This week, Susan Wise Bauer wrote a post about Khan Academy on her blog. I'm not sure if I arrived earlier than she to this party, but since I respect "SWB" and her recommendations and opinions on matters of academics, I was glad to see that she had positive things to say about it.
I know that for a while now, I have been reaping benefits from Salmon Khan's simple, concise, and solid math instruction. I decided to brush up on my rusty math skills in order to confidently teach my kids as they advance. In the process, I decided that he does a better job than I of explaining concepts--easily enough that a nine-year-old boy can understand, and so I set Matty to the task of working through the arithmetic portion of the knowledge map to review what he's covered. Now as things get more difficult, I can look to Mr. Khan to help me explain to him what I may not be able to express as well.
The best part about it--it's FREE. You log yourself on, watch the videos, do the practice problems, earn proficiency badges, and then move on. It's a mastery-based approached, but it encourages systematic review by letting you see where you haven't worked in a while. Sure enough, today I checked into my "knowledge map" and decided to do some review practice on some geometry concepts. Sure enough, I had forgotten something and needed to review a lesson before moving on. The repair was quick and painless, and I can now do a few review problems and be on my way to something new that I haven't covered yet (at least not in the past 20 years!)
As a mom trying to teach her kids math despite being an English teacher, this is more help than I could have imagined!
Here is a little info on Khan Academy, spoken by the founder himself.