Time is a gift. It may not seem that way when you’re suddenly faced with extra time at home because you’ve been laid off or you’re trying to spend less. But it’s important to have a positive mindset and still try to keep yourself and your skills fresh by continuing to learn at home.
The best ways to learn at home is to have a specific goal: to better your knowledge in a certain area. Whether you want to prepare for college entrance exams, a future career, a potential job change, or just keeping up with the world around you, it’s important to stay informed.
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Online Learning From Home
Online learning truly changed the way that we experience school. Never has it been so easy and affordable to learn at home. The internet is full of all kinds of classes in all different subjects teaching a plethora of skills. Here are five of the best sites to go to when you want to increase your knowledge through online learning.
Why not use some time away from work to learn a foreign language? Rocket Languages offers classes in 12 different foreign languages.
They really want you to love Rocket Languages. You have a 60-day, money-back guarantee, and immediately upon joining your get 24/7 online access both to your selected course and forum and email support. Courses are based on the science and strategies used by people who speak five (or more) languages. There are three different class levels to consider purchasing. Once you purchase a level, you receive lifetime access to it.
Level 1: In this level, you go beginner to the intermediate level in your chosen language, reaching a good conversational level.
Level 2: This level will take you from the intermediate to the advanced level in your chose language, reaching a very good conversational level.
Level 1, 2, and 3: These three levels take you all the way through, from beginner through advanced, reaching an advanced conversational level.
Knowing a second language can increase your employability, according to this article on careertoolbelt.com.
Start learning today so that you can soon add another language to your resume!
Want to read some impressive statistics? Udemy has the world’s largest selection of online classes with more than 150,000 video courses taught by over 57,000 instructors. They offer classes in 65 different languages and have had more than 295 million enrollments in different classes since they started. With classes in marketing, music, lifestyle, design, professional development, IT, business, and so much more, you’re sure to find an area of study that intrigues you.
Classes are priced individually and start at $10.99/class.
You can take the Udemy classes you sign up for through their app on your phone, tablet, or desktop computer. Once you purchase a class, it’s yours indefinitely so you can take as long as you want to finish it.
Founded in 2011 by two Stanford professors, Coursera is unique in that it you can audit any of its classes for free. Audit means that you can observe but receive a grade for a class that you take. If you want to receive a grade (and therefore credit for taking the class), you must pay. Coursera has a seven-day free trial period and the subscription fee per month after the free trial is over is anywhere from $39-$79, depending on what course you choose to take.
Coursera has classes taught by some of the top instructors at the best colleges and universities in the U.S. Your subscription gets you access to video lectures, auto-graded and peer-reviewed assignments, discussion forums, and a course certificate sent to your email upon completion of the course.
Great Courses Plus
Great Courses Plus is one of the more established programs on our list. It’s been around for almost 30 years, helping you learn at home in different formats. They have more than 700 teachers for their classes. They partner with notable institutions like the History Channel, Culinary Institute of America, National Geographic, and the Smith Institute.
When you subscribe to Great Courses Plus, you get unlimited streaming of all of their courses every month. With classes in everything from math to religion, science to food & wine, travel to professional growth, you’ll find what you need at this site. You get your first 14 days free to make sure you like it before you’ll pay the regular price.
Great Courses Plus has an app through which you can watch your selected classes. You can also view them by streaming them onto your TV with services like Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, and more.
If you want to master tech skills to better yourself for your current job or prepare yourself for a new field entirely, Udacity is the site for you.
It’s completely self-paced. You can join when you want and take as long as you need to finish a class. When you sign up, you’re choosing a Nanodegree, a specific field of study that you want to complete. The cost of each Nanodegree varies.
You’ll receive instant access to the classes, online support, and the online community for your chosen Nanodegree as soon as you sign up. When you graduate, you receive a certificate of completion in whatever field you chose to study.
The goal of Skillshare is to “Inspire Discovery Through Creativity.” This online learning platform allows you to tap into the creative side of you and learn how to make money from it.
Before you go writing this off because being creative isn’t your thing, think again. Skillshare offers classes in technology, business, and lifestyle skills as well as creative initiatives. If you’ve thought about starting a business, why not take their Freelance and Entrepreneurship class to learn how to build your business right? Instead of playing video games at home, learn how to design one. If you can’t go out to eat, take a culinary class and learn how to cook.
There are two levels of membership at Skillshare. The free level gives you access to a few limited classes. The premium membership gives you unlimited access to over 19,000 classes in a variety of areas, all taught by skilled educators. The premium plan is free for the first two months. After that, it’s $15 per month. If you choose to be billed annually, you’ll save almost half that cost. The bill for the year is $99, or $8.25 per month.
Less than $100 for access to unlimited classes throughout the year is a complete steal. Grab the deal today and unleash your inner creativity today!
Periodicals For Learning From Home
We live in the age of the 24/7 news channels. With all of them constantly spouting financial information and updates, it can be hard to cull through everything to figure out what’s true and what’s false. You need to make sure you’re learning at home and keeping up with your financial knowledge.
Here are two trusted and established periodicals. Reading them will help you get wiser on all things business from the comfort of your couch.
The Wall Street Journal
The Wall Street Journal has been reporting on finance and business since 1889. Based in New York City, they’ve won 35 Pulitzer Prizes for their reporting over the years (journalism’s top honor), and have expanded to cover politics, opinions, commentaries, and reviews of the arts. When the world’s finances are in flux, The Wall Street Journal is known for its honest, straightforward, no-nonsense reporting.
