Teach Kids Coding: Top 5 Programs with a Live Teacher

Children learning STEM

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I remember when households had only one computer that everyone had to share. Laptops weren’t that common (and super expensive). The internet was a novelty and needed a dial-up connection with AOL. I didn’t have a cell phone until college (a Samsung flip phone), let alone a smartphone. I don’t think my kids fully believe me when I tell them (to be fair, I joke with them a lot, so there might be trust issues…).

Things are a bit different now. Digital literacy is a part of our kids’ future whether the curmudgeonly part of me wants to accept it or not. And not to put down public schools, but the truth is school curricula are slow to modernize. Unfortunately, most schools’ computer science classes are, at best, electives.

So while schools are trying their best to adapt to the future, we the parents need to take action and be proactive with our kids’ digital literacy. And while that might scare the heck out of some of you, the good news is there are lots of great online education sites to help us out, both synchronous and asynchronous (that is, with live teaching in real-time and self-paced text or pre-recorded videos).

I’m not about to get into whether synchronous or asynchronous is best (I’ll save that for another article), but I do know lots of parents want a live teacher for their kids. Game-based, asynchronous learning is usually good for a time, but once the novelty is gone, motivation tends to fizzle.

A live teacher is able to cater a curriculum to the interests and needs of a child and learning is usually much more efficient. That said, there is a higher price to pay when you’re looking for human-led education vs. an independent, self-paced asynchronous program.

Need help choosing synchronous and asynchronous coding sites for your kids? Check out A Parent’s Guide to the 15 Best Coding Sites for Kids

Child working on a laptop

Here is a list of great options for live coding and computer science instruction. These sites offer group classes, 1-on-1 lessons, or both. Many offer week-long summer camps and free trial periods to test the waters. For each site, I included the advertised price and how that breaks down to an average weekly price (for this article, I’m assuming monthly payments are 4 weeks) to help you compare the price between each program.

The top 5 recommended programs are not actually in any sort of order. They all have their specific strengths which I highlight with the Dad Stuff fancy trophy award.

Top 5 Recommendations

1. GameU

If your kids are all about gaming and game design, this is the site for you. Your kids learn the different aspects of coding, game design, digital art, video editing, and robotics. Languages include Python, JavaScript, CSS, HLSL, and C#. Students get a chance to work with creative platforms like Unity, Visual Studio, Blender, GameMaker, MCreator, TinkerCAD, Krita, and Roblox Studio. There are a lot of choices to get into the many different areas of game creation.

You have the option of taking group classes (limited to 3 students per class) and 1-on-1 lessons (a self-paced option is currently being developed). Prices range from $125-$160 a month (that’s around $31.25-$40 a week) for group classes and $275 for 1-on-1 classes (that’s around $68.75 a week).

What GameU lacks is the super-defined curriculum of some of the other online programs (at least not one they advertise). Courses are broken down into groupings based on age, but I would recommend getting in touch with one of their experts to decide the best way to start. The instructors are then able to direct the next best course for your child based on their ability and interest.

GameU also has a number of summer camps. They typically meet for one week, Monday through Friday, for 3 hours a day. Prices are $250 for a week-long camp.

Of all the online synchronous classes, GameU has one of the smallest class sizes. Most programs have a max of 6-8 students. GameU has 3. That’s pretty great!

This article is originally from www.dadstuffsite.com

2. Skool of Code

Skool of Code began with a dad teaching his daughter to code. More parents were interested and it quickly grew into the online program we see today. They have a thoughtfully structured curriculum designed around a child’s age for kids from 1st grade to 12th. Students learn either in small groups (limited to 3), or private 1-on-1 lessons.

Topics are relevant to real-world topics and include coding fundamentals, robotics (lots of robotics), game design, AI and machine learning, web development, and Python. The focus is on project-based learning, so your kids won’t just learn theory. You also won’t spend any time on Minecraft or Roblox.

