If dual enrollment isn’t in your high schooler’s future but you’d still like your teen to take college classes, free college online could be the ticket. At least a dozen major universities now offer “open” courses to the public — free. These are actual college lectures from major colleges and universities that are recorded and made available online, with no obligation whatsoever, to anyone with an interest and a high-speed Internet connection.
Imagine being able to have your high schooler sit in on a History of Art class at Yale, a Psychology course at UCLA or a Chemical Engineering class at MIT. Using open courseware, this is now a reality.
Perhaps you’re wondering how these courses might be used for homeschooling? Offering advanced high school credit is one way. For instance, just like you’d “weight” an AP or honors course more than a traditional high school course, you can weight the college course when applying it to the GPA. (This is called a “weighted GPA”.)
A second way is to use the courses to supplement other learning going on at home. For example, a student studying a topic at home could use as many of the college lectures as would be needed to reinforce learning, or satisfy whatever remaining hours you’ve established to award credit.
Gauging interest is a third option. One never knows when a spark of interest may ignite in a student! Watching online college lectures can help teens learn more about different areas and think about if these courses/careers might have a place in their future.
Lastly, there is great intrinsic value here. Like anything else, students of all ages can watch just because they want to. Whether one completes an entire course or just a sampling of lectures offered by a variety of different lecturers, the opportunities for learning are endless — and don’t forget, free.
Begin with these links and find others on your own:
To your success,
Dr. Marie-Claire Moreau is a college professor who traded in her tenure to become a homeschool mom 20+ years ago. A homeschool pioneer and the founder of many groups and organizations, she works to advance home education, and is an outspoken supporter of education reform coast to coast. Her book, Suddenly Homeschooling: A Quick Start Guide to Legally Homeschool in Two Weeks, is industry-acclaimed for illustrating how homeschooling can rescue children and families from the public school system, and how anyone can begin homeschooling within a limited time-frame, with no teaching background whatsoever. A writer, a homeschool leader, and a women’s life coach, Marie-Claire mentors in a variety of areas that impact health, education and lifestyle. A conference speaker, she has appeared at FPEA, H.E.R.I., Home Education Council of America, The Luminous Mind, Vintage Homeschool Moms, iHomeschool Network, and many other events. Her articles have appeared in and on Holistic Parenting, CONNECT,Homefires, Homemaking Cottage, Kiwi, Circle of Moms, and hundreds of sites and blogs nationwide. Marie-Claire can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.