Online College Courses From Home! The Smarter Way to Earn College Credits Review - affiliate links

Before we begin, you need to know that I received compensation for the time it took me to write this review. You should also know that if I thought the website, courses, and product were terrible, I would have returned their money and chosen not to write the review at all. 

The folks at asked for an honest review, and the great thing is, I am super impressed with what they have to offer. Because of this, I'm going to continue promoting their courses as well as using them in our home. Why?

Because is doing it right. 

Our firstborn, as some of you might remember, is just about done with his Bachelor's Degree, having done the whole thing using a combination of CLEP courses, DSST courses, community college classes, and online courses from the college where he'll earn his degree. The whole shebang is costing us less than $10,000, which means he'll have earned his undergrad degree with no debt. None.

Oh, the money I could have saved my folks . . .

Anyway, what impresses me so much about is the way it's been put together. An easy-to-navigate website, really helpful tutorial videos, and features that make it intuitive and easy to use. 

So for the sake of review, our son Jack (16) decided to take the Psychology 101 course. He's convinced that taking some CLEP credits into college with him (he wants to go to a brick and mortar school) is a brilliant idea, so he's starting to prepare to take the tests. Taking CLEP's like this is what we call dual credit, and it makes absolute sense in a homeschooled high schooler's curriculum plan.

The course is set up in such a way that the student gets feedback in real time. Cool. Here's how it works:

1. The student watches the video for the section. It can be paused, rewound, and watched with closed captioning.

2. The student studies the lecture notes (displayed like and eBook), and in Jack's case, makes their own notes to help them remember and absorb the information. 

3. The student works on the learning activities and exercises, which get progressively more difficult. They're visually pleasing and make you think.

4. If the student can't answer a question correctly, it will take him back to an easier level to make sure he attains mastery. Hints are provided, too.

5. As the student masters sections, additional sections and units become "unlocked", and the student can work on any unlocked section they want, in any order. 

6. The student can complete as few or as many activities as he needs to show mastery in a section. This is a great feature. He can improve mastery in any section he desires.

7. uses an adaptive learning technique, meaning the system knows what you need help with based on your prior work. Review is continual to reinforce learning.

8. Students set up a profile and an optional study group from within the website. Study groups are a really cool feature! Some of my kids have done well studying in a group, and gives them the option to do that with them, too.

9. offers really accessible help, a study board, and the ability to discuss your course with other students and the instructor, too.

Right now, only has four classes: Psychology, Sociology, Financial Accounting, and Organizational Behavior. Coming this month, more courses are being added, and by the end of 2014, will have 23 courses. A student could earn an AA solely from!

Study anywhere -  even in my room!

Study anywhere -  even in my room!

Jack plans to take the Psychology CLEP this summer, in between his junior and senior years. He'll take an AP English class next year, then another CLEP the summer after he graduates, which means he'll have three college courses in the bag.

Our second son is entering a private Christian university this fall as a nursing student. There, his courses will run $687.50 per unit, and most courses are 3 units. Here's the difference if a student takes a CLEP course with

$99 fee plus $80 CLEP test fee = $179 college course, fully accredited by the College Board.

That's a 3 unit class for $179! Do you see how amazing this is for your college-bound students? Even if they only took one CLEP, they're saving enough money to pay for the books for a semester. Every bit counts, especially with discount codes:

Get 50% off one course by using code HOME50 by June 30, 2014.
Get 20% off an unlimited number of courses through August 30, 2014 with code HOME20

(You'll have access to the course for a full year after purchase)

Ready to try? Check out the site. You can also connect with on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, and Google+.

Homeschooling High School

I have actually written before about what our high schoolers do in our homeschool, but I think it's probably time for an update.

High school has been difficult for me to plan because I really believe that these are the years to help a child specialize and discover their gifts, which means I can't really operate on auto-pilot like I mostly do when they're in the elementary grades. You can see what our two oldest homeschooled high schoolers were doing four years ago in "Homeschooling High Schoolers in Our Classical Homeschool".

1 college student, 2 high schoolers, 2 little guys

1 college student, 2 high schoolers, 2 little guys

Quick history:

  • Our oldest finished his high school work a year early and spent his senior year amassing college credits through College Board CLEP testing and classes at the local junior college.
  • He saw the benefit of getting his Bachelor's Degree quickly and cheaply, and he worked with a fabulous coach through College Plus. 
  • He'll graduate early with his BA English and no undergrad debt. He's unsure about what to do next but wants to take a break before pursuing a Master's.
  • Our second son was accepted to Biola University, his school of choice. He plans to get a history degree and teach, but we're praying about the financing of a private education so we'll see if he can go this fall.

This year:

Nate - High School Senior

Geometry (we did this out of typical order)- Khan Academy
Spanish II- Break the Barrier
AP Government- Patrick Henry College Prep Academy
Humanities, including theology- Sonlight 300

Jack- High School Sophomore

Geometry- Khan Academy
Biology- privately tutored by a friend who teaches science in one of the public high schools here
Humanities, including theoloy, writing lab, and literature- Biola Torrey Academy
Piano- Certificate of Merit program, local teacher
Driver's Ed- starts in April

Photo-bombed by the five-year-old

Photo-bombed by the five-year-old

Nate has a part-time job. Jack is really working hard to maintain a decent grade in his honors humanities class, so we've put off Spanish until the summer. I'll likely then have our 8th grader join him since it will be the summer before her freshman year. Why teach them separately?

I am finding I need to outsource where I can. Hiring our science tutor was a fabulous decision this year; she loves science, loves teaching it, and loves Jesus! As we continue to add new high schoolers, I'll be looking for other options as much as possible. It's great for them to have deadlines and someone else to be accountable to. I appreciate the objective grades, too.

I've gotten a lot of transcript and record-keeping help from Lee Binz, the Home Scholar. If transcripts are the scariest part of homeschooling high school for you, be sure to click though to Lee's site.