The Best Online Classes for Kids
*This post contains affiliate links. You can read my full disclosure here.
Traditional school, homeschool, or online classes for kids? That is the question many parents are asking in 2020. What does the 2020-21 school year look like? I cannot make the school choice that is right for your family. But I can share with you a huge list of online classes for kids.
I have been researching online classes over the past 10 years. I normally share this list of online courses in a couple of my speaking sessions, but I figured now was the perfect time to get this list of online courses for kids out to my readership. I have written some details about each online class provider and highlighted a few features I feel make each course stand out from the rest.
This list of online classes for kids will be a living growing series here. So, please feel free to email me if you know of an amazing online class provider that should be added. And now, on with the list…
Best Online Classes for Kids
Do you need an accredited online school for your child? Or, are you looking for an online virtual school option that offers everything in one package? That’s available!
Acellus Academy is an accredited K-12 online private school. Acellus is owned and operated by the International Academy of Science, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. They provide instruction online through distance education via the Acellus Learning System. Acellus Academy offers over 250 online courses for grades K-12 in all core subject areas as well as electives, Advanced Placement (AP), Career & Technical Education (CTE), and STEM focused pathways.
The academy does not offer a rigorous writing program, but it is easy to add additional writing for your child. Or simply add on a writing program. If you are looking for a full service, accredited online academy, check out Acellus Academy.
Some things that make Acellus stand out from other accredited academies offering online courses for kids:
- The program is not full of busy work.
- Kids can go through the program at their own pace.
- There are short videos followed by targeted quizzes and puzzles which reinforce the lesson.
- The program can be accessed from any smart phone, device, or computer.
Check Out Acellus Academy Now
Apex Learning Virtual School
Apex Learning Virtual School is an accredited high school academy offering online courses for high school students. Students can take a few select classes, or they can go full time. Apex offers NCAA-approved courses that fulfill academic requirements for college-bound athletes. It was one of the first virtual high schools to be approved by the College Board® for its AP® courses.
A few things that make Apex Learning Virtual School stand out from other accredited virtual schools:
- Courses are approved by the University of California (UC) for standards-based courses in “a–g” instructional areas to fully prepare students for first-year university programs.
- Since 1999, Apex Learning Virtual School has been accredited by the NWAC.
- Semesters run 18 weeks, but students can begin their course at any time. So, there is a nice balance of freedom and structure.
Check Out Apex Learning Virtual School Now
Bridgeway Academy is a fully accredited program which offers families support but still is very flexible, and students can create their own schedule and work at their own pace. The academy does offer recommendations on pacing.
- Bridgeway Academy offers a JumpStart program so students can review English, language arts, and math concepts. This program helps ensure your child is prepared to move to the next level.
- The academy has live online teacher-led classes for kids in grades 3-5.
- It offers full online, blended learning, and textbook programs.
Check Out Bridgeway Academy Now
Are You Considering Working and Homeschooling?
I’ve been there! I’ve done it!
Learn how I balanced it!
Not worried about accreditation? Here are some fantastic places to select online classes for kids. Best of all, you can pick and choose so you can fully customize online courses that are best for your child.
BraveWriter offers writing classes for homeschooling students. The BraveWriter program teaches parents and children together. The goal is to create an atmosphere where kids learn to foster self-expression, creativity, and overcome any barriers they have to writing.
Some things that make BraveWriter online courses amazing:
- Classes are all taught by teachers who were previously homeschooled and are published writers.
- Lessons build on each other.
- The program truly helps.
Check Out BraveWriter Now
Calvert Homeschool Academy
Calvert Homeschool Academy gives your family access to 45 online courses for up to three students. Courses cover history and geography, language arts, math, and science, and are available 24 hours a day year-round. It is perfect for families who want flexibility in planning their school year. All courses include automatic grading and recordkeeping. Lessons include video clips, audio files, challenging games, and interactive exercises to keep kids learning and engaged.
A few features that make Calvert Homeschool Academy a favorite among many homeschooling families:
- Families can try it for 30 days free.
- See grades immediately.
- Pricing options include monthly payments and family pricing.
Check Out Calvert Homeschool Academy Now
Chalk Pastels teaches that you are an artist. These online art classes for kids encourage all kids to explore their inner artist by using chalk pastels. These online classes really free up teaching for parents because they are guided art classes. Along the way, kids learn a bit about history, nature, music, and more with their teacher, Nana! Purchase individual art courses, or join the monthly subscription.
- Get lifetime access to individual art courses you purchase.
