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Khan Academy Reinforces Critical Education Skills - for Free!

Ali Katz


The quality of the education a child receives through public or private school systems can vary greatly. The end product is a function of many variables, including teachers, administrators, parents, and of course, the children themselves.

In a school setting, the teacher-to-student ratio can have an enormous impact on how well any given child progresses in her academic pursuits. Tutoring is often the fallback option for parents with children struggling to keep up in class, but that’s not always affordable for everyone.. So what else can be done?

The Khan Academy; that’s what. The Khan Academy is a free, non-profit, online educational resource with the mission to “provide a world-class education for anyone, anywhere.” A lofty goal to be sure, but what it easily does provide is readily available online help to students, parents, and even teachers.

The Academy offers video-based tutorials coupled with machine-graded assessments and comment threads. This allows students to select a subject, watch the video, and take a test to see what they learned. The comment thread allows students to make observations or clarifications that are helpful to other users. Subjects mirror the traditional fields of study in the school systems and can even be set up for Spanish-, French-, and Portuguese-speaking students. It also has components which help students prepare for college entrance exams.

Parents can use the Academy in several ways depending on their particular situation. If they have a child who is self-motivated, it may be as simple as pointing her in the Academy’s direction. If not, then a parent may approach the Academy as a student - to brush up on a particular subject matter - in order to directly help the child. The Academy also has a feature that allows a parent or others to participate as the coach of an enrolled student. This allows the child to navigate the courses independently, with the coach following along, monitoring progress, and stepping in with additional help as necessary.

The Khan Academy is a great resource to meet the remedial or supplementary educational needs of students (and parents). There are far too many able children who get left behind scholastically in today’s world. But that doesn’t have to be the case with your children. There are many resources available for parents, like the Khan Academy, and they are getting easier to access all the time.

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