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Encouraging your child

The most common way for parents and mentors to support their children’s learning on Khan Academy is to encourage them. Here are just a few ideas to get you started.

Monitor student progress

Use your coach reports and parent emails to find out how much time your child is spending on Khan Academy, what they’re practicing, and where they’re struggling.

Celebrate successes and learn from challenges

Congratulate your child when they earn badges or master skills. Remind your child to look at the hints or watch the video when they get stuck on a problem.

Set goals and milestones

Work with your child to set a big goal and smaller milestones for what they will accomplish each day, week, or month. These smaller milestones can provide transparency, reduce anxiety, and motivate students to achieve the larger goal.

Once you've set these goals, check in with your child about them regularly. One popular option is for students to keep a journal with their milestones and any scratchwork. (There's something exciting about crossing off goals on a list!)

Reward students for meeting their goals

Rewards can vary greatly from family to family. Here are a few examples we’ve seen parents give their children in the past:

  • Choosing the next topic to learn
  • Getting out of one chore for the week
  • Create a game or piece of art using the Khan Academy computer programming platform
  • Staying up 15 minutes later than usual
  • Going to the park

Set an example

Show your child what lifelong learning looks like by working through a mission on your own - something you never covered in school or something you just want to review. Better yet, choose a topic to learn with your child, like computer programming. Either way, you can model positive learning behaviors like taking notes and listening actively during videos.

Engage your child’s teachers

Explain how you’re using Khan Academy. Encourage the teacher to get involved by creating an account so that your child can add them as a coach.

Make Khan Academy a family activity

Compete with your child to see who can earn the most energy points, or encourage your children to compete with each other.

Watch a video with the entire family and discuss it during dinner. Feel free to explore all the topics in the "Subjects" menu, from art history to partner content from prominent museums and organizations like NASA!

One parent even wrote us this note about using Khan Academy in lieu of bedtime stories!

My father who was a math teacher, would give me and my siblings math problems instead of bedtime stories. It is a great memory I have of growing up and now as a father of two children, I hope to instill in them that same passion for learning that my father gave me… I watched your “Basic Addition” video with my daughter Lily, who is 3 ½ years old. It was a neat memory for us and I just wanted to say thank you for the impact you’ve made in our lives and in the lives of children and people across the world. I wish you continued success and look forward to what is in store for Khan Academy.

P.S. On the other end of the age spectrum, I also have my 92 year old grandmother watching the Khan Academy videos that I share on Facebook as I watch one per day. Got the whole family covered!

- Andrew O., a father in Portland