6 Free Online Tutoring Sites for Back-to-School

By Gina Briles, Cheapism.com

When the bell rings for summer vacation, kids are eager to toss their books aside and enjoy a few short months of freedom. You may wonder if your student's skills have gotten rusty, without constant practice to hammer lessons home. To prepare your kids for the upcoming school year, proactively work on problem areas, or line up extra help once classes start, check out these free online tutoring websites. Several passed muster with the experts at Good Housekeeping, who recommend other online educational sites, as well.

Help your child brush up on her skills with free online tutoring sites.Help your child brush up on her skills with free online tutoring sites.

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  • Hippocampus.org A general education website created with high school and college-aged students in mind, Hippocampus.org covers a wider array of topics than the other free online tutoring sites on our list. The Hippocampus.org design is polished and professional. Tools range from multimedia video presentations to simulations and slide shows. Subjects covered include math, natural sciences, social sciences, and religion. One warning: Hippocampus.org relies heavily on Adobe Flash, which could be a problem on some Apple devices.
  • IntMath.com This free online tutoring site offers high-school math students clear lesson plans on subjects from algebra to calculus, including a multitude of examples and integrated online worksheets. The layout is straightforward and easy to navigate. IntMath.com is a good choice for kids who need extra practice to wrap their head around a concept, or for test preparation.
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  • OnlineMathLearning.com Designed to help pre-K through high-school age students grasp grade-appropriate mathematical concepts, this free online tutoring site's biggest strength is its repository of video lesson plans. It also offers interactive games and non-printable worksheets. Lessons are sorted by subject and grade level, with additional sections for standardized test preparation, including the SAT and ACT. Much like the results you get with Google searches, the top of each page is populated with ads, so scroll down before clicking.
  • Starfall.com Beginning readers can hone their abilities with this phonics-based free online tutoring site. Chock-full of interactive activities and stories, Starfall.com appeals to young children while familiarizing them with the English alphabet and the sounds each letter makes.
Try these free sites before doling out big bucks to a private tutor.Try these free sites before doling out big bucks to a private tutor.

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  • Owl.English.Purdue.Edu For a site geared toward the complex composition and grammar needs of middle-schoolers on up, Purdue's pet resource is worth a bookmark. Not only does the free online tutoring site document the ins and outs of proper punctuation and word usage, it covers correct formatting for common assignments, such as book reports and research papers. It even has resources on writing job applications and résumés, perfect for graduates.
  • PhysicsClassroom.com Well-planned tutorials, complete with diagrams and questions that test students' level of understanding, are one draw to this thorough physics site. Other features we like are the multimedia movies and animations that illustrate real-world physics, and the interactive test and review tools. Primarily oriented towards high-school students, PhysicsClassroom.com is also a good resource for teachers.

In a landscape of rising tuition costs and long school supply lists, free online tutoring is one area where an investment in your child's education doesn't cost a cent. The Internet can't replace one-on-one professional tutoring sessions for a struggling child, but these sites are a free and productive way for students to brush up on last year's learnings and reinforce new concepts.

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