How to Use Khan Academy Math as a Complete Free Math Curriculum

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A few years ago we started using Khan Academy math lessons for Ben’s math curriculum. He loves it because he can see exactly what percentage of his math curriculum he has completed.  It motivates him to keep working.

When people find out that Ben uses Khan Academy, the first thing they ask is if Khan Academy math lessons can be used as a full math curriculum.

The answer is yes!

Khan Academy math lessons can absolutely be used as a full homeschool math curriculum. It is really an amazing free resource!

I will admit it.

Khan Academy can look confusing if you are used to a math workbook or teacher’s manual. There is a LOT of information available on Khan Academy so it is easy to feel lost.

I will walk you through how to use Khan Academy math lessons as a complete math curriculum.

How to Use Khan Academy Math as a Full Math Curriculum

How to Use Khan academy as a full math curriculum written in front of a computer
Learn how to use Khan Academy as a full math curriculum. This is perfect for homeschoolers!

The first thing you need to do is sign up for a parent account.  Choose the ‘Parents, start here’ tab.

Enter your first and last name as well as your email address.  Khan Academy will send you progress updates, so be sure to use an email address that you actually check.  Check your email and confirm the address.

The confirmation email will include a link to create your parent account.

Next, you need to set up a child account.  You will set up one for each child that you want to use Khan Academy.

You will need to enter your child’s birthday because Khan Academy requires parents to manage the accounts of children under 13 due to COPPA laws.  

Once the birthday is entered, you will be prompted to enter in a username, password, grade level, and gender.

Now, log out and let your child login.

When students log in to Khan Academy for the first time they get to choose their avatar. They will only be able to choose from a few options at first but can change them as they complete lessons.

New avatar options will be unlocked at certain progress markers.

Scroll down and select ‘Math by Grade’. Choose the grade level you think is best for your child.

Khan Academy math topics screen shot

There are complete math courses for pretty much any homeschool level.

The Khan Academy math courses include levels Early math, grades K-8, Arithmetic, Geometry, Pre-algebra, Basic Algebra, Algebra I, High school geometry, Algebra II, Trigonometry, Statistics and probability, High school statistics, AP Statistics, Precalculus, Differential calculus, Calculus I, and Calculus II.

Select ‘Take Challenge Course’.

The first activity is a short quiz (~30 questions), called a challenge course, to see how much of the selected Khan Academy math level is already mastered.  

Khan Academy wants to be sure your child is working at the correct level.  The correct level won’t be too hard or too easy.

For every question, they have the option to:

  • Type in the answer
  • Select “I haven’t learned this yet.”
  • Select “I’d like a hint.”
  • Watch a video if they are stuck.

There are also some questions that ask the student to move points around on a graph, depending on the grade level.

Khan Academy math mastery challenge screen shot

Your student is now ready to use Khan Academy math lessons as their complete homeschool math curriculum!

After the first challenge course, your child will see a screen that shows their progress and what skills still need to be mastered to complete the grade. 

Of course, as homeschool parents, YOU get to decide when a child has completed a grade, but this is a fantastic progress indicator.

As skills are mastered, which is confirmed through short quizzes, a.k.a. mastery challenges, the progress and skills lists are updated.

If a child gets a wrong answer for a skill they have previously mastered, Khan Academy will just add those skills back into the lesson rotation.

Khan Academy math grade level
I made up a new student so I could show you the steps.

Each day when your child logs in, all they need to do is spend whatever time you require working through the tasks list.

I ask Ben to work for a minimum of thirty minutes each day. He just follows the lesson sequence that Khan Academy math suggests (notated with a blue ‘continue’ button).

Occasionally I do teach skills that are difficult for Ben.  If he doesn’t understand something after watching the videos, we bust out a few math manipulatives and work through the problem together.  

Khan Academy math lessons are free, so that leaves room in the homeschool budget for manipulatives.

