Looking for a solid Outschool review to help you decide if it’s right for your kids?
Want to be absolutely sure before paying for a single class?
Yep, me too.
There is so much free stuff available on the internet, so when someone wants me to pay – I need to be sure.
Luckily, this Outschool review will tell you everything you need to know!
I’ll explain what Outschool is (for those who are a little confused about that), I’ll answer two very common questions about Outschool, I’ll share my own personal experience, what we love about it, what we don’t love about it, and how Outschool can best be used with your kids!
Buckle up, because I’m about to take you to school – couldn’t resist the pun!
What is Outschool?
Outschool is a virtual teaching platform that allows kids to choose from and enroll in thousands of different live, small group classes.
The variety of classes offered is a little overwhelming! Your kid can choose from things like hip hop dance, creative writing, medieval history, piano, gaming, coding, STEM…the list just goes on and on.
If your kids are interested in anything – you can probably find it on Outschool.
The classes range in price from approximately $8-$20.
Some classes are very in-depth coding or one on one music lessons, which will cost more.
Other classes are more gentle reading group lessons or art lessons that will be less expensive.
All classes are run on the Zoom platform and are taught by a teacher that has had a full background check. Outschool also reviews all class descriptions and makes sure they match the teacher’s background and abilities before approving the class.
Click here to hop on over the Outschool website and explore their class listings.
Is Outschool Legit?
I was a little skeptical about Outschool at first. I assumed it was some random company trying to cash in on the sudden homeschooling fallout of the pandemic.
Turns out the company has been around for years. It was founded in 2015 and was the darling of many homeschool families. Since then, kids from all educational backgrounds have been discovering Outschool’s unique educational classes.
It is not part of the Better Business Bureau, but it does have a commanding review from Trustpilot. Below is a screenshot from Trustpilot showing Outschool’s performance among users:
Click here to read Trustpilot reviews of Outschool yourself.
Is Outschool Safe for Kids?
As I said above, the teacher is given a full background check. The classes are run off of Zoom, and the teacher has full control to moderate the class.
I see no reason to be concerned about the safety of Outschool, as they have taken ever possible and reasonable precaution to look out for kids. Here you can read Outschool’s full Trust and Safety statement.
That being said, I would still stay within earshot of my kid while they are in a class. The world is crazy, and sadly you have to be on guard with anything digital these days.
My Personal Experience with Outschool
A homeschooling friend first introduced me to Outschool during the start of the pandemic.
Our co-op had been shut down, but my friend still wanted our girls to get together for some learning. She asked me to sign up for the same science/art class her daughter had signed up for: My Immune System: Staying Healthy (rather timely, huh?).
The lesson cost $12 and was scheduled to be about 40 minutes.
The teacher had a Masters in Education (impressive), and had dozens of positive reviews to read. The live class had a total of 6 students enrolled.
Here is the Outschool Class Description I Was Given:
“This class will begin with introductions because I find it helpful to know a bit about my students and them about me.
After introductions, I will read a story about our immune system and why it is important to stay healthy. We will brainstorm ideas and methods of staying healthy.
The class will conclude with a ” germ art” project to help the students remember to stay healthy. (Parental help advised for the younger students).”
I was also asked to provide these supplies for the class:
- Liquid watercolor paints
- Google eyes (Can substitute with white circles cut out of paper and black marker)
- White Card stock or other thick paper
- Black marker
- Colored construction paper
How Our Outschool Class Actually Went
It was not difficult at all to get connected with the Zoom classroom. The teacher was on time and ran the class like a professional. She followed her lesson plan to a “T.”
I could tell she made a point to engage all the students with questions and discussion. My daughter really enjoyed the social opportunity to interact with her friend in the class!
The art project was very cute and my daughter really liked doing it. The supply list was what most homeschoolers would have on hand anyways.
I didn’t think the information my daughter learned was “ground breaking,” but I would still say a lot was done in 40 minutes and my daughter had a good time.
Outschool Review: What We Love!
1. Live Classes
Yes, there are a lot of things to be learned from a good Youtube video, but a live class takes things to a whole other level. I love that Outschool allows a kid to interact with a teacher and other students during the lesson.
I think that helps so much to grab the kid’s interest and get them engaged on a topic.
2. Class Size and Time
This is crucial, and Outschool obviously knows it.
Outschool keeps classes small so that kids have more of an opportunity to be heard and interact with the teacher and other students.
The classes also tend to be between 30 and 60 minutes. That is just right for how long a kid can focus on a lesson.
This creates a much more positive learning experience!
3. Social Opportunity – Ability to Invite Friends and Family to Classes
Outschool makes it very easy to click a button and invite other people to the class you registered for.
My daughter was so much more willing to come to an “extra” class because her friend was there. I think that is such a fun way to connect with friends who have moved away, cousins who live faraway, or even friends who live down the street!
4. Teacher Ratings
I love the transparency that Outschool shows by allowing parents to leave reviews of the teacher and even individual classes. This helped me to feel so much more confident that the teacher was trustworthy, knowledgable, and worth my $12.
5. Such Creative Class Ideas
If you spend 30 seconds on the Outschool website, you’ll see that their class ideas are over the top creative, interesting, unique, and bound to grab a kid’s attention.
