Homework Help @ Your Library…and beyond!

Homework HelpWith school just starting, lots of us are stressed out with tests, quizzes, homework, extracurricular activities, friends. . . I’m sure you know what I mean.

The good news is that the Seattle Public Library is here to help.  If you find yourself struggling, there’s several important resources, available for all grade, ages, and often in multiple languages (though this varies from branch to branch).

First, check out in-person Homework Help.  This is available at Beacon Hill, Broadview, Columbia, Delridge, Douglass-Truth, High Point, Lake City, NewHolly, Northgate, Rainier Beach and South Park.  This service is generally available several hours a day, Monday through Thursday (not including holidays), but check with your individual branch, as the hours vary branch to branch. Students are able to treat this as a drop in session and are not required to sign up before arrival.

However, if your local branch is like mine and does not have in-person homework help, or you don’t want to leave your home, then take a look at online Homework Help (provided by SPL, powered by Brainfuse). This service is available seven days a week from 1-10 pm in both Spanish and English.  There, you will be able to get help from tutors for Math, English, Science, and Social Studies.  However, for this site you do need a library card and pin number.

I wandered over to the online website and quickly found a sub-site with live tutoring, and I decided I wanted to prepare for the math section of the SAT’s, which I will be facing Spring 2015. Within a few minutes, I was online in what looked like a chat site with a tutor. We worked through a problem which confused me, and by the end I understood how to solve the problem in the future.

This really is a great option if you don’t want to leave your house, and because it allows you anonymity, you can ask questions without the fear of being embarrassed or wrong. It’s also great because of the hours: I know I’ve been up until much later than 10 pm simply because I didn’t know how to do a problem, and had I known about this service, it could have been prevented.

That said, this site is not perfect. Because it does require more time to type and write than to talk, getting your questioned answered can take much longer than just waiting to the next day and asking your teacher. While the tutors truly try to check that you understand, it can also be difficult to get full explanations. I recommend asking your teacher first, as they are probably much more familiar with your strengths and struggles within their classroom, and will know how you learn, where an online tutor has no way of knowing.

Personally, I plan to use this as method of getting answers to last-minute questions, rather than as a first a first response to confusion, but I still feel that this resource is definitely something all students should know about and be able to try: for some, it could be a lifesaver.

Finally, if you would rather work independently, the library offers many books in the Homework Helpers series including this one, and this for term papers. However, they also have general review books, like this ACT prep book, and several others for SAT prep.

Good luck and have fun studying!

–Emma, Greenwood, Teen Blogger


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