The Library


I still think that the best approach for helping your student learn to do quality homework is a trip to the local library. Here he can learn to search periodicals as well as texts that will give the widest variety of sources. Most libraries have put periodical guides on computer, making the search easier. For any given subject, have the student look in a minimum of three each: periodicals (magazines and newspapers), first source texts (auto-biographies, experiment research written by the actual scientist), and related works such as chronicles of literature. And, of course, a first hand interview is a gem! Don’t forget other great resources like atlases, gazetteers, and dictionaries. Besides the meanings of words, a good dictionary like a Webster’s Collegiate will have etymologies, lists of famous people, notable places, dates, forms of address, foreign words and phrases, math and science symbols, even the table of elements! Just check the index. If your student wants to be on the Internet for some homework, I suggest the purchase of software which might be more suitable to  your values. Christianity Today’s web site has links to software as do A Beka and others. You might check The Learning Company’s site for programs like Oregon Trail and  Amazon Trail. These software packages have some really good information but you will have to be careful about opinion/agenda woven into some lessons. The academic level does not go beyond 5-6th grade and some of the program is more game and adventure oriented than lesson directed. The good news is that these have gone down in price from $49 to around $10. You can buy used software on e-bay. Other sites to look at learning software are and For current events, try or  These sites keep current reports for two-three days. They also have an archive search for related information. If your student wants business information that the WSJ does not have, go to