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Homework Help

It's one of the hardest parts about being a working parent. You've worked hard all day, then the other job begins: helping your child with his homework. At the end of this thread, you'll find some resources that have been hugely helpful for me. Check 'em out for yourself - and - if you've got some tips or web links you'd like to pass along, I'd love to hear about them.



What holds true for real estate also applies to homework. WHERE your child does homework is critical. Ideally, your child should have a dedicated, quiet place where they can focus on their studies. It should have:

  • Good lighting.
  • Proper tools: sharpened pencils, pens, a ruler, plain and lined paper, colored pencils and markers, highlighter pens, post-it notes, note cards.
  • Reference materials: Age appropriate dictionary, CD-Rom/Encyclopedia, Almanac, This Day in History guide, Atlas.
  • Writing table/desk and chair – make sure the chair is the proper height for your child.

I feel one of the most valuable things we can do as parents is to help our children find tricks or mnemonics that help them remember the right way to tackle some of the challenging rules of math and grammar. It might be pronouncing a difficult spelling word strangely in your head (I still say WED-nes-day to myself when spelling out that day of the week!) Below are some tricks that have worked for me in the past. Most of them I've shared with my own children. They may be of use to you, too.


Fractions to Decimals:


To find a decimal: divide the DEMONINATOR into the NUMERATOR

Example: 75/125 = .6

Math Order of Operations:


In Algebra, it can be confusing to remember which function should be done when! To find order of operations in a math equation, remember this:

Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally

Parentheses, Exponents, Multiplication, Division, Addition, Subtraction. When confronted with a barrage of mathematic operations in one problem, your order of attack is to first do the equations in the ( ) parentheses, next tackle anything in Exponent form, then multiplication, division, addition and subtraction.



For a kid, learning the order of the planets can be SO frustrating, unless your mother serves pizzas.  Here’s a great way to remember the nine planets’ order from the sun. 

My Very Elegant Mother Just Served Us Nine Pizzas

Mercury Venus Earth  Mars Jupiter Saturn Uranus Neptune Pluto

Helpful Downloads

I cannot tell you how many times at 9pm at night, we discovered we did not have the right supplies for that evening’s math homework.  I would scrounge through old notebooks looking for one clean sheet of graph paper.  Eventually, I started to keep jpg’s on my computer of the sheets the kids would need at the last minute.  I share them now with you!