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Friday, December 14, 2012

Defending Khan Academy

I've noticed some online murmuring about Khan Academy.  The critique is that it is imperfect and maybe not as ground breaking as we all thought.  Meh.

I have loved Khan Academy since the day I found it a few years ago, but as much as I like it, I have had problems with the videos themselves.

First, Salman Khan is a quiet speaker.  I have to strain or use earphone to hear most of the videos.

Second, there's not always enough background  in a particular subject information to move you forward.

Third, as much as homeschoolers would like it to be, for the reason listed directly above, it is not a full homeschool curriculum.  Instead it is a tool best used for review of concepts a student does not understand.

For what it is.  It is AWESOME.

While I don't love the videos themselves, I do love the format and program that allows a student to test through the levels of math, refresh their skills, and even move ahead.

So while it is imperfect.  I do believe it is groundbreaking.... and free.

The next best program, costs $20.00 ($240 a year) per month, and doesn't use videos, but step-by-step examples.  It does work as a stand a lone curriculum, and my daughter preferred it over Khan Academy.



Blondee said...

Our mutual friend 'Mrs. C' was just reminding me of the Khan Academy the other day when I was having a tough time with the boy in dealing with his maths. I find it tough to navigate at times, but it's FREE....don't look a gift horse in the mouth. :)

Happy Elf Mom said...

Yep. FREE. So what we do is use regular curriculum during the week and Fridays are Khan Academy days. Emperor can learn about all kinds of stuff he mightn't otherwise and get another "teacher" besides just me.

Ahermitt said...


Ahermitt said...

We've always done Khan Academy summers, Happy.

Nick Lewis said...

You might try another free resource,, as an alternative or supplement to Khan. LearnZillion has 2000 lessons for grades 3-8 (more coming for grades 2-12 soon) that are built from scratch on the new Common Core State Standards. They were created by master teachers from around the country and are highly visual and conceptual (rather than teaching tricks or gimmicks that just help you get the right answer). We're a new site so we don't have quite as much content or as many features as Khan, but you can still assign lessons and quizzes. One other helpful feature is that we offer downloadable slides, texts, and other resources for teachers/homeschoolers so they can use our lessons even if they don't want to assign the videos. Again, totally free. If you find the site helpful, send us feedback at on how we can improve the site for homeschoolers! Thanks! Nick Lewis, Dir. of Outreach at LearnZillion