I have heard of the Khan Academy website – https://www.khanacademy.org/ When I first started homeschooling I was steered towards it as a nice resource. I checked it out and was put off by the look of the site and the fact it only seemed to tackle older age groups.
However, I came across this little video (approx. 5 mins) of Sol Khan talking about his website and I think I’ll check it out again. Having logged on to be able to put the address in this post, the front page at least looks more appealing.
During this short clip (it shows another of him at TED which might make interesting watching although it might have been from a while ago and things may evolve rapidly on the site), he makes an interesting point that education doesn’t have to be an either/or choice of play-based learning vs. more traditional learning (where detractors point out that with play-based learning kids are unlikely to come across/learn algebra all by themselves, although of course one could argue whether this is a huge drawback of play-based learning). He says you can put a bit more of the ‘play’ into traditional learning and indeed more discussion, peer-to-peer learning and other interesting aspects of learning. The comment I liked best was that he hopes Khan Academy, his approach, will enable teachers’ “…own humanity to come out in lesson plans.” When I hit the books with the kids, which I am doing to a greater extent now the weather is getting much hotter, I could do with a bit more humanity! I could definitely make things more fun. I could always do with finding ways to help educate without books altogether (although as a fan of less screen-time, using the PC as a resource has to be limited for my family). So, I think I will check out the Khan Academy videos/approach and see if they could be helpful to us. If I find it hugely successful, I’ll write an updated post.