Manic: For me, math always made me feel manic as a kid. Lucky for me, my two kiddos are gifted in math and I don’t know where they got that! But a lot of my gal pals tell me that their kids need help in math, just like I did.
Managed: Happily welcomed a guest article about this topic from our guest post writer, Jennifer Spear, married mother of two girls, who is also the Senior Process Engineer for ASM America. She tells us about a great and free online resource that she says is beneficial for kids that need a little extra help with math.
It is already back to school time. Do your kids excel in math, or do they occasionally need help? Does the idea of helping your child with math make you break out into a cold sweat? Khan Academy is a free online resource that can help with all these issues!
Khan Academy was created by Sal Khan after he spent time tutoring his cousin in math. He originally started doing this over the phone. When her grades improved, several other family members asked to be tutored, so he started making videos and posting them on You Tube. More and more people started watching these videos and in 2006 Khan Academy was born. Here is a video link where Sal talks about the start of Khan Academy.
Currently Khan Academy has over 4,500 videos that are free to anyone to watch and learning is made easy with these helpful tutorials. More are added daily and they cover a wide variety of topics. All you need to do is create an account. If you are under 13, you will need a teacher or parent to create the account for you. Here is the link explaining those options.
My family has used Khan Academy extensively for math. We have also dabbled in topics like computer science. Khan offers instructional videos on math subjects that range from kindergarten through college calculus. Plus there are also exercises to practice the skills that are learned in each video. These exercises are great learning tools and the website keeps track of how many problems are completed and how many answers that you get right. Once you have accumulated a substantial string of correct math problems, you are declared proficient in the topic and suggestions on new topics to work on are then recommended.
If you are having trouble working out the problems, the hint button can be used to see how to do them step by step. The site even awards points and badges along the way. After you have become proficient in topics, it will prompt you to review them every once in a while to keep your skills sharp.
Here are the ways our family has used Khan Academy:
*The kids use the exercises to keep the brains active over the summer.
*When we did not understand a term in the school math books (lattice multiplication for example) we watched a video together.
*When the kids are assigned web games for math practice, they often pick Khan Academy.
*We adults brush up on math topics that come up at work.
With Khan Academy becoming more widely known, sometimes videos from Khan Academy are assigned for homework. That has been great for my daughters since they are familiar with and like Khan.
Most schools have adopted the Common Core Standards. This link lists all the standards for each grade. The link also tells you the name of Khan Academy videos and exercises that correspond to each standard.