homeschool http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/8649/all en-US 5 More Ways to Save Money on Homeschool Supplies http://www.wisebread.com/5-more-ways-to-save-money-on-homeschool-supplies <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-more-ways-to-save-money-on-homeschool-supplies" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/3394858679_f5348b473d_z.jpg" alt="homeschool" title="homeschool" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Years ago, I shared some of the methods I used to <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/home-education-curriculum-on-the-cheap-10-ways-to-learn-for-less">homeschool my five kids on a budget</a>. While many of those resources are still relevant, some of the websites have ceased to exist, or I have found newer, better avenues for getting supplies on the cheap. Here are my <em>new</em> favorite five ways to get supplies for much less than retail! (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-important-lessons-frugal-parents-teach-their-children">7 Important Lessons Frugal Parents Teach&nbsp;Their Children</a>)</p> <h2>Thrift Stores</h2> <p>Much of the required reading in a homeschooling class involves classic literature. Just this year alone, my kids have been assigned over a dozen &quot;classics&quot; that we could buy from a book store for $7 to $19 a copy. Thrift stores are much more reasonable, however, and if you can put up with some dog-ears, wear, and someone else's name written on the jacket, you can walk away with armfuls of classics for $.25 to $1 each.</p> <p>As it turns out, most thrift stores are happy to part with copies of &quot;The Iliad&quot; or &quot;Tom Sawyer;&quot; most shoppers are looking for NYT bestsellers, and the classics collect dust and take up shelf space.</p> <h2>Publisher &quot;Imperfect&quot; Sales</h2> <p>Did you know that most publishers have boxes of books that have never been sold, but that have dents, marks, or wrinkles that prevent them from asking full price?</p> <p>For our math curriculum, for example, I skip the homeschool retail sites and head directly to the publisher's website. Most have a section in their store called &quot;damaged,&quot; and I can get various required textbooks and workbooks for 30-50% off retail. These books are missing no pages; they just don't look &quot;pretty&quot; from the outside. These sales are never advertised, and you can't guarantee that they'll have exactly what you need. (With five kids, however, I can grab what they have at the time, and save for future years.)</p> <h2>Library Sales</h2> <p>Space on library shelves is at a premium. With so many kids clamoring to read copies of &quot;The Hunger Games&quot; and the next YA Vampire title, classic reads from Bradbury are getting the boot in libraries everywhere. Luckily, these titles are usually put out for anyone to acquire, at prices less than thrift stores. Just ask when the next <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-tips-to-get-the-most-out-of-a-library-sale">library book sale</a> is taking place. You may be allowed to peruse the selection early, and many libraries will take a donation of $10 to $20 for an armful of books. (We acquire 70% of our literature texts from library sales, and many of the books are valuable first editions or unabridged classics!)</p> <h2>Facebook</h2> <p>A while back, I told you about how you can <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-sell-your-old-stuff-on-facebook">sell your second hand items for cash on Facebook</a>. This works in the favor of the homeschooler, too, as many homeschool groups have formed on the social media site for the sole purpose of trading, selling, and buying used curriculum. Taking over where Craigslist used to reign, Facebook lets users do more than just buy or sell; parents can ask detailed questions about books and software before they buy &mdash; and even get tips for making the teaching process better for the family.</p> <h2>Giveaways</h2> <p>As an avid sweepstaker, I love to win supplies for our homeschool!</p> <p>Homeschool blogs are the number one source of prizes for your home classroom, and the odds of winning on such sites are better than trying to win large national sweepstakes. Many blogs offer prizes as part of product reviews, giving you a chance to see what you'll win before you enter. To find ongoing blog giveaways that offer homeschool prizes, be sure to <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-win-free-stuff-from-blog-giveaways">read up on our tips</a>. And before you think that blogs are the only way to win, remember that <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/secrets-to-finding-and-winning-facebook-promotional-giveaways?wbref=slide">Facebook is a great source for prizes</a> as well!</p> <p>While it's possible to spend almost nothing on your homeschool supplies, most home-educating parents want the best for their kids &mdash; and that costs money! Employing a savvy shopping strategy can drastically reduce what you pay out of pocket for textbooks and supplies, and your home will become the ideal learning environment for much less than the suggested retail price of your curriculum!</p> <p><em>When you're not scoring tests and essays, where do you score the best deals on school supplies?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/linsey-knerl">Linsey Knerl</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-more-ways-to-save-money-on-homeschool-supplies">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-7"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-bad-money-habits-youre-teaching-your-kids">4 Bad Money Habits You&#039;re Teaching Your Kids</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-should-you-say-no-to-those-who-want-to-borrow-money-from-you">When Should You Say No to Those Who Want to Borrow Money from You?