How to get a free personal tutor for your kids and even an Ivy league degree, saving you over £100,000

June 24th, 2013 - Posted by in Blog, Happier Life, Saving Money

Edx, MIT and Harvard

Andy just couldn’t get the Pythagorean Theorem. Though he tried, it just didn’t add up for him. His mum shelled out £50 for him to a personal tutor. £50! And that was money she just didn’t have lying around. It was also something she shouldn’t have done, not without research, at least.

A long time ago, Andy’s mum’s solution was the only option. It’s how parents got their kids help: Paying outrageous amounts for private tutors or tutoring services. But since the evolution of Google and the glory of the Net, there’s very little reason to pay loads of money for online education these days. You can even get higher education for free.

There are excellent resources right at your fingertips, all you have to do is look for them. And while most are free, some are paid, but you have to decide what you need and find a way to fill it, the best way possible.

Let’s take a look at the face of free online education so you can support your student and get them the help they need:

Best Resources for School-Age Kids

Site: Arcademic Skill Builders
Focus: Present school age children with fun games to help them hone their arithmetic skills
Method: Gamification
Benefits: Keeps up with data so you can track your child’s success as he learns and hones his new maths

Arcademic Skill Builders is about utilizing the power of games while engaging and educating the user. Knowing how kids latch on to video games, the founders of Arcademic wanted to use that to infatuation they have for their own good. And it works. They have lots of success with this method.

Site: Khan Academy
Focus: Bringing school age kids to level through simplified language and experience
Method: Literally thousands of videos and interactive practice pages
Benefits: Exercises that allow the student to practice different math core themes and give hints where needed, explaining each step as necessary.

Khan Academy has a goal of making education available to everyone…free of charge. All the lectures in the site’s database, all 4200 of them, are 10 minute digestible explanations on ranges of topics in the K-12 curricula from biology to finances from the site founder Sal Khan. He takes difficult to master subjects and explains them in lay terms so everyone can understand them.

They also keep track of video lectures you’ve watched and your mastery level of each subject area. Definitely worth checking out if you need brushing up on your math homework.

Site: The GCSE Bitesize by BBC
Focus: Enable children to succeed at the GCSE through
Method: Bitesize video and audio to help breakdown tough concepts for the school-aged child
Benefits: Smaller portions take the difficulty out of having to focus for long periods of time on one topic

GCSE Bitesize is another great site for chunking large info into digestible bits that make it easy to understand trigonometry and photosynthesis. Loaded with games, videos, and texts, Bitesize is another great solution for the GCSE curricula student who needs help comprehending the massive subjects presented in the classroom.

Site: Study Maths
Focus: Bringing an end to math difficulty
Method: Notes, worksheets, interactive quizzes, and games
Benefits: Practice, practice, practice

If you want an excellent resource for practicing what your student is learning in class, this is it. The site is loaded with revision notes for key GCSE topics, worksheets, games, a question bank, and more. And it won’t be costly like a private tutor since it’s free.

Site: CodeAcademy
Focus: Coding for self-learners, school-age and up
Method: Interactive lessons with hints and tips to get users unstuck
Benefits: Coding simplified so anyone can learn this highly important skill

This is a most amazing site. Children who are familiar with the internet and can read are getting jump starts on their online careers by learning how to code websites and programs with CodeAcademy. With fully interactive lessons that include hints when the students get stuck, it gradually moves them forward as they master the skill they are working on. Love this site!

Site: At School
Focus: GCSE science resources
Method: Interactive classrooms for each topic in the level
Benefits: While a little aged looking, this site offers interactive learning, as well as online assessments to gauge your student’s progress

Geared for the early ed learner (KS 1 & 2), At School is chock full of resources for the parents, teachers and students to help the learner get a great start on their education with online tests, worksheets, games and pictures. This is another great site that will help parents give their children an advantage in their educational career.

Best Resources for University-level Students

At first glance, the thought of university-level learning for free (or almost so) might make you think you’re getting a lower quality education, but many say that online self-study is better because it’s tailored to the student’s learning needs and allows the student to repeat lectures or portions of lectures until they “get it”, giving online ed the upper hand over the “real world” experience of higher education.

Site: Coursera
Focus: University level courses ranging from economics to psychology
Method: Lecture and video
Benefits: Self-learning on a variety of courses that do offer university credit

Coursera has partnered with 83 learning establishments like UCLA, Irvine and the University of Michigan to provide courses from biology to humanities. And the learners at the uni level and beyond can enter courses that will help them further their self-learning. The down: these courses don’t earn university credit.

Site: Open Yale Courses
Focus: University level courses on a wide range of topics
Method: Many of them are past recorded lectures done on campus
Benefits: Yale Ed in the student’s home

Open Yale offers uni students supplemental education by providing their classroom lectures in high quality video format with searchable lecture notes. Again, the only downfall is the lack of official credit. But, hey! You can say you went to Yale when you’re done!

Site: Udacity
Focus: Teaching university level courses online
Method: Mostly lecture
Benefits: Ranges of courses from beginner to advanced

Udacity is a little different than Open Yale or Coursera in that you can earn college credit, but you have to verify that information through the partner school that you’re trying to earn credit in.

Site: EdX – Harvard
Focus: University level courses topics from poetry to probability and more
Method: Lectures, virtual labs, and videos
Benefits: Education on EdX can come from MIT or Seoul University in Korea – It’s international! (Oh, and did we mention – FREE!)

EdX is the amazing brainchild of Harvard and MIT. Not only can you view lectures, but you get to participate in discussions and labs. And for a fee, instead of taking the course and finishing with only the pride of knowing you finished, you can earn certificates of mastery for your resume. So, you can go to Harvard for free, for a small fee for the certificate of mastery or you can TRY to get it and pay a modest $157,956 for a four year degree.

Site: MIT
Focus: To make all university course information available and free to everyone
Method: Video and audio lectures
Benefits: An MIT education for FREE!

MIT’s Opencourseware courses, like Open Yale, doesn’t offer certificates of mastery or university credit for completed subjects. But anyone interested in taking their education to some of the highest levels would love to take these courses anyway. And the subjects are the same amazing courses taught on the MIT campuses.

With all of these resources available, there’s very little reason for anyone to pay loads of money, if any, for education. Live savvier. Be happier.

Some other lists of ideas:

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