Homeschool Class: College Credit Without Debt
A homeschool and budget-friendly approach to higher education — how to start and step-by-step support.
The cost of higher education has rendered the decision to take the traditional university approach highly dubious. Without significant scholarship or grant assistance, the benefits of a college degree often no longer justify the expense — in many cases decades of debt with no guarantee of a job or profession with which to pay it back.
There are alternative approaches to the acquisition of a degree from an accredited college, often involving online classes or independent study and taking exams. There are a couple of serious disadvantages to this approach:
Most students are not comfortable working in isolation and need some social and academic support. Homeschoolers may be better prepared than most for independent study, but success in college work is a lot to ask of a student working alone.
Much of the value of the college experience is found outside the classroom — the atmosphere of intellectual discussion and exchange among students, tutors, mentors with different fields of expertise. For many, the dormitory, quad, common room provided a larger proportion of meaningful education than did the classroom.
The College-Study Class
The purpose of such a class would be to provide support and guidance for students taking or intending to take MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) and studying for credit-by-exam tests such as CLEP, DSST, Trinity College London and others. The College-Study class would help guide students in taking classes and tests and would also provide peer support from fellow students and tutoring/mentoring from experienced academics.
Traditional regular classroom meetings (with broadcast and remote participation) for informal round-table academic discussion, combined with an online dorm-style commons for 24/7 exchanges, both realtime and postings. An extensive online library of resources is provided and augmented in response to needs as they arise. Suggested meeting time: Thursday evenings at Excellence In Education in Monrovia CA and broadcast with remote participation.
The freshman and sophomore years consist largely of foundational generic classes required for most majors. We would expect to cover English, Math and survey classes initially though students taking a variety of subjects would certainly benefit from cross-discipline support as well.
Intended student attendees
A wide age range. My kids started college work at 10 years old and many homeschoolers (certainly most of those who’ve been in my classes at Excellence In Education) would be ready for college work long before graduating high school.
If there are interested older students, 20 and up, they would have their own meetings and forums and not necessarily mix with younger students.
Is higher education worthwhile?
The short answer is: Yes, absolutely! But it is important to understand that by “higher education” we do not mean a few years at university, a degree and then leave school never to think about those things again. A degree is just an officially sanctioned symbol; real education is so much more and it is FREE!. Classes and lectures from the greatest universities in the world are now a mouseclick away. Vast troves of history, culture, languages, arts, sciences, technology, law, commerce and religion are now universally available to anyone ready to delve into them. It’s almost criminal, certainly neglectful, one might even say irresponsible to ignore these educational opportunities that are far greater than any that have ever existed in the history of humanity.
Whether we seek official recognition for our study or not (and why not after all), this unheard of access to the ever-expanding wealth of human knowledge is just too good to pass up. Learning for the sake of learning is dreadfully undervalued in our society and culture.
The value of education for the homeschooler, unschooler and out-of-the-loop learner
As one who majored in fine arts and languages while engaging voluntarily in independent (often dormitory) study in math, logic and computer programming, and then later went on to teach computer science for many years, I appreciate the academic potentials of dormschooling probably more than most. I often found myself instigating unofficial learning forums at college — play reading, puzzle solving, music making and many other subjects less easily defined. This was truly joyful education and stood in sharp contrast to the drudgery of classwork and the onerous hours of sanctioned official study. I must admit to spending far more time on the former than the latter, on multiple occasions seeing the sun rise rather unexpectedly while engrossed in some intriguing knotty problem.
The goal of the College-Study class
With the traditional college experience becoming far less accessible than it has been in past decades, an alternative approach is indicated. This class will provide students with something approaching the real college experience — not just the classrooms — and will also support students in the acquisition of exam and degree credit as comfortably and economically as possible. We would like this generation of students, including our kids, not to miss out on the wonderful positive aspects of the college experience.
For more information contact us:
323 432 7128