Sunday, March 27, 2011

A Program for Programming

The Kid Coder Year Pack from Homeschool Programming is excellent. It is a non-consumable product so you can use it over and over again for all your children. It gives your children a marketable skill with a useful computer language, Visual Basic. The software required is free and downloadable from Microsoft and used universally.

When our T-bone, age 12,  began this course, he worked it entirely on his own!  All he did was open the book and begin.  Even the software download is part of a lesson, so there is no preparation needed. If you need a little guidance, the teacher's guide contains a CD with printable instructions on downloading the software, registering the software and installing the help features.

I just have to jump-in here and tell you that, this curriculum has blessed me so much.  Our youngest has skills that don't always bring about the praise of others.  His older brother is a champion archer.  He's also a bit more outgoing and enjoys being on-stage or in front of people.  Although T-bone is just as bright and personable, his gifts lie more with things he does alone such as computer work.  When the Kid Coder books arrived, he jumped up and down with excitement.  We have always done all subject except math together with both boys, but the Kid Coder books were just for T-bone.  And he couldn't have been happier with having his own special subject that only he could master.  And, oh my, how he has mastered it.  He makes these things appear on the PC and he incorporates his own humor and creativity.  It has been wonderful.  And truthfully, I have NO clue what he's doing.  I helped on day-one with the installation of the software needed and after that, he's been on his own.  He works through the lessons and then shows me what he can make our PC do. 

As part of the curriculum there are chapter tests.  I love these because it reinforces that he's reading and understanding the reading, since I'm not instructing at all. I don't worry so much about grade as I do that he is able to answer each questioin.  If it were left to him, my little hands-on guy would just get to the fun stuff of programming and leave all the reading for another time.  With chapter tests, he has to pay attention to the reading as well as the hands-on portion.

The student book has sections for the child to read and then you have follow-up questions, or tests to print from your teacher's CD. The teacher's manual contains all the answers. This Kid Coder course is geared to 4th to 8th grade students, and our 7th grader had no trouble with the reading and found it interesting.

The one year Kid Coder curriculum which includes the student book and teacher book with CD for PC programming and game programming is $120.00. You can break this up and purchase just the PC programming or just the game programming curriculum. They also offer a high school programming curriculum called Teen Coder with similar pricing structures. Check out their website here, for information on everything they have to offer and the prices on all of it.

As always, I would encourage you to follow up on the information I'm presenting here by reading the reviews of my fellow crew-mates. You can also contact Homeschool Programming directly here if you have more questions or concerns.

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary one-year pack of the Kid Coder programming curriculum from Homeschool Programming in order to complete this fair and honest review.

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