Saturday, May 07, 2011

The Best Free Online Courses for Moms on Maternity Leave

Guest Post by Donna Reish

Whether you're on bed rest and looking to relax or hoping to enrich your mind during those rare instances of downtime after having a baby, a college course online is one great way to pass the time.

A free online course can either be delivered through webcasts, podcasts, downloaded course materials, and mp3s. You can learn from the same syllabi and lectures as enrolled students without having to leave home, spend a dime or worry anymore about time management than you already do. These courses can be completed on your own time (if you can find it!).

A growing number of renowned institutions such as Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Columbia University, and Carnegie Mellon are offering free online courses in a variety of subjects.

Here is a list of the best online courses for moms on maternity leave.

Art History courses. If you're an art buff, Columbia University is one school that offers free courses in art history. One course that can be downloaded through iTunes is Masterpieces of Western Art.

Foreign Language courses. MIT also offers free online courses at the undergraduate and graduate level in languages, linguistics and literatures through their Open Courseware publication. Examples of courses include Chinese I, French II, and Introduction to Spanish Culture, to name a few.

Literature courses. If you love to not only get lost in a good book but enjoy discussing it afterwards, you can take a free literature course offered through iTunes by Stanford University and New York University to name a few. Examples of courses include Modern Poetry, Elizabethan and Jacobean Popular Theatre, and The Literature of Crisis.

Music courses. If you believe that music can soothe your unborn or newborn baby, there are music theory courses offered online and via iTunes from Berkeley and Brigham Young University. One course example is Listening to Music, which is offered through Yale University.

Psychology courses. An understanding of the human mind can be helpful in raising a child. Free psychology courses can be downloaded through Yale and MIT's websites. Examples include General Psychology, Human Sexuality and Human Happiness.

Writing courses. Looking for a creative outlet? Courses in fiction, screenwriting and poetry are offered by Utah State University, Purdue University, University of Utah, Yale University and many more. Examples of courses are Introduction to Creative Writing, Pattern and Variation in Poetry, and Advanced Essay Workshop.

These courses are entirely free and therefore cannot be used toward earning credit or a degree, but they can still help you to avoid stress and keep your mind active while you prepare and adjust for motherhood. The independent study you do through these free online courses may even inspire you to return to school or pursue a particular degree -- as soon as you have the time.

Author Bio:

Donna Reish, a freelancer who blogs about best universities, contributed this guest post. She loves to write education, career, frugal living, finance, health, parenting relating articles. She can be reached via email at: donna.reish13@gmail.com.

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