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-sell-your-kids-stuff-at-a-consignment-sale">How to Sell Your Kid&#039;s Stuff at a Consignment Sale</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ow-do-you-deal-with-family-members-who-are-bad-at-managing-money">How Do You Deal With Family Members Who Are Bad At Managing Money?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-things-i-learned-about-money-after-getting-married">8 Things I Learned About Money After Getting Married</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Family Lifestyle cheap textbooks homeschool school supplies Fri, 08 Mar 2013 10:48:30 +0000 Linsey Knerl 968069 at http://www.wisebread.com 4 Steps to Absorb the Cost of an at-Home Lifestyle http://www.wisebread.com/4-steps-to-absorb-the-cost-of-an-at-home-lifestyle <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/4-steps-to-absorb-the-cost-of-an-at-home-lifestyle" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000008245804Small.jpg" alt="Couple at home" title="Couple at home" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="155" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We&rsquo;re homebodies. My husband and I both work full-time from home, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/home-education-curriculum-on-the-cheap-10-ways-to-learn-for-less">homeschool our children</a>, and entertain from our house often. While we save big money on things like car expenses, fuel, and entertainment, we suffer from other costs: sky-high utility bills, a large grocery budget, and continuous replacement of regular household items. The trade-off is still in our favor, but the cost shift can be shocking at first. Here is how you can asses your expenses and make changes to help absorb the cost of an &ldquo;at-home&rdquo; lifestyle. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-convince-your-boss-to-let-you-work-from-home">How to Convince Your Boss to Let Your Work from Home</a>)</p> <p>Even if you don&rsquo;t homeschool or work at home, these steps can come in handy. If you happen to home educate, have a largish family (or share living space with roommates or extended family), or work from home, however, these steps are <em>essential</em>:</p> <h3>1. Do a Cost Profile</h3> <p>I opened my <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-to-win-the-war-against-this-summers-electric-bill">electric bill</a> today in horror &mdash; it was very large for an off-peak month, and we have been dutifully employing energy-saving measures to lower our usage. After doing a brief online audit of where our energy should be expected to go, we compared it to our actual utility bills. Turns out there wasn&rsquo;t much we could do to shave the costs, but it set a baseline of what we should budget for the high months. See your local utility provider&rsquo;s website for accurate energy calculators or <a href="http://www.csgnetwork.com/elecenergycalcs.html">use this general one</a>.</p> <h3>2. Employ Cost-Savers Where Possible</h3> <p>We did an energy audit on our small, 1,400 square foot home this year and then did several of the following:</p> <ul> <li>Used a thermal leak detector to find drafts.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Put <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-save-computing-power">energy-saving power strips</a> on all our entertainment and computer workstations. (If you are not familiar, these not only protect your equipment from power surges, but they also allow you to set your printer, monitor, and other peripherals to turn off when your computer hibernates. The same concept can be applied to video game systems, DVD players, and sound equipment when your TV is turned off.)<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Switched out bulbs that may not be cost-effective. (If you are reluctant to jump on the CFL bandwagon, try downgrading most of your 60 watt traditional bulbs to 40 watts. It helps!)<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Installed water-saving nozzles on our shower and sink faucets.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Turned down our <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/no-hot-water-now-what">water heater</a> and insulated the tank.</li> </ul> <p>There are many other steps you can take, but it&rsquo;s best to just start somewhere and continue making improvements over time. Every little bit helps.</p> <h3>3. Consider Replacing &ldquo;Up&rdquo;</h3> <p>One hidden cost to working, learning, and playing at home is the wear and tear to everything. With four little boys constantly running through the home, we&rsquo;ve found that our 10-year carpet will likely last less than five. Consider the wear and tear you are saving others: schools that don&rsquo;t have your kids flushing their toilets, office spaces that aren&rsquo;t absorbing the energy cost of your computer work station, restaurants that aren&rsquo;t using their own hot water the wash your dinner plates. It&rsquo;s not that you are using more energy as a home-bound consumer, you are just transferring the usage cost to your <em>own</em> budget. Because you will likely see the useful life of all of your possessions plummet, it&rsquo;s best to use the replacement opportunity to buy better than you had before. For example:</p> <ul> <li>When your carpet goes out, consider laminate, tile, industrial carpet (used for churches and schools), or natural recycled hardwoods.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>As appliances die, consider the possibility of purchasing gently used restaurant cast-offs.