Coding is a fun and captivating activity for anyone! You can even learn this in-demand skill from the comfort of your own home. Taking online coding classes is a fantastic way to immerse your child in the material, and it takes only a few hours out of their week. If you have young ones, coding is a great hobby that uses creativity and lots of brain power! Keep reading to discover award-winning live online coding classes for kids categorized by age group.
Introduction to online classes for kids
Computer programming is a highly sought-after skill in our current job market, and many online resources cater to this growing demand. Learning how to code and picking up new coding languages has never been easier; however, most websites that teach you how to program do not have young students in mind. Kids need effective computer science education to accommodate their learning style by making fundamental concepts enjoyable yet challenging.
Kid-friendly classes tend to focus on block-based programming, so students focus more on coding and less on syntax–however, there are undemanding classes for teens that cover the arrangement of code. Taking an online class is a helpful path for kids to start learning coding, because online courses offer structure and opportunities to practice and receive feedback on their computer programs right away. If you’re interested in learning more about how invaluable coding is for students, check out our article on coding for kids.
Why should kids learn to code?
Coding is a terrific pathway for kids to use their creativity and problem-solving skills, but there are other reasons kids should learn how to code. Some of the benefits of coding include:
- A positive performance in mathematics.
- A boost in job marketability for non-tech fields.
- A positive impact on students’ logic and critical thinking.
See more reasons why coding is important for young students here.
Types of online coding classes and how to pick the right one for your student
Kids have various learning styles, so there is an online coding class for any student! Below is a list of different types and characteristics of online coding classes currently available:
- Live Virtual Coding Class: These classes are synchronous, meaning the instructor and students are in the online classroom simultaneously. Usually, students will follow along with the instructor’s presentation of information until the class ends. Kids can participate by using text, video, or audio chat.
- Recorded/On-demand Video Coding Class: These classes are typically asynchronous, meaning students can access course materials anytime. The instructor will typically assign work for students to complete independently. There is no scheduled meeting time for the student and instructor.
- Meeting Cadence: This characteristic refers to the frequency of class meetings. This aspect is critical to bear in mind when it comes to online coding classes because some meet daily, weekly, or bi-weekly.
- Class Size: When referring to class size, we mean the number of students within a classroom. Small class sizes are preferable in many situations because it allows relationship-building between teachers and students and gives students more time to ask questions.
- Level of Teacher’s Expertise/Experience: When considering what kind of class you want your student in, it’s always helpful to know more about who will teach your child. Understanding the level of a teacher’s expertise and experience can be great because a teacher with more experience and knowledge will know how to manage classroom behaviors and teach the material in a way that is understandable to students. It can also help students learn more than the scope of the curriculum, like having a teacher who was once a neuroscientist and teaches students about the brain.
- A La Carte: These classes are typically stand-alone classes that focus on a specific topic without any prerequisites.
- Curriculum Path: These classes are part of a grander course that teaches a curriculum that builds on one another. By completing the curriculum path, students will have achieved the goal of that specific course of study.
Here are some things to keep in mind when picking the aptest online class for your child:
- Is your child a self-learner? Self-learners may enjoy an independent route that recorded classes offer and classes with an infrequent meeting cadence, like once a week, bi-weekly, or monthly. These classes are also great if your student has a busy schedule already.
- Does your child need direction on what to do next? Live classes that meet daily are an excellent choice because if students need help or have questions, they will have a teacher available to answer any inquiries. Your student can also benefit from a curriculum path class because they will have a planned route, making sequential learning easier.
- Is your child on the shy side? Try signing your child up for private classes or classes with small classroom sizes. Enrolling your student in these classes should help ease anxieties about asking or answering questions, which are crucial to aiding one’s learning.
- Do you want your child to learn how to connect their classroom experience to the real world? Find a class with a teacher who has experience in the child’s subject of interest. The teacher will be able to share experiences with students and inspire them to achieve something outside of the classroom.
