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A lot of parents are surprised—after all those sweet days with the baby, and the wonderful times spent seeing life through the eyes of a toddler—when the time comes to do homework. Not our own homework, but helping the kids with theirs. Even those of us who did okay in school can find ourselves struggling with new ways of learning old subjects, or subjects that seem new altogether! And then we find ourselves wondering…
Did we even study this in grade school?
This seems way more complicated than I remember!
How can I possibly help my child with homework if I don’t understand it?

Of course, we’ll want to seek guidance from our child’s teachers right away, but if we’re in a school system that’s overwhelmed and understaffed right now, they’ll only be able to provide so much. It’s definitely best to ask about tutoring services and other recommendations available through the school first. But if the help that’s available there isn’t enough, here are some online resources that can potentially save everyone’s sanity!
Kahn Academy
This free online resource contains thousands of short video tutorials for all ages and grade levels including Advanced Placement study and college test prep. The Khan Kids app is designed for kids up to grade 2. The main website courses are designed to keep kids working on subject matter until they master it. The app and website are totally free and parents can get started with their own guide: Ways to support learners when you don’t know the content.
Today Parenting Guides
If you’re not ready to dive into school-like courses, the Today show website hosts Parenting Guides that provide tips and resources for helping parents help children achieve important skills at each grade level from pre-K through college. Scroll through the guide to find your child’s grade level, then look for articles that provide the tips you need on specific school subject matter or life skills. Start here at Today Parenting Guides.
Scholastic Parents
Scholastic—yes, the book fair people—features a section on their website that’s packed with articles about how you can help your pre-k through grade 8 child with homework, test prep, social emotional skills and more. Their School Success Guides give parents a brief overview of the reading and writing skills your child will be working on each school year. They also include fun activities you can do at home as you help them along. Check out Scholastic Parents.
It’s okay if you’re not an expert on all the subjects your child is working on at school. You still have an important role to play in cheerleading them on to success! Sometimes that may look like very detailed help working through a problem, or it may look like the suggestion to call a peer and ask if they can help. Resourcefulness is a skill that will take them far in every subject.