Spokane County Library District: Prevent Summer Learning Loss & Get Free Online Tutoring With HelpNow
After the disruption to students’ lives and school year trying to adapt to online, hybrid, or homeschooling learning models (sometimes all three), your student may benefit from some tutoring over the summer. Even if your student thrived in the new online or hybrid environments, when kids and teens continue to read, do math, and work on keeping their critical thinking skills sharp through the summer months, they retain valuable learning that helps them in the coming school year and beyond. There are free options available to help kids keep learning and avoid summer slide during the summer break. Here’s one way that’s accessible online and flexible, and you won’t have to open up your wallet. LIVE ONLINE TUTORING Get free, live online tutoring for students in grades K–12 every day from 2–10pm through our online resource HelpNow from Brainfuse. All customers with an in-district library card can use this resource (even grownups!). A live tutor can help you learn and refresh your skills for numerous topics:
- English-language arts, including reading comprehension
- Writing, including writing tips and proofreading
- Math, all levels
- Social studies, including global and U.S. history
- Science, including earth science, biology, chemistry, and physics
The HelpNow tutor will upload lessons in the live chat to help you improve your skills. The lessons are on slides and interactive. As students and tutors work through the concept, the tutor may underline and circle things on the slides to help with understanding. All lessons are age and grade appropriate, and their content is aligned with state board of education standards. You can also get help from tutors who speak Spanish.
The vast majority of Brainfuse HelpNow tutors are teachers, retired tutors, or graduate students in education, math, and other subjects. A thorough background check is completed for each tutor, all tutors are based in the U.S., and each tutor must have a minimum of a 4-year college degree.
SUMMER CAMP EDUCATIONAL ACTIVITIES
Available now through September 1, HelpNow offers a seasonal resource called Summer Camp to help fight summer slide (a.k.a. summer learning loss). This resource provides different activities, projects, and experiments that students can do at their own pace to stay sharp over the summer break. HelpNow’s Summer Camp can also help students catch up and stay current on their studies to start fall classes ready to learn. Summer Camp resources are grouped by elementary school, middle school, high school, parent resources, and test prep. You’ll find math, science, English language, and social studies refresher lessons, activities, and games for all grade levels. For students studying for college placement exams, you can prepare for the PSAT, SAT, ACT, and AP tests.
OTHER EXPERT HELP
The Writing Lab allows you to upload a document, and then one of HelpNow’s writing coaches will analyze it and provide helpful comments. They respond typically within one business day, and there is no limit to how many times you can submit a paper for review. The SkillSurfer portion of this resource provides online lessons, videos, and tests. Content within SkillSurfer covers subjects from elementary grades through adult learners, including high school equivalency tests, college entrance test preparation, the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB), adult learning resources, and English language learning. Different people like to learn in different ways. Not everyone will want to work with a tutor one-on-one. Students who learn better with audio or visual resources might appreciate a video to better understand a concept or a worksheet to work through. These formats are available through SkillSurfer. The Send Question option allows you to ask a question any time of day or night and get a written response from a tutor within one business day. Feel free to attach supporting documentation with your questions, such as pictures, scans, or drawings, to better describe what you’re asking about and to receive the best help.
If you are learning a new language, you can connect with a language tutor for help with in the Language Lab. Games, quizzes, flashcards, and spoken pronunciations are available to help you learn a new language. If you are learning chess, HelpNow even has live chess tutoring! Learn chess strategies and improve your cognitive thinking with an expert chess coach. Click on the Online Resources button for access to information on the basics of chess, tactics, and maneuvers.
HELPNOW STUDY TOOLS
HelpNow offers several different tools to help you study to your full potential. They offer study resources for the GRE, Accuplacer, and Compass tests, plus educational and career aptitude testing. Flashbulb is a self-learning resource with electronic flashcards. You can use already created flashcard sets and create your own to study and help you ace your exams. You can also play games from your flashcard sets. You can convert a card set to a crossword puzzle, scramble game, or quiz forms as well as games for various ages. Study anytime, anywhere by taking your flashcards on the go with the HelpNow Brainfuse mobile app. You can also print off the cards to learn to cover tangible and visual learning when you are taking a break from devices. The mobile app allows you to take this study resource with you on-the-go.
ADULT LEARNING CENTER
When you click the Adult Learners menu option, it takes you to the Adult Learning Center. There you have access to:
- High school equivalency test preparation
- Citizenship test study guides and practice tests
- Live online tutors
- Microsoft Office help
- Career resources for job searches, including crafting a winning resume
- Plus, the Writing Lab, Skill Builder, Send Question, and Test Center resources
BOOK A LIBRARIAN If you are interested in learning more about HelpNow, you can sign up for a Book-a-Librarian appointment for one-on-one help with library staff to get your Brainfuse HelpNow account set up and learn more about this resource. Crystal Miller is a Business and Career Development Librarian and has been working in libraries for 15 years. She has a master’s in library science from Simmons College and has worked at the Harvard Development Office Library, MIT Libraries, and the Coeur d’Alene Public Library. When she’s not at the library, she can be found at the dog park with her three fur babies or with a cookbook in hand, flipping through the pages, looking for the next recipe to try out.