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, available 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.
Using the courses to supplement some other learning going on at home is another way. For instance, studying a topic at home and then sitting in on as many of the college lectures as needed to reinforce learning or satisfy whatever remaining credit hours you require.
Gauging interest is a third option. One never knows when a spark of interest may ignite. 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: