Welcome to this week’s ‘Wednesday for Parents’! As you may know, one of our success stories last week was our involvement in Mathletes, well documented here. Mathletes is a free tournament that aims to change the teaching and learning of Maths in Ireland. It’s an online and in-person competition that uses Khan Academy as a tool to improve the student’s maths skills and knowledge. Today’s ‘Wednesday for Parents’ is all about how you can use Khan Academy as a parent to improve your child’s Maths skills.
So, what is Khan Academy? Khan Academy is a non-profit organisation that aims to provide a world-class education to anyone, anywhere for free. It uses a combination of videos, practice problems and lessons to help students to develop their own learning.
You have the option to open a parent account and sign your child up, using your parent account, or, if your child already has an account, you can link the two accounts to monitor your child. When you sign up (for free), you’re instantly directed to seven tips about using Khan Academy as a family, such as how to monitor their progress, reward their successes and set goals and milestones. There’s also excellent articles on how to support your child’s learning when you don’t know the content and how to motivate different types of learners.
Khan Academy is probably most well-known for its maths education, but also supports science education, art history and economics, among others. One of the first steps when setting up your parent account is to choose something to learn on Khan Academy yourself. The content ranges from the very basic to secondary school content, such as trigonometry.
The content is graded by difficulty, giving the learner a chance to work his/her way up, experiencing success along the way. Your child will master skills gradually and can only move on when they’re completely confident and competent at that level. Khan Academy isn’t just for primary or secondary school students, however. Many college students use it to brush up on long-forgotten skills and to help to learn new ones. If you’d like to read more about how motivating our students found Khan Academy last year, we can recommend this post and this post.
We set up a sample parent account and student account to give you an idea of how you can track your child’s progress. The progress report below tells the parents how long the child spent on Khan Academy, the badges earned and the topics covered.
There’s also an option to access a more detailed report about your child, which informs the parent how the child is progressing in specific skills and allows the parent the option to recommend particular skills for the child to practise.
We highly recommend Khan Academy, particularly for 4th to 6th classes, but there are activities suitable for 2nd class up. If you’ve any further questions about using Khan Academy as a parent, we’d be delighted to answer them. Also, if your child found Khan Academy useful as a learning tool, please leave a comment and let others know!
St Peter’s will be taking part in the first ever Khan Academy Symposium on Saturday 27th September. More info can be found here. As always, you can find all previous ‘Wednesday for Parents’ posts here.