Homework Help and Tutoring: Resources for Everyone

By: Nancy Therrien, contributor

Different types of support services exist for young people with learning difficulties, learning disabilities or simply needing guidance. Homework help, tutoring or remedial education: depending on your child’s needs, different forms of support exist, often free or at a low cost.

Homework help

Tutoring

Special education

Homework help allows students who may or may not be struggling in class to benefit from a period of homework and lessons under the supervision of a qualified adult or a high-achieving student. The student may need this service on a temporary or long-term basis to reinforce the material seen in class.

 

Content-oriented, tutoring provides more personalized and flexible assistance to students. Tutoring sessions are held in groups or individually and are specifically designed for students with learning disabilities and who regularly need help to complete their schoolwork. The role of the tutor is to guide the learner without necessarily providing the answers to the problems encountered.

 

As a specialist, the remedial teacher screens, identifies and evaluates learning difficulties or disabilities. This specialist’s interventions focus on learning strategies, organization and executive functions in order to give the student back the power of their educational achievements. In general, the remedial teacher works in close collaboration with the intervenors involved with the student. 

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, some of the services described below may only be available remotely. Don’t hesitate to ask the organization of your choice for more information.

Homework help and tutoring audience

Academic support is available to everyone. Some homework and tutoring organizations may, however, reserve their services for specific clients such as newcomers, children from Black communities, single-parent families, children with hearing problems, adults returning to school, etc. Other organizations focus on one level of education only: elementary, high school, etc.

Carefully consult the organizations’ fact sheets to determine their audience.

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Homework help based on location

At school

At school, homework help is offered outside of school hours and can be provided by:

  • an external partner who comes to the school,
  • in-house staff (teacher, special education technician, etc.)
  • a high-achieving student.

This support can be offered to special needs students identified by the school team, but also to any other student, upon a parent’s request. 

 

What you need to know

All schools offer support services to students to ensure favourable learning conditions according to a program established by the school service centres. This may include lunchtime or after-school recovery with a teacher, tutoring, homework help, etc. In addition, schools work in partnership with community organizations that provide support to students. Assistance may be offered at the school itself or on the organizations’ premises. If your child attends a public school, check with the principal to find out if there are any free or low-cost support services available.

 

In youth centres

The vast majority of youth centres offer homework help at no cost. Young people are generally invited to ask any questions they may have to the intervenors on site at any time, or at scheduled sessions for which registration is required. Intervenors with specific training (e.g., bachelor’s degree in education) or who possess relevant assets (e.g., language skills) can act as coaches.

In NPOs

Students hosted at family homes or various non-profit organizations are mentored by intervenors, volunteers, and other students for a set period of time designed for homework and lessons. This service is usually offered at no or low cost.

 

When remediation becomes the solution

Homework help and tutoring may no longer be enough. In some cases, it may be because the child has a dyslexia, dysorthographia or dyscalculia disorder that needs to be addressed by a qualified intervenor. Teachers and parents can report difficulties, but only a psychology professional can give a diagnosis.

Remedial teachers intervene free of charge with students with learning disabilities in the schools of the EMSB and in the vast majority of schools in Greater Montreal. As a result, in recent years, a small number of schools have established a screening protocol referred to as “response to intervention,” which consists of follow-up remediation with all students in kindergarten or the first cycle of elementary school.

Logo Alloprof

One click away from an Alloprof resource

 In addition to offering homework help, Alloprof’s team of teachers answers students’ questions and provides general education to adults and parents of students. The latter have the possibility of exposing a problem on all the subjects taught at the elementary and high school levels by telephone, text message, on the forum and the virtual teachers (cyberprofs) platform and to receive an answer within a reasonable time.

In addition, the https://www.alloprof.qc.ca is a wealth of free information. NB Since Alloprof is currently working on the English version of its website, it is best to refer to the French site for complete information. 

It includes a virtual library, video segments, e-reviews, review directories, games, applications, exercises, tips and advice and exam preparation.

If your child is failing, don’t hesitate to turn to the services offered by the school they attend and community organizations for help. Free or low-cost solutions are available. Now it’s your turn!   

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