Homework Help and Tutoring: Resources for Everyone

By: Nancy Therrien, contributor

There are different types of support services to help young people with learning difficulties or disabilities or those who just need help or guidance. Choosing the solution that’s right for them – homework help, tutoring or special education – can be quite a complicated task. To choose the appropriate resources available and to help your child tackle the challenges they face at school, you need to understand those forms of help.

Homework help


Special education

Homework help sessions are periods of time during which students with or without difficulties can do their homework and lessons under the supervision of a qualified adult or a student who does well in school.

A student may need this help temporarily or for a longer period of time in order to fully understand the material presented in class.


Content-oriented, tutoring is a more personalized and flexible form of help offered to students. Tutoring is provided in group or individual sessions. It is specifically intended for students with learning difficulties and for those who need ongoing help with their school work. The role of the tutor is to provide guidance to the learner without necessarily giving them all the answers.


As a specialist, the special education teacher detects, identifies and evaluates learning difficulties or disabilities. The interventions are focused on learning strategies, organization and executive functions in order to give back to the student the capacity to use their acquired educational knowledge. Generally speaking, the special education teacher works closely with educators designated to help the student. 

School boards can refer you to these services:

How does homework help work?

At school

Homework help is provided either by an external partner who goes to school, by internal staff (ex. a teacher or a special education technician) or by a student who does well in school. Support services are offered outside of school hours. Sometimes, the school team is the one targeting students with difficulties and suggesting they get the help they need. But students who do well can also register at the request of their parents. 

At a youth centre

The vast majority of these centres offer homework help services for free. In general, they provide youngsters a place where they can ask their questions to educators who work there. They can do so either whenever they want or during scheduled sessions to which they must register to attend. Educators with specific training (ex. a bachelor’s degree in education) or with relevant qualifications (ex. aptitude for languages) can act as coaches.

Find a youth centre.


Students who turn to family resource centres or non-profit organizations are supervised by educators, volunteers or other students during a given period of time dedicated to homework and lessons. This type of service is usually free or very inexpensive.

Homework help and tutoring: who is it for?

Some organizations offer homework help and tutoring services to very specific groups of people. For example, newcomers, African American individuals and families, members of single-parent families, children with hearing problems, etc.

Homework help and tutoring are also interesting solutions to prevent dropping out of school and to support reentry. Note that some organizations provide homework help and tutoring services only to elementary school students, others target only high school students. Some even offer services to adults returning to school, and some have services available for all those in need. In a nutshell, everyone can access academic support.

Educational support available

Every school offers a support service to students to make sure they benefit from favourable learning conditions through a program developed by school boards. They can provide remedial work sessions with a teacher during lunch break or outside of school hours, tutoring or homework help, for example. Educational institutions also work in partnership with community organizations who offer support to students. Those services can be provided right at school or on the organization premises. Parents of students who attend public school and who wish to access inexpensive support services should ask the school principal for information on those services.

At what point does special education become the right solution?

When homework help and tutoring are not enough, it’s important to consider whether the learner might be struggling with dyslexia, dysorthographia or dyscalculia, which are all types of disorders that should be taken in charge by a qualified educator. Teachers and parents are both able to report a problem, but only a practitioner of psychology is qualified to establish a diagnosis. Schools of the CSDM and the vast majority of schools in the Greater Montreal have special education teachers providing free services to students with learning difficulties.

Also, in recent years, a small number of schools now establish a screening protocol called “response to intervention” which involves an educational follow-up with every kindergarten or first cycle of elementary school student.

If your child is failing, don’t hesitate to ask for the services their school provides or to turn to community organizations to get help. Free and inexpensive solutions are readily available. The choice is yours!   


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Alloprof is one click away

In addition to offering homework help, the team of teachers at Alloprof answers every question students have, and provides general training to adults and parents of students. In fact, those parents are given the opportunity to ask questions on a problem related to any given subject matter taught in elementary or high school – either over the phone, via SMS, on the newsgroup and on the cyberprof platform – and to receive an answer within a reasonable time frame.

Also, thanks to an online library, short videos, a cyber-revision section, a revision catalogue, games, applications, exercises, tips and advice, and a section dedicated to exam preparation, the alloprof.qc.ca website is truly a wealth of free information.