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Stories from parents using KA to tutor

We receive stories from many parents about how they have used Khan Academy to tutor their children. To read more, check out our stories page!

Better than TV?

I implemented using the online tools for my oldest who is 7. She has been struggling with math as it bores her to just sit and memorize (the Belgian way of teaching).
She is having such a good time with Khan Academy and the videos and lessons. Yesterday I turned on the TV for her sister and asked her if she wanted to watch and she begged to keep working. After I made sure my daughter had not been replaced by aliens (she loves TV) I told her to keep doing lessons as long as she wanted!
Thank you for helping me make her understand math is fun, not boring!

Kirstin, mother of high-functioning autistic child

I am the parent of a high functioning autistic child. The available services at my sons school could not reach him. He cannot learn in a large group setting but the small group learning available was way below his skill level. This left him feeling stupid and discouraged. It makes me wonder how many kids are like him. With Khan Academy his math skills are blossoming but more importantly, his confidence in his academic abilities is growing by leaps and bounds

Shane, father of 3rd and 7th graders with different learning styles

My daughter's 7th grade math class in public school has 39 kids all with different learning styles. I can tell that they learn just enough to get by on quizzes and tests, but never really understand the reasoning why the math problem works like it does. When I learned about this website, it was a dream come true. This is fun, interactive, can track progress, has a visual path, and the kids like it. What works for one may not work for all, but this is a great complement to learning.
My 3rd grader like it because of the interactivity, earning points and badges. It keeps his attention unlike books.

Paula, mother of student struggling with math anxiety

I took my daughter out of school age 8 when I realised she could not add 2 + 2, and indeed was becoming terrified of maths. (we live in the UK). I tried firstly to help her myself, but she was convinced she couldn't do it, and would not even try. Tutors came and went, to no avail, she would just cry silent tears, and things got worse, if possible! So I decided to just leave it for a while. She is intelligent and great in other areas, so I was sure things would click one day. Roll forward 6 years - a few weeks ago I was reading an article in the paper about "maths anxiety" - which was interesting, but one of the commentators of the article included a link to Khan Academy. Oh My Goodness! From the very first video - we had to go back to basic addition - I could see this was going to be different! She loved the way that Sal explained EVERY little detail, but not in a patronising way. For the first time in her life, she has just finished a maths session and said "I enjoyed that" - music to my ears, and such a relief. LOVING the programme, learning stuff myself too:)

Karen,  mother of student athlete suffering from concussions

My son experienced 3 concussions due to sport in one year and had to remove himself from grade 9 high school in Canada. He was so distraught that he would likely not pass his first year of high school that he fell into a depression. As his mother, it was awful to witness that all my fun-loving son could do was lie on the couch and watch YouTube videos in short windows. He discovered TED talks  that led to the Khan Academy story. He connected with these amazing lessons and used it to slowly rebuild his brain. He used the short intensive Khan Academy videos to pass his grade 9 by taking online tests administered by a board of education tutor who witnessed him writing them at home. The Khan Academy helped to rebuild my son's confidence and now he is super interested in math and science and using the Khan Academy to augment his grade 10 class learning and doing exceptionally well. He has fostered a new way to teach himself and has chosen to jump ahead in school to grade 11. This set of lessons on YouTube has re-engaged my son into learning -Thank you

Dan, father of a highly motivated 2nd grader

Our son Sam is in 2nd grade. He has a self-motivated love of learning. We have struggled from the day he entered Kindergarten to find a way to keep him interested in school while being so much more advanced than the other students. Public schools are not equipped to handle advanced learners and we were concerned that he would become bored with school and lose interest in learning. The school suggested moving him up a grade level, but when your 2nd grader is testing at Junior High levels, a move to 3rd grade is meaningless.
It was very discouraging to hear other parents, teachers, and administrators answer our worries about Sam with statements like “eventually the other kids will catch up and then he’ll be with the pack.” Really? We shouldn’t worry that the system will eventually break his spirit?  Our only solution was to have “Daddy School” in the evenings whenever I could find the time and energy to craft interesting and challenging extra school work. It was fun and helpful but I’m not a school teacher and didn’t know what to do – and have struggled to remember certain math principles I haven’t used in over a decade.
Then we were turned on to Khan Academy. Sam’s world has become brighter! He loves math and treats learning new things like it is a video game – taking more pride in accomplishing a new skill than in beating the next level of Mario Brothers. He will beg permission to get on Khan Academy the way he used to beg for more time with the Nintendo. The challenge of learning a new skill, besting his completion streaks, and earning badges has been a godsend.
Khan Academy is a way for our self-motivated 2nd grader to challenge himself and keep an interest in learning. What we’ll do once he finishes the Calculus lessons in a few more months is beyond me, but at least he has an invaluable source of math challenges for now. We still do Daddy School, but now it is with guidance and planned lessons, and I can be sure the principles are being taught correctly.

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