In The News                     November 2012   Vol. 15-11

President’s Message 

I wrote this in 1997, two months after launching eTutor.  It is still relevant today.

"November has come all too soon. As the days get shorter, I find that no matter how hard I try there is just not enough time in each day to do what I want to do. We are constantly reminded that there is so much to do and so little time in which to do it. Our commitment to education reminds us that although the task is huge, we must not waste our time.....our children do not have the time to waste. Our energies should be directed at improving the education of our youth. This does not mean that what we have been doing is wrong or not beneficial, merely that education, as all we do, should be continually reviewed and improved upon. And so, as the days seem to dwindle and the hours shorten, we need to work faster and smarter to accomplish the one task we cannot waste our time on, educating our children." 

Now in 2012, I am concerned that education may never catch up to this fast-paced world in which we live.  It is imperative, in my estimation, that we look at education differently from that with which we are familiar. With record reports of unemployment, yet other reports of jobs available...but workers who are untrained to fill the jobs, we cannot be complacent.  While our educational programs are not entirely responsible, we all have to rethink how we prepare our young people for a successful future.  I continue to believe that web-based instruction has the potential to make the dramatic changes necessary in education.  We have the technology, programs can be scaled to large populations, and instruction can be personalized to the learner. We just have to let go of our long-standing assumptions and beliefs about out-dated ways of teaching and learning. Time continues to march on.  Hopefully fifteen years from now, we will not be asking these same questions.   

The first Thanksgiving ever proclaimed by a President of the United States was observed on November 26, 1789.  It was proclaimed by President Washington as a day of gratitude for the adoption of the Constitution.  This will likely be a special Thanksgiving for many people.  In this season of thankfulness, I am especially appreciative  for a way of life that, despite all its faults, has given this country the best the world can devise.  And, I give special thanks for your support and encouragement.  All the best wishes for a bountiful Thanksgiving!





Career-Related Coursework

Are you interested in Health Science, Auto Technology, Cosmetology or Agriscience?  Students enrolled in eTutor now have an opportunity to participate in a pilot program being conducted by Today's Class in association with Knowledge HQ, eTutor. High school students who may be interested in any of the above courses of study are eligible to participate.  All course materials can be accessed online.   

If you would like more information about this exciting opportunity, call 877-687-7200.


 Our Connected Community! 

The eTutor community is a world-wide community. While the majority of our viewers are in the United States, there are many from India, Ethiopia, Malaysia, England, and twelve other countries around the world.  .  

   Check everyday for new tips and information.     

   How about a short video of your child using eTutor?  We can help you download it to the eTutor page.  

   Short reminders for current news and links are posted daily.    

   Blogs are posted twice a week.  Information on parenting, online learning, curriculum, and more are hot topics.    

  Try repinning some of the things from the eTutor Pinterest page.  

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Let children's laughter remind you how it 'spozed to be.


Learning with eTutor

Websites Reinforce Learning

eTutor includes hyperlinks in each lesson module to reinforce concepts or skills being taught in the study guide.  In addition, the resource section of each lesson module includes more links which students use to expand their learning or to provide additional reinforcement and practice for skills and information.

There are three kinds of sites used in eTutor lesson modules:

  • Popular media sites such as ABC news or CNN sports
    These sites might be used to help students analyze grammar, compare the use of adjectives and adverbs, or calculate the mathematics of an earned run average. By using popular media sites, students learn to be critical thinkers and evaluators of everyday knowledge.
  • Educational sites
    Educational sites have been developed by NASA, libraries, science foundations, and universities, to name a few. We utilize these sites where information is presented in grade-appropriate ways.
  • Sites developed and maintained by teachers
    Teachers throughout the United States are developing and maintaining their own websites. A geography teacher in Maine has an outstanding website, and Swarthmore College maintains the Ask Dr. Math website. Many of these sites are question and answer sites where students can get e-mailed responses. Often these sites provide extensive links which serve a variety of interests and grade levels.