- Is your child looking to try out a class but isn’t ready to commit their time fully? Enroll your student in an a la carte-type class or a free coding intro class. These classes are typically casual but informative. They can also prepare students who are thinking of committing to longer courses.
Discover popular online coding classes for kids and teens from beginner to advanced
Take a look at some of the best current online coding classes for kids and for teens in grades K-12, from beginner-friendly Scratch Jr to popular and advanced AP Computer Science. You’re sure to find the best course for your child to start with and advance through.
Explore online coding classes for kids ages 5-7
The great thing about coding is you’re never too young! If you have a student barely beginning elementary school or a couple of grades in, check out these classes for 5 to 7-year-olds.
Has your student shown an interest in your phone or home tablet? If so, have them start learning about technology and code in our ScratchJr course! In ScratchJr, your child will learn how to build interactive stories and games while learning basic coding concepts and practicing their critical thinking skills.
Best for: Students just getting started with coding.
2. Scratch Junior Club
Is your kid familiar with ScratchJr and eager to build more with code? Have your student join Scratch Junior Club, where they can create a new project weekly! In this club, a ScratchJr expert will help your child solve unique challenges and build fascinating projects within 45-minute sessions.
Best for: Students familiar with coding concepts and the ScratchJr platform.
3. NASA Stem Club
Do you ever catch your child gazing up at the stars or asking questions about space? If you have, then NASA Stem Club is a stellar space for your child to explore their curiosity for this dazzling frontier. In this series of courses, your student will learn topics related to space science, NASA, STEM skills, and more! Each week covers a different topic, from asteroids to the International Space Station. While learning, your child will get to play games and build projects related to the weekly topic.
Best for: Future astronauts, astronomers, astrophysicists, planetary engineers, or any student interested in space topics.
Discover online coding classes for kids ages 8-10
Stephen Hawking, one of the most brilliant minds in our history, once said, “Basic computer programming is an essential skill to learn.” Coding for kids is more important now than before because of our growing technological world. If you have any 8 to 10-year-olds, sign them up for these classes to learn this highly sought-after skill.
Scratch coding is a fun and easy way to introduce kids to computer programming because it uses block programming. Students focus more on coding fundamentals than syntax, which can be difficult and discouraging for young students to encounter. In this online course, students can take a free introduction class to see if this course is the right fit. Then they can move up to the next class level, where they’ll learn a new coding concept and apply it to their projects.
Best for: Students just getting started with coding or wanting to practice their knowledge of the Scratch platform.
2. Minecraft Modding Quest
Minecraft is an amazing game that can teach creativity and critical thinking skills. In Minecraft Modding Quest, your child will learn about computer programming concepts to solve puzzles and create mini-games in Minecraft. In the last quest of this Minecraft course, students will build their own battle game that fights off zombies!
Best for: Students who play Minecraft and want to learn more complex coding topics.
3. MakeCode Arcade
In MakeCode Arcade, students will use block programming to design and create retro games. As students study game design and create different types of games, they will learn foundational programming principles like variables, loops, conditionals, and more. Students will feel as if they’re real game designers with the opportunity to give and receive feedback on their projects!
Best for: Students familiar with coding and the Scratch interface.
4. Internet Safety
The internet and social media are a few of the most exciting tools we currently have in the twenty-first century. However, it has become increasingly important to understand how we use these technologies to keep ourselves safe from any threat lurking online. In our cybersecurity introduction course, students will learn about passwords, phishing attacks, internet safety, binary numbers, encryption, and more!
Best for: Every student that spends time online.
Enjoy virtual coding classes for tweens ages 11-13
The previous section covered classes for younger students, but what about students in middle school? Below are some live online courses led by experts that will keep your tweens interested in computer programming.
1. Modern Website Design With Wix
In this Modern Website Design course, students will create websites using the free Wix platform, a leading website builder with 200 million users worldwide. This course teaches students how to enhance their professionalism with websites while also learning about design layouts, color schemes, and creating online stores.
