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Grade-by-Grade Homework Help

Seventh Grade Raising the Bar

If sixth grade was middle-school lite, seventh is the caffeinated version. English homework will entail essays where kids are asked to compare and contrast characters. Kids who take a foreign language will have assignments like word lists and basic sentence construction. Math means more and harder algebra problems, along with graphs and probability equations. And students will often focus on a single science or history topic for weeks at a time.

Your Roles:

Recording Engineer: Teach great note-taking. Tobias likes the School Skills Active Memory Method: Tell your child to make a fat and a thin column on each page. In the fat one, he should write down everything he can as his teacher talks. In the narrow column, as time allows, write down a test question the teacher might ask based on that information. It'll embed the info in his memory and provide an easy way for a parent or pal to help test him later. He should also leave spaces between one topic and the next to draw helpful pictures.

Checkout Clerk: Sit down briefly each night, just to go over things. At dinner, ask “What homework did you have? What did you learn?”

Reality-Show Host: If you're able, plan some family field trips to reinforce what your child's learning in science or history. A visit to a Civil War battlefield or nature center may help facts hit home in a way no book ever could.

•AMOUNT OF HOMEWORK TO EXPECT: ABOUT 75 TO 90 MINUTES

•BIG-PICTURE GOALS: APPLYING LESSONS TO EVERYDAY EXPERIENCES; IMPROVING ANALYTICAL SKILLS; ESTABLISHING GOOD NOTE-TAKING HABITS

•SECRET-WEAPON WEBSITE: KHANACADEMY.ORG OFFERS THOUSANDS OF HOW-TO VIDEOS

Kid hogging the family computer? Now's a good time to invest in a homework laptop. Check out Toshiba's Satellite Ultrabook—it's slim and lightweight, lightning-fast, and has an eight-hour-plus battery life ('cause you know they'll forget to charge it). ($900; us.toshiba.com)

 


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