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You can teach your child college level material at home, because do it yourself college classes are everywhere right now! They are easy to find online, and sometimes are completely free.
As a group, these classes are called Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). They are free online courses available to anyone that enrolls, even homeschool teens.
Some classes are geared toward technical fields, like website design. Some classes are to earn college credit, and others are for self-edification only.
Websites, like Coursera, offers college classes with certification. There are other websites that list college level classes, though. To find more information, start here.
Many of these courses are fine to use, but parents should consider carefully before signing your teen up.
I tried a Creative Writing course on Coursera. I wouldn’t recommend this type of course to my graduating sons.
Anything considered creative and artistic may contain offensive content. This particular course had professors celebrating highly offensive behavior in modern literature.
Also, I agree with the above review about peer-reviewed grading. There were students who had not read the brief and so did not grade based on successfully following the instructions. For example:”write a short one -paragraph intro to a short story...”
Peer:”I didn’t like this. I thought that one paragraph was too short and the story isn’t finished.”
That said, our homeschooling friends took a Coursera Dairy Science course for credits and they had a great experience.
Also, we have used several Great Courses topics and they are easy to use, self-paced and so far, clean.
Very good for learning new skills, even if we don’t get credits.
(Programming, Nutrition and Cooking)
Thank you for the great list of sources in this post!
We had some great experiences with MOOCs. Generally I used them as part of a course, and added other MOOCs or readings to flesh things out. The main issue we had was when we wanted a certificate of achievement for one to them and the course included peer reviewed assessments. Most of the comments were reasonable and the grades were fair and based on the rubric provided. One peer reviewer couldn't open the assignment (despite it being submitted in the correct format) and gave it a 0. Luckily the grading system meant the lowest grade was dropped so my daughter's overall grade wasn't affected. But it could have been a problem and there was no way of appealing such grading. The comments on the course forum indicated other students received grades and comments that seemed unfair based. So my advice would be to be wary of the peer review system, especially with younger students who may not be so able to shrug off a bad experience.
Our kids graduated before the advent of MOOCs. I'd really be interested in your experience with them. Please comment below!
Homeschooling college might not be for everyone, but for the student willing to put in the work, it can be an effective fast track to a college degree. Here are a few of the benefits of homeschooling college.
Colleges like to see proof of learning from all students, not only homeschoolers. College level tests can provide this
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