back to schoolReady to go back to school? You probably packed away your loose-leaf notebooks and pencil box long ago, but you’re never too old to put on your thinking cap and learn something new! In fact, regularly giving your cognitive skills a good workout helps keep your brain as sharp as those number 2 pencils.

Become a co-ed

Many colleges and universities allow you to audit classes for free (but you might have to dig for this information on their websites), while other institutions of higher learning offer significant discounts to seniors when taking classes for credit. In colleges and universities across the country, Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes also offer seniors a variety of options for continuing education. Learn more. 

Learn a language

Always wanted to “parle Francais”? Sign up for a class with your local community college or Parks & Recreation department to learn key phrases for that trip to Paris … or just to impress the grandkids. But if you already have a basic command of the language and want to strengthen your conversational skills, try a Meetup group where conversing in your new-found tongue over dinner will give you some valuable practice.

Explore your inner Picasso

Whether you’ve wielded a brush before or simply want to see if you can paint without numbers, an art class at your local fine arts museum or cultural center is a good way to either learn the basics or brush up on your skills. Experience painting “en plein air,” get your hands dirty at a pottery wheel, or learn how to take better photos on your next vacation.

From photo editing to Facebook

Almost everyone has a computer these days but you may not be using this powerful tool to its full advantage. If you want to move past just emailing your friends and searching the Internet, classes and workshops at your local Area Agency on Aging or Apple store (if you have an Apple computer) can help take those computer skills up a notch. Check out what’s available at the Apple store.


Have you gone back to school? Share what you’ve learned lately.