Nearly 3 percent of American children are homeschooled. While this can provide an enriching education, it often means that kids miss out on group activities or school trips, which they might otherwise get to experience. San Francisco-based company Outschool is helping to change this, by offering dozens of workshops and activities for children to enjoy in groups.
Outschool is a database of local workshops that parents can enroll their children in online. Guardians can browse the listings by activity type, date or location. There are a huge range of activities on offer: everything from squid dissection to a tour of KQED radio and TV studio. Prices vary widely depending on the class — a creative writing course is USD 10 per session, while a three hour blacksmithing workshop is USD 99. Once the user has chosen an activity, they can book and pay for it through Outschool. Parents can see who else is enrolled and share the class with other local families. Some activities are one-off classes, while others are courses spread over several weeks.
Outschool has a selection of in-house activity leaders and also welcomes local people to list and lead new activities. Could similar programs be developed in other cities?