Is homework time at your house as much of a struggle as it is at mine? With three kids at three totally different grade levels, it’s very hard to keep everyone on task and motivated. One asks me a question about multiplying fractions, suddenly another wants to know how to spell ‘jump,’ all while I’m trying to help our youngest memorize our phone number.
It’s hard and sometimes it’s harder when I am not even sure how multiply fractions with whole numbers! I don’t do that on a daily basis and it’s been many moons since I’ve had too! I can use my math skills to figure out how much shoes cost after a 45% discount, or subtract multiple coupons from my astronomical grocery bill, but there are so many new methods kids are learning these days to do math, that it’s hard to keep track. There’s the ball park method, the lattice method, and more.
Do your kids need extra homework help or a tutor? We’ve rounded up some great homework advice from our writers, local school staff, librarians and other knowledgeable folks to help!
Ask a teacher
Many teachers tutor for extra money, during the school year and the summer months. What better tutor than someone who already knows your child and with whom you already have a relationship? Some of our friends have met their teacher at the local library in a conference room each week for tutoring sessions.
High School Students
Check with a guidance counselor to see if a high school student is capable and available to tutor your child. Many times they need service hours and may tutor for free, or be less expensive than professional services.
Check your local library to see if tutoring or homework services are offered. The Mason Public Library offers “Homework Help” which is free. You sign up and are paired with a one-on-one tutor from a middle or high school.
The Cincinnati Public Library offers a homework center downtown and at certain branches. Check their website for details.
If your library does not offer tutoring services, they most likely have conference rooms you can reserve in which to meet a tutor. They may also have a list of local tutoring services and can connect you with someone. The Covington branch of the Kenton County Library has wonderful new conference rooms that can be used with a reservation.
If you are tutoring your child on your own, or you child is studying for a specific test, libraries have test preparation books and databases as well as books on math, grammar, and more. This would come in handy for the parent trying to help her son add crazy fractions and find the lowest common denominator. That’s me! If you need to brush up on a particular skill before helping your child with a report, homework, test or assignment, read through one of these helpful books and get ready to look like an expert!
The internet is a great resource, but don’t forget about newspapers, journals, magazines, books and encyclopedias. Sometimes libraries offer one-on-one help. This not to be confused with tutoring, but sometimes scheduling time with a librarian can put you and your child in the right direction.
On Line Help
In Ohio, you can use www.KnowItNow.org to help with homework questions. Kentucky offers a homework site to answer a few basic homework questions, and provides additional resources. The site Homework Helper offers a large list of homework help ranging from math to science and even social studies. This site is a great reference. It is broken into grade level, includes some college and even has a link to the SAT question of the day. There are loads of links to other sites that are helpful.
We asked Fort Wright Elementary Counselor, Lindsey Wilson, for advice on homework and tutoring. Here is what she had to say:
- Multiply your child’s grade level by 10. That will give you a good idea as to the amount of time he/she should be spending on homework. If assignments take longer than a reasonable amount of time, be sure to discuss it with the teacher!
- Concentrate on one task at a time. Many times, it is very helpful to start with the hardest homework first, because when you’re done with that, all you’ve got left is the easy homework. If you do your easiest tasks first, you might be tempted to skip the other homework, and it’s important to do all of it. If you’re struggling with one single thing, don’t give up yet! Try a couple of times, but if you still don’t get it, ask your teacher about it the next day. You could finish the rest of your homework before you try that hard task you couldn’t do earlier. If there’s absolutely no way that you understand it, don’t use too much time. At least you’ve looked at the material, and have an idea of what it’s all about, which is better than being good at one thing, and not having a clue for the rest. Once you have completed an assignment, be sure to check it off.
- Complete homework during TV commercials! Practice spelling words, solve math facts, or complete assignments that will take less than 3 minutes during the commercial breaks of your favorite show. Be sure to turn the volume down or mute it!
- Practice spelling words by writing each word using 3 different colors, by writing them in pudding (and licking your finger when you spell a word correctly), using magnetic letters on the fridge, using letter stickers or stamps, writing them in chalk on the sidewalk or driveway, or writing them backwards.
- Get your reading assignments complete by snuggling up in the bathtub! Be sure that it is empty and dry, then fill it up with pillows, blankets, stuffed animals, and a flashlight to read in the dark.
- Provide your child with little rewards once homework is complete. try a sticker on a chart, 5 extra tv/computer/game minutes, choosing what to have for dinner the next day, or a small, tasty treat!
Do you have any helpful homework tips or tutoring resources to share? Let us know! Leave a comment to share your thoughts. We hope this helps get you through the rest of the year!
When not blogging for Family Friendly Cincinnati, you can find Michelle writing at her personal blog, I’m Living the Good Life.