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Grade-by-Grade Homework Help

Second Grade: Step It Up

Get set for multi-night projects that require some research. “Spelling lists may include multi-syllable words and involve pluralization or contraction. Math problems will use double-digit numbers, and addition or subtraction problems may require ‘carrying over,’” says Chris Tobias, who leads school-skills seminars for students, parents, teachers, and educators and is the author of 101 Secrets to Passing Any Test.

Your Roles:

companion: “Bring home some work of your own, or sit and take care of a house project while your child works nearby,” Tobias says.

A Helping Hand (but not a hand-holder): Let your child do her homework by herself, but check it once she's done. “If you find an error, go back through the problem together,” Tobias says.

Cyber Sleuth: Show her how to use reliable websites to ferret out facts for projects. If you don't know yourself, ask your child's teacher or librarian for pointers.

•BIG-PICTURE GOALS: ENCOURAGING INDEPENDENT READING; CONVEYING THE BASICS OF RESEARCH

•SECRET-WEAPON WEBSITE: IXL.COM ($10 PER MONTH) HAS FUN MATH GAMES AND ACTIVITIES FOR KIDS FROM THE PRESCHOOL THROUGH MIDDLE SCHOOL LEVELS. SOME FREE ACTIVITIES ARE AVAILABLE AS WELL.

•A TYPICAL NIGHT'S HOMEWORK: 15 TO 30 MINUTES

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