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Getting Help With Homework

Even when you pay attention in class, study for tests, and do your homework, some subjects can still seem too hard. You may hope that things will get easier, but most of the time that doesn't happen.

What does happen for many students is that they work harder but fall farther behind. They may get overwhelmed and want to stop trying. 

If this happens to you, don’t be afraid to ask for help. 

Where Can I Get Help With My Homework?

Start with your teachers or guidance counselor. Some teachers will work with students before or after school to explain things more clearly. A guidance counselor can help direct you to someone in the school who might be able to work with you.

Ask a classmate. If you know someone who is good at a subject, ask if you can study together. Keep in mind, though, that people who understand a subject aren't always good at explaining it. Consider asking a few different classmates or even putting together a study group.

Ask a sibling or a family friend. Do you have a sibling who knows the subject well? What about a family friend? Can you think of anyone else in your network who might be able to help you? It often helps to hear the same thing explained in different ways, so see if you can find anyone else to talk to.

Find a tutor. It usually costs money to hire a tutor, so discuss it with your parent. Your teachers or guidance counselor can help you find a tutor if you're interested. Some schools or organizations have free tutors, so find out if that’s an option for you.

Search for free homework help in your area. Many cities have free after-school programs at libraries or community centers where volunteer tutors can help students with homework. Search online to find out what's available near you. Your teachers or guidance counselor also may be able to help you find a good program.

Search for free homework help online. Many tutoring companies, such as Khan Academy or Princeton Review, offer free homework help through their websites. You can also find online lessons, practice quizzes, and other resources you can review.

Search for videos online. Many teachers and tutors make free online videos explaining various concepts. Your teachers might be able to recommend some. It’s a good idea to ask them so you know the videos are reliable and match the information the teacher covers in class.

Above all, make sure you do the work yourself. As helpful as tutors, online resources, and other people might be, you need to make sure they’re not doing too much of your work for you. Not only is this cheating, but it won’t help you learn what you need to know. Whenever you get help from someone else, be sure you’re the one actually doing the assignment.

Be Sure the Help You Get Is Actually Helpful

You might find that a topic makes sense as someone explains it to you, but when you work on it alone later, it’s confusing again. Or maybe it didn’t make much sense in the moment, and you’re even more confused now.

Don’t give up if the first thing you try doesn’t help. Try various strategies to see what works best for you. Keep in mind that it can take a few tries before you really understand something. You’ll know you’re getting the help you need when you’re able to understand things on your own.

Reviewed by: Colleen O'Shea, M.Ed
Date Reviewed: Aug 1, 2023

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