I was going to write about the upcoming Philippine Homeschool Conference happening on October 7 at the Treston International College today, but just before I logged in, I opened an email from Coursera letting me know of new courses that they think would interest me.
And I got to thinking, maybe I should write something different. Like adult homeschool.
Our eldest child was homeschooled in elementary. Then she moved on to a Science high school. She’s now in college, and doing pretty well. Our two younger children are still homeschooled. Not showing signs of wanting to leave our home academy yet, but each year, I prepare for that eventuality.
Homeschooling our children taught me a lot of things. In fact, I may have learned more from them than them from me. It depends on how one views learning, actually.
I think our approach to homeschooling is more on guiding our kids to be autodidacts. Maybe because I’ve found my happiness in being an entrepreneur without ever taking a formal course on how to become one. I learned on my own. I was in adult homeschool from the time I left my corporate life. And I think it paid off.
Benefits of going to adult homeschool
I’m earning more.
Well, not that much. But more than what I would be earning had I stayed in employment. I’m staying competitive in today’s job market because I am teaching myself new skills. I can offer other services using skills I didn’t imagine I’d know when I was working in a conglomerate. It’s just like, send-more-entries-for-more-chances-of-winning type of thing.
I’m growing my circle of friends.
When I enroll in a course, I make sure that I visit the forums. I meet people from different countries and stay connected with some. Also, with my increasing knowledge base, I become confident in offering new services. In the process, either I find myself serving a new client, or working with a new colleague with a different set of expertise. Either way, these newfound contacts are amazing.
I’m enjoying my life more.
When I learned how to crochet, it was a revelation. I never thought I’m a creative person. But I am. I know that now. I’m claiming it.
When I learned how to set up online shopping carts and websites, you are not going to believe the happiness I felt. Like I was doing the jig in my mind, only to realize I was actually doing the jig, period.
Each time I troubleshoot a site, adding a bit of code here and there, it felt like my chest would burst with pride.
Adult homeschool changed me from being a passive consumer of knowledge to actively choosing what I want to learn. From crochet, knitting and quilling, to affiliate marketing, coaching and coding. And as I learn each new skill, I enjoy the positive feeling that comes with finally doing it on my own. Of becoming a master, later on.
I know a lot of people would wonder how I find the time. But the thing is, I don’t. I don’t find time. I make time.
I have a busy work life. My virtual assistance business is busy. I have more crochet projects than I can comfortably handle. We don’t have a househelp. And we homeschool. So when do I get the time to be in adult homeschool?
I make time.
I download the course videos on my phone, and listen to them on the drive to and from the grocery. Instead of being online on Facebook, I’d spend my downtime watching the videos. Or if there is just audio, I crochet while listening to the lecture. And whenever possible, I choose a course that allows a student to finish at her own pace. Or at the very least, something that will not require too many exams.
You can do this for free.
Here are my top picks on free education:
- Coursera – This is my go-to site. They work with top universities to offer free online classes. I have a few certificates from the courses I took with them.
- Khan Academy – I enrolled my kids here, and then I got hooked myself. My favorite part is practicing my math.
- Code Academy – There’s free, and there’s PRO. Depending on your needs and your end-goal. For now, I’m staying with free.
- Udacity – This is like Coursera, but more on technical courses.
- CreativeLive – Needless to say, my favorite section here is the Craft and Maker Topics.
- YouTube EDU – This one, I discovered through my son. He found it himself. Told you, he knows more than I do. There’s primary and secondary education, there’s university, and you can also subscribe per subject.
- Duolingo – I have bookmarked this site, but I have yet to try it out. I have once taken a foreign language course in Coursera. It’s called Financial Accounting. So maybe I’ll try this site soon. I might fare better here.
There are hundreds more sites you can learn courses from, absolutely free. The list above are just the ones I have tried out. But if you are really that hungry for knowledge, just go to Open Education Database, or Open Culture. Those sites will give you more than enough choices.
Here’s an example of a video from YouTube that my son watches.
I’m writing about adult homeschool, remember? So unless you are planning to bring your learning materials with you to the grocery, the doctor’s clinic or to a boring get-together at the beach, your location should not be a problem.
Study in the car, on the dining table, even in bed.
I do all these. But mostly, in my home office. I really like my office. A lot.
So anyway, learning new things can also help beat old-age ailments like dementia and Alzheimer’s. It keeps our brain healthy.
To enjoy learning, here are a few tips.
Adopt a growth mindset. Was it Oprah who said, “What you believe, you become“? Believe that you can learn new things, and you will. One is never too old. I learned crochet when I was forty something.
Change your idea of learning. Forget the idea that you need to sign up and pay for a class to learn something new. Or that you need a certificate to show that you actually learned something.
Set your goals. Like I give myself at least three goals a year. Migrate a site. Create a pattern. Read 5 books on self development. Anything. Whatever applies to you, and whatever you think will make you happy and accomplished at the end.
Identify resources. I already shared with you my top picks for my own adult homeschool, so start with those, and add your own.
Ask questions. Your family. Your friends. Maybe reach out to the author of the book you’re reading. Or take on an accountability partner.
Join groups. Start with the people you know. Find people who have the same learning goals as you do. It’s more fun to learn that way. Unless you really are the introvertest introvert.
Put your knowledge to work. Learning crochet is not much fun if you only have one set of hooks. That’s me trying to justify my 4 sets, and another one to arrive soon. But seriously, take some action. Listening to podcasts about health and fitness will be wasted if you won’t even follow a healthy diet or get a good workout once a week.
Share what you’re learning.
I just did.
And I promise to write about the Philippine Homeschool Conference next time. Meanwhile, I hope you enjoyed this one.
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