If there’s one thing I’ve learned after raising three kids, two of which are adults now, it’s that they are all completely different individuals and should be treated as such.
Our daughter has been on the college path since I can remember. She also enjoyed group activities and sports like volleyball and band. Fast forward to college and she’s an officer in a club on campus.
Her future was fairly laid out in her head and the only decision she needed to make upon graduating from high school was what college she would attend. She is thriving in a college atmosphere and I am so proud of her.
Our middle son’s path has been completely different. It was sometime during his junior year that he first mentioned possibly not attending college. And honestly, at first, that freaked me out a little. Not attend college?! How will he get a job? Who will hire him? What will he do with his time? These are all the thoughts that entered my mind.
Well, he graduated this past year and didn’t attend college. In fact, he’s on the road with us traveling full-time for at least the next year and he’s doing great. Not only has he found a few ways to further his education, but he’s found something he possibly wants to do as a career, plus a hobby he loves and is enjoying dedicating some of his time to it.
And yes, I am extremely proud of him. He’s chosen the path less traveled. (Or at least it feels less traveled to him.) A path that’s a little bit scary. But it’s his path and one that works for his personality, dreams, and desires.
Do you have a child like this? If so, here are three ways my son is furthering his education, all while traveling full-time. Some of these just might interest your child (or yourself!) as well.
3 Ways Your High School Graduate Can Affordably Further Their Education
Learning to Play with Guitar
The gist of it is it’s an online learning platform created by experts and a leading guitar company, Fender. They know a thing or two about what it takes to learn how to play guitar and how their platform is built has been proof of that.
The curriculum is based on breaking down the basics first, but with using songs that fit your preference and musical taste. That has been key in keeping my son interested and motivated to keep learning. He’s on the folk path and has really enjoyed learning to play songs from artists he connects with.
He’s spent the past month really nailing down the basics and has gained so much confidence. Those riffs and songs that seemed really intimidating in the beginning, now he knows he can learn them with some more practice.
Here’s where’s he’s at progress wise on the platform. He’s not as far along as he’d like, but he’s worlds ahead of where he was after a month of trying to learn on his own, without a platform to guide him.
Fender Play is set up so when you log on, either on your computer or with their app, you can see where you are in your guitar learning journey. You’ll see things like what chords you’ve learned, as well as riffs and songs. It’s really well put together and easy to understand.
How is this furthering his education some might ask? Kids who learn guitar become more confident and also develop coordination and math skills.
There is study after study of the benefits of learning an instrument both as a child and as an adult. After reading several articles, it made me realize how much I could actually benefit from digging into Fender Play and learning a thing or two.
Free Online College Courses
Just because my son decided not to attend college after high school, didn’t mean in any shape or form that he wasn’t interested in continuing to learn. In fact, it’s quite the opposite.
The last few weeks, I’ve seen him dig into topics that interest him like never before. And he’s using free/affordable resources.
Have you ever heard of edX? It was founded in 2012 by Harvard University and MIT with a “mission to provide quality education to everyone around the world.” It’s a MOOC; which stands for massive open online courses.
My son signed up for their Harvard Computer Science course and paid $90 to receive a certificate of completion. It’s an intense course with 10 to 20 hours of homework a week and he’s absolutely loving it.
There’s everything from a course in Science & Cooking to Justice. It’s definitely worth taking a look at if your child is interested in furthering their education.
Some colleges will allow you to sit in on their lectures for free. Just make sure you check with the college on their policies before popping into a class. Some campuses require you to audit the class, which means you might have to pay a fee. It’s wise to do your research first!
Colleges aren’t the only place you can attend a lecture and soak in some knowledge. Bookstores, museums and churches host lectures ranging in topics from photography to business ethics.
Simply do a search on either eventful.com or Google ‘your city + free lectures’.
Do you know of other ways kids can further their education for free or almost free? I’d love to hear more creative ways our kids can learn outside of a college environment, so please share!