Updated Wed May 13 2020:
In light of the current worldwide situation, a bunch of you will want to know about online “for credit” classes, especially over the summer. This blog, which we published in 2016, is certainly more topical now than it was then, and gives you a general guideline of some available options. We can’t guarantee any of them of course but we did look into each one pretty thoroughly and they appear quite well organized and thought out.
This blog consists of a mini catalogue of online classes. We researched a bunch of different resources for online coursework, which is a terrific option for students who are traveling over the summer or who wish to take a class not offered at their high school. Our inquiries into online work began when we were asked by a student to help her find an AP Physics 2 course that she could take over the summer; she was traveling extensively and couldn’t commit to a class in a particular location.
The following programs all offer a variety of online course work, including basic and AP level math, chemistry, and physics (they also offer English classes, French classes, etc). We are always of the opinion that online classes are not a substitute for in person classes. To begin with, their labs are virtual. Labs, which are essential for basic science, are best experienced in an actual laboratory – you know, the ones with beakers and bunsen burners. But if a family lives in a remote location, or the particular credit course a student seeks is not available at their school, online classes offer an excellent alternative. This list is by no means exhaustive, and if you know of others we missed please tell us about them! But this is a start. Some of the classes are self-paced, and a student can begin them at any time, while others move along at a pace directed by the course instructor. Each have their own particulars and you will need to look at them individually to decide which fits your particular circumstances. All of the programs listed below have extremely helpful, easily accessible staff who more often than not are immediately available, and otherwise respond to phone messages and emails promptly.
Non university affiliated online courses
An impressive aspect of many of these classes is the level of depth and work involved. The AP Physics 2 course our student signed up for was comparable, as far as rigor, with a similar course at a competitive, academically challenging boarding school. And the textbooks for many of them offer a PDF option, so you can purchase the textbook as a downloadable file for your laptop. This might not work for some students who like to write notes in the margins but it sure is less exhausting than lugging around a backpack full of textbooks!
Good luck! Be sure to give us a shout if you have any questions.
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