The More You Know...
It’s common to scrutinize college today. The education system is rigged. Everywhere you look, somebody is writing about a student loan horror story, declining academic standards, disruptive technological change, or the narrow work options available to graduates.
But in an era of skyrocketing tuition fees combined with widespread economic severity, millions of students will find themselves unable or unwilling to finance the college package deal. Yet they’ll still want and need, to gain a higher education.
Luckily, higher education doesn’t have to be delivered by a college institution. You can gain skills, community, independence, exposure, and work opportunities by piecing together a self-directed, a la carte curriculum of real-world projects.
It’s a like a design-your-own-college-major plan — but without college, it's time restraints or its bloated costs.
Self-guided learning is one solution to the college debate, and unquestionably not the only one. But unlike other solutions, you can begin self-directed learning instantly, without spending a ton of money or waiting for policy-makers or university administrators to change their ways. And perhaps most importantly, self-guided learning builds serious personal entrepreneurship: an especially valuable “soft skill” in an era of accelerated economic change.
Take free or cheap introductory courses in multiple subjects. Introduce yourself to captivating new ideas, people, and potential career paths using Coursera, The Floating University, Skillshare, Khan Academy, TED talks, DO lectures, Academic Earth, Udemy, EdX.org or EdZ.
Educating yourself and your children in the comfort of your own home.
edX is a massive open online course (MOOC) provider. It hosts online university-level courses in a wide range of disciplines to a worldwide student body, including some courses at no charge. It also conducts research into learning based on how people use its platform.
Quality education for everyone, everywhere
Founded by Harvard University and MIT in 2012, edX is an online learning destination and MOOC provider, offering high-quality courses from the world’s best universities and institutions to learners everywhere.
With more than 90 global partners, we are proud to count the world’s leading universities, nonprofits, and institutions as our members. EdX university members top the QS World University Rankings® with our founders receiving the top honors, and edX partner institutions ranking highly on the full list.
Develop a hands-on skill.
Think; cooking, electrical work, sports instruction, sewing, or automotive repair.
Such skills aren’t suddenly offshored or automated and therefore offer an excellent part-time or fall-back work option. Don’t dismiss such work as intellectually devoid.
Kickstart something. Organize a Kickstarter or IndieGoGo campaign to raise money for one of your creative projects, upcoming excursions, or educational experiments. You’ll learn how to develop a product line, manage a budget, and market yourself with social media.
Write for an audience. No matter how you do it, writing for an audience sharpens your mind and helps you figure out what other people find valuable.
Start a business. It doesn’t cost a lot of money to start many types of businesses — perhaps $100 — and you don’t have to think of it as a long-term venture. Whether you succeed or fail, you’ll learn powerful lessons that most colleges can’t teach.
Take back the power to educate your own children. This act alone would change the world.
What is an education? Is it about going to school every day, wearing the proper uniform, working strenuously in lessons and completing all of your homework? Is it about doing what your teachers tell you to, being well-behaved and compliant, obedient and submissive? Is an education about how many facts you know and can recall in exams? Or could it be something different – something that can happen out in the world, as well as in a classroom?
Can We say.....
You can work-around any work shifts. You can go on vacations when you want – no massive hike in expense when school comes round – and extend holidays at whim. You never have to count down (with glee or dread) thinking “X more days until the summer holidays are over”.
No school runs
Can I just repeat that? No school runs. Bedtimes and get-up times to suit YOU and, more crucially, at a more adolescent-friendly time for teenagers whose biological clocks shift at the start of puberty.
This is probably the main reason home education is so different from school. We all learn more effectively, and it’s more fun if we can learn about the stuff we like. You can also go at the child’s pace, rather than the child having to go at the class’s pace.
Write your own curriculum
You don’t need to follow the national curriculum if you don’t want to. You definitely don’t need to follow a school day. This means you can be led by your child, which means more efficient learning. If your child is particularly interested in something after seeing a film or reading a book, you can learn about that, which will lead to lots of other things. If your child is more receptive from 3 pm to 6 pm, that’s when you can target lessons.