Home Study: What Life-enhancing Skill do You Learn?
You're already doing unofficial home study when you research a project online. Study in class has its place, but...
Up to date I've done many courses in classrooms but only two were very useful. I've learned most of the useful stuff from books or the Internet.
What will help you most in life?
The most valuable thing you learn at school is to write an essay. Essays help you organise your thoughts. An essay helps you convince people. Your
feedback in a home study course will mostly be essays. This will encourage you to write a good essay.
Many years ago I read about Electronics, and took a correspondence course on the subject, and made electronic gadgets for where I worked.
Then I decided to study Electronics at college. Unfortunately the nearest I could get to it was Physics with Electronics as the main subject, so I qualified in Physics.
The lecturers were shockingly out of date. One of my classmates and I spent a lot of time instructing the lecturers. We'd learned modern stuff from books and practical use.
It has been said "Those who can, do. Those who can't, teach." What this means is that lecturers sat through lectures and passed exams. They go on to teach what they learned in these lectures - which is already out of date. That's the first benefit of home study.
Three advantages of classroom study
1. You can get recognised certificates when you
2. You can get a useful plan for what to study
3. Facilities for practical work
You'll have noticed that although I learned more from my home study course, I still did a four-year course at college. I couldn't get recognised exam certificates from correspondence courses. That was the main benefit.
If you want to study genetics and you don't even know what a gene is, you obviously don't know enough to plan a syllabus for your home study.
You get a useful skeleton outline from your lectures. Using my book about exams you will learn how to improve on the skeleton, but you need one
to improve on!
At home you don't have a chemistry laboratory or a machine shop or volunteers to practice dentistry.
Apprenticeships let you learn about real life from an employer. Schools and colleges have labs and workshops for you to do your practical work.
Lecturers don't know as much about practical work as an employer would. I hated doing chemical titrations because they took such a long time.
Then I noticed that one of my classmates took about a quarter of the time, with greater accuracy. He worked during his holidays at a chemistry lab. He showed me the tricks and I was soon flying through my titrations too.
Even if you do have a machine shop at home, you'll be taught safe working procedure in a conventional course. That could save you from being a cripple for the rest of your life.
When I was about to hold a chunk of metal with a rag wrapped round my hand to give me extra grip, my lecturer yelled a warning. That probably kept me from losing my hand.
Even if you're learning something safe like oil painting, you can learn faster with instant feedback from a lecturer strolling around behind the students.
Oh, you could take a digital photograph of your oil painting and shoot it down the line to an instructor, but she could be having a meal, or even be asleep if she is on the other side of the world. So you still won't have instant feedback.
Writing essays works fine.
Conventional courses for abilities
It seems that conventional courses win out when you want to develop an ability, unless your parents already have that ability to pass on to you.
Of course, there are knowledge courses such as English, Philosophy, History, Anthropology where you don't have a practical syllabus. These are
ideal for home study, and perfect for using an essay as a tool.
More and more Universities offer online courses. You can get recognised certificates with home study. You just need to be good at writing an essay (see my free report) and a few other exam techniques to succeed.
Even technical courses have lots of theory. University extension courses allow you to study the theory online. Then you just go to college for your practical work.
A friend of mine refused to be distracted by girls or parties or sport until he completed his degree as a dentist.
I don't think I could have overcome these distractions. If you do home study you don't have any distractions.
I prefer home study any time that it is available. However you can't learn to sing, or karate, or dentistry without a teacher, so conventional study is often needed to supplement home study. Essay writing is particularly useful in home study.
About the author:
Ian McAllister discovered the easy way to writing fun essays to beat the examiner from a book as a schoolboy. He still uses the same ideas for fun and profit. Get your free report here.
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