OK, students, listen up. Teachers, too. Summer is over.
Yeah, I know, the calendar shows Sept. 23 as the autumnal equinox, but Monday was Labor Day, which means it's time to crack the spines of your textbooks and click your mouse to a bevy of Web sites offering help to make it through the next semester.
There will be homework, too, so pay attention.
Some sites for students, teachers and parents looking for help with academics are:
• National Geographic Kids Homework Help
They bill themselves as the one-stop research spot for pictures, articles and maps to help make your report or presentation sparkle. Along with the maps and geography gems you'd expect from this source, you'll find areas focusing on animals, science, history, culture, photography and art.
• Jiskha Homework Help
It's simple, but it works. The site lets students post questions about any homework topic, then they wait for an answer -- or answers, in many cases. The message board system is free and organizes questions and answers into threads, making it easy to see all the dialogue for each query.
The site is monitored by more than 200 "experts," with live, pay-by-the-minute tutors waiting in the chat wings. Pricing is in the 20- to 40-cents per minute range. Students can rate the service they receive, making shopping for a tutor a little easier.
There are links to reference materials and a list of homework tips. An average of 4,000 students use the site each month. Will you be No. 4,001?
• Las Vegas Clark County Library
Click on the "Homework Help" link to get to one of the most robust education sites I've found. You'll need a library card and you'll need to register for access to the many searchable databases, making the site most helpful to Las Vegas area residents.
The site is divided into elementary, middle and high school, parent's corner and teacher's lounge.
There are tips to help students navigate the site and many links to other resources.
• Discovery School
Teachers will find everything from lesson plans and teaching tools to Cosmeo (www.cosmeo.com), a homework helper with more than 30,000 video clips and 27,000 articles.
Subscriptions are $9.95 a month, or $99 for a year, with a 30-day free trial to get you started.
Now for a homework assignment.
Tell me the sites you use to get you through the school year. I know there are many resources I haven't discovered, but that you visit all the time.
Send them via e-mail with the subject: "homework." I'll share the best in a future column.
Now, go study!
Share your Internet story with me at firstname.lastname@example.org.