If you are a homeschooler or if you just need to help your child play catch up for traditional school, you need out check out the free resources from Khan Academy for homeschoolers.
We started homeschooling this past school year, with my son being 4 years old and really only knowing how to count to ten. Okay not to brag, but to make my point, over this school year he has mastered both pre-K and kindergarten math skills and is now on his way to learning first-grade math. I credit a majority of this progress to Khan Academy. His knowledge grew leaps and bounds after I introduced the Early Math lessons into his curriculum following Christmas break.
So if you looking to supplement to your current math curriculum, access what your child is actually learning, or just need a go-to resource for extra practice problems, Khan Academy is your answer.
Bonus: Your little one will think playing on the Khan Academy App or getting to use the computer for “school” is super fun!
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So what is Khan Academy?
Khan Academy is a FREE learning resource for all ages. Do you love free as much as I do?
Why Are We Using Khan Academy In Our Homeschool?
My tech-savvy husband stumbled across this resource long ago, so when we started homeschooling he advised me to check it out. I was hesitant at first to have either of them learning primary subjects on the computer by someone else. Isn’t part of the reason I was homeschooling to be actively teaching and learning with them? And it seemed my primary guiding homeschooling methods frowned upon using electronics as a teaching aid. So I put it off……
But during our long December break, I finally set my pride and electronic phobia aside. Taking the time to look through the subject material and really check out the early math, I was sold. Once I saw the variety of information that Khan Academy covered, I immediately created student accounts for both kiddos.
Why should we hold our kids back from a variety learning opportunities just because someone else says that their brains will turn into mush if they have electronic-based learning? (Ok…no one really said mush brain….but you know what I am referring to right?)
And Why Khan Academy Math?
Let me be honest, there are not many subject options for a preschool or kindergarten learner within Khan Academy. When I set up my son’s profile and provided his age it suggested only the computer programming, math and grammar subjects.
I found that the computer programming videos were WAY over his head, and since I am being truthful, a little over my head too. (We both had that glazed look after watching the first one. 😶) I was not ready to step into structured grammar with him yet, so that left only math.
Up until our mid-year point, Thing 2’s preschool math consisted of only the D&K Math Made Easy workbook and utilizing the teaching opportunities of number flash cards and a number chart. While he was learning with these tools, I felt that Khan Academy could add learning variety to his curriculum that he might enjoy.
This would allow him to work on a computer, learn from someone other than me, and appeal to his more visual learning style.
And it turns out I was right……It totally made my day when he got so excited about getting to use Mama’s computer for school!
He loved the math videos and things just started to click!! Not only did he love them, but I did too. Since I am not a certified teacher, the videos helped teach me how to teach him. The lesson videos are super short, less than 5 minutes, and then he takes a quiz to test what he actually learned, usually 7-10 questions.
He loved watching the videos and then taking the quizzes…I mean they shoot confetti on the screen when he gets one right…what 4-5 year old wouldn’t love that!?! 🎉 After starting he just wanted to keep doing lesson after lesson. This was so encouraging and completely validated my choice to try something new.
Awesome Learning Tools Offered With Your Account
Once you set up a parent account and a separate student account for each child, then you’ll get access to all of the great features within the Khan Academy accounts:
- Track all activity and progress in each user profile
- Weekly activity and progress reports sent to parents
- Assessments at the beginning of each lesson
- Personalized study plans based on assessments
- Learning videos for each lesson
- Practice quizzes
- Learning incentives – Badges and Points earned for watching videos and completing quizzes and tests
- Unit Tests – Tests to Review All Lessons in a Unit
Could Khan Academy Stand Alone For A Math Curriculum?
For us, I would not solely rely on Khan Academy for learning a primary subject. But I do think it is a tool that you should seriously consider supplementing your curriculum with. It is a great way to reinforce learning, help introduce and practice new topics, or even just provide an assessment of your child’s learning.
Khan Academy doesn’t cover the very early math skills such as colors, size or placement relations, or of course writing numbers. That is where our Math Made Easy and other Pre-K and Kindergarten workbooks came into action.
What Does It Really Look Like In Practice?
Khan Academy is on Thing 2’s weekly checklist, two days per week. I don’t just turn him loose to complete the lessons alone. I sit alongside him pausing for guidance or further explanation when I can tell he doesn’t understand. Sometimes I have to break down parts of the lesson into language that he gets. I do find that sometimes the instructor for these videos uses words that are a little over his head.
After he watches the learning video, he goes to work on the practice quiz associated with it. Since my son is only an emerging reader I have to read the quiz questions for him unless a specific quiz question type is mentioned in the video.
I did make the mistake early on of reading the equations to him. This created a need down the road to break for a week and really work on the meaning of +, -, and =. (Math Made Easy touched on this, but we had not gotten that far in the workbook yet.) So I would suggest as you proceed in the lessons really make sure your child grasps the concepts.
My son is a Lego lover, so he uses the Duplo Legos as his manipulatives to help him with addition and subtraction. Yes, the quizzes do provide images for counting, but it seems to be easier for him to grasp the concept when manipulating the Legos. How fun is it that we can incorporate his favorite thing into math learning?
Pick something your child really likes, find 10 of them and get to work! Hey, you can always count 10 M&Ms and then enjoy them as a reward when the lesson is done!
So In Short….
I truly believe that Khan Academy has progressed my son into concepts that we otherwise would not have covered…. since technically he is not even kindergarten age. However, I recognize that he also needs the auditory and reading/writing learning that the Math Made Easy workbook, flashcards, and the number chart provide.
I am blown away that such a robust resource is free! If you have any interest in learning how Khan Academy came about check out this TED talk from the founder Salman Khan. It is pretty awesome that there is such an amazing resource out there with so many contributors. This can open such a variety of learning to our kids (and us).
I encourage you to check Khan Academy out, not only for a preschool learning but any level. There are truly so many subject options that you and your child can browse. Go ahead and start previewing videos to see what y’all feel is a good fit for your home!
Drop me a line or two and let me know what your favorite Math resources are. And if you are already using Khan Academy, what subjects are your favorite?
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