Monday, July 2, 2012

Well, that sucks!

About a year or year & a half ago, we found out that we had free access to Universal Class.com through our public library. I signed up for a few classes, for fun. Dea used a few of their Writing classes as the Writing portion of her English. We had planned on using more of the Writing classes for her next school year, as well as using some of their classes as spines for Accounting, Geology, Government, and Economics. Well, it looks like that won't be happening. Today, we found out that either there was a time limit on how long we had access or our library has ended their subscription with UC. Either way, we no longer have the ability to take classes there for free. To purchase each pf those classes separately would cost us over $400. They do have memberships, which offer access to all classes for a year. Normally, it is $250, but they're offering membership for $189 for a limited time. I'd have to figure out how to fit that into a budget which has already been spent, though. Plus, I don't really feel that their classes are worth the money. They aren't rigorous or particularly challenging. Dea got 100% on an essay that was shorter than the minimum word limit listed for the assignment (and really, would that ever happen in ps or college? I know it wouldn't happen in my school). I just don't feel that they are high enough quality to justify paying for. The main reason we were using them was that we had free access.

So, that means that I need to re-plan all those courses. Most of them were easy to re-plan. This will be the spine for her Economics now. Government will now be done using a course at HippoCampus. For Geology, she will be doing an MIT OCW course.

I'm still looking for something for Accounting. Though what we bought as a supplement for Accounting is actually a full course, it is not rigorous or complete enough for my standards. So I would still like to find something else. If nothing else, I could use what we already have as the spine & find some online stuff to use as supplements. Actually, now that I think about it, we have a few Accounting text books, too. Maybe We'll use one of those as the spine & the program we bought as the supplement. I don't know exactly what we'll do for Accounting, but I'll figure it out.

Writing will be a problem, though. It's not a lack of materials. We have materials for Writing, though she pretty much claims to hate them all. The big problem is that she is overly sensitive to any comments I make on her writing. Having someone else grade/assess & critique her writing made everyone's lives easier. Unfortunately, there aren't exactly tons of free, online Writing classes that include instructor feedback. Many of the online Writing classes that I am finding are for short periods (very few are semester or year-long classes) and rather expensive. I don't think I've found a one year course for less than $400. I've found some 8 week classes for $100 & some for $150. I will not pay those prices for one portion of one subject.  So, we'll be using Put That in Writing level 1, using the accelerated schedule, and following that with How to Write Successfully in High School and College, since it focuses on essays, term papers, and outlines. I had already planned on assigning some essays & research papers, so those will stay in the plan.