To a weary homeschool mom, this can be like water in a desert! It’s wonderful to take advantage of another teacher’s energy and ideas to help your child learn or experience something new.
Click here to sift through (definitely use the filters!) the Outschool classes for yourself.
6. I am Not Responsible to Teach or Volunteer
Don’t we all need a break sometime?
I love that I can sign my kid up for all of these neat classes, and I don’t have to lift a finger to prepare and teach them.
Well…yes I have to make sure I get all the supply list stuff and get them there on time…but that’s true of just about every activity they do.
7. Great Way to Explore Interests
You may love the idea of a “child led homeschool,” but you just don’t have the time to put together a full lesson for every one of your kids passing whims.
Outschool offers a way for kids to try out that new interest with minimal financial and time investment on your part.
As an example, one of my daughters is obsessed with being a vet when she grows up. That is definitely not my wheel house, since no one would even describe me as an animal lover.
Thankfully, I was able to sign her up for the Biology Veterinarian Club on Outschool and she will be learning from a legit animal scientist every week!
8. Not Your Classic School Subjects
Outschool offers classes that are outside of your typical lessons. Think gymnastics, ballet, individual music lessons, hip hop dance, cooking, chess, singing, coding, gaming, etc.
These classes run much cheaper on Outschool than their in-person counterparts!
9. No Driving Required
Can I get an amen?
My kids are signed up for a ton of things, and it gets really old having the chauffeur them all over town.
I really like that Outschool allows parents to give their kids outstanding lessons of all kinds and…
- My other kids don’t *have* to tag along
- Littles can get their normal naps
- No worries about weather issues
- No stress driving in traffic to be on time
- I can easily get other things done around the house during the lesson
10. Opportunity for On Going Classes
When I first learned about Outschool, I thought they were all one-time classes like what my daughter did. Now they have classes that are a week long, or even ongoing classes.
I think this would be a much better fit for my kids. Teacher and students have a much better chance to get to know each other and you can go much deeper with the lessons.
Examples of ongoing classes that I’ve seen are lego clubs, book clubs, gymnastics, nature clubs, drawing club, and of course the veterinary club I talked about earlier.
Outschool Review: What We Didn’t Love
As with all my reviews, I like to list the things that I don’t like in order to be fully transparent, honest, and fair. Nobody wants to be a Negative Nelly, but I also want you to make a decision about Outschool with all the information.
I originally thought the price was a little steep. This comes from spending so much time as a homeschool mom looking at free printables, free YouTube videos and other free resources.
Compared to free, $12 for one class seemed kind of crazy.
But then I compared it to how much I spend on in-person lessons, an unscheduled trip to Chick-fil-a, and all our streaming subscriptions…suddenly a $12 class that my kid loved, seemed like a deal.
That being said, there are price variations. Some classes are $8, others are $35. The price seemed to be connected to the depth of the class and the size of the class.
2. Teacher Experiences Vary
Just in the same way that every teacher in a traditional school is not going to be “magic,” not every Outschool teacher is going to be show-stopping.
I read a number of Outschool reviews and it seemed that the negative ones were mostly connected to getting a less than stellar teacher. That was not our experience, but I can see how that might turn a family off right away.
Definitely check those teaching ratings, credentials, and the class description so you know what to expect up front. Some teachers even have profile videos and videos about the classes they offer.
3. Manage Your Expectations.
I’ll be honest, I thought that my kid was going to get some cutting edge germ knowledge for my $12. She was going to know all kinds of cool facts that would impress her grandparents.
In reality, she learned about hand washing, eating nutritionally wise foods, and moving her body regularly to stay healthy. Then they did a craft that included paint, straws, and googly eyes to make a “germ.”
I was a little disappointed, but I also realized that it was grade appropriate information. If my kid had been looking at college level microscope slides of viruses, she would have been bored out of her mind.
As you assess your Outschool experience, keep in mind that you want to strike a balance of your kid having a good experience and learning age appropriate material in the short time that the teacher has to work with.
How to Use Outschool Effectively in Your Homeschool
Use the Ongoing Classes as your co-op or to supplement your co-op
Let your reluctant learner shop through the classes and pick one that they are interested in to help them fall in love with learning
Try the one-on-one tutoring options if your child is struggling in an area
Take advantage of the dance, gymnastics, music classes as a low budget, no driving way to let your kids try new things
Look for clubs your kid is interested in to help them meet some kids that like the same things they do
Search for your child’s interests and see if another teacher has an awesome lesson plan all ready to go on that topic
Use Outschool classes to keep younger learners busy while you are working with older kids during school hours.
Tap into Outschool classes for areas that may be weak for you to teach on your own (foreign language, art, music, etc.)
Recap Outschool Review – Are You Still on the Fence?
Like I said before, this Outschool review is going to take you to school!
I hope this article answered every imaginable question and helped you feel solid about giving Outschool a try.
It truly is a low invest with a big return for most kids!
If I missed anything, be sure to drop your questions in the comments.
And if you are still on the fence, then I highly encourage you to hop on over to the Outschool website and explore the classes yourself! Find out what interests your kid and let them swing into one class.
It’s a small commitment that might make a big difference!