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Top online coding classes for kids

Discover the key skills coding can unlock for your child, and explore the pros and cons of today's top online learning platforms.

For many, coding can feel like an abstract puzzle–a confusing maze of symbols, strange phrases, and complexity. But when we take the time to dig into this unusual world, we quickly find online coding classes have so much to offer our children.

Keep reading to learn why kids should learn to code and tips for comparing the top online coding classes and platforms.

Why kids should try an online coding class

Coding is the language of tomorrow, the foundation of the digital realm that touches almost every aspect of our daily lives. 

It's a key that opens the door to a new universe of creativity, innovation, and possibilities. A universe in which your child can become an active participant in shaping the future, not just an observer. 

So let's set aside the scary technical jargon, explore why this journey is so worth embarking on, and then look at some of the best options for helping your kid or teen start their coding adventure.

Learning to code allows your child to be a creator in the digital world

In today's tech-oriented world, it's all too easy for kids to slip into the role of passive consumers. But what if they could switch sides? What if they could transform from consumers to creators? This is the opportunity that coding offers. 

From crafting their own video games to designing interactive websites, coding invites them to play, experiment, and shape their own digital environment. And thanks to the rapid evolution of teaching methods and resources in this space, it's become more accessible than ever.

Skills beyond the screen: What coding really teaches kids

Learning to code isn’t just about mastering a complex language to tell computers what to do. It’s a catalyst for developing a huge array of valuable life skills, like problem-solving, logical thinking, resilience, and creativity. 

It encourages kids to break complex tasks into manageable parts, persevere through challenges, and look at failure not as roadblocks but as stepping stones toward a better solution. 

Coding is a masterclass in life skills, dressed in the disguise of a computer language. Let’s go deeper.

Coding fosters kids’ creativity

Through coding, the digital world becomes your child's canvas. They can construct intricate landscapes in Minecraft, animate unique characters in Scratch, or build their own website from the ground up. This digital construction allows them to express their imagination in unique and tangible ways, honing their creativity through practical application.

Coding encourages kids’ logical thinking 

Coding teaches children how to approach problems methodically and logically, breaking them down into smaller parts. This problem-solving mindset can be applied to most aspects of life and is a sought-after skill in the professional world.

Coding builds children’s storytelling skills 

Good storytelling often involves logical structure and creative thinking - the same elements at the core of coding. Whether designing a video game or creating an animation, kids learn to build narratives within their code.

Coding develops kids’ patience and persistence 

Coding can be challenging. Kids learn to be patient as they debug their code and persist until they overcome the challenge. These are not just coding abilities but life skills that foster resilience and grit–key attributes for a successful life.

Coding improves children’s communication 

Coding teaches kids to be precise and concise. Every command in code has a specific purpose, just as every word in a sentence carries meaning. This attention to detail improves their overall communication abilities.

Coding spills over into improving other skills 

The benefits of coding extend well beyond the digital world. Just one example: A study by Jane Thompson and Gina Childers, published in Computers & Education, found that learning to code had an extremely positive impact on elementary students' writing skills and writing stamina. 

After participating in Google's CS First Storytelling lessons, students showed a significant increase in their overall writing ability, idea development, and organization.

The impact of coding is vast and can become an invaluable addition to your child's overall learning journey.

The online advantage: Kids coding classes in the comfort of home

Not too long ago, learning to code wasn’t accessible to most–least of all kids. But the advent of online coding classes has completely changed that. Today, not only can you easily learn this essential skill–but you can even learn from the comfort of home

There are numerous benefits to virtual learning. Like the convenience, flexibility, associated costs, and wide array of options catering to different learning styles and paces. Today, the barriers have dissolved. 

The world of coding is now literally at your child’s fingertips.

Best online coding classes and platforms for kids: Outschool, Varsity Tutors, Khan Academy, and more

Now that we’re clear on the value of coding for kids and how accessible it can be. Let’s look at the strengths and weaknesses of some of the best options out there right now.

Outschool online coding classes for kids

Outschool offers a marketplace of live online classes for kids aged 3-18. We host a multitude of subjects with an exceptionally diverse range of coding classes. 

Classes span from beginner-level coding classes to specific language courses like Python and Scratch to Minecraft Coding and designing your own video game

Pros:

  • Live interactive classes offer real-time feedback.

