If you’re not a regular stalker of the MIT Open Courseware page, that’s ok, I probably stalk them enough for both of us. I found a few great courses you might want to use in your homeschool this summer or fall.
Open Courses are easy to use- you simply sign up. Think of them as a library of curriculum- but without a teacher. If you want to award your teen high school credit (strongly suggested) you can simply do that when they’ve finished. You can also use them as part of another class you’re already doing with your teen (aka “enrichment”)
The really great thing to note, is that these courses were the real deal – real MIT courses. Some of these were offered SPRING 2018! So, they are very recent. As each course happened, the lectures were recorded, and now the content (lectures + more) is placed online for anyone to watch for free.
Did you catch that? Free! That’s the second really great part – you don’t have to pay for anything.
What’s the downside? You won’t get college credit or a grade, but you can give them high school credit and roll this into your college credit program any way you like.
Here are a few new courses that caught my eye this week:
Creole Language and Caribbean Identity
Caribbean Creole languages result from language contact via colonization and the slave trade. In this course, we explore the history of Creole languages from cognitive, historical and comparative perspectives. We evaluate popular theories about “Creole genesis” and the role of language acquisition. Then we explore the non-linguistic aspects of Creole formation, using sources from literature, religion and music. We also look into issues of Caribbean identities as we examine Creole speakers’ and others’ beliefs and attitudes toward their cultures. We also make comparisons with relevant aspects of African-American culture in the U.S. Sign up
How do you read a poem? Intuition is not the only answer. In this class, we will investigate some of the formal tools poets use—meter, sound, syntax, word choice, and other properties of language—as well as exploring a range of approaches to reading poetry, from the old (memorization and reading out loud) to the new (digitally enabled visualization and annotation). We will use readings available online via the generosity of the Poetry Foundation and the Academy of American Poets. We will also think collectively about how to approach difficult poems. Sign up
Introduction to Computer Science and Programming in Python
Intended for students with little or no programming experience. It aims to provide students with an understanding of the role computation can play in solving problems and to help students, regardless of their major, feel justifiably confident of their ability to write small programs that allow them to accomplish useful goals. The class uses the Python 3.5 programming language. Sign up
This course is an introduction to quantum mechanics for use by chemists. Topics include particles and waves, wave mechanics, semi-classical quantum mechanics, matrix mechanics, perturbation theory, molecular orbital theory, molecular structure, molecular spectroscopy, and photochemistry. Emphasis is on creating and building confidence in the use of intuitive pictures. Sign up
American Dream: Using Storytelling to Explore Social Class in the United States
This course explores the experiences and understandings of class among Americans positioned at different points along the U.S. social spectrum. It considers a variety of classic frameworks for analyzing social class and uses memoirs, novels, and ethnographies to gain a sense of how class is experienced in daily life and how it intersects with other forms of social difference such as race and gender. Sign up
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You can access the entire MIT catalog of Open Courses HERE.