Welcome!

I'm a wife to my "Mr. Right". A momma of five. A maker of slow food and simple living. A collector of memories, a keeper of books, and a champion for books that make memories. An addict who likes my half-and-half with a splash of coffee. A fractured pot transformed by the One Who makes broken things beautiful. I heart homeschooling, brake for libraries, and am glad you're here with me on the journey! Be sure to subscribe to my monthly newsletter. Or, follow along with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google +, Youtube, or Pinterest.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Online Extracurriculars for the Extra Curious Kid


Written by Chelsea Gonzales.

Extracurriculars are a great way to expand upon and enrich a homeschool experience, especially for the super curious kid who wants to know everything. That said, extracurriculars don’t fit well with every lifestyle. Traveling families like mine are always looking for lessons on-the-go.


(This post contains affiliate links. Please see my disclosure policy for full details.)

But so are countless other folks. Families with only one car, parents who don’t have the time or energy to be running from one class to the next, and kids who prefer to work on their own time may also not be able to make traditional extracurriculars work.


Online Extracurricular Classes to the Rescue!


Luckily, there are plenty of options for those of us who can't commit to weekly in-person lessons. Online classes are becoming more and more popular and accessible, and feature tutorials on a wide variety of topics.

Internet courses not only give families the freedom to work extra classes into their schedules however they see fit, but they also give students the ability to work at their own pace, something a traditional classroom environment can’t always offer. Additionally, these online classes are often cheaper than their face-to-face counterparts, making them a great way to try new things on a tight budget.

Of course, taking some online extracurriculars doesn’t have to mean dropping all of your out-of-the-house lessons either. Many people use online courses as an affordable option for kids who’d like to learn a lot of different things. Others find them useful as additional training in a certain art form, or even as cross-training.


Online Extracurricular Options


Wondering where to find these classes? Check out the resources below.

YouTube — Generally, YouTube is not the place to go to learn anything beyond the beginner level. That said, it is a good place to find short lessons on the basics of nearly anything.

TakeLessons — TakeLessons is an option for face-to-face video chat lessons. That said, this site has many options besides music.

Sparketh — A kids art lesson site with tons of lesson options, this is a great website for those who are looking to improve their drawing skills.

Outschool — Live video lessons on a variety of extracurricular and core subjects with small class sizes. Very good for kids looking for feedback!

DIY Kids — A great program that is almost like scouts and offers a variety of how-to videos, as well as challenges for earning badges.

Udemy — This site offers a wide variety of courses. These are not ongoing, and no feedback is provided, but they can be a great introductory or supplemental tool.

Skillshare — Skillshare is similar to Udemy in that it is an online database where people share courses. Once again, no feedback is provided.

Groupon — Groupon doesn’t have its own classes available. However, they do often offer discounts on online courses.

DancePlug — This site provides an awesome online place to learn dance. DancePlug doesn’t offer feedback but does have a well-organized platform and lessons that are easy to follow. Additionally, the company hosts occasional live events for those who are interested.

Aistear Irish Dance — Another online dance school, Aistear does offer weekly feedback to students. Beside that, this school also provides live events throughout the year, such as competition opportunities and workshops.

Hoffman Academy — For those looking to learn piano, Hoffman Academy is a great option. Mr. Hoffman is an excellent teacher.

Karate Academy Online — Karate is a popular activity that many kids want to try. Karate Academy Online is one of the best internet option available. The school doesn’t offer individual feedback, but it is well-put-together and easy to follow.

Lessonface — Like others listed above, this site offers a wide variety of face-to-face music lesson options. Lessons are done via video call, meaning you get feedback in real time.

Kids Cook Real Food — A super fun online course, Kids Cook Real Food is the perfect introduction to cooking.

These are far from the only options out there. Therefore, if you don’t see something that your child has been wanting to try, consider doing a quick Google search of your own to see what you come up with.


Other Options


Of course, there is also the option of seeking out a teacher you love and requesting lessons via Skype or FaceTime. You never know what a dedicated and passionate teacher might be willing to do. And in many cases, this is an excellent way to ensure your child is getting the best instruction possible.

That said, requesting private video lessons is likely not the best way to go if you are looking for a budget-friendly option. So, be sure to keep this in mind as you look around.

One Final Thought


I truly believe online lessons can be the key to offering your kids the freedom to explore their interests without breaking the bank or feeling like a 24-hour taxi service. That said, it is obviously still important that kids get out and about several times a week, so be sure you continue with some out-of-the-house lessons or play dates. Remember, homeschool doesn't always have to happen at home.

In the end, it all boils down to finding the right balance for your family, and online lessons may be the perfect tool for making everything fit just right.

Reader Suggested Sites


The following is a list of online extracurriculars that I have not personally used, but that have been suggested by readers of The Unlikely Homeschool.

Music in a Box





2 comments:

  1. Maybe it used to be, but Sparketh is not free. It's $25/mth or $250/year.

    ReplyDelete