Khan Academy is a nonprofit that aims to provide “a free, world-class education for anyone, anywhere.” The site offers a growing library of high-quality educational videos that can help parents brush up on school subjects or guide their child through homework with evidence and visual aids, which are big concepts in the Common Core. Whether you’re looking for a crash course in world history or biology, or even just basic math concepts, there are nicely paced videos on almost every topic. There are even videos to help kids learn computer programming or prepare for the SAT.
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StudyGeek.org is a nonprofit website “where PhD experts help with math homework” — neat! The site offers detailed sections on algebra, geometry, trigonometry, calculus, and statistics. Each area provides helpful explanations and sample problems specific to all types of math. Study Geek also offers a searchable math vocabulary guide. Their Math Solver tool helps you solve any kind of math problem, and by creating a (free) account on the site, you can “unlock” the step-by-step explanation of how the problem was solved and save math problems to refer to later.
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Fact Monster is part of Family Education Network and is a free reference site for children, teachers, and parents. Fact Monster’s homework center offers online math flashcards for kids to practice their addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division skills, and a conversion calculator for all kinds of units of measurement. The site also offers an atlas, almanac, and encyclopedia, plus loads of writing assignment advice, including how to write an essay, biography, and bibliography. The U.S. almanac is a lifesaver when your child is writing a report on one of the 50 states!
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A father/son duo started this site back in 1996 when 9-year-old BJ wanted to learn how to build a website alongside his “computer nerd” dad. The site has grown and continues to serve as a great reference to families. It provides hundreds of links to helpful websites for every school subject and focus area, so you can find resources for anything from botany, to Latin grammar, to musical chords. It can also help you find free texts and books online — which is awesome if your child forgot his copy of Beowulf or Romeo and Juliet in his locker!
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Produced by NBC News’ Education Nation and sponsored by Pearson (owner of FamilyEducation.com), ParentToolkit.com gives you a grade-by-grade look at academics in preschool through high school, reflecting the Common Core Standards that are taking effect in most states. The website’s grade-specific “Benchmark” guides for math and English can be helpful to review at the beginning of the school year to get a sense of what topics your child will be studying (and what you may need to brush up on in order to help with homework). Plus they offer some sample math problems and English language arts exercises, as well as some tips for parents to foster learning at home. Similar content is also available in the Parent Toolkit app.
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CommonCoreWorks.org, provides helpful printable “Parent Roadmaps” for Math and English for grades K-12, available in English and Spanish. The Roadmaps offer a closer look at Common Core curriculum for each grade, including sample math problems and English exercises.
CommonCore.org is another website that offers grade-specific math “tip sheets” for parents, which show the “new math” way of solving problems, such as using dots to learn how to count or “bar models” (aka “tape diagrams”) to solve word problems.
HippoCampus.org is a free website that offers rich multimedia academic content — videos, animations, quizzes, and simulations. The site offers more than 5,700 free videos collected from various academic institutions in 13 subject areas, including algebra, geometry, calculus, earth science, biology, physics, history, and English. Math Snacks is a series of cool animated videos and games that help teach middle school math concepts using fun, visual techniques. STEMbite is a series of videos that discuss math and science in the real word, such as the math behind barcodes, and the science behind polarized sunglass lenses. Visual learning and real-world application are two important educational concepts in the Common Core Standards.
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This site offers subject-specific Parent Primers, which help you dust off old spelling rules, revisit the three branches of government, see different geometric shapes, and more. Plus, with their Flash Card Maker you can make your own math and vocabulary flashcards, and with their Spelling Wizard you can make a word scramble or word search that helps kids learn their spelling list in fun ways.
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Kids say — and ask — the darnedest things! Wonderopolis.org is a neat nonprofit website that answers all sorts of questions submitted by children with fact-filled, kid-friendly articles and fun-to-watch videos. There’s the “Wonder of the Day,” plus an archive of hundreds of past “wonders.” The articles and videos could serve as great inspiration for school assignments, such as science projects or history or English reports. Here are some examples of “wonders” the site answers:
- “Why do skunks stink?”
- “Why is the ocean blue?”
- “What is the world’s favorite food?”
“Ask Dr. Math” is a nonprofit forum managed by Drexel University. The site may look dated, but it’s still helpful and relevant. The list of math FAQs covers many popular topics, such as dividing by zero, types of fractions, learning to factor, and how to round numbers. You can also browse for answers by age group (elementary, middle, or high school) or search the archive by keyword.
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