How to use Khan Academy as a free homeschool math curriculum. Khan Academy is great for homeschool students. #Khanacademy #HomeschoolMath #TeachMath #Math

Ben loves Khan Academy because it feels like a challenge.  The mission progress motivates him to keep working and master the grade level as quickly as possible.  

His personality type loves a challenge.

Hannah started out using Khan Academy math lessons but found the mission progress percentile stressful.  She was afraid to answer questions incorrectly because it would deduct from her progress percentile.

She is my little perfectionist.  It was not a good fit for her personality type. Math Mammoth works much better for her.

Luckily, Khan Academy is free so there is no risk in giving it a try.

Frequently Asked Questions About Khan Academy Math

What is Khan Academy math?

Khan Academy math is an online math curriculum or supplement. There are videos, practice problems, and mastery challenges available to help teach math concepts.

Is Khan Academy good for math?

The program is pretty comprehensive, so in general, yes it is good for math. However, this will depend on the student’s personality and learning style.

How much does Khan Academy cost?

Khan Academy is free, so there is no cost.

Is Khan Academy math a complete curriculum?

Yes, Khan Academy can be used as a complete curriculum. It can also be used as a supplement to learn just certain math topics.

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42 Comments

  1. Oh I really like this. My daughter likes to supplement her math curriculum so this will great to look into. Thank you for the tips for setting it up.

  2. It sounds like a wonderful opportunity, and the price is definitely right.
    I know my son would freak about the percentages if he missed one…but I will definitely have to keep it in mind for the future.

    Off to read what you said about Math Mammoth!

  3. I already made an account as a teacher. I wasn’t sure if i should use parent or teacher. I just thought maybe I would have more access to things if i logged in as a teacher. Should i change to parent or stay as a teacher?

    1. Either account is fine 🙂 No need to switch. Teacher and parent accounts have the same capabilities. The only difference is that you can set up a student account at the same time as a parent account.

  4. How long do you think doing the entire curriculum would take? We are so behind in math due to unforeseen events that I would like to try to utilize this and not have to go too far into summer.

    1. I’m not really sure how long the entire curriculum would take. My son does one grade level in one year (Sept. – May) with about 30 minutes a day 4x a week. The great thing about Khan Academy is that the Mastery Challenges allow a student to bypass lessons on topics mastered, so more time can be spent on material yet to be learned.

  5. I have a question about KA, my sons love it but upon setting up their missions, I notice that the skills tiles and the “recommended for you” (under the mastery challenge button on the right) don’t line up. This means that they could potentially learn multiplication before 3 digit addition if they chose the tiles on the right instead of the tiny tiles on the left.

    Do you recommend they use the tiny tiles (that look like the bars from mathusee) or the skills from “recommended for you” ?

    It seems like they would have to master everything anyway, so why not go in order? 🙂

    Also, do they do things like teach telling time with counting by fives? Or is it not really conceptual like that?

    We do use Math Mammoth, is it similar to that material?

    Thank you so much in advance, I’m having the hardest time figuring out how to make se this!

    1. Hi! I usually let my son do the ‘recommended for you’ until he hits a block. If most things seem too hard for him, then I go in and add a few of the other skills. Your parent account will let you add in skills. My son likes to move around, so he does the topics as they interest him. That works for me as long as he gets it all done. Going in order is perfectly okay 🙂 One of the great things about Khan is that you can adapt it to fit your needs.

      I honestly can’t remember if Khan teaches how to tell time. I know they do cover elapsed time though. I like Math Mammoth too, but Khan seems to move a bit faster for my son. If a topic is easy for him, he can quickly show mastery and move on.

  6. My daughter (gr 6) is in a private school (Africa), but struggles with maths. I felt that her math foundation was not all it could be and that her problems will be sorted out if I could find a way to ‘renew’ that foundation. About a year ago my niece told me about Khan Acadmy. I had my daughter start with the Kindergarten math to ensure she got the absolute best out of the program. And I am so glad to say that as I’m typing this she is currently working on gr 4 math (63%!). Considering she does Khan maths only during school holidays and she systematically worked completely through all previous grades I am most satisfied with her progress. She loves the Khan approach and has started using some of the other subject material and showing it to her friends.

