The following is a post from contributing writer, Shannen, from Middle Way Mom.
While we are still at the very beginning of this high school journey, I’ve scoured the Internet for ways to pinch pennies and still get a rigorous education for my teen daughter.
Here’s a few things I’ve come up with to get in as many AP level courses without breaking the bank:
Don’t outsource if you don’t have to
This might seem overly simple, but I’ve noticed high school seems to be where parents lose their confidence with being able to teach subjects, and I think many parents sell themselves short. Math was always my favorite subject in school, so we will be continuing with Saxon and I can get refreshers along the way as needed. Any courses where we can just get a text as a guide are going to be the most frugal option and will free up funds for areas where I don’t feel as comfortable being the go-to resource for questions.
After searching on and off for weeks looking for a decent, free online AP level course list, I was incredibly excited to find HippoCampus. Obviously, with a free class, you don’t get teacher support, but these classes are the next best thing.
After clicking on the subject area, make sure to click on Launch a Course (some areas don’t have this option, but most do). From this section you get what accounts for basically an entire course lesson plan with book(s), video presentations, assignments, and quizzes. Don’t want to take a full course through the website? Browsing through their available topics brings some of the best online resources to supplement any course to your fingertips including Khan Academy, NROC, and others.
University of Nebraska – Lincoln
Many universities around the country offer online high school options for full time students, as well as those picking classes a la carte. Prestigious options like Stanford come with a price tag fitting the brand name, but there are other quality options available.
University of Nebraska – Lincoln has had some good word of mouth reviews, and we plan on signing my high schooler up for their AP Environmental Science course this fall. At $210 plus books per semester, it is actually one of the more economical options available, plus there is teacher support. Their course list can be a bit tricky to navigate to, but here is the link.
Used college textbooks
Always, always, always look for used books whenever possible. That AP Enviro Science class at University of Nebraska? The book is $133 to buy from them. To get the same book from Amazon brand new is around $16 plus shipping. That’s a no brainer. Many times AP level courses simply use college level textbooks as the spine for the course. Between Amazon, half.com, and other online resources, there are many available books to purchase at a fraction of the cost.
These are just the cream of the crop from the resources I’ve found, but it is by no means an exhaustive list. Check out my College in High School Pinterest board for some other resources, and share some of your own!
Shannen is a mama of teen and toddler daughters, with a mystery gender baby due any day. You can find her blogging about her Muslim, homeschooling, frugal, green(ish) family at MiddleWayMom.com. Come and join the party on Facebook, Twitter, Google +, and Pinterest, too!
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