Subscribe to the WSJ now and get two months of daily papers for just $1. After that, you’ll pay the regular price per month.
Barron’s is a weekly magazine that’s a sister publication to The Wall Street Journal. It focuses on reporting financial information, market developments over the past week, and statistics important to your financial holdings. Each week’s issue features a sum of the previous week’s market activities in addition to news of the world and an outlook on what’s ahead.
When you subscribe to Barron’s, you’ll get 12 weeks of the magazine for just $12. You can choose to get it via digital delivery or both digital and print.
Books For Learning From Home
Sometimes you need more information than what a magazine article can give you. That’s when you turn to books for a fuller perspective on issues. The following are three different sites where you can find books on any and all subjects that will help you learn at home during your free time.
Book Outlet sells publisher overstock books to the public at a fraction of their list price. Their 110% satisfaction guarantee on all purchases ensures that you’ll get a structurally sound copy of the book. If there are any flaws, they’ll not only replace it for free, but they’ll also give you a 10% credit on your next purchase with them. You’ll earn points with each purchase and once those points accumulate to certain levels, you’ll save even more money.
They have a huge selection of titles that you won’t believe until you check it out. Free shipping on all orders over $35.
If reading has never been your thing but you find yourself wanting to know what’s in certain books to keep up with your job or current events, Audiobooks.com is about to be your new best friend. They have thousands of title on hand ready for you to listen to. You can download the book onto any internet-enabled device so you can literally listen wherever you are. In addition to books, your subscription also gets you access to more than 700,000 podcasts.
When you sign up for Audiobooks.com, you get both a 30-day free trial and your first two books for free. You can cancel any time, no strings attached.
Don’t have the time or desire to read a whole nonfiction book but you need to get understand it for work? Blinkist has your back.
They’ve created a process to summarize whole books into small chunks of text and audio so that you can get the entire book’s key ideas from text or audio clips in 15 minutes. Their catalog currently consists of more than 3,000 books and they’re adding around 40 new books per month. You can catch up on months’ worth of work reading in just a few hours.
Thirteen million users around the world have already discovered this Blinkist. You can try it for free for seven days before they charge you for the normal rate.
College Test Prep From Home
The pressure to get into a good university is real, and a lot of it revolves around the score you get on your college entrance exams. Taking an online class in your free time at home will help you learn how to prepare for these all-important tests.
Magoosh is derived from a Persian word that means “highly learned, wise, and generous.” The website will help get you ready for virtually any upcoming exam you need to take. SAT? Check? ACT? Check. LSAT, MCAT, GRE, GMAT, and so many more. They’ve helped more than 1.5 million students learn at home. They’ve answered over 300 million test practice questions and produced video lessons that have been viewed more than eight million times. Magoosh is in 185 countries all over the world.
There is no free trial with Magoosh. However, if you’re not completely satisfied with Magoosh, you do get a seven-day, money-back guarantee.
No matter what test you need a great score on, Shmoop will help you get it. ACT, SAT, AP tests, GED State EOCs–they’ve got you covered. For each test, they offer multiple practice exams, more than 1,000 practice questions, video learning, and more, all to help you score better on your text. Shmoop also offers other online learning opportunities for help with math, English, and other online courses.
Shmoop was founded in 2009 and has grown to six million monthly users with more than 1,200 schools or districts using the site. The site has several levels of pricing depending on whether you want access to just one section or to the whole site. Check out Shmoop’s different learning options and click on each one to see what they cost each month. There is also a discount for most programs if you pay for the whole year at one time, rather than month-to-month.
Making It Actually Happen
If you are trying to level up your skills from home, it won’t happen automatically. So often, people buy online courses and then never follow through. If you are used to having a boss or a teacher standing over your shoulder keeping you accountable, it’s easy to feel lost when you suddenly have to provide your own internal motivation. After all, there is always tomorrow–and no one is counting on you but you.
Here are some good habits to implement so your at-home learning actually takes place!
Find A Schedule That Works
The best thing you can do is determine a time of day that is your “study time” and stick to it. You may have to play around with this a bit to figure out what works best for you. Set a time block and honor it just as if it were an actual class. Try it for a few days and if it’s not working try something else.
But don’t just get to it when you get to it. Set an appointment for yourself or you’ll never actually do it.
During your study time, don’t allow yourself to get distracted. Stay off your phone and let others know not to bother you during this time. Really commit to focusing during this block of time that you have dedicated to learning.
Create Your Space
Just as you need a designated time, you need a designated space. Where are you going to work? A desk in a quiet room would be ideal but even your kitchen table can work. Avoid trying to study in front of the TV or in a crowded space.
Someplace where you can shut out your surroundings and really dive into the content is best.
Reach Out To Others
If the class you are taking offers a community of other students, take advantage. This will help you learn the material and just make learning more fun. It’s harder to give up or lose interest when you have a few friends who are also going through the course.
If you get stuck reach out to this community or your instructor. Ask questions. Do the homework. Stay engaged.
You’ll be surprised how much you can learn from home when you make a commitment and put in the work.
It’s not easy to stay inside when the economy starts to take a downturn and you have to rethink your job or your life. The tools listed above will truly help you learn at home. They will not only help you pass the time, but they might also help prepare you for a job change or a future career. Try to see the time you have at home as an opportunity for self-improvement and use it wisely!
Originally posted at https://www.choosefi.com/learn-at-home/