Stuck on a Problem? Use these tools to refresh your memory and help kids learning at home

By Lauren, Homework Help Center Coordinator 

“That’s not how I learned it!” 

Dividing, diagramming sentences, even learning a new language: the Common Core curriculum has changed how many subjects are taught in schools. As a parent, it can be hard to help your child with their schoolwork when they are learning something that leaves you scratching your head. Luckily, there are plenty of resources to refresh your memory and get a crash course in common school topics. 

Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons: If you have a kindergartener or first grader and you’re feeling overwhelmed at teaching them how to read this year, this book is for you: It provides step-by-step instructions and a script of exactly what to say to your child as you go through each 20-minute lesson together. This guide has been in print for over 40 years and is still going strong! 

World Book Kids and Gale in Context: Elementary: Show your kids how to conduct research with these colorful, age-appropriate online encyclopedias. Use the search bar to find specific topics or link-hop through browsable categories like Sports, Animals, and Health. If you’d rather research with books, call Pickerington Main at 614-837-4104 or Sycamore Plaza Library at 614-837-4383 for a book bundle of 5-10 materials on a chosen topic! 

The Everything Parent’s Guide seriesThis series is for the parents wondering when second grade math got so hard. Common Core’s strategy is to teach the reasoning behind mathematical concepts, not just rote memorization, so the strategies can be applied to increasingly complex topics. This is all well and good in the long term but makes helping with your child’s homework a headache right now! The Everything series explains the logic behind these instructional changes and includes key definitions and review checklists. 

The Big Fat Notebook series: An easy-to-read refresher on middle school and junior high topics, this series covers all the major subject areas: math, science, English, history, even computer science. Each chapter is formatted like an actual notebook with colorful headings, diagrams, and highlighted key terms and definitions. It might not have all the answers for tonight’s exact homework assignment, but it’s great for starting up a dinner table conversation with more specific questions than “What did you learn in science today?” 

Barron’s The Easy Way series: More in-depth than The Big Fat Notebook, the Barron’s series uses funny narratives and step-by-step examples to show you the logic behind math and science problems. It might take a little more reading to get to the point of the rule or equation, but the accompanying story would have really helped a word nerd like me remember why an equation needs to be solved a certain way. 

Math Bits Notebook: This website is my go-to resource for students in the Homework Help Center. I am not a math teacher. I have not taken a math class in roughly a decade. I love that I can Google “MathBitsNotebook multiplying fractions” and get a resource guide with visual examples, step-by-step practice problems, and hyperlinks to related skills. The site is a little hard to navigate, so I recommend using Google for a direct link to the page you need. 

Learning Express Library: Is your high schooler studying for the ACT, but all the test prep books are checked out? Access full-length practice tests and review guides online, anytime with your library card. Or, call us to see if a non-circulating test prep book is available for in-library use! 

Final Thoughts 

If your child has an assignment due ASAP and you don’t have time to wait on the holds queue, we keep a variety of subject guides available for in-library useReserve a study table and ask about our Homework Help Center materials at Information Services 

Visit the Homework Help page for more resourcesIn-person Homework Help is available at both library locations Monday-Thursday, 2:30-6:00 p.m., during safety advisory yellow and orange. 

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Stuck on a Problem? Use these tools to refresh your memory and help kids learning at home

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  COVID-19 UPDATE:  All Pickerington Public Library locations are following the color levels approved by the Library Board of Trustees. Orange level: Library is open to browse and borrow all materials. Curbside service available. By appointment or reservation: Computers, study tables and business center. Conference rooms. In-person notary and proctoring. Virtual technology trainer appointments. Virtual events and classes. What to know when you arrive: Limited restroom access. *Safety protocols in place; masks required, no food or drink allowed.
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