Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Homework Help from Your Local Library

Homework can pose a challenge not only for students, but for parents as well. There is a fine line between helping your child understand their homework and actually helping them to do it, and this balancing act can be complicated by a number of other issues that parents face -- rusty academic skills; concerns about fostering independence; competition for their child's attention from computers, games, and other activities; and parental exhaustion after their own long day at work.

One place to turn for free help with homework (and, in some instances, for preparation for college admissions exams or advanced placement exams) can be your public library. In Suffolk County, on Long Island, students with a library card (which they can sign up for online) can receive help in a wide array of subjects from tutors who have been trained and cleared with background and reference checks. The service is available every day from 2 until 11 pm. Students can create an account that will allow them to view past sessions and submit questions.

Students in adjacent Nassau County can access a free service that provides online help from tutors who have been vetted by an independent tutoring service.

New York City is served by several independent library systems. Students can access free, in-person homework help through their local branch of the Brooklyn Public Library. Queens Public Library and New York Public Library patrons have access to numerous online tools to help with homework. Still another resource is provided by the UFT -- the NYC teachers' union -- which provides telephone help from teachers speaking 12 languages.

These support services won't make homework disappear -- but may help make homework a more effective and less stressful tool for learning.

Photo used under Creative Commons by CCAC North Library

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