eNews                      November 2013 Vol. 16-11


President's Message

Where does time go?  Do you find this time of year to be as frantic as I do? I always hope that the next year is going to be a bit more sane, but the pace just seems to get faster and faster. In spite of earlier snow this Fall, we have enjoyed a spectacular month.  It has been unusually warm, the leaves have fallen but many still cling to their branches as if they just want to stay around for as long as they can. We have enjoyed the extra time to feel the sun’s warmth, for we know it will not last. And it hasn't....I woke up to snow and cold temperatures this morning.  It is still snowing this afternoon.

This month, I had the privilege of presenting a brief overview of online learning to  a community group.  Surprisingly, one of the questions was about socialization (a comment we continue to hear after many years). We have found students who use an online program to not have any limitations on their socialization....either through community programs, sports activities or church organizations, there seems to be more than enough opportunities for students to socialize.  Further, when speaking with our online students or writing to them, we have found them to be articulate and comfortable with themselves and with others.  Just this morning I spoke with a student from a family in Mexico.  She was able to express her needs and where she was having problems in her learning without hesitation.  I wonder if these students speak and write more fluently because of expectation that they take responsibility for their own learning.  Wouldn't that be an interesting study?   

It was heartbreaking to hear that some eTutor students were affected by the typhoon in the Philippines.  Although they are safe, we nevertheless heard how they had to walk to the library (where they access eTutor) in heavy rains.  Then, following quickly, the tornadoes in Illinois have us worried about students there.  As the number of enrollees continues to grow around the world, it is inevitable that some will come in harm's way, whether through natural disaster or war.  We strive to be a stable force for all of our students.

As Thanksgiving approaches, we gather with friends and family to share and offer gratitude for what we have been given.  We want to thank each of you for your continued interest and support.  It is because of you that we remain steadfast in our goal to provide quality online instruction to students throughout the world.  

Happy Thanksgiving to each of you and your families!



Connect to Us

We have noticed changes by the social networks we use.  We think the good outweighs the bad and find that more and more find us through social media than through other means.  It is another form of word of mouth.  We hope you will share with us and others your thoughts about online learning.   

   Facebook - Those "liking us" continue to grow each month.  Our facebook page is reviewed in countries around the world.  

   Twitter - You may have seen eTutor in other places, as our short comments are being retweeted by others.  

   eTutor Blog - Parenting and instructional tips and ideas are part of the interesting topics on which we focus in the eTutor Blog.   

  Pinterest - The children's book list is a big favorite and has been re-pinned by many. My Father's Dragon was, again, recently re-pinned. 

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Make ripples more than waves. 

Learning with eTutor

Online instruction offers students an exciting academic and intellectual journey in a new and challenging way of learning. The success of students will have a profound impact on all learning that follows. Parents often have many questions about how to effectively guide their student in a daily online learning program.  We know that parents who actively encourage their students to engage in daily learning activities and take full advantage of  the eTutor curriculum, assistance, services, and opportunities are the most likely to be rewarded by seeing their children reach their academic goals. Therefore there are several expectations of which parents need to be aware.

  • Understand that you are your child’s instructional and academic leader/coach.
  • Create an atmosphere for learning at home.
  • Establish learning goals with your student focusing on the subjects recommended by eTutor for the appropriate grade level.
  • Provide feedback to e-utor so that improvements to our program can be made.
  • Get to know your child's learning strengths and weaknesses.
  • Review, daily, completed eTutor projects and activities.
  • Expect your student to spend a minimum of one hour on each lesson module and approximately four and a half to five hours learning each day.
  • Provide your student with adequate equipment and materials to be a successful learner. 
  • Monitor and review quiz and exam scores with your student.
  • Work with your child in designating specific blocks of time for studying.
  • Contact eTutor if there is any change in your student’s educational program.
  • Enjoy the learning experience with your student!


Eight New Lesson Modules were added 
to eTutor this month.

Over 3400 Lesson Modules
are included in the 
eTutor Lesson Library!

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

Online Instructional Content

Join thousands of educators around the globe in creating online lessons for your students. The LessonPro template makes it easy to create internet-based instruction.  The template is offered to educators without fee as a service to increase the availability of online instruction for students throughout the world.  Since our last newsletter over 90 teachers have signed up to use the LessonPro template. An Ohio teacher has published three lesson modules and has one in the works since our last newsletter. Some interesting topics this month:. 

  • Immigration and Industrialization
  • Algebraic Expression
  • Human Respiratory System
  • Solving Multi-Step Equations
  • Verbo Ser 
  • Pythagorean Theorem 
  • Earthquakes
  • Babylon Revisited

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


   The Book Case            

Blue Willow 
by Doris Gates  

Ages 9 - 12 

Janey Larkin can't remember when she's lived in the same place for more than a year. Her family has to keep moving so that her father can find work. But Janey longs for a real home and the chance to make friends.

When Mom gets sick and the Larkins don't have rent money, Janey offers to pay the rent with her beloved treasure -- the beautiful blue willow plate that once belonged to her great-great-grandmother. Losing the plate seems like the end of the world to Janey, but it's really the beginning of something wonderful.

This Newbery Honor Book explores the migration of a family during the 1930s. They leave their farm in Texas and follow the harvests, migrating to find work. 

Newbery  Honor Book 1941 

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Remember, all shades of gray come from black and white. 

