15 Free Online Sites for Retirees to Learn at Home

Learn at Home for Free-Rebel Retirement

Are you a retiree ready to learn at home for free? Excellent! Learning at home is a great way to educate yourself at your own pace. Plus, it’s budget-friendly for retirees. Not to mention the fact that learning keeps our brains sharp as we age!

The internet opens up a world of possibilities for free learning!

In fact, there are many sites on the internet with open courseware where you can take free courses and learn about anything your heart desires.

However, they can be difficult to find if you’re unfamiliar with them.

Thus, I’ve compiled this list of 15 websites where retirees can learn at home for free.

That said, I’ve taken advantage of at least half of the free courses, so I can confirm their ease of use and effectiveness for online learning at home.

15 Websites where retirees can learn at home for free.

Kahn Academy’s motto is “a free, world-class education for anyone, anywhere”. One of my favorite go-to websites is Kahn Academy. I homeschooled 2 of my children and regularly relied on their free subject matter. The courses are structured around short lectures in the form of Youtube videos. Founder and educator Salman Khan’s strong suit is Math. Therefore, Math is a major focus on the site. However, Kahn Academy offers many other subjects to immerse yourself in. You’ll find offerings in science, arts, and humanities, plus economics and finance.  It’s not uncommon to see comments on the site from retirees who finally have the time to explore and master subjects that have always interested them.

Udemy is an online learning and teaching marketplace with over 55,000 courses and 15 million students. Type “free courses” in Udemy’s search box to pull up a list of available courses such as Kindle Secrets: How I Wrote a Best Selling eBook In 72 hours,  Work From Home: The Amazon FBA MasterPlan, and 7 Scientifically Proven Steps to Increase Your Influence. As Udemy says, “Learn anything, on your schedule.

CreativeLive is an online education platform that broadcasts live classes to an international audience. They offer free online classes in photography, graphic design, craft & DIY, marketing, business, and entrepreneurship. I’ve taken free classes to learn photoshop and body language skills. CreativeLive’s free courses vary, so visit their website to find out which courses are available and at which time they are streaming.

Virtually all of  MIT’s course content is available on the web, free of charge. With more than 2,400 courses available, OCW (open courseware) is delivering on the promise of open sharing of knowledge. Their website states, “Knowledge is your reward. We don’t offer credit or certificates for using OCW. Instead, use OCW to guide your own life-long learning, or use OCW to teach others.” Perfect for Rebel Retirees! And you don’t have to sign up and make an account to get started. I like that.

Coursera has 2000+ courses from schools like Stanford and Yale – no application required. While most classes are not free, they do have some available. Browse their catalog for free lectures that might interest you.

While most of us know that we can turn to Youtube for information on anything imaginable, Youtube EDU is their education channel. If you are doing research or just want to learn something new, YouTube EDU features some of the most popular educational videos on YouTube. The channel is generated automatically by YouTube’s video discovery system. Check it out!

W3Schools is a popular website for learning web technologies online. They provide free online tutorials relating to HTML, CSS, JavaScript, PHP, AngularJS, SQL, Bootstrap, Node.js, and jQuery.  Anyone with a website or just interested in learning code will benefit from the learning tools that W3Schools has to offer.

Codecademy is an online interactive platform that offers free coding classes. As a user of Code Academy, I can confirm that the classes are effective and easy to understand. Instruction is in the form of a lesson and then a practice session. Learning is at your own pace.  By the time you’re finished, you’ll have a grasp of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

I was blown away when I discovered Open Culture. They have thousands of free online courses, audiobooks, textbooks, eBooks, language lessons, movies, and more. It’s not an overstatement to say that Open Culture editor Dan Colman scours the web for the best educational materials. There is something for everyone. Visit the site for the free educational courses and audiobooks you need, and the language lessons and movies you want. You will find plenty of wisdom and insight as well.

“TED-Ed Original lessons feature the words and ideas of educators brought to life by professional animators.” You can create customized lessons on TED-Ed, or you can simply view videos of what others have created. Ted-Ed allows you to start from scratch by building a lesson around any TED-Ed Original, TED Talk, or Youtube video.

Same as MIT’s OCW, you can learn at Yale for free. According to their website, “Open Yale Courses provides free and open access to a selection of introductory courses taught by distinguished teachers and scholars at Yale University. The aim of the project is to expand access to educational materials for all who wish to learn.

  • All lectures were recorded in the Yale College classroom and are available in video, audio, and text transcript formats
  • Registration is not required
  • No course credit, degree, or certificate is available through the Open Yale Courses website. However, courses for Yale College credit are offered online through Yale Summer Online including OYC professors John Rogers and Craig Wright.”

Academic Earth says that they are rethinking education. According to the introduction on their site, “Academic Earth was launched on the premise that everyone deserves access to a world-class education. In 2009, we built the first collection of free online college courses from the world’s top universities. The world of open education has exploded since then, so today our curated lists of online courses are hand-selected by our staff to show you the very best offerings by subject area. We also make sure there is something for everyone: whether you want to explore a new topic or advance in your current field, we bring the amazing world of academia to you for free.”

BBC Languages offers free online language learning: courses, audio, video, and games, including the alphabet, phrases, vocabulary, pronunciation, grammar, activities, and tests.

Duolingo. Their motto: “Learn a language for free. Forever.” I’ve been using Duolingo’s learning platform to learn a second language. Practice makes perfect, and Duolingo’s lesson plans revolve around that fact. Once students master a skill, they move to the next level. Online incentives are offered as motivators, and students can take online tests to monitor proficiency. Practice on the web or by app.

Would you like to take a cooking class? Want to learn how to bake? Or improve the baking skills you already have? Take Yuppiechef’s online baking class “The Art of Baking” for free! YuppieChef is an online retailer of kitchen and homeware products.


Retirees can learn at home for free with the many sites available on the internet. Learning at home is a budget-friendly option for retirees and older adults.  It’s a great way to learn at your own pace. Learn and study from the comfort of your own home, all for free.

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Photo by MART PRODUCTION from Pexels
Last updated for clarity: 05/15/23

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