New website helps parents assist their kids with homework

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By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey

PHOENIX -- There is a new tool for parents who might be feeling overwhelmed or intimidated when it comes to helping with their child's homework.

Stand for Children Arizona has created a free website called Do Your Homework Arizona.

"What we really tried to do is sort of take general topics and help explain and provide definitions of things so that a parent might be able to relate it to what they learned when they were students," said Stand for Children Arizona spokeswoman Jennifer Liewer.

The website currently covers grades K-8 and focuses on just a couple of subjects: math and English.

"We focused on these two subjects because that is where we have new academic standards," Liewer said.

The non-profit says the website was created to assist parents with understanding Arizona's College and Career Ready Standards, or Common Core.

"Arizona has new academic standards, and they're a little tougher. They're not something we grew up with. And so parents are struggling to help their kids with the homework when they bring it home at night," said Liewer.

Kelly Shaughnessy is a mother of three and this year she entered uncharted territory, when her eldest daughter started elementary school.

"She's in kindergarten, so this is new to me, homework and helping her with her homework," Shaughnessy said.

Shaughnessy admits she despises math, and says she's been a bit overwhelmed by all the schoolwork her daughter is bringing home. She says she is surprised by how much things have changed since she was in school.

"A lot of the math concepts now are so much more than what does two plus two equal," she said.

For her, the website has been a great resource.

"It's helpful that you can click on, for instance, I can click on kindergarten and it will say where she should be and then give you tools to help her get to that level, so that's helpful," said Shaughnessy.

Stand for Children Arizona is quick to point out that the website is not going to be able to answer every question a parent might have, but it's a good starting point.

"We link parents to a lot of great websites that have a lot more information. So if someone doesn't find what they're looking for or if they really want to learn more in depth about what their child is learning in the classroom, there are tools on the website that will help them do that," Liewer said.

In addition, she tells 3TV that they plan to grow the site in the future, adding tutorials and more.

For her part, Shaughnessy says the website is proving invaluable in helping her not only assist her kindergartner but her preschoolers too.

"I think like now as education is changing and teachers and schools are relying more on the parents too to continue that at home so I think it is a great tool for any parent," she said.