I stopped being able to help my kids with their math homework in middle school. Math is my weak link—and that's an understatement.
I know there are millions of parents whose children can no longer rely on them to help with math, chemistry, physics, or other subjects. When this happens, parents can hire tutors, but that can be expensive. So what can you do? I'd suggest using the source that Bill Gates and his children use: the Khan Academy.
Salman Khan, a former hedge fund manager and Harvard M.B.A., created the Khan Academy five years ago when he was tutoring his cousins long distance. Khan posted the tutorials on YouTube and they exploded in popularity.
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Today about a million people take advantage of the roughly 2,200 free tutorials that are parked on the nonprofit site. Most of the videos are no more than 10 minutes long and capture Khan writing on his digital sketchpad software.
The Khan Academy's library of videos covers the most basic subjects as well as highly complex one. For instance, a kindergartner can start with a 1 + 1 = 2 lesson. On the flip side, the site includes such college-level subjects as linear algebra and differential equations. The library also includes tutorials on such subjects as chemistry, economics, biology, physics, finance, astronomy, and even the French Revolution.
Khan's simple tutorials attracted the attention of Bill Gates, who is now helping to support the Khan Academy, which aims to also make an impact in classrooms. Khan hopes to be a virtual stand-alone school where anyone in the world can learn anything.
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I am hoping that my own son will take advantage of the Khan Academy. He's a college freshman who has encountered a rough patch with linear algebra, which is the course science and math majors take after they've completed two calculus classes. I sent my son the link to the Khan Academy's nearly 150 linear algebra tutorials that includes such daunting topics as Singular Matrices and Rotation in R3 around the X-axis.
If you're curious about the lessons you can find at the Khan Academy, you can browse their library. You can also learn more about the Khan Academy by watching this YouTube video that includes an endorsement by Bill Gates.