In our homeschool, we embrace technology. Especially when it gives my children opportunities to learn things that I am not able to teach them. Recently, I discovered Outschool. An online classroom platform with classes for children in kindergarten through high school!
I received these courses for my children in exchange for this blog post, but the opinions and reviews shared are my own.
What is Outschool?
Outschool is an on-line learning platform that delivers classes on a wide variety of subjects to children in kindergarten through high school. The courses are taught by both amateurs and professionals. Classes are small and taught in a live, video conference format. It is sort of a marketplace for online education – bringing together educators and students in one place. Classes are offered during weekdays and weeknights, providing flexibility for both teacher and student. Keep scrolling for my top five reasons to choose Outschool.
Choosing a class.
When it was time to decide on a class, I sat down individually with my children and asked them what they would be most interested in. My daughter wanted art and music and my son wanted something relating to coding. Great choices, because both are areas where I do not feel I am qualified to teach. My son’s class was taught by Shawn D. Walk at Outschool, a highly rated coding instructor. His class met weekly, at 4 pm central, for six weeks. My daughter’s class was taught by Crystal Hosea and featured music, story, and art. Her class me tat 1 pm central for four weeks.
What about safety?
My first question when I started looking into Outschool was safety. How could I feel confident that my children would be entering a safe digital environment? Because Outschool is an online education marketplace, anyone has the opportunity to teach a class. However, after I spent some time reading the hiring process and screening process in place at Outschool, I felt reassured that the classes and teachers would be safe. You can read more about that process HERE. When someone applies to teach a course through Outschool, they are screened through a background check and interviewed, including screening of the teacher’s background, credentials, and technical set up to teach a course. The coursework is reviewed and approved by the team at Outschool before a course goes live. For my own peace of mind, my children take their classes in an open room, without headphones, because I want to be able to listen in on what they are learning. But, it also gives me a break while I enjoy a book and some hot coffee during their class. Additionally, there is a code of conduct for both teacher and student. So, while pj’s are completely acceptable to attend school in, just make sure they are appropriate.
To be able to take the classes at Outschool, you will need access to a desktop or laptop computer. The classes are run on the Zoom platform. Some classes are able to be done over a tablet or phone, but we have found that a laptop works best. You will also need internet with a speed that supports video conferencing. That said, one of the reasons I love Outschool is the portability of it. Unfortunately, my daughter’s new gymnastics team practice conflicted with my son’s coding class. So, in a frenzied panic I set up my laptop to connect to my phone as a hot-spot, and he was able to participate in his class in the car as we drove to the gym, then stayed in the car to finish his class. It was one to remember, but we were able to get it done.
Top five reasons to choose Outschool.
- Variety – no other online platform offers such a wide variety of classes for children of all ages. Ranging from six or eight week live classes, to one-time only flexible courses, there is something for everyone. Art, music, history, STEM, and so many more. Plus, the courses offered are updated often as more teachers join Outschool.
- Safety – There are extensive safety and screening measures put in place by Outschool to assure quality content and safe digital classrooms. Teachers are interviewed, complete a background check, and must present their syllabus and course outline to Outschool before the classes are approved. They also periodically review course content to assure the highest quality of instruction. As a parent, I also enjoy the ability to read reviews of teachers or classes by other parents before signing my children up.
- Flexibility – Outschool teachers offer classes at any and all times of day and days of the week. There are one time classes, ongoing classes, and flexible schedule classes. My daughter’s art class was just after lunch and my son’s coding class was in the late afternoon. Some classes are available at night or after regular school hours, and many are also offered in the morning. For sick days or off days, there are also flexible, one-time classes that are pre-recorded and you can sign up anytime.
- Technology education – One of the things I also love about Outschool is how my children are learning to navigate a computer and becoming comfortable with technology. Now, more than ever, a familiarity with video conferencing and technology is incredibly important. I am grateful for the chance for my children to learn these skills from an early age.
- Bridging the gap – The wide range of subjects available provides a away for me to fill in the gaps in my children’s education, or provide them instruction in areas that I am not able to. Or, it is just a fun way to learn something new while giving myself a bit of a break during the day.
To sign up.
If you’re interested in signing up for Outschool, I have a discount code for you!
You can get $20 off your first class by signing up HERE.
If you’re interested in signing up as a teacher, click HERE.
During this time of uncertainty and the Covid-19 outbreak, Outschool has stepped forward with an incredibly generous donation of classes to support students as schools are closed. You can learn more about their initiative HERE. You can also donate funding to help support students in need and provide these important classes for free, by donating HERE.
An invaluable resource.
Outschool has become a celebrated and important resource in our home. Each week my children look forward to their classes and I have been so impressed with how they treat their coursework with such attention and care. Thank you to Outschool for this wonderful opportunity.
I hope you found this review helpful and that you consider taking a look at what Outschool has to offer.
So, what are you waiting for?
Head over to Outschool and start your learning journey today!
A little more about us.
Hey, thanks for reading! I’m Nichole, the Mom, married to Ryan, the Dad, and we homeschool two children. Our son is almost done with third grade and our daughter is almost done with kindergarten. We value connection over curriculum and adventures together in the outdoors. Click HERE for a little more about us. To get in touch with us, click HERE. Feel free to follow us on Instagram for all of our latest shenanigans.
Thanks for following along and wishing
you and your family all the very best.