I know the second my kids get to high school and need help with math homework, I’m in trouble. I got by in my classes, but there is no way I remember any of it now. I was recently introduced to this brilliant site that is going to save my bacon—and yours too. A woman I respect very much named Barbara Morgan shared with me over lunch that she has been giving herself refresher courses on algebra. I thought to myself, “Why would anyone purposely put herself through the pain of algebra?” I see now why she can stand it; this site takes the pain out of math class. If you want, you can even pour yourself a glass of wine while you watch and feel like a rebel, drinking in class.

Check out the Khan Academy, which offers online video math classes. The teacher, Sal Khan, is brilliant about the way he explains things. He started creating these instructional videos when he was remotely tutoring his younger cousins. The project has expanded to cover K–12 math (from basic arithmetic to differential equations), physics, chemistry, statistics, cosmology, computer science, economics, and humanities. He even has classes on banking for those who could use help with questions like, “What exactly is a bank note?” It’s all there, in thousands of easy-to-understand, self-paced lessons. And he’s continuing to add lessons all the time. His vision is for the Khan Academy to be the world’s first free, world-class virtual school where anyone can learn anything.

So if you have a child struggling in math class, I would absolutely have him or her watch these videos—and watch along so you can help. Take a deep breath; you just found a math tutor, and it’s FREE!

To get a feel for it, take a look at this sample video on a basic algebra concept:

What is a variable?: Understanding that a variable is just a symbol that can represent different values

paige green

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