With a son in third grade, I have been eager to find the best online math program for kids, but while we have tried a lot of great math programs, they were all missing something. Then I heard about Kahn Academy, a program that offers free math lessons, and I have finally found what my kids and I needed.
You may have heard about Kahn Academy on the news, as the program has been featured on CNN and elsewhere in the media. With big supporters such as Google and Bill Gates, Kahn Academy no longer runs advertising on the Kahn Academy website, but it is still 1000 percent free to anyone who uses the site. Kahn Academy is also currently running a pilot program in a few California schools, and it recently received a $5 million dollar donation to continue its mission.
Kahn Academy is a non-for-profit organization, which wants to provide a free world-class education to anyone anywhere in the world. The brains behind Khan Academy is Sal Kahn, a MIT- and Harvard MBA graduate, who originally created these math lessons as a way to help his cousins with math. Khan Academy has since turned into a valuable tool for teachers, students, parents, and anyone who is seeking to gain more knowledge.
When I first heard of Kahn Academy I was intrigued, and then I sat down and studied the program up close. At first glance Kahn Academy looks extremely simple, and I was very impressed with how it was possible to track the children’s process.
When I finally started my two oldest boys ages 5 and 9 at Kahn Academy, these free math lessons surpassed my wildest expectations. My five-year-old son, who is currently in Kindergarten, was bored with his kindergarten math, and I am excited to see how Kahn Academy challenges him while teaching new math concepts. A few days after starting Kahn Academy, my son was doing complicated math problems such as 137 + 357, which is far above the 2 + 5 that he is currently learning in Kindergarten.
My oldest son is in third grade, and while he is doing great on his homework, spelling tests etc., he is having trouble on the standardized test, so I wanted to start over from the beginning. At Kahn Academy everyone starts with basic addition, and you cannot move on to the next level math, until you get all the answers correct at the current level.
If a child gets stuck on a math problem, he or she can watch free math lessons, which explains the math concepts and teaches how how to solve the problems. Kahn Academy offers more than 2700 math videos with free math lessons, and each video offers easy-to-understand explanations that are simplified enough for both parents and children to understand.
Kahn Academy is tailored to independent learning, where each child can sit at a computer and do the math exercises. In a classroom setting the teacher will go from student to student to help, or the students will help each other. This works perfectly for a home study setting as well, and I love how I can have each of my boys sitting at a computer learning at their own pace. While my sons are doing their math exercises and taking math lessons, I can work on my own computer while keeping track of their progress on my own screen. Whenever someone gets stuck they can watch a video, get a hint or ask me to come and help, and then we go through the free math lessons together.
Besides the computer all my children need to participate in Kahn Academy is a notebook, a pencil, a computer and headphones.
Today my oldest son got stuck in the number lines math lesson, and I was very impressed to see how Kahn Academy refused to let him go onto another level, until he was proficient in the concept of number lines. My son had to watch the number lines lesson several times, and I helped explain it a few times before he finally got it. When he completed the number line exercises, he was thrilled. Not only did my son get a good foundation in working with number lines, he also understood something that he might not have gotten at school. As an extra bonus, my son felt a true sense of accomplishment, because he finally understood it and made it to a new level.
As the child gets closer to passing a math level, a color tracker moves closer to the color red. If the child gets a question wrong, the color tracker takes a step back closer to blue. When the child has completed a math level the color tracker will turn red, and it is then possible to choose a new math exercise based on the level that the student has already completed.
Besides the color tracker, the kids also earn fun badges, when they accomplish different levels, and they earn points for every correct answer and level that they pass. This is one of my kids’ favorite parts about Kahn Academy, and it keeps them motivated to keep on doing more math problems.
Coaches and teachers:
As a mother, my favorite part about Kahn Academy, is the tracking tool. With the Kahn Academy tracking tool, parents and teachers can keep track of the kids’ progress as they are working on their math lessons. This is an instant tracking system, where the parent or teacher can see whether a student is having problems or not, which problem is causing difficulty, and how long a student is spending on a specific problem, or how many tries they had to do to finally solve the problem.
What I Love About Kahn Academy:
This is a free math program.
My kids think that Kahn Academy is fun because of the points and badges.
This is the most thorough math program I have found.
Kahn Academy can be used for all levels, all grades, and all ages.
The free math lessons are simple, short and easy to understand.
Kahn Academy is just like having a math class in your home.
The coahing program and tracking abilities are a great help for parents and teachers.
You will need to get everything correct in one level, in order to move on to the next level.
Mr. Kahn is pleasant to listen to, he knows how to explain difficult math problems, and he is very personable in the math lessons.
The Kahn Academy You Tube channel, is filled with lots of Kahn Academy videos, and these include lessons about almost anything from history to science, biology, math and economy.
I surely wish I had had a program like Kahn Academy, when I was growing up, because it is the best math program I have ever encountered. Not only is it free, but it is comprehensive, and the fact that it teaches you the fundamentals of math, before you can continue on to the next level is a big plus. I can highly recommend Kahn Academy to any parents, who are looking for some extra math help for their child. Before you go out and spend a lot of money on tutoring, take a look at Kahn Academy. Free math lessons might not sound like something to get excited about, but Kahn Academy offers something that cannot be put a dollar sign on. For a parent with a child who is struggling in math, or a student with no math help at home – Kahn Academy is priceless.