Insights & opportunities

Snag a spot on families’ back-to-school calendars

Learn which class formats, schedules, and topics parents and learners look for from August to November.

As soon as July rolls around, parents are keen to lock in their favorite classes for fall and get their calendars sorted. The earlier you publish your sections, the more chance you have of connecting with families excited to enroll in autumn courses.

Current insights on fall classes in demand located at the end of this post.

What does back-to-school really mean?

The short answer: a schedule shift.

Outschool’s community is a proud home to families taking part in all sorts of schooling, including homeschooling, unschooling, and hybrid forms of education. For brick-and-mortar learners in the Northern Hemisphere, August usually marks the beginning of the fall school semester and the end of spending time at home during the summer holidays.

For families who participate in educational models that don’t follow semester schedules, the idea of “back-to-school” can inspire a bit of a chuckle. Maybe school doesn’t happen within set timelines, or kids learn from home and don’t experience a transition back to a classroom.

Regardless of where and how a family participates in school, most families’ schedules shift as summer comes to a close. Outschool’s data typically shows an increase in enrollments for certain types of classes from August to November, and we’re sharing what we see behind the scenes to help you align your autumn classes with what parents and learners are looking for.

1. Families want consistency

Each year during this season, we see a spike in enrollments for semester and ongoing classes. Parents want learning opportunities that offer a consistent experience for their kids starting in late August or September. We recommend posting sections that last eight or more weeks if your schedule allows. If you already have successful ongoing courses up and running, make sure you add another section or you extend your meetings at least through November (if possible).

2. 1-on-1 classes are trending upward

If long-term small group classes don’t work for your teaching business calendar, consider offering private classes. Personalized 1-on-1 learning opportunities are growing in demand on Outschool for all subjects, and private lessons allow you to find a schedule that works for you and your families and tailor curriculum to meet families’ unique needs.

3. Academic subjects rule

This is back-to-school season, after all. Traditional academic subjects like math, reading & writing, social studies, and science usually account for a big chunk of enrollments in autumn (especially from homeschooling families). If you have teaching expertise in one of those subject areas, fall is the time to add a few extra sections!

4. …But make time to socialize

Ongoing social and gaming clubs are growing in popularity on Outschool as families search for a balance between academic courses and chances for kids to socialize with their peers. If it falls within your expertise, try opening up a few sections of ongoing classes focused on gaming, shared interests, or connecting with peers in a certain age group.

5. Consider homeschooling needs

Historically, homeschool families browse and plan their semesters on Outschool in bulk, and we’re already seeing families browsing for semester and ongoing courses happening this fall. To stand out, consider how you could intentionally connect with those families by:

  • Being open to collaborating with parents and learners to design lessons (private small group classes can be a great way to accomplish this)
  • Finding materials for your classes that fit families’ budgets
  • Motivating learners toward academic success in the long-term through play or interest-based learning
  • Forming lasting relationships that provide consistency for at-home learners
  • Giving learners structured opportunities to socialize through Outschool

If you know your teaching style and course offerings would be a great fit for homeschoolers, mention your expertise in your class descriptions or introduction video.

6. Flex your schedule

If you have some wiggle room within the hours you teach, try mixing up your schedule to attract families who learn at all different times of day. Homeschooling families are often looking for classes during traditional school or work hours, and remember that many of our global learners may be living in a completely different time zone.

Try exploring additional insights like classes in demand or enrollment trends to see which times of day families are searching for Outschool classes.

Back-to-school search and demand insights

Historical data: Fall 2021’s 50 highest-grossing topics for semester and ongoing classes

gaming5th grade
sight wordspublic speaking
making friendsreading comprehension
middle schoolcommunication skills
pianosign language
creative writingguitar
high schoolfull curriculum
1st grademath
dungeons & dragons4th grade
drawing animalsvocal coaching
spanish immersion3rd grade
cartoon drawingcalendars
2nd gradedrawing technique
social studiespainting
gifted & talentedart
readingwings of fire
video game designmartial arts
circle timespelling

Fall classes in demand

Updated bi-weekly

The heat map charts below show which popular back-to-school topics currently have a high or low number of Outschool classes listed.

If you see your teaching topic has a low number of listings for a certain age or day, try creating sections that could fill that need.

August 18, 2022

Class supply by age group

Class supply by day

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