What is Outschool and how does it work?
Outschool is a community marketplace of online classes for kids, focusing on small-group, interactive experiences that take place live. We help parents find and register their learners for great classes across a variety of topics. Qualified educators manage and promote their classes to parents on our platform, delivering excellent learning experiences to learners across the globe. Every educator is screened, background checked, and provided with quality professional learning by our team.
Outschool offers unparalleled diversity when it comes to teachers, subjects, and learners. With classes on everything from Fortnite to world dance to marine biology, you can find a great class to match your learners’ passions.
Who uses Outschool?
Outschool classes are open to learners ages 3-18, with class listings specifying the age range for which a class is designed. We are unable to accommodate learners under the age of 3 or above the age of 18 at this time.
Outschool works for all kids, no matter their schooling type, from brick and mortar to homeschool, and everything in between.
I'm just getting started with homeschooling. Can you offer some advice?
While Outschool learners come from a variety of backgrounds, we have a lot of experience providing homeschool advice, including developing an easy-to-use Homeschool 101 eBook to get you started. Packed with information on getting started, how to find affordable classes, and tips from current homeschooling families, this guide has everything you need to get the ball rolling.
For a quick read, check out this article from our blog: How to start homeschooling: 10 steps to start your homeschool journey.
How do you ensure high-quality classes?
All teachers must submit an application that includes information about their professional background and education in order to teach on Outschool. Our team reviews applications with this information in mind to ensure that all educators on Outschool have teaching experience, subject matter expertise, or a unique passion they want to share with learners. We also ensure that teachers have the technical skills to run online classes successfully. Once teachers get started on Outschoolwe provide regular professional learning and development opportunities.
Every time a teacher wants to teach a new class, they must submit their class listing for approval. In order to be listed on the Outschool website, classes must meet our standards for unique content, learning goals, teacher expertise, class experience, and more.
How do you ensure safety in classes?
Learner safety is our top priority. Read more about how we ensure that all classes are safe, private, and inclusive for our learners.
One way we make sure that classes are safe is by guaranteeing that all attendees of Outschool classes are kids under 18. While we encourage all learners to enable their audio/video during class to create a social class experience, we realize that this isn’t comfortable for all learning needs. For kids who don’t wish to turn their camera on during class, parents should follow our learner verification process.
If you are a parent supervising a learner during class, we ask that you stay off-screen as much as possible. If your learner requires more active participation or supervision from you during class, please reach out to the teacher to let them know prior to class.
My learner has special needs. Is Outschool a fit?
We welcome learners of all abilities and neurodivergencies at Outschool. Many Outschool educators have backgrounds in teaching children with various abilities. Our classes may allow for both gifted learners to extend their learning and for learners in need of academic support to get the remediation they need. Learners with neurodivergencies can also gain access to resources, experiences, interventions, and supports on Outschool that may not be available in your local setting.
If there is a class you’re excited about, we encourage you to message the teacher directly to see how their classroom style may fit your child based on their needs. Read more about learning with special needs on Outschool.
Can Outschool classes count for credit at my school?
While Outschool does not offer credit for classes, it is possible to receive credit for classes depending on your school requirements. Requirements vary by institution, so we recommend reaching out to your school to see what they require to grant a credit for an external class. You might also show an Outschool class listing to someone at your school to ensure that it fits credit requirements.
Teachers may provide certificates of completion or other award documentation at their discretion to learners and parents. Not all teachers offer this, so if your learner will need a grade, certain types of assessment, or other specifications from the teacher in order to receive credit, it's best to communicate with their Outschool teacher beforehand to make sure they're aware. Some families also use their Outschool transcripts as proof of enrollment.
Payment and Technology
How much does it cost? What payment methods do you accept?
Outschool is free to join, and each class is priced separately based on class format, teacher preference, and overall Outschool class pricing. All classes are backed by our Happiness Guarantee.
We accept payment by credit/debit card (using the payment processor Stripe), Apple Pay, and two different payment plan platforms. Read more about paying for Outschool classes.
Are you a homeschool charter school vendor?
Yes, Outschool is a pre-approved vendor for over 50 homeschool charter schools in California, Alaska, Arizona, Wisconsin, and Canada. If you'd like to register for Outschool classes, ask your homeschool charter school to partner with us. Read more about how to use charter funds.
Are you an approved vendor on ClassWallet or other ESA marketplaces?
Yes, Outschool is an approved vendor for ESA programs in select states, and you may be able to shop for classes on your state’s ClassWallet marketplace. Read more about using ESA funds on Outschool.
Do you provide discounts for siblings or multiple kids?
Outschool offers small group classes that are focused on interaction. Because of this, each child should be enrolled individually. Some teachers are willing to provide sibling discounts, so you can always message a teacher before signing up for a class to see if this would be a possibility.
What kind of technology and materials do I need?
We encourage your learners to participate in their natural learning environment, using the device of their choice. Outschool works on all major web browsers, and we use Zoom for live video meetings. You’ll need a working webcam and microphone, and a solid internet connection. Read more about our technical requirements and tips to prepare for your first class.
If your child does not want to attend live class, Flex Classes are a great option for asynchronous learning.