New program offers homework help for parents

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FAIRWAY, Kan. – Completing homework for many students can be a daunting task, and sometimes even more so for their parents. But there's a new form of coaching that could change the way you view homework forever.

School is starting, and that means so does the homework. Parents want to help their kids, but that's not always so easy. But what if help could show up at your door to alleviate some of that after school stress?

"It takes forever for me to just get done with one little page of it," said 10-year-old Marcus Crockett, who just started fifth grade.

His mother, Janie Crockett, says it’s difficult to offer her son help when she is unfamiliar with the material.

"I've been out of school for so long, I don't remember stuff, and Marcus laughs at me because a lot of times I have to look it up on the internet to find out what they're talking about," she said.

Janie says her oldest son, Marcus, has always struggled with math.

"It would end up in fits of crying and it would take us two hours to do homework," she said. "Trying to help three kids with homework, the math they do now-a-days you can't just look at it and say yeah that's right, I mean you sit down and it's a step-by-step process.”

Janie said she has used multiple tutors to no avail, until she hired Duane Joseph almost a year ago when she was at her wits end.

"We help the parents understand math, we give classes for those parents," said Joseph, the president at Maranatha Educational Services LLC, or MaranathaEd LLC, an ACT prep and math tutoring business he started in 2012.

"I saw a need in the community," Joseph said.

The solution was exactly what parents like Janie needed.

"He explained math to him in ways that I don't know how, because I don't sit in the classroom with the teacher and hear how they explain it," said Janie.

Joseph works for the Kauffman Foundation, he's been teaching math for years, and now kids in school aren't his only customers.

"We want to help our parents understand the math, so when they're working with their students, they can actually get it," he said.

He started "Parents in Control" and is working with students, teachers, and now parents.

"Getting them up to speed with their kids," said Joseph. "They can feel empowered to help their student."

Jaine Crockett says she knows she's not alone. When she talks about Joseph to other parents, they want to know more about him. And now, math doesn't seem so scary anymore for both parents and students.

"I've been doing better and it seems easier," said Marcus.

The cost of tutoring runs between $35 and $65. They're also working on setting up scholarships. Help is available to kids in all grades.

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