittling terms such as "stupid" or "ridiculous."  Talk proudly of their strengths and realistically about their weaknesses and your children will adopt the same attitudes.  The measure of support, interest and time you give children at this stage will make the difference in whether they grow up with an attitude of self-confidence or self-doubt.

National Education Association



We saw many superstars at the recent Olympics.   This information is important for all of us.  Never believe your own clippings.  Nobody can do everything, but sudden success can bedazzle you into trying.  It is not a good idea. More is expected of superstars.  If you can handle two crises well, why not four?   And besides, that was yesterday.  What have you done today?  Sound cruel, but that is often how it is, especially if you come across as an "I can do anything" kind of person.

That's when you should watch out for the warning signals that indicate you may be headed for a fall.  You find that you keep having to demand more of yourself and that those hidden reserves of strength and energy are being used up a lot faster than you ever thought they would be.  One day, you're in over your head and you know it.  What should you do to avoid such a pitfall and keep in high gear?

  • Don't ever get a swelled head.  Eat a little bit of humble pie every so often, rather than the whole thing all at once.  

  • Be clinical in assessing your success.  If you are honest with yourself, you won't raise false expectations in others

  • Give others credit.  Do it a lot, even if it isn't deserved as much as you say that it is.  In the end it makes you a bigger person and someone less hard to live up to.  

Adapted from Executive Strategies


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We are all of us richer than we think we are.


 The Constant Complainer

Is there someone in your family who qualifies as a constant complainer?  If there is, here are some ideas that might help.

  • Create a climate where the complainer feels heard.

  • Overcome the urge to argue with the complainer.

  • Make sure to ask lots of questions.

  • Plainly tell the complainer what you can and can't do about the complaints.

  • Listen without passing judgment.

  • Ask him to stop complaining.

  • Ignore the complainer's invitation to join in a gripe session.

  • Negotiate a workable solution.  If there is one. 

  • Explain that he needs to complain less.

  • Resist getting trapped. 

Adapted from Practical Supervision

One morning four high school boys decided to skip classes.  Arriving after lunch, they explained to the teacher that their car had a flat tire on the way.  To their relief, the teacher smiled understandingly and said: "You boys missed a test this morning.  Please take your seats apart from one another and get out your paper and pencils."

When the boys were seated, she continued, "Answer this one question:  Which tire was flat?"


Understanding Copyright 

Our children are back in school and many of them are already doing homework....some of it is reporting and researching.  With the advent of the Internet, we are often in a quandary about copyright law.  We've found some information which might be helpful to you.  

Copyright law allows for "fair use" of previously published material for research, education, news or critical purposes such as book reviews according to author, Cheryl Besenjak.   A court of law may evaluate whether "fair use" was made of previously published material based on these four factors:

  1. Was the material used for profit or nonprofit purposes?
  2. What is the nature of the work you copied?  Was it intended for private or public viewing?  
  3. How much of the copyrighted material have you used?
  4. What are the commercial consequences of using the copyrighted material? 

Given these four factors, how can  material from a published source be used?

  • Paraphrase rather than directly quoting the material.  Rewrite the material in your own words, but be sure to acknowledge the original source.
  • Use similar material considered to be in the "public domain."  
  • Ask for permission to quote.  While some authors or publishers might say no, most appreciate the extra publicity and say yes.  

Copyright Plain and Simple, Cheryl Besenjak


Walk the Talk

If you preach teamwork, do you work well with others?  If you ask others to take risks, does your behavior match your words?  If you recommend lifelong learning, do you study and keep up with current events.  Those who fail to practice what they preach lack credibility.  Others won't follow their advice.  Put this reminder on your refrigerator door:  "Walk the Talk."

Adapted from Overcoming Resistance by Jerald M. Jellison

How Do I Measure Up?

In a study of educators that identified common threads of excellence that educators all shared, results identified the following:

  • Confidence in subject matter knowledge.  Excellent educators displayed confidence and enthusiasm about knowing what they were teaching.  Students appreciated the confidence even though the educators occasionally acknowledged making mistakes.