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>When you find that the typical particle-board furniture offered by most consumer outlets just can&rsquo;t handle the hard job of serving your family, look into <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-tips-for-saving-big-money-on-office-supplies">office furnishings</a> from your local <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/super-cheap-building-supplies-and-a-way-to-help-your-community">Habitat for Humanity ReStore</a>.</li> </ul> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/craigslist-shopping-101">Craigslist</a> is also a great place to find these types of replacement buys. Remember, you will likely pay more up front for the high-quality wares your family will need, but you are buying something that will last through the high usage. Keep it budget-friendly by replacing things only as they wear out, or picking one item a month that fits into its own unique budget category. (This is also a great way to teach kids about good stewardship of earth&rsquo;s resources.)</p> <h3>4. Use Outdoor Spaces When Possible</h3> <p>I have to admit that one of God&rsquo;s greatest gifts to my family has been the unlimited free use of the natural world. Sending the boys outside to dig, play, and roam not only saves me some much-needed sanity, it keeps my floors going for another few years. If you find yourself getting a little cabin fever with your home arrangement, look for ways to take your business outdoors &mdash; especially if your <a href="http://www.1099mom.com/2011/01/ask-1099-mom-do-i-need-office-to-work.html">home office</a> isn&rsquo;t separate from the rest of your house.&nbsp;Patios, sitting gardens, or even just a picnic table can offer fresh air and a different view, and it costs nothing to heat, cool, or furnish!</p> <p>Having a work-at-home, <a href="http://parentingsquad.com/is-school-out-early-today-how-i-address-the-home-school-question">homeschooling lifestyle</a> took some adjustment for me at first.&nbsp;While I enjoy the money I&rsquo;ve saved on some of the more frivolous items I used to buy &mdash; and love the time I spend with my family &mdash; I never imagined I could be using part of that &ldquo;saved&rdquo; money on dish soap, propane, and toilet paper.</p> <p><em>What are your tips for keeping home costs down?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/linsey-knerl">Linsey Knerl</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-steps-to-absorb-the-cost-of-an-at-home-lifestyle">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/home-education-curriculum-on-the-cheap-10-ways-to-learn-for-less">Home Education Curriculum on the Cheap: 10 Ways to Learn for Less</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/americans-savings-rate-up-to-almost-7-who-benefits">Americans&#039; savings rate up to almost 7% - who benefits?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-new-year-money-resolutions-anyone-can-keep">10 New Year Money Resolutions Anyone Can Keep</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/common-currency-a-primer">Common Currency: A Primer</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/killin-em-out-there-the-school-clothes-conundrum">Killin &#039;em Out There: The School Clothes Conundrum</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living homeschool money savings work from home Tue, 15 Feb 2011 14:00:11 +0000 Linsey Knerl 490447 at http://www.wisebread.com Home Education Curriculum on the Cheap: 10 Ways to Learn for Less http://www.wisebread.com/home-education-curriculum-on-the-cheap-10-ways-to-learn-for-less <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/home-education-curriculum-on-the-cheap-10-ways-to-learn-for-less" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/homeschool costs.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="333" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p class="MsoNormal">In a recent cost-study I completed, I found that it is possible for American families to spend between $300 and $4325 per year to homeschool a single child.<span> </span>While this is as varied a figure as the child it represents, there are some very simple, smart ways to keep your costs on the low side.<span> </span>Here are my top picks for keeping curriculum expenses low and how each has worked for our family. </p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong><a href="http://www.ebay.com/">Ebay</a></strong> – I’ll be the first to admit that my top pick for cheap textbooks and student materials is going to fall behind other resources.<span> </span>Their now strictly-enforced rule preventing the buying and selling of teacher’s editions (even those clearly labeled as home educator editions) has left many loyal Ebayers in the lurch.<span> </span>While still a great resource for buying student copies and readers at pennies on the dollar, I predict it going the way of the dinosaur for most parents. </p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong><a href="http://www.wagglepop.com/bin/Auction">Wagglepop</a></strong> – A whooey what?<span> </span>This up-and-coming auction site has been making a modest comeback for some time.<span> </span>With only a handful of sellers offering homeschool curriculum, it isn’t for everyone.<span> </span>There are some fantastic deals to be had, however, and I personally purchased over a dozen books from one seller with superb results.<span> </span>Given some more time, this could be the solution to Ebay’s teacher edition conundrum.<span> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong><a href="http://www.amazon.com/">Amazon</a></strong> – Taking over as my personal #1 resource for buying student and teacher materials, copies of textbooks range anywhere from a penny to very close to retail value.