The Homework Helpster is a 6 x 8-inch hardcover spiral book with a built-in stand. It is divided into four sections: Social Studies, Math, Science, and Language Arts. Each section is further divided into chapters and one-page lessons.
Social studies chapters are Geography, States (origination and general information), and The United States (history and civics). The math chapters are Number Sense and Operations, Geometry, Measurement, Algebra, Data and Probability, and Word Problems. In the language arts section, the chapters are Spelling and Vocabulary, Parts of Speech, Sentences and Punctuation, Fiction and Poetry, Nonfiction, and Public Speaking. The science section has chapters covering Scientists, Life Science and Health, Earth Science, and Physical Science.
Following the table of contents for each of the four sections is an alphabetical list of keywords and concepts covered. Either one of these listings should help students find what they are looking for quickly.
The purpose of the Homework Helpster is to provide students with a handy reference to use when doing homework. To this end, it is most useful for students who are in a formal classroom as opposed to homeschoolers, since the latter group generally completes schoolwork during the school day and therefore does not typically have homework.
Homework Helpster is a secular publication reflecting the commonly accepted evolution theory. This is evident on page 6 of the science section, where it discusses Charles Darwin. It says, "His work eventually led to the theory of evolution, one of the most important concepts in modern biology today." Further, on page 25 of the science section it states, "Earth was formed about five billion years ago, along with the rest of the solar system, from a cloud of gas and dust. After millions of years, the rock crust, oceans, and atmosphere formed."
In the lesson in the language arts section on taking notes, it reads, "If you are taking notes from a book, try not to copy exact sentences. That makes it less likely that someone else's writing will appear in your paper." I found this soft-pedaling of plagiarism disturbing. This imperative against copying sentences should be stated more strongly.
The two pages in the math section on word problems are excellent and take a lot of the headache out of solving these, which can be challenging for children.
The format is delightful. The page layout is clear and well organized, with brief information accompanied by a colorful photo, graph, or illustration. The book begs to be perused. Even older children and adults might find it a fun refresher.