I love learning new things. Just this weekend, I learned how to make a circle skirt thanks to several tutorials I found online. We’re having a 1950s sock hop activity at church, so now my daughter and I can go in poodle skirts I made just for the occasion. I’ve also been watching videos on tailoring men’s suits so I can finally tailor the two new suits I got for my husband in the past few months.
I am constantly amazed at how easily we can access tools to learn new skills. Years ago, you had to check out a book at the library or take a class in-person to learn something. Nowadays, we have so much information available at our fingertips. The internet is loaded with resources for learning new skills. The best part is that much of this information is available for free!
Why Learn New Skills Anyway?
- It can save you money.
Learning to do something yourself means you won’t need to pay someone else to do it. If you can diagnose why your washing machine isn’t draining and fix the problem yourself, you won’t have to call a repairman. If I can learn to tailor my husband’s suits, then I won’t have to pay someone else to do it.
- It can lead to a job.
New skills will open doors for new employment, whether it’s a formal job or a new stream of side income. My mom is a Jill-of-all-trades when it comes to creative arts. She is also a patient and talented teacher. From calligraphy to cake decorating to quilting, she is always learning new skills. She has a knack for excelling at all of them, then she makes money teaching those skills to others.
- It’s fun and fulfilling!
I don’t know about you, but I really enjoy learning new things. For my last two semesters of college, I had room in my schedule to add a few classes just for fun. I took computer science, logic, and Arabic just for the heck of it. Learning new skills boosts your confidence and challenges your brain. You’ll find new hobbies and probably be happier too!
Free Resources for Learning
A general Google search for what you want to learn often yields many free results. You’ll probably get results for You Tube videos to teach you new things. Be warned that some videos are just teasers for longer videos that you have to purchase. If you look long enough, you’re bound to find what you’re looking for. You can also do a search for what you want to learn along with the word “tutorial.” Often, you’ll find a blog or website with step-by-step instructions to teach you.
Coursera offers nearly 1,000 free university-level classes online. Classes are available in all different subjects and are offered by prominent universities throughout the country. You can take the classes on your own schedule and at your own pace. Looking at the class listing makes me long to have more time!
Craftsy offers video classes in all sorts of creative arts like cooking, sewing, painting, woodworking, gardening, photography, and more. They have a selection of classes that are available for free. Take a look at the free classes and see what new skills you can learn.
Udemy has over 22,000 on-demand courses offered in all different subject matters. They have lots of business and programming/web design courses, but also have classes in music, photography, fitness, language and more. To find courses that are currently free, just type “free” into the search bar and you’ll find pages of classes at no cost. When you enroll in a class, the materials (video, audio, downloads, etc) are available forever.
How about you?
- What new skills have you learned lately?
- What tips do you have to learn new skills for free?
- Why do you like to learn new things?
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