<span> </span>Older editions of textbooks can be identical to newer ones in content, so do your research to find out if buying that newest release for 50% more will only net you a shinier cover.<span> </span>(How much has Algebra changed in the last 10 years, anyway?)<span> </span>The only drawback to using the Amazon seller’s marketplace for finding textbooks is that you purchase sight unseen.<span> </span>Book descriptions are vague, and shipping is not usually able to be combined.<span> </span>I have had great experience, nonetheless. </p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>Homeschool<span> </span>Forums</strong> – With many parents fed up with auction sites, they have turned to each other for their cheap materials.<span> </span>The best sites for forum-based curriculum listings include <a href="http://www.home-school.com/forums/">HomeSchool World</a><span> </span>and <a href="http://forum.homeschool.com/forum/default.asp">Homeschool.com</a>.<span> </span>You may also be able to search around some Yahoo forums to get a more local set of listings.<span> </span>I have been successful finding curriculum for my children at reasonable value, and the materials have been in great condition.<span> </span>Most parents on these forums aren’t resellers looking to profit, they just want to get enough money from last year’s curriculum to buy next year’s. </p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>Your Local Library</strong> – It doesn’t get any cheaper than this.<span> </span>While not usually offering textbooks, your library will have some excellent resources for the homeschooling family.<span> </span>This is especially useful for those families following a Charlotte Mason model or who just want to interject some classical reading into their educational diet.<span> </span>By buddying up to your librarian, you may find them consulting you on what types of books they should order, and this could be a huge opportunity for you and other homeschool families. </p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>Internet Resources</strong> – If you are a worksheet kind of instructor, you’ll be pleased to find many printables online for all grade levels.<span> </span>Some websites may charge an annual fee in exchange for high-quality worksheets and lesson plans.<span> </span>Others can give you the same kind of access for free, if you’re willing to put up with a few ads and limited ownership rights.<span> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong><a href="http://content.scholastic.com/browse/home.jsp">Scholastic Book Clubs</a></strong> – I will always remember getting the book order forms at school, looking them over with big plans for acquiring paperbacks, and then having my parents tell me “no.”<span> </span>Homeschool parents can sign up for the same ordering info from Scholastic’s website and get order forms for as many grade levels as you teach.<span> </span>They have some great deals throughout the year, and there is no minimum ordering levels.<span> </span>If you do purchase above $20, however, you get free shipping and some fine promotional perks.<span> </span>With each dollar spent, you will accumulate “points” that can be redeemed for future purchases.<span> </span>In addition to getting some nice classic paperbacks at school pricing, we have been able to get a few Nintendo DS games for my daughter well below retail.<span> </span>The Scholastic Teacher’s site also has a good selection of seasonal printables, including answer keys. </p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong><a href="http://www.craigslist.org/about/sites.html">Craigslist</a></strong> – No resource list would be complete without my current shopping addiction.<span> </span>Granted, you will need to weed through listings for mint condition Playboys and tattered boxed lots of V.C. Andrews, but you if check early and often, there are deals to be had. </p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>Garage Sales</strong> – Those parents especially dependent on concrete plans and tight deadlines might not appreciate the beauty of a surprise curriculum find at a garage sale.<span> </span>There are no guarantees that homeschool curriculum will even be mentioned in the sale ad.<span> </span>You just go, dig through books, and see what you find.<span> </span>I have gotten boxes and boxes of books for quarters, just by asking.<span> </span>If the family seems to be the type that might homeschool, ask!<span> </span>(Usually the lab equipment, early childhood education software, and huge blackboards will give them away…) </p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>Homeschool Support Group</strong> – If you are homeschooling and haven’t joined a local support group, you are missing out!<span> </span>In addition to access to cheap and fun activities, discounts, conferences, and educational programs, there is often a forum or email list for trading and selling used curriculum.<span> </span>The best deals come from those you know! </p> <p class="MsoNormal">One of the biggest expenses you will bear as a home-educating parent is the curriculum.<span> </span>Get out there and get informed about what you will need and what it will cost so that you are prepared to barter your way to a cheaper school year.<span> </span>If you make a mistake, just resell it. <a href="http://parentingsquad.com/is-school-out-early-today-how-i-address-the-home-school-question">It’s all about learning, anyway</a>.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/linsey-knerl">Linsey Knerl</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/home-education-curriculum-on-the-cheap-10-ways-to-learn-for-less">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-steps-to-absorb-the-cost-of-an-at-home-lifestyle">4 Steps to Absorb the Cost of an at-Home Lifestyle</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/will-a-dental-discount-plan-save-you-money">Will A Dental Discount Plan Save You Money?