  • A variety of courses, including private coding tutoring and group classes, offer flexibility and choice.

  • Courses are designed to be engaging and fun for kids.

  • Teachers are fully vetted.

  • Affordable pricing, no contracts required, average cost around $15 per session.

  • An incredible number of independent, positive reviews.

  • You can message teachers with questions before you enroll.

Cons:

  • Class timing might not always align with your schedule.

  • An extensive library of classes and teachers means it can take time to find the best ones for your child.

Varsity Tutors 

Varsity Tutors offers personalized instruction through a variety of online coding classes for kids, including 1-on-1 tutoring and small group classes. Their platform gathers as much information as possible and then matches your kid with a tutor that customizes a learning plan for them.

Pros:

  • Individual instruction allows for highly tailored learning.

  • Coding boot camps offer intensive instruction.

Cons:

  • The 1-on-1 tutoring model makes it the most expensive option on this list.

  • It will likely require a sales call before you can join the platform, so it's less accessible.

  • Less variety in course topics compared to marketplaces like Outschool.

Khan Academy

Khan Academy is a non-profit organization that provides free online courses. They offer several self-paced coding-related classes, such as HTML/CSS and JavaScript.

Pros:

  • Completely free, providing accessibility for all.

  • Self-paced learning is ideal for busy schedules.

Cons:

  • Lack of live instruction means less immediate help when stuck.

  • Courses aren’t as engaging due to the lack of interaction.

Preply

Preply is an online learning platform that connects students with private tutors for a variety of subjects. While they have a strong emphasis on language learning, Preply also has tutors that offer coding instruction.

Pros:

  • Flexibility in choosing your own tutors and session times. 

  • Large selection of tutors across different subjects, coding included.

  • Working directly with a tutor means personalized feedback and instruction.

Cons:

  • Less structured than other options, with quality and consistency dependent on an individual tutor’s approach.

  • Costs can vary widely depending on the tutor's rates, which can be high in some cases.

  • Coding is not Preply's primary focus, so while they have some tutors that teach coding, the range and depth of options are lower.

YouTube (and other free resources)

YouTube is a video-sharing platform that contains an abundance of coding tutorials for kids. While not a formal learning platform, it's a widely used - and widely available - resource.

Pros:

  • Free and accessible to all.

  • Infinite variety, with videos on nearly every topic imaginable.

Cons:

  • Quality can vary significantly, and it can be hard to find effective learning pathways.

  • Lack of personalized interaction and immediate feedback.

  • Ads can be distracting and, in some cases, inappropriate for kids.

  • Little vetting and cybersecurity. 

Remember, the best platform for your child depends on their learning style, your budget, and the level of support and interaction they might like or need.

Ready to start? Your kid’s coding adventure awaits

Starting a coding journey might seem daunting at first, but every grand adventure begins with a single step. The path is laid out, the resources are at hand, and there are amazing mentors out there excited to help guide your child. 

From basic programming concepts to seriously advanced software development, this list of options will bring you a diverse range of classes and resources that cater to every skill level.

At Outschool, we make sure coding isn't just a mechanical process; it's an engaging, enjoyable adventure. Kids can learn Python by coding a fun game, explore HTML and CSS through designing interactive web pages, or even dive into the world of Minecraft modding

Each class is more than just a lesson - it's a playground where creativity, innovation, collaboration, and technical skills all come together.

Conclusion: The future is in their hands

Coding is more than just an essential skill for the future - it's a journey that equips children with the tools they need to navigate and shape the digital world. With 

Outschool's unique approach, not only do kids learn to code, they learn to think, create, and persevere. They move beyond being spectators of the digital world to being participants in it.

So don’t wait. Help your child embark on their coding journey today. Who knows what they might create, what problems they might solve, or what world they might build? Because with coding, the possibilities are only ever limited by imagination.

The future is in our children’s hands. With Outschool coding classes, they can get to work on shaping it.

Issy ButsonIssy is a home educating dad with fresh ideas on learning for the next generation. He’s the voice behind the Life Without School podcast, the pen behind the Stark Raving Dad blog, and definitely doesn’t rely solely on coffee to parent effectively.

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