Learn how our team of mentors can help your child love to code while building rock solid fundamentals
Breakout Mentors offers the ultimate personalized San Diego area kids coding education. It was started in 2011 by a Stanford Engineering graduate — come discover how your child can cultivate resilience and autonomy, all while having fun.
Your child will learn through making creative projects and games, not dry traditional textbooks and step-by-step tutorials. Every student is paired with an exciting mentor who tailors the project-based curriculum, continuously deepening the student’s understanding of coding logic. Schedule a consistent 90-minute session weekly with the same mentor, either virtually or face-to-face at UCSD, at a time that suits you best.
8:15am – 10:30pm Pacific Time
Kids Programming Offerings in the San Diego Area
The Coding Fundamentals Track is designed for beginner students. 9 to 11 year-olds with little previous experience will usually start with Scratch drag-and-drop block code. However, if the child is more excited to jump straight to typing the code, we adjust the approach. For these young kids and most middle school students, we will complete this track in Python. The programming language used isn’t as important as mastering coding logic: understanding the flow of the code with loops, conditionals, variables, and functions. The mentor will also help the student learn the many skills necessary to be effective coders, like planning ahead and troubleshooting unexpected issues. This is all accomplished while creating fun games and projects!
After students have a solid foundation in coding fundamentals, we teach more challenging and powerful programming concepts in our Computer Science Track. The students still learn through game development and projects, continuously advancing their understanding of object-oriented programming, basic data structures, recursion, and more. This track is usually in Python, but we also do Java, including with the goal of being ready to enter AP Computer Science.
We offer the USACO Competitive Programming Academy and Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence Academy for our most advanced students. These tracks are designed for high school students who have surpassed their school’s standard curriculum and are eager to tackle real-world applications. There are also several extremely sharp middle school students enrolled in these tracks as well.
For girls inspired by female role models, we offer the Girls Coding Academy.
Our San Diego Area Kids Coding Mentors
Breakout Mentors provides online coding classes for kids across the country and even internationally. However, we know how powerful it is for kids and teenagers learning to code to work with role models from their own community. That’s why our students in San Diego’s region have the option to work with mentors at University of California San Diego studying Computer Science. Here are a few of the mentors:
What We Do
Learn about the online tutoring personalized for you
Exciting Coding For
Kids Ages 8-14
Your child will develop an interest and rock solid foundation in the language of the future through engaging project-based 1-on-1 learning with vetted experts from top colleges including Stanford and UC Berkeley. Over 90% of our students keep coding long-term. Click here to learn how.
in High School
Move past introductory coding classes to advance quickly with a custom curriculum building on your child’s previous experience. Differentiate yourself for STEM college applications with USACO competitive programming accolades and real-world AI projects. Click here to learn how.
Choose your FREE gift
Parent of an elementary
or middle schooler?
Get our FREE 33 page guide Unlocking Your Child’s Coding Potential: The Parent’s Ultimate Guide to help your child love to code while building rock solid fundamentals.
Parent of a
high school student?
Get our FREE 44 page guide Unlocking Advanced Coding: The Ultimate Guide for High Schoolers Seeking Distinction to learn how sharp students can differentiate themselves.
Students and Parents in the San Diego Area
Over the years Breakout Mentors has helped many kids and teenagers in the San Diego area learn to code. Including in the following cities:
- Del Mar
- La Jolla
- Mission Beach
- Ocean Beach
- Pacific Beach
- Point Loma
- Rancho Sante Fe
- San Marcos
- Solana Beach
- Torrey Pines
What Customers Say
My son loves video games and says he wants to create them when he’s older. We’ve sent him to many summer camps to learn beginner coding. Though he enjoyed them, he basically played video games all day. With Breakout Mentors he is finally actually learning, rather than just playing. I know the mentor is channeling my son’s excitement about computer games in a productive way. My son always looks forward to meeting his mentor.
Mother of 6th grade boy in Encinitas
Our high school son just completed his four week internship at Cisco. He worked as a programmer developing internal tools in Java alongside college level interns. We had no idea what he was capable of doing before the internship so everybody was slightly apprehensive. After first two or three days of his internship, it became obvious that his boss had to find new projects for him. What was originally planned got completed in about a week! He was able to contribute valuable ideas and inventive programming tricks to the older intern programmers. Everybody he worked with had only praise for him. Besides working with Breakout Mentors for the past 2 to 3 years, our son has completed no other formal programming course work!
