Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Free College Courses: OpenCourseWare for Homeschool Teens and for Adults

Photo: Ladyheart

Take Online College Courses Free!

The OpenCourseWare Initiative

The OpenCourseWare initiative has been in effect for several years, now. More and more colleges opt to take part in the OCW every year.

Using OCW, homeschooling high school students or adults who want or need to update skills can enroll in a course, study the material, and then take a CLEP test to get college course credit at a much reduced price.

You can even use these courses as dual credit courses for both high school and college credit. Some courses will require students to purchase a textbook, but used textbooks usually don't cost much.

OpenCourseWare Banner
(c) Linda Pogue

OpenCourseWare College Courses

If you are homeschooling high school students and concerned about teaching higher level math or science, check out the offerings at the colleges below:

MIT OpenCourseWare

Khan Academy (started as primarily math courses, but now includes almost any course you can think of!)

Carnegie Melon Open Learning Initiative

Stanford on iTunes U

UC Berkeley Courses

Tufts OpenCourseWare

LearningSpace - The Open University (600+ free online courses)

John Hopkins OpenCourseWare

Notre Dame OpenCourseWare

Utah State OpenCourseWare

The UMass Boston OpenCourseWare

University of California Irvine OpenCourseWare

NYU Open Education

Didn't find the course you want? It might take a while, but a Google search for free online courses in the subject you need might give you what you want.

Alternative: Study CLEP Study Guides to Prepare for College Credit Exams

In my personal college experience, I used CLEP to gain credit for three different courses. To prepare, I read and reviewed textbooks in the subject. CLEP Study Guides would have been a better idea, since they concentrate on the topic and the areas that are tested in the exams. One of the guides below might be just what you need.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Banana Pie Recipe

Slice of banana pie
(c) 2015, Linda Pogue

Banana Pie Recipe

I mentioned in a previous post that my son, Scott, had an independent living skills class all through homeschool high school. One of the things he learned is what is necessary to a recipe and what can be changed to make up a new recipe.

Not long ago, Scott decided he wanted a banana pie, but not a banana cream pie. He came up with the following recipe that is really good. Not too sweet, and not too rich, but just sweet enough. The texture is a little like the texture of a traditional pumpkin pie, but the flavor is definitely banana!

Christmas Day, he made two of these pies. There were seven of us there, and after pie was served, it didn't take long for everyone to request seconds. In no time at all, the pies were gone.

We played Monopoly for hours. When the pie was ready to slice, Jesse, my grandson, couldn't wait for his slice. The game was put on hold while everyone enjoyed the pie.

Scott has graciously shared the recipe with me, so that I can share it with you. Enjoy!

Banana Pie Recipe

Game on hold while pie is sliced.
Jesse ignores Monopoly until after the pie is served.
(c) 2015, Linda Pogue

  • 6 bananas, mashed
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 can evaporated milk
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla or banana extract
  • 2 tbsp. cornstarch
  • 2 unbaked pie crusts


Blend it all smooth and place into two unbaked pie crusts. Bake for 40 minutes on 350 degrees, then cool for 20  minutes. Chill for 1 hour.

Before serving, top with Banana Whipped Cream or Cool Whip.

Note: For deep dish pie plates, add two additional bananas.

Banana Whipped Cream

  • 15 oz. heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp. banana extract 

Whip with immersion blender or mixer till stiff peaks form. Top the pies, slice and serve.

Recipes (c) 2015, Scott Pogue