10 Things You Can Learn at Home

Many of us are now isolating at home, and let's face it; it can get boring. Why not make the best use of this forced free time and learn something new! Who knows, you might discover a hidden talent or a new passion, or if you're like me, a new obsession. I, for example, am obsessed with making spaghetti sauce after discovering the recipe in #1. Here are ten ideas for things you can learn from your own home without a lot money or fancy supplies. Stay healthy!

1. Learn to Cook Something New

I cook quite a bit, but one thing I’ve never tried to make is spaghetti sauce. My family is so used to jarred sauce, and it’s reasonably priced, so I figure, “why bother?” Then I ran across a recipe by Marcella Hazan that people claim is the world’s best spaghetti sauce. Since the stores are running low on spaghetti sauce but still have plenty of canned tomatoes I decided to give it a try, and boy am I glad I did.

Just 3 ingredients and 45 minutes to perfection. This recipe is proof that great cooking doesn't always have to be complicated.

You'll need a 28-ounce can of whole, peeled tomatoes; one peeled, halved onion; and five tablespoons of butter. You'll also want a pinch or two of salt. Put everything together in a single pot and set it to simmer over medium heat on the stove for 45 minutes, uncovered. Give it the occasional stir. And that's it. After the 45 minutes is up, toss out the onion halves and pour the sauce over your favorite pasta. Easy.

2. Learn a New Language

When we are all able to get out and see the world again, think about what country you’d like to visit or what language you’d like to learn just for the fun of it. Is it Spanish? Portuguese? Italian? Swedish? Turkish? Whatever it may be, Babbel claims they can teach you. For less than $25, you can get three months of lessons. Babbel uses grammar that is explained clearly with lots of examples and focuses on conversational language rather than just memorizing words. www.babbel.com

3. Learn Photo Editing

Download a copy of GIMP, the free alternative to Photoshop, and start creating your photo masterpieces. Gimp is available for Mac and Windows and comes with professional-level editing and retouching tools. There are no subscription fees and no hidden costs. Gimp also has a great site for free tutorials to get you on your way.

4. Learn Basic Home Repairs

Youtube is an amazing source of information on just about any topic. While isolating at home, you might not want to call in a handyman or plumber, especially if you have symptoms. Youtube offers some great advice from experts on doing some simple home repairs yourself. Clogged sink? Try this video showing you how to unclog your sink using common household items. Or watch this video on how to fix a slow running toilet. Or this one that walks you through troubleshooting your electric range before you have to call an electrician.

5. Learn to Meditate in 5 Easy Steps

You all know I’m a big fan of meditation. It has helped me with anxiety and depression and general stress. It can be intimidating to some, but I found a great video that gives you the basics of meditation.

6. Learn to Play Poker

If you have at least one other person at home with you, why not learn to play poker? Most people have a deck of cards lying around and change jar collecting dust. Break out those pennies, make some snacks, and bring on poker night. If you have kids and don’t want to play for money, try playing for chores or movie night picks! This great video shows you how to play Texas Hold ‘Em in 10 minutes.

7. Learn How to Line Dance

Are you always envious when you’re at a wedding or party, and a certain song plays that turns everyone else giddy with excitement? They leap up and start doing an impossibly synchronized dance number while you sit on the sidelines. Now’s the time to try learning those line dances at home and getting some exercise in the process. This great video for seniors and beginners breaks down the moves of five of the most popular line dances. Get shaking!

8. Learn to Build Your Own Website

If you’re reading this, you are all looking at a website that was built by me. I didn’t learn this in school, I learned it through online tutorials, and you can too! You don’t have to start a blog or own a business to want a website. Maybe you just want a place where your extended family can upload photos, join in a chat session, or read what the rest of the gang are up to. Wix.com offers free website hosting and great tutorials. You can have your very own website up and running in a few days!

9. Learn to Write a Song

We all have something to say, and what better way to say it than with song. You don’t have to be a poet or have teenage angst or a broken heart to be a songwriter. There are plenty of tips and tricks out there to help you set your thoughts to music. Try MusicNotes’ Introduction to Songwriting, or TakeLessons’ How to Write a Song for Beginners. Both are free! If you really get into it, there are many sites that let you download copyright free music to set your lyrics to. Try www.Ampermusic.Com or www.audiojungle.net.

10. Learn to Draw

Speaking of giddy - I was when I stumbled across Rapid Fire Art! It has an amazing in-depth beginner drawing class meant to help develop skills quickly using a series of fun and easy tutorials. It’s a soup to nuts course that starts with the building blocks of art and moves through drawing perspective to shading and putting it all together. Check out this free class here.

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