Coding has become a vital skill in today’s digital world, essential not just in tech-centric jobs like web development and data science but across various industries. It’s more than just writing algorithms — coding is about understanding the language of computers and using it to solve problems, enhancing critical thinking and logical reasoning skills.
Enter Juni Learning, an online academy that brings the power of coding to kids aged 7-18. With a curriculum designed for young learners, Juni offers interactive classes that make coding accessible and engaging for children, even as young as second graders.
In this Juni Learning review, I’ll dive into how the platform works, what it offers, and offer my insights as a teacher into where it’s a worthwhile investment for your child’s education.
What Is Juni?
Juni pairs your child with a distinguished instructor for one-on-one online classes in STEM subjects, including Coding, Algebra, Chemistry, and beyond.
Created by data scientists and former Google employees, Juni is a San Francisco-based learning company aimed at teaching the next generation the tech skills they’ll need to succeed.
While coding courses are largely what Juni is known for, the platform also offers kids courses in everything from cryptocurrency to robotics to chemistry to literature.
The company’s mission is to offer project-centered, dynamic curricula to help students unlock their passion for learning in a digital setting.
How Do Juni’s Coding Classes Work?
As a longtime teacher, I appreciate how Juni’s coding classes, led by instructors from top U.S. universities, make learning accessible and engaging. Each 50-minute class strikes the perfect balance – short enough to keep even the most hesitant learner engaged, yet long enough to delve deeply into the subject matter.
Most students typically have classes once a week, but what I appreciate about Juni is its flexibility. You can talk with your instructor to create a routine that fits with your child’s schedule. This adaptability is a huge plus for families juggling various commitments.
The virtual aspect of Juni’s coding program also makes this a convenient hobby for busy families, as your child can attend their lessons from the comfort of home… or wherever you are on the go.
All that’s required is a computer (desktop or laptop will do) with a microphone, speaker, and webcam. I often recommend headphones to help students focus better.
Juni operates using the Chrome browser and the Zoom client, so you’ll need to have those on deck in order to access the coursework. A reliable internet connection is also a must-have.
Aside from that, your child is all set. There’s no need to download any specific coding software or programs. This simplicity is something I love for parents who might be concerned about the technical requirements.
What Are Juni’s Coding Classes Like?
Most coding lessons are centered around a project or goal, so your child will be motivated to put their new learning into practice.
Coding homework is also provided with Juni courses, but it is always optional.
Typically, instructors will include about 30-60 minutes of additional practice for students who want to go above and beyond in between their lessons.
Classes are 1:1, meaning your child will have their instructor’s undivided attention and be able to develop a close rapport as they learn.
The 1:1 approach also means your child’s progress will be closely monitored, and the curriculum will be tweaked to fit their needs.
Juni’s coding classes are designed to be both fun and productive. Your child will complete projects and assignments that require both creativity and skill.
In my experience, Juni’s approach to coding education is practical and user-friendly, making it an excellent option for introducing children to the world of programming in a way that respects both their learning needs and the family’s lifestyle.
Kids also have the chance to showcase their achievements with interactive Juni coding clubs. These online clubs provide a built-in network of other students who are also growing their coding skills.
Taking part in Juni clubs is a fun way for your child to meet other kids with similar interests and be inspired by their peers.
How Can Kids Get Started With Coding?
So, how do parents get the ball rolling when it comes to teaching their little ones to code?
With Juni, no prior experience is necessary for enrollment.
Depending on your child’s age and skill set, Juni advisors will place them in a class that fits their learning needs (they offer a free placement class).
Most of the younger kids start with Scratch, Juni’s simplest coding course. Scratch is designed to teach the basics without overwhelming kids with too much complex syntax and tech jargon.
In Scratch, your child will learn to create animations, digital stories, and even interactive video games through coding.
This course utilizes block-based coding, which is far less complicated than the more advanced coding languages out there.
This makes it ideal for even kids as young as seven or eight to enjoy.
