Thanks in large part to the home schooling movement, there are a lot of resources out there for parents who are teaching their children outside of the traditional classroom. These resources can also be used as supplemental materials for children who are enrolled in school but want to learn more or to learn better and more thoroughly.

The problem is finding resources that will actually be effective. In particular, you want your child’s learning to be done with plenty of feedback. The best way to learn is to try something, be told what you’re doing wrong and what to do to fix it, then try it again. And again. And again.

It’s much each to get this sort of regular, immediate feedback from a properly constructed learning program than it is from a teacher who is responsible for 25 or 30 students, so there are real advantages to practicing with a digital teacher — as long as it’s the right digital teacher.

 

Khan Academy

This free site has instructional videos, exercises, and quizzes with plenty of feedback. The videos may be somewhat rudimentary, but they are serviceable. And, anyway, the best part of the site is the exercises and quizzes, where you can quickly identify problem areas and get plenty of practice. Lots of science and math, some computer programming and economics, but it’s pretty slim pickings in the arts and humanities. They do have some test prep, too, aimed at standardized tests like the SAT and even the MCAT. For a free site, it has a lot to offer.

Find it here.

 

IXL

This is a far more comprehensive site than Khan Academy, but then it’s not free. It takes a similar feedback-centric approach, with a series of questions that are used to identify weaknesses and then help with anything that you get wrong. It has lessons in math, science, language arts, and social studies, and it is designed to focus on the same sets of skills found in Common Core and state standards. A great supplement for children in school, or it could be used for home schooling. (Indeed, homeschool.com named it the top homeschooling curriculum in 2014.)

Find it here.