With all three kinds of links, students are learning to use the Web, not surf the Web. They are learning to think critically about information they see, and to use knowledge and information from many sources when gathering information or learning something new.

Fourteen New Lesson Modules were added 
to eTutor this month.

More than 3300 Lesson Modules
are included in the 
eTutor Lesson Library!

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

Many Creating Web-Based Instruction

If you have recently signed up for writing lesson modules at LessonPro, you are not alone.  Did you know that every month from 50 to 70 new writers sign up to use the template?  Take the time today to try your hand at creating web-based instruction for the students you work with.   

There is no fee for using the template. However, you can earn a few extra dollars if your lesson is accepted for use in the eTutor program.  Knowledge HQ offers a small stipend for lessons of quality.  

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

   The Book Case            

The Dark Frigate
by Charles Boardman Hawes

Ages 10 and Up  

The only life nineteen-year-old Philip Marsham knows is the life of a seaman, so when he’s left orphaned and destitute, he signs up to go to sea again on the frigate the Rose of Sharon.

When the ship is taken over by pirates, Philip is forced to join the murderous crew on their voyage in search of Spanish gold.  He doesn’t know if he’ll ever get away. And if he does, will anyone believe he’s innocent?

This is a challenging book to read because of the old-fashioned language and a slower pace than books have today. If you’re up for the challenge, you’ll get an accurate picture of life at sea in the 1600s, of piracy, and of how Phil seeks to hold to what’s right when all around him is murder, plunder and piracy.

1924 Newbery Medal Winner
This book is available online as an audio book from Amazon

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See things that haven't been done and ask why not. 



This fall when you see geese heading south for the winter, flying along in "V" formation, you might be interested in knowing what science has discovered about why they fly that way.

It has been learned that as each bird flaps its wings it creates an uplift for the bird immediately following. By flying in a "V" formation, the whole flock has at least 71% greater flying range than if each bird flew on its own. People who share a common direction and sense of community can get where they are going quicker and easier, because they are traveling on the lift from one another or teamwork makes the difference.

Whenever a goose falls out of formation it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of trying to go it alone, and quickly gets back into formation to take advantage of the lifting power of the bird immediately in front. If we have as much sense as a goose, we will stay in formation with those who are headed the same way we are going.

When the lead goose gets tired he rotates back in the wind and another goose flies point. On good teams it pays to take turns doing hard jobs. The geese honk from behind to encourage those up front to keep up their speed. What do we say when we honk from behind?

When a goose gets sick or is wounded by gun shot and falls out, two geese fall out of formation and follow it down to help and protect it. They stay with the goose until it is either able to fly or until it is dead.

Then, they launch out on their own, or with another formation, to catch up with their group. If we have the sense of a goose, we will stand by each other like that. Good ideas require the strength of teammates looking out for each other.

Rules for Being Human

  1. You will receive a body. You may like it or hate it, but it will be yours for the entire period this time around.
  2. You will learn lessons. You are enrolled in a full-time informal school called life. Each day in this school you will have the opportunity to learn lessons. You may like the lessons or think them irrelevant and stupid.
  3. There are no mistakes, only lessons. Growth is the process of trial-and-error and experimentation. The "failed" experiments are as much a part of the process as the experiment that ultimately "works."
  4. A lesson is repeated until learned. A lesson will be presented to you in various forms until you have learned it. When you have learned it, you can then go on to the next lesson.
  5. Learning lessons does not end. There is no part of life that does not contain lessons. If you are alive, there are lessons to be learned.
  6. There is nothing better than "here." When your "there" has become a "here," you will simply obtain another "there" that will again look better than "here."
  7. Others are simply mirrors of you. You cannot love or hate something about another person unless it reflects to you something you love or hate about yourself.
  8. What you make of your life is up to you. You have all the tools and resources you need. What you make of them is up to you. The choice is yours.
  9. Your answers lie inside you. The answers to life’s questions lie inside you. All you have to do is look, listen and trust.
  10. You will forget all this.