Since Scratch classes are specifically designed for young learners, you can rest assured that your little one will stay engaged as they learn to solve problems and create stories through code.
For older students ready for a bit more of a challenge, Juni offers an entry-level course in Python.
Python is one of the most streamlined coding languages in use today, so it’s a great place for students to level up their skills without getting bogged down by anything too complex.
In Juni’s Python course, your kiddo will learn the basics of text-based coding and begin to create more sophisticated games and programs.
Python is a perfect stepping stone for kids in their tween and teen years, as it provides a strong foundation without the too-much-too-fast feeling that more technical coding languages might create.
Once your learner has mastered the first Python course, though, Juni offers tons of more advanced options to help your child continue to grow.
The company even provides advisors who can chat with you or your child to figure out the best fit for their coding abilities and goals.
This personalized approach ensures that every student will continue to make progress in whatever area of coding excites them the most.
How Much Does Juni Cost?
Now that I’ve outlined how Juni coding classes work and what your child can expect, let’s dive into the cost… and whether it’s worthwhile.
These courses (unlike some basic coding demos you can find on YouTube) are not free (although the placement class doesn’t cost a thing), but in my opinion, you’re getting what you pay for here.
A block of four classes (designed to cover one month, depending on your timetable and availability) will set you back $275.
That comes out to just under $70 a session, which might feel like a lot considering each session is only 50 minutes long, but in my opinion as a teacher, Juni courses offer a solid bang for your buck.
For one thing, your child will receive personalized instruction from a top expert, which means you know there won’t be any wasted time during their lessons.
Juni courses also include interactive clubs, communities, and even shared projects, making it possible for your child to form connections with like-minded kids across the globe.
Plus, Juni instructors provide live support via office hours and study groups, so your child can always get answers to their questions and get help along the way as they learn.
It’s also worth noting that these expert-designed curricula are centered around meaningful project creations instead of formulaic worksheets.
Juni Learning includes built-in checkpoints to help your child assess their growth and feel proud of their accomplishments.
Juni even provides certificates of completion at the end of a course.
Clearly, this company has not cut any corners when it comes to providing a responsive, interactive, and engaging path to help young learners enjoy coding.
Are Juni Classes Worth It?
While there’s no denying Juni Learning presents a powerful coding program, you may still be wondering if these classes are right for your child.
Many folks who have learned to code liken the process to solving puzzles. If your child enjoys this sort of thing, it’s a pretty safe bet that they’ll like coding classes.
As an educator, I’ve seen how these classes also incorporate some of the things that hook kids’ interest the most. Being able to create your own video game is a pretty exciting concept, even for kids who might not jump at the thought of solving a logic puzzle.
The ability to code can boost your child’s reasoning and critical thinking skills. It can also give them a valuable chance to be creative and feel pride at learning something new.
Screens aren’t going anywhere, even if we lament how much time our kids spend on them. With Juni’s coding classes, you can ensure that your child is doing something productive with their screen time, instead of mindlessly scrolling.
And while many of tomorrow’s jobs do incorporate coding in some form of another, this is a powerful skill to have even if your child doesn’t end up going into the tech industry.
We can recognize the value of coding in the same way that we know that most of our kids won’t become concert pianists, but still see the benefits of learning to play music.
That said, Juni classes are definitely an investment. If you know your child dislikes online activities or finds digital storytelling and problem solving unpleasant, they may be better off pursuing a different hobby.
Coding teaches important skills, both for tech careers and for handling complex issues in any facet of life.
The ability to break down a problem, analyze it, and test solutions is an important tool for any child’s emotional and mental wellbeing.
Learning how to craft storylines and express new ideas is also a valuable creative experience, regardless of whether your child eventually uses coding in their career.
After all, a future in coding may not be for every child. The interactive and engaging courses offered by Juni Learning, however, are an excellent place to start.
Have any questions about this Juni Learning review? Leave a comment below and I’ll do my best to answer.