Khan Academy - UPDATED

{UPDATE #2 -- Khan Academy now gives each person the option of choosing a grade level, from early math - which covers K-2 - to high school. You have to log in under your student's account to change their grade level. But it definitely guides their exercises in a very clear way! We really enjoy it. Let me know what you think!}

One of my most popular posts has been this little tutorial on using Khan Academy for homeschool.  Soon after I posted, Khan Academy completely revamped their Learning Dashboard.  It is even easier now for homeschool families to use Khan Academy for their students.

Here's how to get started, if you haven't yet.  And you should! Because it's amazingly easy and totally free.

First step. Sign in. Always sign in as a teacher, so you have access to all the 'coach resources' as they're called. It will also give you more ways to track what your students are doing and what skills they need to keep practicing.

Once you're signed in, what you see below is what your screen will look like.  If you've never used the new Learning Dashboard, it will first direct you to take a pretest for placement. You can skip this. Click on the word Coach in the upper left hand corner.

 When you get into the Coach menu, click on Class Roster and then Add New Student. Go through the steps to add as many students as you need. You can choose to invite students with email addresses or simply create their username/password. Once you enter all their information, the student will be automatically entered into your Class Roster.

After you're done adding students, click on Student Progress and then choose a student. It will bring up a screen that looks something like the one below.  You will be able to see what they've been working on, what they've mastered and will be able to make your recommendations. Now, the program will guide students through various skills and exercises based on their progress but I like to recommend topics that I know my students need to work on as well. So I click Make A Recommendation.

A window will pop up, where you can see all the possible topics you can recommend or you can toggle down (where I've placed the arrow) to see what topics the student needs to practice.
Next to each topic there is also an "i" that will bring up another window with an example problem in it. You can click on the picture below to see what the screen will look like.  Select as many topics as you'd like but I recommend 2-3 until you see what pace your child is learning at.

 Next, you can add a due date if you like or you can just recommend the topics you've chosen.

Then when your student logs into their account, they will see a screen similar to the one below.  Again, if they've never logged in it will take them through a short pre-test to assess their skills.  Khan Academy math topics have different levels, ranging from Needs Practice up to Mastered. As they practice a topic, the corresponding cube for that topic turns darker and darker blue until they master it. Each one of those little cubes in the top center of the screen shot below (again, click to enlarge and see what I'm talking about) represents a topic your student can work on through Khan Academy.  There are hundreds! Every 15 minutes of Khan Academy time also opens up a Mastery Challenge for a student.  These are quick little quizzes that can boost up their levels in topics that they've been practicing.

This is just a quick tutorial on how to get started with Khan Academy. I highly recommend it. Once you get yourself and your students signed up, spend some time getting to know the tools and resources available. There are all kinds of things like badges and energy points and ways to change your little avatar and tons of other things that my kids discovered but I can't figure out. An online scratchpad for figuring out problems? Yeah, it's in there. I just don't know how to find it. But my kids do and they really love it.

I know Sal Khan created this program to reinvent how public schools teach math, but he also made it so easy for homeschoolers to use also. Thanks, Sal! My kids are so happy that they'll never have to hear me stumble through explaining math topics ever again.

Are you going to try Khan Academy? Let me know how you like it!


  1. how do you change the avatar???!!!!

  2. - Click on your name in the upper right corner.
    - Click the leaf in the menu that slides down.
    - that will take you to your profile page.
    - Then click the Edit Profile menu
    - Click Edit Avatar
    - Away you go!


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