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-great-things-to-do-with-your-spare-change">25 Great Things to Do With Your Spare Change</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-get-your-toiletries-for-cheap-or-even-free">6 Ways to Get your Toiletries for Cheap or Even Free!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-sleek-marketing-ploys-aimed-at-getting-more-of-your-grocery-money">5 Sleek Marketing Ploys Aimed at Getting More of Your Grocery Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living cheap curriculum home school homeschool savings Sun, 24 Feb 2008 18:13:41 +0000 Linsey Knerl 1839 at http://www.wisebread.com Sit in on a Class at MIT for Free! http://www.wisebread.com/sit-in-on-a-class-at-mit-for-free <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/sit-in-on-a-class-at-mit-for-free" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/MIT.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p class="MsoNormal">What do John Hopkins, the University of Notre Dame, and Osaka University of Japan have in common?<span> </span>They all offer free access to their online instruction, along with course outlines, notes, and video classes. Assuming that you just want the knowledge and could care less about the official college credit, you might enjoy this resource to get some of the best online instruction for absolutely no money.<span> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span> </span>I’m a lifelong learner by definition.<span> </span>As a matter of fact, there is a long list of college courses I would love to take “when I find the time.”<span> </span>I’m also a little reluctant to put out more money for college courses without a definite career path in mind.<span> </span>What if I just wanted to take a class in <a href="http://ocw.usu.edu/Languages__Philosophy_and_Speech_Communication/First_Year_Chinese_I">First Year Chinese</a> or <a href="http://ocw.tufts.edu/Course/39">Human-Animal Relationships</a> without all the hassle of actually going to college?<span> </span>It can be done. </p> <p class="MsoNormal">As part of the <a href="http://www.ocwconsortium.org/index.php">Open Courseware Consortium (OCW)</a> project, schools such as Tufts University, ParisTech, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have partnered with dozens of other colleges to provide the world with free information.<span> </span>Sure it’s not actual college attendance, but you will have access to the lectures and notes of some of the world’s best professors and experts, and it won’t cost you a dime!</p> <p>The <a href="http://www.ocwconsortium.org/index.php?option=com_content&amp;task=view&amp;id=15&amp;Itemid=29">OCW states its purpose</a> as, “<em>a free and open digital publication of high quality educational materials, organized as courses. The OpenCourseWare Consortium is a collaboration of more than 100 higher education institutions and associated organizations from around the world creating a broad and deep body of open educational content using a shared model. The mission of the OpenCourseWare Consortium is to advance education and empower people worldwide through opencourseware</em>.”</p> <p>Sounds a little empowering, doesn’t it?<span> </span>Imagine millions of regular people, with no particular interest in obtaining a traditional degree, using this knowledge to simply enrich their lives.<span> </span>What could we do with even more free information?</p> <p>I was first introduced to the OCW as an option for supplementing my <a href="http://parentingsquad.com/is-school-out-early-today-how-i-address-the-home-school-question">homeschool curriculum</a>.<span> </span>Preparing children for college couldn’t be easier than if their extra-curricular learning came directly from the best colleges.<span> </span>This was only the beginning, however.<span> </span>As I flipped through course directories, I found amazing lectures on all kind of subjects, dating back to 2000.<span> </span>Webcasts and podcasts on journalism, gender studies, health, and foreign language were abundant and available for direct RSS feeds!</p> <p>I don’t know about you, but this is the beginning of what could be an amazing achievement in sharing information with the world.<span> </span><em>Knowledge junkies, we have a new cure for our disease.<span> </span>Let the learning begin.</em></p> <p class="MsoNormal">&nbsp;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/linsey-knerl">Linsey Knerl</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sit-in-on-a-class-at-mit-for-free">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/watch-all-the-documentary-movies-you-can-handle-free-online-and-yes-its-legal">Watch All The Documentary Movies You Can Handle, Free Online - And Yes, It&#039;s Legal.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dont-go-to-college-to-learn">Don&#039;t Go to College to Learn</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/life-without-tv">Life Without Television</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/beware-the-nasty-secret-of-the-craigslist-free-section">Beware, The Nasty Secret Of The Craigslist Free Section</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/search-online-for-a-fix-before-you-toss-that-broken-gadget">Search Online for a Fix before You Toss that Broken Gadget</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Career Building Lifestyle Technology classes college courses education free homeschool online Thu, 31 Jan 2008 03:37:46 +0000 Linsey Knerl 1708 at http://www.wisebread.com