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27 February 2014

Homework Help

Hopefully by now your kids (and you) have settled into the new school year.  Helping my boys with their homework is my least favourite thing about school, and while one of my sons now needs very little help, the other needs a bit more guidance (read yelling and bribery) to get it done.  I know I'm not alone here and if you haven’t been at school for as long as I have you’ll be wondering how it all could have changed so much – especially maths!  I mean – how can they completely change how you multiply numbers?  And always get confused with which shape is which (I'm sure there weren't as many different shapes when I was at school!)



To tackle the daily homework battle I've gathered together some resources to help your child, and to help you to help them.

Websites

Schools A to Z 

http://www.schoolatoz.nsw.edu.au/
This is my favourite website to go to when my boys ask for help with their homework.  Schools A to Z was created by the NSW government, with maths and english A to Z lists of definitions and examples, subject help sheets, assignment starters and lots of tips to help you help your child.  There is also a corresponding app which I reviewed last year – you can read about it here.  




Behind the News (BTN)

This ABC show is a fun way for upper primary and secondary students to learn about current issues and events.  Your kids may already be watching this at school.  You can view videos and news stories back to 2005.


Australia.gov.au

Australian government site with resources gathered from different government departments regarding common assignment topics – especially about government and law in Australia


Aussie Educator

The Homework Helpers page on this site features a great list of links to help find answers to almost any homework topic you could think of; as well as links to articles for parents regarding homework and helping your kids.


Primary Homework Help

This UK site is devoted to primary school homework and assignments, with basic information and general facts and figures on most assignment topics – a great place to start gathering information.



Kid-safe search engines

You can safely let your kids research their homework topics on these search engines:

Safe Search Kids

Brought to you by Google – this search engine has Google safe search set to the highest level of security for safe browsing.


KidsClick

A US site designed for kids by librarians, with kid-friendly results


GoGooligans

GoGooligans is a safe educational/academic search engine for children and teenagers. 


Homework planners

Sometimes the biggest problem with homework is not the actual work, but finding the time to get it all done.  A dedicated homework planner might help:

Schools A to Z homework planners

This is a basic calendar you can print out and then you fill in the homework tasks on the dates yourself - click here to download.

There’s also a weekly schedule template you can print out, or open in Word and edit yourself - here

Microsoft Office

If you have Microsoft Office you can download free homework planner templates.
View and download templates for different versions of Word and Excel here


Or maybe you’d prefer a digital version:

My Homework

My Homework is a student planner, available for Android and iOS smartphones and tablets, computers and online and on the Kindle.  With this app all homework, assignments, and exams can be added; and they’ll receive reminders when they are due.  If you really want to make full use of this app you can also add your child’s class schedule, so with a quick look at their phone they can see what classes they have on that day and where.   I would recommend that you sign in to My Homework on a computer and add classes there, then it will sync to your child’s phone or tablet.  It’s a lot easier to add all their classes on a computer than on a tiny keyboard with your finger.  The biggest benefit with My Homework is that it can sync across all devices, so your child’s homework and class schedule is accessible on their phone, the home computer, and online at the My Homework website from any device.
Take a look here 




HomeWork

Similar to MyHomework, you can add class schedules and homework – this app is just for Android - read more here



The Homework App

For iPhone and iPad – free
This app is just for managing homework - read more here 


Do you have any sites or apps you rely on for homework help?  Please share them in the comments below.




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