Find Time Each Day to Relax

Sit back, put your feet up, and imagine that you have the time to read a chapter of a novel, talk to a friend on the phone or write a long letter. Maybe you're so pressed for time that you can't even day dream about activities that you would like to indulge in. Here are some ideas for getting off the treadmill and enjoying thirty minutes a day:

  • Slow down. Take a leisurely walk or window shop.  Visit your local library to browse through magazines or books or just enjoy the quiet. Checkout the latest exhibit at a museum.
  • Wakeup a half hour earlier than usual. Pay extra attention to getting dressed or you may even want to make a breakfast date with your spouse or friend.
  • Use your lunch time.  Make a phone call to a friend.  Go shopping or catch up on your reading.
  • Make a regular date with your spouse or friend. Stick with this date and don't cancel unless something totally unexpected comes up that can't be put off.
  • Observation:   Instead of saying, "I should do this," try saying " I want to do this."

Adapted from Working Smart


Computer Use Strategies for Kids

If your children seem to spend more time staring at a monitor each day than, well, doing pretty much anything else, they're not alone. According a recent Pew survey, 94 percent of U.S. families with children have a computer at home. Recommendations are that total daily screen time for children and adolescents should not be more than two hours; however according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, fewer than 20 percent of student in grades six to ten were meeting those guidelines.

So what's the problem with that?  Staring at screens for long stretches can lead to posture problems, vision trouble and obesity.  Other complaints include back, neck and shoulder pain and dry, blurry, sore eyes and headaches. The good news:  The problems are preventable. Here are some guidelines.

  • Learn perfect posture.
  • Aim for ergonomic harmony.
  • Stretch regularly.
  • Take frequent eye breaks.
  • Don't forget to blink.

With the proper practices in place, it's possible for kids to spend time on the computer doing homework and connecting with friends free of aches, pains and eye problems.

Jane Doucet, Adapted

Family Disagreements

If you are having a discussion and voices start to rise as family members disagree, you might want to consider some of these suggestions:

  • Remember that disagreements can be good. If everyone thought the same way, chances are your family wouldn't grow.

  • Assume the role of mediator:  Draw  a line down a sheet of paper and list the pros and cons of the issue to allow all to see both sides clearly.

  • Consider ending the discussion of the issue being debated as a minor one.  It the family doesn't think it is a secondary matter, then try to resolve it.

  • Consider saying, "You don't like what we had but we can't seem to come up with anything better." Ask the question, "Where do we go now?"

Adapted from Communication Briefings

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Start with good questions and hopefully good answers will follow.


Guiding Gifted Girls

Telling gifted female students they can do anything or be anything may not be the best advice we can offer.  A specialist suggests female students my feel tremendous pressure to achieve in the careers as well as have a family. We need to help them overcome career barriers women commonly face and set clear and reasonable life priorities.  

Some of the internal and external barriers girls need to understand include their own fear of success, others' lower academic and career expectations of them, and the general competitiveness of the job market.  Not all gifted female students will fight these barriers, but they should be aware of the problems the barriers can cause.  In a recent study, fewer than ten percent of the participating female adolescents recognized even one potential barrier. 

We should help these students explore abilities many females don't identify with, such as investigative abilities used in mathematics and science disciplines.  Students who have both typical and atypical female interests should be coached to consider areas using skills from both, such as arts management. We need to encourage our young women to set up realistic plans for the future, helping them realize they can't do everything and will have to make some difficult choices.  Female students need to assess their own abilities and balance their goals somewhere between fear of exploration and too much free-wheeling exploration, with an understanding of how stereotypes can affect their future. 

Adapted from Education Monitor


Take Your Ideas to the Next Step 

When Nathan was about 9 or 10,he made a little two-wheeled car out of a tuna can and an electric motor for his cat to play with. "But the cat was terrified!"  That day, Nathan learned the same lesson that Thomas Edison learned early. Never invent something that your market doesn't want.

We know you've got great ideas. (Such as that homework-doing robot....) With a little extra attention, you can take those ideas to the next step and turn them into actual products. Follow these tips:

  1. Be curious. Look for problems to solve or ways to make things better. Many inventions have come about because people looked for a way to make life easier or better, either for themselves or for others.

  2. Go to the mall. Check out catalogs, stores or any place you can think of where people would look for your product. Look for anything that does what your invention would do.

  3. Look for already-patented inventions. A basic patent search isn't hard to do, and you can do it online at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (

  4. Find out if people would want it. Nicole invents a wide range of things to make life easier. She researches her ideas, then bounces them off strangers in places, such as the line at the grocery store.

  5. Build a prototype. See if it works.  As Bill Nye, The Science Guy says, "Try things, then clean up after yourself. Then try some more things, and clean that up, too."

  6. Get others to try it. This doesn't mean your friends or your family. Find people who will be critical (and won't rip-off your idea). Ask them if they would buy it, and how much they would pay!

From Next  Step  Magazine

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Don't miss the forest for the trees.


Novel November Links:

Beetle Science: Beetles is a beautiful site that includes scientific drawings, a Flash-based look at biodiversity, rotatable images of three beetle specimens, timeline chronicling efforts to control an invasive beetle pest (Asian Long-horned Beetle), a look at a virtual lab, information about contributors, and links to more resources.

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 .

Adventures of the Agronauts:  This is an online science curriculum for students with the theme: How can we grow plants on the Moon? Children become "Agronauts in Training" and complete six different standards-based lessons towards the final goal of growing plants on the Moon. The glossary contains some movies that demonstrate concepts .

Art Safari:  This site will encourage you to explore paintings and sculptures from the Museum of Modern Art . A series of questions will guide you to write about what you see. Then, you can create and submit your own art.

Count Us In Games:  Fifteen online games designed to help children understand basic concepts in mathematics. Simple lesson plans also available by click "other activities." Major topics include: Comparing and Classifying, Patterning, Counting, Chance, Halves, and more. All games require the Flash 5 Player or higher.


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.

Have a warm, wonderful Thanksgiving!

From the 
Knowledge HQ Staff

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