Learning Resources

A collection of ideas and links for expanding learning opportunities. [Work in Progress]

Settling into the idea of self-directing your own learning

 

Online class collections

  • Outschool.com offers over 10,000 small group video-chat classes in lots of traditional and non-traditional subjects. Although these classes have a fee, many are quite reasonably priced. Discounts available for PLC members.

  • Khan Academy offers learning resources in a wide range of subjects (yes, math, but also art history, grammar, and many more). Courses are divided into short lessons, which can be accessed individually or as part of a larger course.

  • edX offers free online courses from colleges, universities, and institutions from around the world. The majority of courses are self-paced and can begin at any time. Accredited certifications and graded assignments are available for a fee.

  • Coursera offers online courses, certifications, and degrees in a variety of subjects. The majority of courses are self-paced and can begin at any time. Accredited certifications and graded assignments are available for a fee.

  • Arizona State University Universal Learner Courses are first-year college courses in business, engineering, and liberal arts. Enroll in a course for a small registration fee, pay the full-course fee and receive credit from ASU at the end of the course, if desired.

  • Many libraries offer subscriptions to online course offerings. For example, Princeton Public Library has an online courses page, which offers access to LinkedIn Learning, Creativebug, and others, for library cardholders. Talk with your mentor to explore options if you don't have access at your library.

 

Community College

Community college's offer programs for high school aged people to dual enroll, that is take a class at the college that can also count for college credit. See the section on Dual Enrollment.

 

English

English classes in school include a bunch of skills and practices that can enrich a person's life experience and help them be prepared for adult life.

 

History

 

Mathematics

There are a number of reasons to study math.

  1. You want to complete the typical sequence of courses that students in conventional school take and list them on your transcript.

    • Typically young people complete three year-long math courses before graduating from high school: algebra I, geometry, and a third course that can vary, although most people assume it has to be algebra II.

    • Students who plan to pursue college study in math, science, finance/economics, engineering, or computer science usually also complete pre-calculus, calculus, and possibly statistics.

    • What and how:

      • Work with your mentor to make a plan for studying math so you can complete the courses that you feel will be important for your future. Decide if you want to work independently or have weekly one-hour meetings with a tutor.

      • Many students use Khan Academy to learn the concepts/skills in each course. They may work independently, watching the videos and then completing the problem sets, or with a tutor who explains each new skill as you work through problems.

      • CK-12 offers interactive online textbooks for a number of math courses: algebra I, geometry, algebra II, pre-calculus

      • Some students prefer to study using a textbook. Check out the textbooks available in the library.

      • Consider taking pre-calculus and calculus at a community college (either online or in person).

  2. You want to prepare for taking a standardized test, e.g., a college admissions test like the SAT, or a community college placement test to place into a college math class.

    • Find out what tests you will need to take, and what kinds of math concepts/skills are included on the test. Determine whether or not you have studied all of the concepts/skills included.

    • For concepts/skills that you have already studied, use practice tests to refresh and sharpen your skills. Take the tests in a realistic setting (e.g., setting a timer if the test/section is timed). Mark your responses right or wrong (if needed). For each question you got wrong, figure out what you did wrong and study the explanation for how to do the problem; consult with a math tutor if needed. Continue taking practice tests until you feel comfortable that you'll do well enough on the live test.

    • For concepts/skills you have not yet studied, identify learning resources for each concept/skill (e.g., sections in Khan Academy) and work through each resource to mastery. Consult with a math tutor as necessary. If you have limited time to learn new concepts, focus on the ones that are more prevalent on the test (e.g., if a test is 55% arithmetic, 30% elementary algebra, %15 geometry there will be many fewer geometry questions, and you may do well enough without studying all of a geometry course)

  3. You love math and want to learn new concepts and work on challenging problems.

  4. You want to be sure you have the math knowledge that you'll need to be an adult, and don't see a need for much in the way of advanced study. Let's consider what math you many need for various life experiences:

    • It is super useful to have a solid understanding of the basics in math. If you think you are shaky on any of the following, consider using Khan Academy or another resource to do some review and practice. Work with your mentor to devise a study plan so you can focus on what you need.

      • adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing

      • calculations involving fractions, decimals, and negative numbers

      • percents, ratios, proportions

      • measurement and units

      • the basics of equations and inequalities

    • A note on hand calculations, mental math, and using a calculator: Don't worry if you are terrible at doing long division and other tedious hand calculations. It's fine to use the calculator on your phone. If you enjoy doing calculations in your head, like 16 x 4 or what is 20% of 50, practice every chance you get--it's a handy and satisfying skill!

    • Money management: Although you can study up on concepts as they come up in your life (bank account, car loan, credit/debit card, taxes, mortgage, budget, investing) these skills are included in a personal finance (also called financial literacy) course. Ask your mentor to help you find a good one.

    • Starting a business:

    • Data and statistics:

 

 

Foreign Language

For the language you are trying to learn, consider the following opportunities:

  • become a member of the Mango (available through Mercer, Middlesex, and Princeton library systems), Duolingo or Livemocha online learning community

  • travel to area with native-speaking population

  • host an international student who is a native-speaker

  • participate in one of Google's Language Practice Hang-Outs (list of languages available)

  • read/translate foreign language children's books (often available in local library)

  • listen to audio books using Beelinguapp, also includes text side-by-side in two languages

  • watch foreign language films

  • watch US films, dubbed or sub-titled in foreign language (in particular, watch a film that you have watched "many times" before, e.g., children's animated movie, but this time dubbed in the language you are learning)

  • tune in regularly to a radio or tv station in the language you are learning

  • check out area language-specific groups, e.g.,

Further thoughts and resources:

 

 

Science

Engineering

 

 

Athletics

New Jersey law allows for homeschooled students to participate on school teams. The following is from a FAQ page on the NJ DOE website: "A board of education may, but is not required by law to, allow a child educated elsewhere than at school to participate in curricular and extracurricular activities or sports activities. Before deciding to do so, however, a board of education may wish to consult with its attorney to consider the full implications of such participation."

It has been our experience that the area school districts deny requests to participate. There are a number of ways for homeschooled teens to have play a sport, outside of a public school setting: