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Homework Hotlines

Times, they are a-changing.

The era of running downstairs and asking Mom or Dad to help with homework may be coming to an end. These days, students can just as easily use a computer or cell phone to receive homework help.

Welcome to the World of Homework Hotlines!

And, what a crowded world it is fast becoming! Over the last year or so, there has been a virtual explosion of homework hotlines, with a new one seeming to pop up every day. (Some businesses use the word “hotline” but are actually homework information sites with articles and links or paid tutoring services. For more information about different types of online homework help, check out this page.

There is a homework hotline to suit every family, student and budget: free and paid; local, national and international; immediate help and those where someone will get back to you later. A student might call down the street and talk to the friendly librarian, or send an email to a guy across the country, or even chat with a woman in an entirely different country. Some hotlines are only available for a few hours after school; others stay “open” 24/7.

You know, just in case your first grader needs help with those sight words at 3 o’clock in the morning.

So, are these homework hotlines a good thing or not? Once again, my answer is: it depends. If a student simply needs to be pointed in the right direction or has a relatively easy question- then, yes, homework hotlines can be helpful. However, if a student is using a homework hotline because of true lack of understanding and/or a huge deadline looming overhead...

Better talk to a tutor or teacher.

We are always looking for quick fixes, aren’t we?

Be Prepared!

If you think your family might one day want to use a homework hotline, I recommend writing down the phone numbers and/or website addresses now, before you need them. Think ahead and at least try to keep the tears and desperation (you or your child’s) to a minimum.

Before students dial or log-on, students should have everything they might need: books, paper, pencils, calculator, etc. Oh, and write down the question! Homework hotline helpers complain that students often call and don't know what help they need!

I also prefer local or state hotlines over national and international ones because the folks answering the call or email are more likely to be familiar with your school’s expectations and assignments and state standards. Check with your school district, neighborhood library or state office of education to find the best local or state homework hotlines.

You gotta love free, live homework help- especially if it's local.

Homework Hotlines and Safety

Students should never, ever give out their personal information on the phone or online, and the same rule applies to homework hotlines. Never give out your last name, home address, school name, home phone or credit card number.

If anyone at a hotline asks for this type of information, hang up and immediately tell your parents, teacher or another adult you trust.

See this page for more information about internet safety.

Need Some Homework Peace? (Don't we all?)

Can homework hotlines make you a good homework helper?

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