Best for: Students interested in creating websites for school, communities, clubs, or personal use.
2. Python for AI
Did you know Python is a high-level coding language used by many prestigious companies like Google and Netflix? Python is one of the most popular and simplest coding languages out there. Python is great for app building, game development, machine learning, web development, and more! In this Python for AI course, your child will learn about data structures and libraries to create a final project from scratch.
Best for: Students wanting to expand their coding knowledge in a new computer programming language.
3. Coding With Roblox Studio
Do you have a child obsessed with Roblox? Roblox is a fun game loved by many because of the plentiful amount of games and opportunities to hang out with friends online. Make Roblox even more exciting for your child by having them create games in our Coding With Roblox Studio course. In this group of sessions, your kid will be able to code multiplayer games while practicing the coding concepts they’ve learned.
Best for: Students who want to learn how to create mini-games in Roblox.
4. Advanced Roblox Game Coding
In this course, students can showcase their coding skills by creating complex projects within Roblox. Students will spend about three to four sessions building their games while adding in-game audio and module scripts. After taking this class, your child will find coding rewarding and use this as a jumpstart to their game-developing endeavors!
Best for: Students who completed all units of Coding With Roblox.
Get started with coding classes for teens ages 14+
When students enter high school, it’s great for them to start thinking about their future and extracurriculars for college admissions. Coding projects are great to showcase because it displays one’s activity levels outside the classroom. If your student plans to apply for computer science programs, computer programming skills will help them stand out and make their college CS courses easier to manage. Below are a few courses teens can take, but check out some more classes and understand why online coding classes for teens are great!
1. Mobile Coding for Apps and Games
Mobile apps and games drive the vitality and glamour of having a phone. It also makes a lot of our daily tasks convenient at the touch of our fingertips. In Mobile Coding for Apps and Games, students will create apps for mobile devices while applying essential coding concepts and solving problems like a mobile app developer. Your child will learn about design layout, user interface (UI), device sensors, networks, cloud variables, and many more!
Best for: Students with Scratch Ninja 2 coding experience or the equivalent
2. Build Your Web
Best for: Students familiar with coding and interested in custom website building.
3. Unity Game Development
Unity is a cross-platform game engine developed to accomplish different tasks within the game production process. It is behind countless popular games like Among Us, Fall Guys, and Pokemon Go. In this course, your student will learn about the Unity ecosystem, game design in 2D and 3D, coding in C#, particle effects, and so much more!
Best for: Students familiar with coding and interested in game development.
4. Computer Science Principles
In this Computer Science Principles class, students will learn from topics like binary, encryption, networks, and more! AP computer science educators developed this course to meet the requirements for the AP CSP exam given by College Board. The AP CSP exam is manageable to pass, especially for high school and middle school students–who already have a solid foundational understanding of CS concepts. Although there are a lot of topics to cover in this course, students will still have time within the semester to work on projects that use their newly acquired knowledge.
Level: AP Class
Best for: Students familiar with Python.
5. AP Computer Science Java
In this AP Computer Science Java course, students will encounter rigorous work that introduces them to software engineering, object-oriented programming, and design– all while using the Java language. A leading curriculum developer helped design this course to align with the AP CSA standards upheld by College Board. Although this course is full of challenging work for your child, your student will culminate this course with mastery skills highly beneficial to their coding journey!
Level: AP Class
Best for: Students familiar with Python.
Begin online coding classes for kids today
As the new year approaches, it is the perfect time to make goals, like learning new skills. You can help your child add coding to their list by enrolling them in a class today. As we see more technology arise, it is clear that learning to code is essential for our future! Check out some STEM statistics for the new year.
Written by Hunter Wilkinson, a fervent reader and learner. She got into education to share her passion for storytelling and STEAM instruction. In her free time, Hunter loves to write songs/poems, run, play video games, and hang out with her two fluffy cats.