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OpenCourseWare for Homeschoolers

In the realm of online learning, “OpenCourseWare” is the new kid on the block, one worth checking into if you have a homeschool student who does well with virtual classes.  OpenCourseWare (OCW) includes coursework and materials shared freely with anyone via the Internet.


Universities such as MIT, UC Berkeley, Stanford, and Harvard, to name a few, all offer OCW, although there is no credit conferred for completion of any courses.

I think it’s wonderful that these courses are free. They are extremely helpful for kids that are ready for this kind of college learning, but a word of warning: sometimes homeschoolers will sign up for OCW and then find out that it’s hard.  It is college level material, and if you take it from a college like MIT, which is an extremely difficult school to get into, the material will be even harder!  However, if your student is ready, I think it’s great to take classes.

For transcript purposes, you can count each class as a high school credit. If you’re interested in getting college credit for the course, look into CLEP or AP or Dante’s subject area tests.   If you’re looking for OCW at the high school level, I suggest you look at Kahn Academy, since they have a lot of links to classes that are high school level.

 

What do you think of OpenCourseWare?


I am now the Seattle Homeschool Examiner.  You can read my homeschool articles here.
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Comments 2

Guest - Assistant to The HomeScholar (website) on Thursday, 23 August 2012 13:04

Terrific info, Jackie! Thanks!

Terrific info, Jackie! Thanks!
Guest - Jackie Ryan Masek (website) on Thursday, 23 August 2012 06:13

1) We have done OCW and love it! It isn't nearly as easy as they make it sound, though. But, you know me, I'm a Google Master Extraordinaire and can find anything online. I realized I wasn't the only one using this stuff and others have used them too. Google the class and find out how others have used them and incorporate that into your studies.
2) We didn't do the coursework for all the classes we audited. Sometimes just watching the lecture(s) was enough to get the boys interested in learning more about the subject by finding books at their level.
3) Since you, the mom, are the teacher you can adjust the class. If a lecture is 50 minutes you can split it into 25 minute bits and use the other 25 minutes for reading or discussion. It will take longer but a college level class packs a serious punch when it hits a high school brain.

1) We have done OCW and love it! It isn't nearly as easy as they make it sound, though. But, you know me, I'm a Google Master Extraordinaire and can find anything online. I realized I wasn't the only one using this stuff and others have used them too. Google the class and find out how others have used them and incorporate that into your studies. 2) We didn't do the coursework for all the classes we audited. Sometimes just watching the lecture(s) was enough to get the boys interested in learning more about the subject by finding books at their level. 3) Since you, the mom, are the teacher you can adjust the class. If a lecture is 50 minutes you can split it into 25 minute bits and use the other 25 minutes for reading or discussion. It will take longer but a college level class packs a serious punch when it hits a high school brain.
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