While their pricing structure and curriculum seem limited compared to other sites, I really appreciate the simplicity. There’s no confusion about what course to take or where to start.

Camps are structured differently compared to other sites. While most sites have camps that meet 2-3 hours a day for 1 week, Skool of Code’s camps are project-based and meet 1 hour a day, 3 days a week, for 4 weeks. Camps are regularly priced at $440 with an early bird price at $220.

Group classes are $95 a month (that’s around $23.75 a week), and private lessons are $150 a month (that’s around $37.50 a week). This is by far the best value of any program for group and private lessons. Not to mention, other than GameU, it’s the smallest class size.

If you’re interested in robotics and Arduino (a programmable microcontroller that lets the user control electronics), this is definitely the route for you. While many programs include a robotics element, this is the first one to build classes around understanding programming for Arduino specifically (sorry, no Raspberry Pi – a more powerful microcontroller. Then again, Raspberry Pi uses Python, so if you learn the electronics elements from Arduino, it should translate well once you learn Python.).

3. CoderKids

CoderKids is based in the Houston area and offers online and in-person summer camps, and online and in-person private lessons. Because they’re not a big franchise, in-person classes are limited to the Houston area.

Topics are grouped by student age and can cover Scratch, Python, Arduino, Minecraft modding, Raspberry Pi, Web Development, app development, and an intro to Unity and VR. With such a variety of platforms and languages, students have the ability to learn coding basics, make games, learn robotics programming, and build apps.

A private lesson-focus allows for even more flexibility and the ability to customize a curriculum to your child’s interests and strengths. Week-long, half-day camps meet for 3 hours a day and give students a chance to learn beginner and advanced concepts in a condensed period.

Prices are $54 for weekly, hour-long lessons, and camps are $165. Coder Kids has the best prices for camps I’ve seen online.

4. CodeWizardsHQ

CodeWizardsHQ is an Austin-based online program that offers class instruction and summer camps. They have a super thoughtful and thorough curriculum with 3 Wizard Levels for Elementary, Middle, and High school level students. All beginners start at level 1 within their respective age groups. When you graduate a level 3, you move on to the next age group, but at level 2 (so you’re not retaking any introductory classes).

Each level has 3, 12-week courses ending with a 12-week capstone project. That’s pretty thorough. And I love the idea of ending with a big project each year. Each course costs $447 (that’s $37.25/week for a 12-week course). Class size stays pretty small with a max of 6 students per class. Private lessons are available on special request and cost $299 a month (that’s $74.75 a week).

CodeWizardsHQ offers summer camps in Minecraft and Roblox. Prices are $399 for a week-long camp (Monday-Friday) that meets 2 hours a day. Their camps are definitely the most expensive (especially considering they meet for 2 hours a day while most other programs meet for 3), and have the most limited subjects.

This article is originally from www.dadstuffsite.com

5. Code with Kids

Code with Kids has a really thoughtful and structured curriculum. There are two paths to follow: Coder’s Ladder and Coder’s Pathways.

Coder’s Ladder, the flagship curriculum, is a 10-level structure (plus an additional Little Coder’s level for ages 5-7), and students learn the different fundamentals of coding and computer science. Students progress gradually, and moving to the next level is similar to advancing in belt color in martial arts.

The Coder’s Pathway curriculum is customizable to a student’s interest. If your child is interested in learning Roblox, you would take the intro class (and they have intro classes for both first-time programmers and returning students), move on to one of their intermediate classes, and end with the advanced class.

Code with Kids has lots of class options including their Coder’s Ladder classes (with a max of 6 students per class), after-school classes where you choose from the Coder’s Pathway, 1-on-1 lessons, and week-long camps.

All the different options mean lots of pricing options too. You can join a group class that meets once a week for $225 for 8 weeks (that’s $28.13 a week) or pay the annual subscription for $999. If you want to meet more often, twice-a-week classes are available for $415 for 8 weeks (that’s $62.38 a week) or $1799 for the year. There are some other premium options available for additional 1-on-1 meetings with the instructor.