- Get access to over 50 art courses with the monthly subscription.
- Nana is a fantastic art teacher and the videos are high quality.
Check Out Chalk Pastels Now
If you’ve ever wanted to learn how to code, Code Academy is a great option. Their catalog of courses is huge! And while most of the courses are offered at a price, you can gain access to tons of lessons and knowledge for free through the program’s basic plan. The free option includes 25 coding courses, along with limited access to the site’s mobile practice program.
Through the basic option, you will have access to subjects like:
- Communicating with databases using SQL
- Programming languages like CSS, PHP and C++
- Basic programming concepts
- How to make a website
- How to build an Alexa skill
- Game development
Check Out Code Academy Now
Fundafunda Academy offers both full semester classes and web-based unit studies for middle and high school students. Their full semester courses are live classes and have a start and finish date. Students can engage with their teacher, and in most classes work with other students on group projects. These are high quality online classes. And the instructors are amazing. If your family is looking for an online course with a live teacher, FundaFunda Online Classes should be on the top of your list!
Some things that make FundaFunda Online Classes stand out from other online class providers:
- Courses have a set start and finish date to follow a more traditional school pattern.
- Courses allow for students to engage with a LIVE teacher and fellow students.
- Course listings are detailed and include suggested grade recommendation, hours required, and credits the course fulfills.
Check Out Fundafunda Academy Now
Kids need movement. And it is important as parents and educators we pay attention to the delicate balance of screen time and physical activity when our kids are taking online courses. That is why I love GoNoodle.
GoNoodle is a great way for parents to ensure their kids are getting up off their seat and getting in some fun physical activity. In fact, if you are a parent working from home, it is a great way for the entire family to get in some movement together!
Some of the things I love best about GoNoodle:
- You can find a variety of movement, yoga, and mindfulness videos to fit the needs of your child.
- They offer FREE downloadable curriculum and craft activities.
- Get recommended off-screen individual and family activities to extend learning.
- It is available for all devices, Apple TV, and Roku.
Check Out GoNoodle Now
JuniLearning is an award-winning online computer science and mathematics academy that offers private online courses to students from ages 8–18. Here you can find online classes for kids that range from introductory to college-level. Kids are guided through a structured online course sequence at JuniLearning by instructors from UC Berkeley, Johns Hopkins, Vanderbilt University, and other top US universities. As students progress through the online course, they not only learn and work through the program, but they also build a portfolio of their work!
Some things that make JuniLearning’s computer science and mathematics courses amazing:
- They have rolling enrollment with classes beginning all year long.
- Group or private classes are offered.
- Kids can start at their level and progress to advanced in-depth courses.
- Kids create a portfolio of their work to show as they progress through the online courses.
Check Out JuniLearning Now
If you are searching for a way for your kids to expand their education online, check out Khan Academy. All the courses on the site offer standards-aligned lessons in kindergarten through high school. In addition to classes in traditional subjects, like science and history, Khan Academy also offers SAT prep.
Khan Academy offers free courses in:
- Math, including early math, algebra, geometry, and calculus
- Science and engineering, like physics, chemistry, biology, and electrical engineering
- Computer science and programming
- Arts and humanities, like history, government, art history, and storytelling
- Economics and finance
- Test prep for SAT, LSAT, MCAT, and GMAT
Check Out Khan Academy Now
OutSchool offers an enormous catalog of live online classes for kids ages 3-18. You will find classes for phonics, Minecraft, poetry, and more. There are over 50,000 online classes for kids at OutSchool! So, you are sure to find the teachers and online classes that meet your child’s needs perfectly.
At OutSchool you will find:
- Online classes easy to sort by subject
- Age recommendations noted for each course
- Sort feature to include sorting classes by day and time
- Sort feature to include sorting classes by class length: semester, short course, one time, ongoing, or camp
- Affordable prices
Check Out OutSchool Now
When it comes to music classes online, it is hard to find courses that are effective. Lessons tend to be boring. That is why I was thrilled to find Skoove. Their online piano courses captivated me from the start. In fact, I was practicing and playing well into the night. Skoove offers interactive piano lessons for both beginner and advanced players.
Some features I love best about Skoove online piano courses are:
- You can begin the lessons using your computer keyboard. So, it is a great way for kids to try piano before you spend the money on an expensive keyboard or piano.
- Skoove is available for iOS, Chromebooks, and Windows tablets. It is also available for Mac and PC laptops.
- Skoove recognizes the notes you are playing and gives immediate feedback. So, you know how well you are playing and can fix and continue working on notes and rhythms based on the feedback you receive.
