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When I think back to 2 years ago when most of us were home schooling there wasn’t much available in those early days. Luckily, now, online classes for children have really come a long way and Outschool has so many fantastic options.
What is Outschool?
Outschool is an online platform that offers online classes for children via Zoom. These classes aren’t your average academic subjects though, although these are available as well. On Outschool your child can take part in a class learning anything from how to draw a monster, to sing along with Frozen or learn Spanish with Encanto.
What does Outschool cost?
Outschool can cost as much or as little as you want it to really. Classes seems to start from around £5 but they can increase by quite a bit depending on how long they last and the topic covered. Some classes also offer a discount code if you’re trying them for the first time and this is a great way to try something different before knowing if your child will enjoy it.
Choosing the right class for your child
When we first signed up to Outschool I found it quite overwhelming. There was a lot of different options for classes and it just seemed like there was too much to choose from.
Outschool has a great search facility though and you can narrow down your options quite easily. As Erin is at school during the day Monday to Friday I wanted to be able to see classes that were available at the weekend. Outschool lets you filter classes not only be date/ day but by your child’s age, price, subject etc. There is also a search facility which allows you to search for a particular teacher or topic that your child is interested in.
How does Outschool work?
Once you have decided on a class you can enrol your child onto it. At this point, you can see some extra details about the class such as price breakdown, add any promotional codes you might have and see any terms and conditions. You’ll get an email confirming your child’s place in that class, which also has additional information that you might need to know. This could be anything from print outs available to materials needed if your child is doing an art or science class.
One thing to know is that parents aren’t allowed to be on the video classes. You’ll need to make sure that your child knows how to use the mute function on zoom themselves. Some classes are all about child participation with interaction with everyone in the class, while others require the child to be muted at certain points, or if there is too much background noise. Before starting a class you can test Zoom with your child and explain anything they might need to know.
Some classes require a certain amount of people to be enrolled for them to go ahead, meaning that they might get cancelled if this doesn’t happen. I think this is an important point to make because as I’m sure we all know with younger children, disappointment happen easily.
Our experience using Outschool
Once I had figured out the search facilities on the Outschool website I found it really easy to pick something for Erin. I wanted to book a couple of classes first, just in case one was cancelled for some reason. However this didn’t end up happening even though one class only had two children taking part.
For Erin’s first two classes I chose Frozen Sing Along! and Little Adventurers Travel to the 7 Continents!, going for a mix of educational and something fun that I knew Erin would enjoy. This is the thing about Outschool, there’s such a variety of classes to choose from.
Before classes I got email reminders and instructions for how to join the class and being new to Outschool, this was really helpful. It gave me time to teach Erin how to use Zoom and how to use the mute function if she needed to. I really liked, a parent, that there was so much information given beforehand so we knew what to expect. This really helps with being able to prepare children for what’s going to happen.
In both classes we found the teachers to be fantastic. All the children involved got to introduce themselves and teachers asked a couple of questions to help get to know them. I think this really put Erin at ease and helped her to feel comfortable talking on the camera.
The teachers in each class were really fun and likeable, which made Erin want to join in more throughout. Obviously, with classes with different children taking part this can result in a fair bit of talking at the same time. Erin was encouraged to put her hand up when she wanted to speak to ask a question and considering these were her first classes, she did very well at doing this.
With some classes being aimed at younger children, such as the Frozen Sing Along! being for 4-7 year olds, I liked that there was additional resources available. Having a colouring sheet to hand was such a good idea incase Erin got bored or distracted from the class. Some classes, such as the Little Adventurers Travel to the 7 Continents! class, had a map that was used throughout and helped to engage the children in what was going on.
Erin has thoroughly enjoyed taking part in Outschool classes and has asked a few times what other she can do. Although we won’t be doing them on a weekly basis, classes are something we’ll join at least once or twice a month. These are going to be great on the weekends we don’t have anything planned and also during school holidays when we have a day at home.
If you want to give Outschool a try for yourself then sign up with this link and get $20 towards your first class (I’ll also receive $20 in credit).