Private 1-on-1 lessons meet once a week for 50 minutes and cost $399 for 8 weeks (that’s $49.86 a week). Private lessons are more customizable and can follow either the Coder’s Ladder or the Coder’s Pathway. Week-long camps vary in price from $279-$329.

Other Sites to Consider


CodaKid is an online-only coding platform that offers asynchronous, self-paced courses, and synchronous, 1-on-1 courses for kids 6 to 18. The CodaKids curriculum starts everyone on the foundations classes (usually with Scratch), before moving to the Core program (Python/Java/Roblox).

After completing core classes, students then take electives (game development with Unity, advanced Python, web development, and app development with JavaScript). The curriculum ends with independent study classes for advanced students (advanced game development).

They offer summer camps on robotics, Roblox game development, and Minecraft modding. They meet for a week, Monday through Friday, for 2 hours a day. Sadly, they didn’t have any camp offerings for this year so I couldn’t get prices.

Synchronous teaching includes 1-on-1 private lessons that meet once a week with the option of an accelerated track that meets twice a week. Once-a-week lessons cost $249 a month (that’s around $62.25 a week) and twice-a-week lessons cost $450 a month (around $112.50 a week).

Their curriculum looks super interesting and I appreciate that they take the time to pair up the right teacher for your child (at least that’s what they advertise). That said, definitely not the best value on the web.

This article is originally from www.dadstuffsite.com


CodeAdvantage is a coding education platform for kids in Kindergarten to 8th grade. They have online classes, private 1-on-1 instruction, summer camps, and in-person classes (in the Mid-Atlantic area of the US) and focus on coding and robotics.

Classes are organized based on kids’ ages. Topics include Scratch, robotics, Minecraft, Roblox, Python, machine learning and AI, and web and app development. Their curriculum is designed for younger kids so this is an option if you have elementary or middle school kids.

Camps meet for 1 week (2 hours a day) or 2 weeks (1 hour a day) for $225. Private lessons are $59.50 for 1-on-1 instruction and $39.50 per learner for 2 students per teacher (although it’s priced for 10 weeks, so it looks like a 2+ month commitment).

CodeAdvantage stands out in its flexibility for different-sized groups. They’ll work privately with 1:1 and 2:1 lessons, you can create your own group lessons with their “My Friends” program, have them teach scout programs, and they’ll help create an after-school program for public schools (limited to the NYC area).


CodeCombat is a games-based learning platform that includes both synchronous and asynchronous programs. They have a self-paced, asynchronous option for $99 a year, but their real program has 1-on-1 instruction. You can meet once a week for $219 a month (that’s around $54.75 a week) or twice a week for $399 a month (that’s around $99.75 a week). Sorry to say, but no summer camps.

The main thing CodeCombat has going for it is its CodeCombat AI League, a competitive programming league. Students get to work in teams and not only compete by playing the game but by coding the game. If you have a child that’s motivated by competition and playing computer games, this is definitely worth checking out.

Code Ninjas

Code Ninjas is the only in-person-only option (so far). They have locations throughout the US, Canada, and the UK. Programs are designed for kids 5 to 14 (they have a special Code Ninjas Jr for kids 5-7).

Kids get to learn basic coding skills and have the chance to learn Minecraft modding and Roblox. Unfortunately, because it’s a franchise, details of pricing and programs are determined by each location so I can’t give specifics about programs.

Check out their website and schedule a visit to your nearby location to learn more details.

This article is originally from www.dadstuffsite.com

Gregory Grabowski

Greg Grabowski is the principal creator of DadStuffSite.com, a website for dads by dads. Inspired by his two boys Ben and Sam and his wife Dianna, Greg loves to make things, learn things, and loves doing fun stuff with his family.

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