MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Oftentimes, parents are more excited when fall rolls around and school reopens than children, but going back to school also means going back to helping with homework.

And most parents haven’t had to think about trigonometry, physics, calculus, chemistry for many years.

When the homework assignments are too difficult to parents to help figure out, there are other resources to utilize.

Public libraries throughout the Twin Cities metro area have homework help centers, and are staffed with volunteers who are skilled at making sense out of difficult classroom assignments.

“I think they get a lot of joy out of being able to help someone work through a problem,” said Sheila Winderlich. “You get a sense that you are doing something important and that you really are impacting a child’s life.”

Another option is online help, available at the library or from your computer at home. With your library membership number, you can access websites that offer real-time help from tutors in other cities, completely free of charge.

“They do all kinds of things; pick your topic,” said Winderlich. “You can submit papers and they will read it and send it back to you with suggestions, they have real time online chat. So, if you have a math problem, and just can’t figure it out, they will work with you to try to help you get it. They won’t give you the answer, but in the moment, absolutely.”

Most of the homework help centers are only open during the school year, but a few, like the Dayton’s Bluff branch of St. Paul Public Library, stay open year-round.

The volunteers who help out with homework come from all kinds of backgrounds. Some are college students who are in work-study programs and others are retired workers with experience in science and technology.

Elementary and high school kids can also get help with stuff like science fair projects.


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