Homework Help - General Reference, Organization & Multi-Subject
Sometimes knowing what to study is a lot easier than knowing how to study. Children have different styles of learning and the following products and websites offer help on getting organizing, figuring out how to solve problems, and developing new ideas, with whatever approach works best for your child.
Do2Learn is an educational Web site designed for parents of children with special needs. A wealth of information, the site provides information on various childhood disorders along with a list of potential assessments, a guide to common abbreviations, a large resource list of books and related Web sites and an extensive selection of games, songs and other educational tools.
K-5 Learning is an academic website that teaches core skills in math, reading, and spelling. Unlike other websites that teach these skills through entertaining games, this website focuses on academic tasks. The concepts are well presented and the tasks are clearly defined. Some tasks are presented in the more formal worksheet or assessment format and others are presented in a "story" format. The lessons emphasize fluency, and its importance for elementary students to master. The site offers individualized assessments, which can be very helpful in helping a child learn and improve skills. Although at $25/month or $199 per year for the first child, the price is a bit steep, it could prove a good value for homeschoolers interested in a pure academic curriculum or parents hoping to avoid the summer slide.
There is probably not a more aptly named software title than Kidspiration 3. Inspiration Software's latest creation continues to spur children in kindergarten through fifth grade to learn subjects ranging from science and social studies to reading, writing and math. The program is designed to help students develop strong thinking skills, improve reading and writing and build conceptual understanding. It succeeds on all fronts.
With the premise that players are secret agents whose mission is to save MemoryTown from the wacky schemes of the evil and annoying Dr. Forgetsit, the game and its five missions (categories) employ decent cartoon-style graphics and smooth enough animation to lure players into four difficulty levels. The missions: Numbers, Words, Details, Closure (sentence completion) and WH Information (comprehension memory of multiple sentences). In the beginning level of the Numbers mission, players listen to a soothing female voice articulate three-digit codes and must remember them and key them in a calculator-style pad to unlock doors. At harder levels, players must remember the auditory code digits without looking at the keypad, or after having to wait seconds before keying in answers. At the expert level, the Words mission offers a list of three words with background sounds (like kids noise at a playground), and players must click image-word blocks in the same order as verbally listed. A tutorial at the beginning is a welcome introduction, and players can click the Help button anytime during missions. They will receive specific strategy tips for remembering numbers, words, sentences and stories. Progress reports track how up to four players are doing in each mission.
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Any student stumped by homework or just needing a little extra help in a certain subject area will appreciate the resources this easy-to-navigate, visually-appealing site offers. Kids struggling with math can watch informative (but never boring) videos specific to their trouble area, whether it’s algebra, geometry or word problems. There are also videos for science, language arts, social studies, art and even health. For kids who need an extra dose of help the site features Dial A Teacher, a toll-free number where a child can actually speak with a real teacher Monday through Thursday between 4:00 and 7:00 p.m. EST. Teachers will enjoy resources including a PDF of 10 Ways to Use Homework Helper in Your Classroom, along with segment guides, show scripts and book reviews.
Tutor.com is a great resource for parents and kids-especially for those students who prefer a neutral party to help with the homework. Let's face it, sometimes homework help from a well-meaning parent can get a little heated. This site offers assistance, 24/7, on all kinds of subjects from Calculus and Algebra to essay writing and physics. Besides an impressive cadre of online tutors available for a fee, the site offers lots of free and helpful information and links to support students in all areas of learning. The range of the site is impressive, serving grade school to college and adult learners as well. Technology allows the online tutors to work with students by utilizing instant messaging and an effective two-way whiteboard.
Teen Life is the kind of website that kids may just try to hide from their parents. Not that there is anything offensive or harmful. In fact, Teen Life is so chock full of information on local and international opportunities for schools, internships, camps and other learning opportunities, that kids can't use the lack of available information excuse for procrastination anymore. The biggest problem will be selecting only one or two options from the diverse programs and interesting courses and programs available for registration. A great tool for councilors, advisors and parents, the site may result in information overload for the typical teen. The section on grants and endowments is staggering and listed alphabetically and not by say merit or income. Still, users can personalize their membership to organize the information they want to remember. Articles discuss how to start a business, write a resume, and discern reasonable payments for teen services, and they offer decision making tools. Kids can also look at opportunities that allow them to explore careers through internships, volunteer programs, classes and semesters abroad without feeling like their life choices are etched in stone.