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How to Create the Perfect Course for your Super Passionate Homeschool High Schooler

homeschooler planning high school with coffee and pink flowers

This is the time of year that I find myself obsessed.

Obsessed with trying to find the right courses for my kid who craves MORE. You know - courses that balance rigor with passion and inspiration. Oh, and FREE would be good.

I imagine you’re doing the same. Huddled around your laptop, coffee in hand, searching forums and reading reviews.

We’re homeschoolers. Researchers. Optimists. :)

We KNOW that the perfect course exists…if we can just find it.

You and I also know that perfect is a lofty and unrealistic goal.

But sometimes you land on a gem. And it resonates with your homeschooler. And it changes everything.

I’m gonna let you inside my obsessed brain for a minute…so you can follow its trails. Scary, I know! Maybe you’ll find the cornerstone of a course you create. Or maybe you’ll find that hidden gem - that course your homeschooler’s been needing and craving.

Super Cool Classes for Your Super Passionate Homeschooler:

1. MOOCS.

What’s not to love? Amazing classes taught by the greatest of professors. Your homeschooler can go deep AND get credit. Yes, you can put these unique classes on your transcript!
Coursera
EdX
MIT OpenCourseWare
Open 2 Study
Future Learn

2. LYNDA.

Lynda should be a friend to all of us! And if you have a library card, you can probably get free access to “her” courses, which are awesome as electives.

3. SYLLABI FROM OTHER TEACHERS!

Looking to create a homegrown course? Need a spine or framework to work around? Look at AP teacher websites. Look at university syllabi. This is where your mad researcher skills come in handy! Here are a few examples:
Tom Richey
UPenn Linguistics
Gunn High School Creative Writing

4. AUDIT CLASSES.

Just reach out to the professor and ask! Your homeschooler may be able to audit classes online or at your local college. This was a game changer for a couple of my kids.

5. GREAT COURSES.

I know it may not be free, but I would be remiss if I didn’t recommend Great Courses or Great Courses Plus. If you’re looking for free, check your local library! And…if you have an audible account, you can use your credits to access the audio version of these courses. Does that count as free?

6. PODCASTS.

Great as a supplement. Free and entertaining! Here are a couple we’ve enjoyed.
History of English
Hardcore History

7. AUDIOBOOKS.

Our family loves audiobooks. Access them free from your library or get an audible account. Oops. Not free. But there are three membership services I will NOT give up - Great Courses Plus, Audible, and Amazon. Nope. Just. Cant. Do. It.

BONUS(or #8): Free courses I LOVE that you may not know about!

Big History Project (funded by Bill Gates)
PlaidAvenger (email professor to audit)
Calling BS (fun…and serious)
Language Transfer (amazing, amazing stuff here)
Brief History of Humankind (from author of Sapiens)

If you haven’t yet settled on your homeschooler’s fall schedule, keep calm and research on! The above suggestions are just to get you thinking outside the box.

What gems have you found? Share in the comment section below.

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