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Family Matters Blog: Free Tutors Ease Homework Woes

By Elaine Wilson
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Oct. 13, 2010 – Last night, I sat down to help my daughter with her homework and very quickly realized I was in over my head. It's been a while since I took 3rd grade math and was hard-pressed to remember terms like place value, front-end estimation and common factors.

"Is that right?" she asked me, thrusting her worksheet under my nose. I had to hesitate for a moment before admitting I had no idea, and quickly delved into her math book to give myself a refresher.

I had a moment of panic as I realized I would have to relearn a whole host of complicated math terms in the years ahead. I think I desperately need a math refresher course for parents, or a very experienced tutor.

It was a tough evening for me, but I realized our military families have additional, weightier challenges. They frequently move, and must keep up with the different requirements of different teachers in each school. And when a parent deploys, the other must assume the sole role of homework helper along with a host of other responsibilities. And it's even tougher when both parents deploy.

Fortunately, the Defense Department offers military families access to free, online tutoring at  The site offers round-the-clock professional tutors who can assist with homework, studying and test preparation. Services are available to students of any age – from kindergartners to high school seniors – with help offered in more than 16 subjects.

Once online, the student and tutor work together in a secure virtual classroom, where they can chat, draw on a shared whiteboard, upload files and browse the Internet together.

Active-duty servicemembers, National Guard and reserve personnel on active duty in a deployed status, Defense Department civilians in a deployed status and their dependents are eligible to participate. Families who aren't eligible can access the service for a fee.

People can sign up by visiting

To comment on this blog, please visit the Family Matters blog.

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