Author Unknown

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Don't be afraid to say you don't know the answer.


Stay Up Late Together

When children are small, it is a good idea to establish a regular bedtime routine. But once in a while, it can be a great change of pace to stay up a little later, particularly as kids get older. The world looks different at night, and children want to see what is going on; they don't want to miss out.  Perhaps they are simply not tired...some kids have too much energy to always got to bed as scheduled. This can be a problem for parents who are eager for the kids to get to bed so that they can have some time alone. But forcing kids to go to bed when they are not tired soon backfires with endless requests for drinks of water and trips to the bathroom.

If bedtime is becoming a hassle, perhaps you might want to try a new approach. Consider letting them stay up a little later and see what happens. Some parents void the battle-of-bedtime blues by saying, "So long as you don't disturb us, you can stay up, but we are going to bed." 

Try a slumber party with your children. Let them invite a friend over, make a bed in the closet, sleep under their beds, or read stories quietly in the hall.  By staying up later children begin to understand their natural sleep rhythms and discover how to unwind.  They will fall asleep when they are sleepy and will begin to establish their own bedtimes.  When they know they can have some control bedtime struggles decrease.  Of course, as teenagers they will probably always be up later than you.  Don't worry, that's natural too. 

Adapted from Wonderful Ways to Love a Child, by Judy Ford



Stressed Out

This is the season when stress starts to build, both at home and at work. The following tips can help ease you through the difficult times:

  • Take care of yourself.
  • See troubles as opportunities.
  • Manage your time.
  • Speak up.
  • Plan.
  • Get support.
  • Enjoy your leisure time.

It is your choice. You can try to make your situation satisfying. If stress arises, you can choose to attempt a solution. There are many choices open to you. Which ones will you make?


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Teach by example. 


Notable November Links:

Access Excellence: The Mystery Spot:  Great online and offline activities that allow you to solve mysteries using science. Find out what happened to the local frog population, explore Arctica, or use a microscope to solve a mystery. These fourteen activities are designed to show science in a whole new light.
http://www.accessexcellence. org/AE/mspot/

America’s Story from America’s Library:  This is like the Library of Congress lite. You can explore this colorful site to find out tidbits about American history, culture and the people of the United States.
http://www.americaslibrary. gov/cgi-bin/page.cgi

100,000 Stars:  Google's Data Arts team has released a new, experimental app for its Chrome web browser that offers users an interactive tour of our local tellar space.  The Chrome browser is a free download.  Go to to take advantage of this fantastic app. 
http://www.chromeexperiments. com/detail/100000-stars/

Magic Tree House: If your students like The Magic Tree House series (and let's be honest, who doesn't?), they'll love The Magic Tree House website. Students climb up the tree and enter the tree house to find some great puzzles, fun games and quizzes on any of the 45+ MTH books.

Catch the Science Bug:The educational goals of Catch the Science Bug are to increase science literacy and raise environmental consciousness by adhering to national standards and guidelines for content, to use different teaching methods for engaging all types of learners, and to encourage life-long learning by featuring scientists who model this behavior.

ABCya!: ABCya! is a fun site for lots of great games and activities. There is a nice word cloud generator very similar to Wordle that creates nice-looking word clouds. The one-up ABCya! has over Wordle is that you may directly save your word cloud as a .jpg without any registration.

These pages demonstrate visual phenomena, and »optical« or »visual illusions«. The latter is more appropriate, because most effects have their basis in the visual pathway, not in the optics of the eye.
These pages demonstrate visual phenomena, and »optical« or »visual illusions«. The latter is more appropriate, because most effects have their basis in the visual pathway, not in the optics of the eye.
These pages demonstrate visual phenomena, and »optical« or »visual illusions«. The latter is more appropriate, because most effects have their basis in the visual pathway, not in the optics of the eye.

 Happy Turkey Days!

From the 
Knowledge HQ Staff

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