I want to share a new and fun way for your teen to earn a free digital credential and 0.5 high school credit in business management, leadership, innovation, sales, or entrepreneurship this semester! I test drove the program and found a way you can use it in your homeschool.
Good Books University
“Good Books University is a new company that awards digital credentials and printable certificates for the non-fiction books you read (certifications accepted by LinkedIn, colleges, & companies).”
They use automated, self-paced assessments (tests) for each book that VERIFY what you read and what you understand. This program is not for college credit, but I love the books on the list and spent some time diving into the program myself to see if I could create a high school class, get some credentials, and potentially generate college credit. Yes to all of the above!
The company charges a monthly subscription fee ($14) but they gave Homeschooling for College Credit a coupon allowing each of you to get 3 months free! Three months is more than enough time for your teen to earn 0.5 high school credits and a couple of digital credentials before the summer break. If you decide to pursue college credit, they can do that over the summer using credit by exam.
Homeschooling for College Credit does not receive compensation for your participation in this program.
How to Use This Program in Your Homeschool
Browse their reading list. You’ll see popular business books grouped by category. I recommend choosing 2-3 books from the same category if you’re planning to award high school credit. I’ll share the 3 books I read below, but you can choose anything from the list. I literally just finished Good to Great!
(Jennifer’s Test) Business Management
- Good to Great by Jim Collins
- In Search of Excellence by Tom Peters and Robert H. Waterman Jr.
- How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie
These books are most certainly available at your public library or your favorite online retailer.
A motivated teen can easily read more than 3 books in 3 months, but if you’re building a high school course you’ll want to allow time to enhance the experience. I selected business management because it’s a nice way to springboard into the DSST Principles of Management exam if a person wanted to pursue college credit too. (NOTE: you can just pursue the digital credentials if you don’t need extra credit.)
Create a Schedule
I like 1 book per month as a pace, but adjust it to suit your student’s ability and enthusiasm. It’s better to read 1 book well than 3 books without learning anything.
For 0.5 high school credits, you’ll want to aim for about 60 hours total. This is relatively easy to do just through reading, but I love to add extras into any experience to make it more special and targeted.
60 hours / 3 months = 20 hours per month.
20 hours per month / 4 weeks = 5 hours per week (1 hour per school day)
Enrichment Idea: Assign a Case Study
Case studies: most of these books use a LOT of real-world examples, that’s a large reason they are so valuable. A case study is a historical analysis of an event. A student can conduct their own case study by doing a deep dive into one or more of the stories in the book- think of it an investigation. What happened to the company that caused it to go bankrupt? What caused it to increase its market share? How did the a certain law impact the company’s growth? What was so brilliant about the marketing campaign? Why was the social policy of the company so controversial?
How your student shares their work is up to you! The case studies you assign can be written as reports (typing practice, composition practice), made into YouTube or TikTok videos (for creatives, digital artists, social media, etc.), presented via PowerPoint (computer and tech skills), or shared around the dinner table as lively discussions, debate, critical thinking, ethics, personal character, etc.
High School Credit
Choose the category as your subject and award high school credit as business or elective. Adapt to suit your homeschool. This is how I would enter my course on the high school transcript:
Get the Printable & Digital Credentials
Each book has a 45+ question skill assessment that you’ll need to pass with 70% or better to earn the credential. In my situation, I read the entire book first, and then went back and answered the questions. The assessment provides the page number range so you can review and identify where the information is found.
The digital credential is provided through Accredible and is LinkedIn compatible. You’ll also get a a pdf you can print for each assessment you pass. The certificate and digital samples are shown below:
If your student wants college credit, you can add extra content and test prep for the specific exam you’re considering. I found Principles of Management by DSST to be the best aligned to the books I read, but some of the other exams might fit better based on your book selection. DSST offers many business exams. You can explore whether DSST would be a good fit by reading more here.
- Go to Good Books University and create a free account.
- Select the “pricing” tab, and choose the subscription option for “$14 per month”
- Enter our special Homeschooling for College Credit code: FREE2023
You’re all set! You will have access to the program for 3 months complete free. Enjoy!