- Skoove offers both a free and a Premium version.
Check Out Skoove Now
Take Time for Art
Take Time for Art offers nicely produced art classes. They are history-based so you can easily tie your art into the time period of history you are studying. They send all the supplies for the art projects, and the instructor does a walkthrough of the project with the kids on the video. It is perfect for parents who want art instruction but really do not want to teach it or worry about gathering the supplies. It really could not be simpler!
Take Time for Art offers some wonderful benefits for families looking for online art classes:
- The instruction and supplies are all included in the package.
- There are two affordable purchasing options both priced for families.
- The curriculum can be tied into your student’s history lessons.
Check Out Take Time for Art Now
ThinkWell is probably most known for their online math courses, but they also offer online science and government courses. Their popular video courses are for students in grades 6th-high school. ThinkWell was founded in 1997 and has been offering quality online video courses for kids for a long time. They have great teachers, and they do a fantastic job with their video courses.
Some things that make video courses from ThinkWell exceptional:
- There is an ability for students to go at their own pace, or follow a week-by-week lesson plan.
- Begin whenever you are ready. A course subscription runs for 12 months, and you can extend it for one, three, or six months if needed.
- Their video lessons can be started, stopped, and rewatched easily.
- They offer a FREE 14-day trial. So, you can see if online video courses are a fit for your student.
Check Out ThinkWell Now
As your kids enter high school, the goal is to teach them to be life-long learners. The websites below offer online courses mainly geared to adults. But there are many courses available that high school students can easily take. You may even find some online classes for yourself as well!
Simply sign up for a free account on Alison and you’ll have access to more than 1,500 courses, with new courses added weekly. Each course is self-paced, which means you can tackle the lessons on your own time. And when you are finished with the course, you will receive a learner record for free or purchase a certificate to display in your office.
The learning platform offers courses in a variety of areas, including:
In addition to searching for new skills to learn, the site also offers guidance based on your career path. Simply choose your industry and career path to find courses that will help advance you to the next level in your career.
Check Out Alison Now
If you’re searching for a hub for online learning, check out Class Central. Designed as a search engine and review site for free online courses across the web, Class Central provides you with an outline of some of the best free courses around. You can search the site for courses in different subject areas or languages or browse courses offered by specific providers or universities. From free online ivy league courses to courses to help you improve your career, you can find a variety of options in this course hub. And thanks to its “best courses” roundups, you can easily browse through some of the greatest free courses available online with ease, which means you’ll know exactly what you’re getting before you start working through the course material.
In Class Central, you will find:
- Courses sorted by subject matter, including 13 categories like computer science, business, humanities, personal development, health and medicine, and education and teaching
- Career guides with lists of the best online courses for each career path
- Information on free courses offered by renowned universities
- Course rankings based on subject matter and popularity
- Educational news and information on free online courses
Check Out Class Central Now
With one of the biggest selections of courses on the web, Coursera has a variety of amazing online classes spanning a range of subjects. There are hundreds of paid courses where students can obtain a degree or a certificate. And you can also find tons of amazing free courses on the platform. From courses that focus on self-care to in-depth discussions on the financial market, you can tackle a variety of subjects on this platform.
But what makes Coursera stand out from the rest is that these classes are created in partnerships with renowned universities and museums, like:
- Yale University
- Johns Hopkins University
- Stanford University
- University of Michigan
- The Museum of Modern Art
Check Out Coursera Now
The Great Courses Plus
Great Courses Plus gives you thousands of hours of audio and video lectures from some of the world’s best professors. They add new content every month, so there is always something new to learn. And it is available for virtually every computer and device: iOS, Kindle, Windows, Android, Roku, and more! Courses begin at High School level.
A few features that make Great Courses Plus a wonderful online course option for high school students:
- Access to videos on demand anytime of the day or night
- No homework or tests! These video courses are a great way for high school students to supplement their learning, or add on a subject they are really interested in exploring.
- It is a great way to steer older kids into using technology in a productive way.
Check Out The Great Courses Plus Now
On Udemy, you can find more than 100,000 online courses ranging in subject matter from MBA classes to cooking instruction. You can purchase courses on the site, but Udemy also offers access to tons of amazing free courses.
There are so many great courses for you to browse for free that will help you learn a new skill, like:
- Graphic design
- Personal development
[…] keeps giving throughout the year. When considering lessons, don’t forget all of the wonderful online courses available. When next Christmas rolls around, your kids can look back on all the progress they made […]