  7. Do you supplement Khan Academy at all with Math Mammoth? Have you had the need? I’ve been using MM but after a Christmas break my oldest who is not a worksheet type wanted to try something different and I set him up with KA then the other 2 wanted to try it out too. (They are 10, 8 & 7) KA seems to go at a much faster pace than MM.

    1. I have not mixed Khan Academy with Math Mammoth. I’m sure it won’t harm anything to let the kids work on both, but if the purpose is to supplement the workbook, maybe try selecting the specific skill rather than the default of Khan choosing the next in their progression chart.

  8. I found this blog post at a time that I really needed it! My daughter has been using Khan Academy sporadically, but mostly because I wasn’t feeling confident just using KA as curriculum. Thank you for this! I feel like its going to be a perfect fit for us.

  9. Hello Jennifer! I enjoyed your blog here. My DD has been using Khan on and off the last 10 years. We primarily used Time4learning. However, she was showing struggles and we decided to go primarily to Khan for math. It made a terrific difference for her.
    A problem I am finding is how to keep my records of her work. It is very confusing on their website. Would you please share how you do it?
    I am a bit spoiled with T4L where there is a wonderful grading/record system. All you have to do is login as parent, go to Student Records button, run a report of choosing and save or print a report similar to an Excel spreadsheet; all well organized. Any of your input would be appreciated. :o)

    1. Hi! I actually don’t keep records. It has never been required where we have lived, so I just let Khan Academy keep track. One way to keep record would be with screen shots. From the parent log in go to ‘view summary’ for your DD. From there you can ‘view full progress report’. You can see a list of the skills attempted and mastered. The Focus tab shows each skill in detail – time spent on each skill, # of problems correct, and # of problems incorrect. I hope that helps 🙂

      1. I truly appreciate your quick reply. 👏
        This has been concerning me a few months now. 😑
        My state is not real strict either, just have always felt I should keep records. 😏

        When she is done today I will check out your suggestions. Thank you again so much! I will continue to enjoy your hard worked blog. 😄

        1. Che’ I get weekly emails for my children’s progress on all of their Khan Academy work, including time in topics and where they are mastering or struggling.

  10. We are looking at using this and I’m confused about the difference between “courses” and “missions”. If we do the missions will there be any video lessons, or is it all questions? Is it better to learn it using the course and then flip over to the mission for quizzes? I’m not sure what order we are supposed to do things in.

    1. Courses are the broad section – a certain grade level or subject such as Algebra I. The missions are the lessons within each course. Usually each lesson starts with a video and is followed by questions. The missions will appear in order after selecting a course. When we have used Khan as a full math curriculum I have my kids go through the lesson/mission order that naturally appears in Khan. I hope that helps!

  11. Can I write the courses down for high school credits? If so, how would I make sure that my child can graduate with these courses?

    1. You absolutely can use Khan for high school credit. Every state has slightly different laws, but in most states, the homeschool parent creates the high school transcript and issues the diploma. If that is the case in your state, all you need to do is determine which courses you will require your student to complete and then have them work on those Khan topics. If you want to keep paper records as proof of completion, I would screen shot the mastery challenge pages.

  12. Is there any way at all to print lessons or questions out or save offline for those who don’t have consistent internet?

  13. I’m using Khan for my son for Algebra 1 this year, so I really appreciate this post. Do you happen to know if there’s a way to print out a schedule for the full school year? I’m afraid if I just leave him to his own devices (assign a certain timeframe each day) that he won’t apply himself and finish the entire course. I’d love something mapped out so he knows exactly which missions, etc. to do each day.

    1. One option would be to divide the lessons (in the course summary) up by the number of school weeks (usually ~36) and print that out for your son. Each week he would need to complete the lessons for that week. Another option would be to require a certain percentage mastered each week. The top left of the page shows how much of the course has been mastered. Divide up the percentage left until he hits 90 – 100% (this range would equal an A in most schools) by the number of school weeks and require that amount of progress each week.

