I. General Questions

1. Why should my child learn to code?

Coding is an incredible way to express concepts and thoughts, just like LEGOs. Coding is also a language like Chinese or Spanish so it is worth learning at a young age. Children improve spatial, procedural, and critical thinking skills when coding. Even if they never pursue a career in engineering, coding will be an incredibly valuable skill to have later in life. Whether your child wants to be an artist or an architect, coding will likely be involved in some way.

2. At what age can my child start coding?

BlockSchool has found that age 5-6 is the minimum age that a child can start learning how to code, but 7 is when it sticks best.

3. Why online? Why not in person?

a. Finding an incredible class with great teachers in your area can be hard if not impossible depending on where you live. Finding private 1-on-1 instruction is even harder.
b. Since teachers live in many different time zones, BlockSchool has classes available whenever you want them. You can schedule, reschedule, and cancel at any time too.
c. In-person classes are 60-90 minutes because of travel time and logistics, not because they are optimal for your child's learning. BlockSchool classes are 40 minutes, and we’ve found this works well given a fun project-based curriculum.

4. Is this like Minecraft?

The only similarity between BlockSchool and Minecraft is that they are both 3D block-based worlds. Minecraft is a game with bad guys, whereas BlockSchool is a coding platform. BlockSchool is built on the premise that gamification can make learning fun, but it is not a game. If your child wants to work on their BlockSchool projects in their free time, support them!

5. Do BlockSchool use Scratch?

BlockSchool does not use Scratch, but rather "Puzzle." Puzzle was created by the BlockSchool team specifically for its 3D world. Puzzle is a proprietary visual-based coding language that gives kids simple draggable blocks so they don't have to type and fix typos. That's not to say Puzzle and Scratch aren't similar though–they are.

II. Getting Started

1. How do I book a parent demo?

You can book a free Parent Demo by clicking here. The parent demo is a 15-30 minute scheduled conference call where everything is demonstrated and explained. You may schedule a free 20 minute class for your child afterward the Parent Demo.

2. How do I book my child's free class?

After you have spoken with a BlockSchool team member, we can schedule a free 20 minute trial class for your child. It is not required to do a parent demo before scheduling your child's free class, but it is recommended.

3. After my child completes the free class, what happens?

A BlockSchool team member will discuss our pricing and various packages. After purchasing, you may begin scheduling classes for your child. Please note, we are offering discounted class rates while we are in beta!

III. Class Questions

1. How do I book classes?

Once you purchase a class package, you may start booking classes on the BlockSchool calendar. We have classes available at nearly every hour of the day with teachers in multiple timezones too.

2. At what times can I book classes?

We have classes available at nearly every hour of the day with teachers in multiple timezones too. Occasionally there might not be a class at the exact time you want one, but we are adding more teachers every week to ensure this is a rare occurence. If you ever have a problem, please message us.

3. Do I get to choose which teacher I want?

Yes! Although you cannot pick a specific teacher for your child's free trial class, you can pick teachers once you purchase a class package. We are in the process of adding more teachers, so in the meantime, you might find BlockSchool's founders available to teach!

4. What if a teacher isn't available when I want them?

Unfortunately it probably means the teacher is teaching another student at that time, but message us! We will see what we can do. We are hiring more great teachers every week too!

5. How many classes can I book each week?

You may book as many as you want to! We recommend 2 per week, and probably a maximum of 3 or 4.

6. How do I cancel or reschedule a class?

You may cancel or reschedule a class up until 24 hours before the class at no cost.

7. Will my child have the same teacher each class?

Yes or no, it's up to you! You can decide which teachers you want to book and when. It is probably best to book the same few teachers, but don't worry if your child gets to meet someone new. All of our teachers are great!

8. How far in advance can I book a class?

You can schedule classes up to 3 weeks in advance.

9. What if my child is late to class?

The class will begin whenever your child joins. Unfortunately, we cannot credit late minutes to another class. Please try to show up to class on time.

10. What if there's an Internet problem during a class?

If a BlockSchool teacher has an Internet problem, you will be refunded that time. If you had the problem, we will notify you. Depending on the situation, we may recredit your account.