  • Active learning.  Superior educators were able to actively engage students by building bridges between abstractions and students, actual experiences; by creating connections between students; lives and the aims of the lessons.  

  • High-quality explanations.  The best educators provided patient and superior explanations and gave direct answers to students' questions.  Assignments and expectations were clear.  They were able to put complex processes into concrete language. 

  • Attention to individual differences.  Top educators varied their instructional strategies to meet students' needs. 

  • Sense of humor.  The outstanding educators' playfulness and attempts to connect by using humor or witticisms engendered appreciation and respect from students. 

  • Management through awareness.  No matter how relaxed the educators appeared to be, they were constantly evaluating student behaviors and making decisions based on their observations.

Teacher Today

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There is no evidence that the tongue is connected to the brain.

Homework:  Helping Students Achieve

The most important thing parents can do to help their sons or daughters with homework is to help them believe that the hours spent studying can and do make a difference.  Whether you are a parent of elementary or secondary students, homework cannot become your responsibility.  One of the purposes of homework is to give students the opportunity to take charge of part of their own learning.  But there are some specific ways you can help your son or daughter do the best possible job on homework.

You can stress that homework is important.  That means you will help your son or daughter find a time and place for homework.  Parents sometimes have to help young people learn how to schedule their time.  For example, some families institute a rule:  No television or electronic games until homework is completed. 

You can help your son or daughter learn to pay attention.  With younger children, you can ask questions about the material being studied.  You can also help them set appropriate study goals.  Sometimes it's easier to review the main points of a study assignment by talking with someone.  Let your son or daughter know you are available to listen. 

Students do their best work when they believe they can be successful learners.  When your sons or daughters have completed a study session, reinforce the idea that the study time will help them be better learners.  

American Association of School Administrators

Surprising September Links

Autoshop101 - Automotive Training Resource Site:   Automotive training support for Automotive technicians, students, and  teachers. Online ASE style electrical practice tests, technical articles, online tutorials, etc. All items can be used for education purposes; students and teachers can reprint materials for class use. Toyota supports education, their only requirement is that their 
copyright remain on the document and that their work not be modified.

exZOOberance:  exZOOberance is dedicated to those who love and support the animal kingdom. The pictures of animals make this site a joy for animal lovers of all ages. (Readers are invited to add to information about the animals listed). News articles regarding all things touching the animal kingdom can tie Life Science in with current events.

Mesoamerican Ballgame:   Take me out to the ballgame, as played in Mesoamerica, the subtropical area between present-day countries of Mexico and El Salvador. Learn about the eight major cultures found in this area between 1500 BC and 1519 AD, as well as the effect of the Spanish conquest in this region. Then, explore the architecture of the court, as well as the the balance 
between sport and religion within the game. Offline activities include creation of masks, clay effigies, headdresses and clay ballgame figurines.

Earth Calendar:   Do  you know what is being celebrated today? This calendar is not centered on the US, but on the nations of the world. Find holidays by 
nation, or by date, or by religion. Also, keep up with the phases of the moon. Easy to use.

The Great Plant Escape:   Detective LePlant guides students through the information they need about plants and the part they play in our lives. In six 
multi-disciplinary lessons, plants, dirt, flowers, and bulbs are the center of attention. A teachers guide integrates the lessons and online quizzes with other classroom ideas.

Science, Tobacco, and You:    Designed for fourth and fifth grade students and teachers, this site contains a multi-disciplinary unit combining media literacy (adsmarts) with science and psychology. Available in English and Spanish.

WhoZoo:   Biology students at Texas Wesleyan University have put together a very easy to navigate site that highlights the best Houston Zoo has to offer. Great images and descriptions of animals, as well as observations of the 

Studyguides:   What does it take to be a good student? This website gives tips of top students. Even though it was created for college students at the 
University of St.Thomas, middle school and high school students can benefit from this resource. The guides are available in many languages.

Have a Wonderful September!
From the Staff at Knowledge HQ

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