  14. Would Khan Academy math be considered “spiral” – revisiting and building upon previously taught foundational math concepts while learning new concepts? I read in your blog that if a student misses a question, that concept will be added back to their future lessons, but I don’t know if that translates to spiral review as part of the learning process. Thank you.

    1. I wouldn’t necessarily consider the curriculum spiral, but the review questions during mastery challenges ensure that a student retains skills they have already learned.

  15. i am an Adult Education instructor. I want to monitor my students on Khan Academy.
    I already have a personal account as a student,. The sign-up will not allow me to create a teacher account.
    Lucy Bell

    1. Hi Lucy, I would suggest either using a different email address with the teacher account or reaching out to Khan Academy to see if they can get it set up for you.

  16. Hi,

    We’ve been using Khan for homeschooling for almost a year now and I am still struggling with trying to understand the math section. I even signed up for an online group for people homeschooling but soon learned almost everyone on there had no idea what they were doing either and I never got any of my questions answered. So hopefully you can help me.
    My son is in 4th grade and my daughter in 6th, when I signed them up for math there were 2 options for each of them. Their grade for math and Arithmetic math, so I assumed they were supposed to take both… Is this correct or are they doubling up on basically the same class?

    1. Hi,

      I just took a look at Khan Academy and I think they are technically doubled up, but Khan Academy will count their work in one math class as progress in another if it meets the same skill goals. For example, if your child demonstrates mastery of multiplication facts through 12 in the arithmetic section, Khan Academy will mark that as mastered in their grade level section (and vice versa). The arithmetic math should be already included in their grade-level math lineup. They only need to take their grade-level math course. I hope that helps!

  17. Brand new home schooler here and I’ve been trying desperately to figure out if Khan would count as credit or count on a transcript for math and whereas your blog says yes, Khan Academy itself says no. Can you explain how you’re making it work?

    1. There are two ways to determine high school credit. The first is by hours. In general, a full high school credit takes about 140 hours over the course of a school year. The other is by course material. I just compared the Khan Academy Algebra 1 syllabus and it is very similar to the Algebra textbook my son used this past year. My kids chose to use math textbook-based curricula in high school (just their personal preference), but I would have had no problem issuing credit if they had used Khan Academy. I saw a few answers online saying that Khan Academy is not an accredited curriculum, which is true, but curriculum is not accredited. Only schools are accredited so it hasn’t been a problem for my family. I hope that helps clear things up!

  18. Hallo Jennifer,
    Firstly I must day, we love Khan academy. The teachers on thete are fantastic.
    However, do you know if I can get a “report card” or “progress report”?
    I asume I will need some sort of confirmation that she compleyed school.
    Regards
    Madelein

    1. I don’t think there is any way to get a report card or progress report from Khan Academy. One of the nice things about homeschooling is that you are the administrator of your homeschool so you are allowed to create your own official report cards or transcripts. Each state has different requirements, but I personally don’t keep track of courses until I am awarding high school credit. At that point, I make a note of which courses my kids took, which materials they used, and what topics were covered. I also keep a transcript for each child. I hope that helps.

  19. My son is currently homeschooling algebra 2 and we have been using Khan Academy for the lessons. My question is, do you think this could be used in conjunction with Saxon Algebra 2? Like for example, could we work through the lessons on KA and use the Saxon tests to count towards their grade? We initially began with Saxon but my son needs more support and likes the layout of Khan.

    1. I think combining resources can be a great strategy. You get to determine what counts towards your student’s grade, but I think this sounds like a good plan.

  20. Good morning. Do you know what the difference is between the Arithmetic and the 4th grade course for math? It seems like they are mostly the same, but a few little differences here and there. Is one suppose to come before the other?

    1. I’m not sure, but I don’t think you need to worry about doing one course before the other. Khan Academy mastery quizzes help students quickly progress through material they have already mastered and there does seem to be a lot of overlap between the two courses.

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