Homeschoolers love free resources, and this is a great one: the Khan Academy provides both an ever-growing library of video lessons, mostly covering topics in math and science, and a self-paced program to learn, practice, and review math concepts from basic addition through calculus. According the the web site, the Khan Academy has a goal of “changing education for the better by providing a free world-class education to anyone anywhere.”
At this point, the mathematics section of the website has the most to offer. Every student can set up their own account, with the option of designating a coach who can then also track the student’s progress. I have accounts set up for myself, for Honeybee, and for Jumping Spider. You will need either a Google or a Facebook account to sign in to the site; I actually created new Google accounts for each of us just to use with this site, using the name of our homeschool and numbering the children’s accounts 1, 2, etc. Honeybee uses the program to practice addition and subtraction; it’s been a fun way for her to cement her knowledge of math facts. Jumping Spider is just getting his feet wet, working on the first addition module. He thinks it’s really cool to get to use the computer (a rare privilege) and enjoys figuring out the math problems. There is a “hint” function that offers help when a problem is hard to figure out. At the beginning addition level, pushing the “hint” button brings up dots under the numbers in the problem so you can count the dots to find the answer.
On my account, I am able to track both my own progress (I’m working on math review right now, and would like to work up to studying calculus, which I have never tackled before) and the children’s. There is a great “knowledge map” which shows all of the math topics covered by the program and how they relate to each other. While a student can choose from any of the topics offered, the program tracks what you have done and recommends which topics to study next based on what you have completed. The program marks you as “proficient” in a particular lesson once you have correctly answered ten questions from that lesson in a row, but you can continue to practice as much as you like. In addition to tracking a student’s progress through the practice exercises, the website keeps tabs of which videos have been viewed, so it is easy to see what topics have been covered. As a coach, you are able to view the progress of each student you are coaching.
Bottom Line: this is a great resource for learning, reinforcing or reviewing math–and it’s free! Give it a try.