playful learning e-course

This post is brought to you by Playful Learning. Amazing Online Classes for Life’s Big Lessons.


By Gabrielle.

I was watching the Alt For Everyone tweets at the end of last week (did any of you attend?), and it reminded me how enjoyable taking a good online course can be. It got me thinking that it would be really fun to sign my kids up for a few internet-based classes this summer. It’s like a new, better version of Summer School. Let’s call it Summer School 2.0!

Just think, you can pick out something different for each child — no chauffering involved. Even better, no having to choose between two different classes because of overlapping schedules. And since location doesn’t matter, we could start a class while living in France, and finish it when we’re back in the States. I’m kind of psyched about the whole idea!

In case you’re feeling as enthusiastic about the idea as I am, here are 8 Online Classes that I think would be great for  kids:

– A Photo Prompt class. I love the simple idea of having a new photo goal to take every day. This one would be an especially good fit for Olive. She’s taken quite a liking to Instagram and seems to really have a knack for taking beautiful photos. This would be a nice way to help her keep developing that talent.

– A Kids Kindness class. This course teaches children about the power of their words and the affects that put-ups and put-downs have on how people feel. No doubt my kids will be getting on each others’ nerves this summer, so this would be a great fit. And it’s a bargain at $17! This course about stress-management for kids looks good too.

– A Programming Class. Your kids can learn to create their own app or video game. Cool, right? Who knows, you may be raising the next Bill Gates or Steve Jobs. It would be fun to give this a try and find out if your kids have a natural passion for programming.

– A Cooking Class. I gasped when I learned our very own passionate foodie, Raleigh-Elizabeth, learned to cook via video courses! Sign me up, please. You could try the beginner courses here. Or this whole family course. Or, the Spatulatta videos are specifically geared toward kids.

– Have you heard of Khan Academy? It was originally based on math and science concepts explained simply and clearly in online video classes. My kids love these videos when they need help with homework. This would be a great way to help your little science expert advance at their own pace, or to help your soon-to-be-math expert if they’re feeling behind.

– A Knitting Class. I have this post bookmarked because it has tons of helpful sources, videos and links — and a section specifically for kids learning to knit. And it’s not just for girls! Tell your kids that all fishermen know how to knit their nets. : ) It’s another form of knot-tying!

– A Writing Class. Do you have a budding novelist or journalist in your home? How about an online writing course. Tell them if they finish their novel/screenplay by the end of summer vacation, they’ll get double allowance. : ) Maude has a passion for writing, so I’ve earmarked this one for her.

– A Chess Class. Last summer at Cousins Week, Oscar learned how the chess pieces move and playing chess is now one of his very favorite things. I think it would be neat to have him follow along with a course and learn some strategy. Chess is one of those activities that can provide life-long fulfillment.

How about you? Have you or your kids ever taken an online course? Will they be taking any classes this summer? Yay for Summer School 2.0!

P.S. — I think it would be especially cool if the kids signed up for online courses with a friend (or maybe several friends!) so that they have a buddy to discuss the class content with. And they could work on assignments together, too. Summer School 2.0 could be like a new form of book club. I love that sort of thing!