Father of 17 year old boy in Coronado
The weekly 90-minute sessions introduce coding concepts in a way kids can grasp. My son started with programming basic games in Scratch. Moving from little projects to bigger and more complex ones, he is now designing more interactive games within the Scratch environment. The mentor keeps me in the loop about my son’s progress on a regular basis. Overall, we are very happy with Breakout Mentors and look forward to more fun programming in the future.
Mother of 9 year old boy in La Jolla
Frequently Asked Questions
How long will it take for my child to become good at coding?
How long does it take to become good at playing the piano? Or doing mathematics? An even tougher question: what is the overall goal of education? In short, everyone learns at different speeds and our goal is to challenge at the perfect pace for each student. That means thinking of it as a long-term goal and understanding the long-term result is worth the effort. We find the more the student achieves in their coding education, the more valuable the sessions become! We are able to move towards intermediate projects with hundreds of lines of code or really dive into a complex CS concept to demonstrate the power and simplicity it provides. So we hope that our students don’t stop learning at an arbitrary point that is “good enough”. However, we also understand the need for external markers and goals. For example, we work with students to be ready for AP CS A or to participate in a coding competition. In these cases, we can drive towards those goals and provide assessments on time estimates.
Which computer programming languages do you teach?
However, the majority of our students want our recommendation for the best programming language for them, which is often Python. It is important we stick with one rather than bounce around, since the language isn’t as important as learning the logic: understanding the flow of the code with loops, conditionals, variables, and functions. The mentor assists with the many critical thinking skills necessary beyond the individual concepts, like planning ahead in game design and troubleshooting when things go wrong.
What are the credentials of your San Diego area coding mentors?
The secret to our success is our team of 50+ talented mentors. We hire Computer Science students at top colleges like UC San Diego. Each mentor goes through a rigorous vetting process to ensure they are the right fun and engaging personality match for working with kids. Our hiring process emphasizes innate tutoring instincts and then new mentors are put through our thorough training to make them even better. We know you’ll be wowed by your mentor, which is why we make the first session risk free!
What concepts will my child learn in a Breakout Mentors San Diego area course?
We caution parents to not think of coding concepts in isolation. Too many courses introduce one concept at a time and demonstrate it with short 5 line programs. Learning to code involves the concepts as building blocks, yet the hard part isn’t grasping how that individual building block is used. It is actually putting it into practice and being able to combine it with other concepts to achieve the desired result.
Our students learn all the important coding concepts as they are ready: loops, conditionals, variables, and functions. Arrays and other basic data structures, object-oriented programming, recursion, and more. However, it isn’t a theoretical understanding of these concepts. From day one our students write code from the ground up and start to work on larger code bases. The mentor assists with the many skills necessary beyond the individual concepts, like planning ahead and troubleshooting when things go wrong.
How long does it take to complete each course?
It varies greatly by student age, experience level, and learning pace. The aim of the San Diego area kids coding tracks is to deeply understand the concepts and problem solving skills required in coding. It isn’t a checkbox curriculum: just a shallow introduction to many concepts. We encourage our mentors and students to extend projects by adding new features and creative touches. This give students the experience of brainstorming, formulating a plan, translating it into code, and troubleshooting. They’ll see the patterns in how to organize code to plan ahead and allow future features. And they’ll finish projects they are proud of, which keeps them motivated to continue learning!
The typical student might spend the first year on the Coding Fundamentals Track and the second year on the Computer Science Track. However, it isn’t a goal to finish quickly. For students who still need more practice with the fundamentals, but can handle more abstract concepts, we can bring some of that in earlier. We have a lot of experience from years of working with students how best to challenge them to keep advancing.
Our Founder | Brian Skinner
When I arrived at Stanford, I had written zero lines of code before, but I quickly found I loved it. Now it has been well over a decade that our dedicated team of expert mentors has helped thousands of kids embark on their coding education journeys. We are the best place for long-term in-depth learning that spans months and even years. Our students generate a genuine love for coding, which sets them ahead of their peers.
We are excited to help your son or daughter too, whether they’re taking their first coding steps in elementary school or are already advanced in high school.
Imagine a world where:
- You no longer have to navigate the endless coding summer camps, after-school classes, or online tutorials, as you have a reliable mentor to steer you and your child in the right direction.
- Your child eventually takes a Computer Science class in school, returning home to proclaim its simplicity and becoming the go-to resource for their peers.
- You proudly tell other parents your child’s impressive coding accomplishments outside of school.
- You are 100% certain that you’ve equipped your child with the essential skills to excel in a future that features code and AI touching every profession.
Our mission is to help your child on a lasting journey to master the coding fundamentals and craft projects they’re genuinely proud of.
Are you ready to start your San Diego area kids coding journey?