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My daughter is old enough to take a few college classes and include them on her homeschool high school transcript. When my oldest son was in high school, he was dual enrolled at The Victoria College. He is now in his senior year at UH-V. I don't think we can afford to have two enrolled at the same time. College is expensive, but MOOCs are FREE.

What are MOOCs? They are free Massive Open Online Courses from major universities like MIT, Harvard, Princeton, Berkley, Rice,... I know of a few homeschool families who have used these online courses as a part of their home school. Before I felt comfortable enrolling my high schooler, I had to take a class for myself, mainly to get an idea of how the classes were organized.

I found an interesting course from The University of Rochester through Coursera taught by John Cavoch Ph.D. The name of the course: THE HISTORY OF ROCK. Yes, the history of Rock & Roll. What a cool way to sample the world of online learning. Though I didn’t receive college credit for the course, I did receive a certificate of completion. I enjoyed the class so much that I signed up for The History of Rock part 2 and we are currently learning about the U.S. and U.K. Punk scenes.

My daughter wants to try out Fundamentals of Neuroscience which sounds a little more intimidating than listening to Janis Joplin for homework. The beauty of MOOCs is that you are not penalized if you drop a course. It is a safe way to introduce a high schooler to college content or a housewife to Quantum Mechanics. I have enrolled us both in Modern and Contemporary American Poetry.

Here are some of the courses that I am “watching” over at Coursera.org: Roman Architecture, A Brief History of Human Kind, The Ancient Greeks, Exploring Beethoven’s Piano Sonatas, A History of the World Since 1300, Live! A History of Art for Artists Animators and Gamers.

There are dozens of sites that offer access to these online courses. A few of my Coursera Facebook friends have recommend the MOOCs from EdX. The one that appeals to me is Science and Cooking: From Haute Cuisine to Soft Matter Science – “The only class where you can eat your lab.” I'm trying to convince my daughter that this cooking/science class would be a great Home Economics.

Do you think MOOCs would be a good way to help build a high school transcript?


The History of Rock part 1 and The History of Rock part 2 will roll back around in a few months. If these are classes you would like to take, go set up an account at Coursera.org and add these courses to your “watch list.” If you include your e mail address in your Information, you will get a notification when the course is about to begin.

These two courses were like adding the soundtrack to American history. They did add another layer to our story.