11. If I have 2 kids, can they both participate?

Yes, and at no additional cost! All BlockSchool classes support a guest student. Read more about this below.

IV. Guest Student

1. What is a guest student?

BlockSchool permits 1 guest student to attend any class at no additional cost. This guest student can attend remotely, or in the same location as your child. It doesn't matter where the guest student is located as long as they have their own device to work on. The guest student can be you (the parent), a sibling, family member, or friend.

2. Is the guest student treated different in any way?

The only difference is that the guest student's account will not be able to book classes. Only the purchaser will be able to do book classes. However, the guest student will be treated the same otherwise (curriculum, progress tracking, reports, analytics, etc.)

3. Can there be multiple guest students?

We allow for a maximum of 2 different guest students every 6 months of classes.

IV. Eligibility

1. My child is 13+, can they participate?

Yes! There is no ceiling, children, teens, and even adults can join BlockSchool.

2. What level of English proficiency is required?

BlockSchool's curriculum requires very little reading, but your child should be able to speak and understand basic English. If they are a non-native English speaker, we require an A1-A2 CEFR level of English proficiency to participate.

3. My child cannot type yet, is that a problem?

Very little typing is required, and teachers can always help when necessary. If they can recognize numbers on the keyboard, that's enough!

4. Is BlockSchool for girls?

BlockSchool is designing projects that will interest all genders.

V. Technology Questions

1. What technology do I need to own?

Any computer or laptop with a microphone and camera will work. We recommend using a mouse or Chromebook with a touch screen because sometimes trackpads can be difficult for children.

2. Does BlockSchool work on Mac or Windows?

BlockSchool works on any Mac or Windows computer with the Google Chrome browser. Feel free to message us to confirm your computer will work, or try the Sandbox.

3. Does BlockSchool work on iOS?

We are working on launching the BlockSchool iOS app in the next 1-2 months. Please message us if this is your only available hardware! We will notify you when it is available.

4. Does BlockSchool work on Android?

We will release the Android version of BlockSchool shortly after the iOS version.

5. How can I test to see if my computer will work?

First, try the Sandbox. Second, feel free to message us what type of computer you have and we'll check. Third, schedule a Parent Demo.

VI. Curriculum

1. What is "project-based learning"?

Project-based learning places the importance on the student rather than the curriculum. It puts the student in charge of their own learning, as opposed to forcing them to do things. BlockSchool teachers are trained to ask the right questions, instead of showing or telling students how to do something. While some things do require an explanation, BlockSchool teachers guide students to tinker, discover, and figure out how to do things.

Much of our curriculum is based on the advice of Tom Little. His book “Loving Learning: How Progressive Education Can Save America's Schools” summarizes our strategy well.

2. What are the projects?

BlockSchool has a wide variety of projects ranging from "Build a House" to "Save the Elephant." These projects require using core computer science concepts to achieve various goals. Projects are grouped in tiers of difficulty, but within each tier, a student can choose which project they want to pursue.

3. How much choice does my child have over projects?

BlockSchool is adding more projects each week, so your child will have even more options over time. Within each level, there are 10 projects minimum that they can choose from.

4. Are projects completed in a specific order?

Projects are tiered based on difficulty. So all the beginner projects are available to beginners, but they do not need to be completed in a specific order. BlockSchool teachers can graduate students to a new level when they believe the student's skills are adequate.

5. How many classes does it take to complete a project?

Some projects take multiple classes to complete while other projects take 1 class, it depends. Some students will take longer than other students to complete a project, and that's perfectly ok too.

6. Can my child work on a project outside of class?

Yes. All projects can be accessed at any time from any supported device. If your child wants to improve or modify a project in their free time, that's awesome!

7. As a parent, how can I understand my child's progress?

After each class, teachers will provide a brief summary of what your child completed during the class. This will include metrics across a variety of different dimensions like confidence, empathy, and more.
© 2017, MEGAkid Inc. All rights reserved.
Made by reticulating splines in San Francisco, California
Thank you for the inspiration: Almaden Country School, VIPkid, Tom Little, Maria Montessori