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BatDad
12-17-2014, 11:22 PM
I do not know if this has been mentioned here, but I viewed this video and it really helped encourage me to include more computer science and coding practice during our days.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FpMNs7H24X0

The presenter is very optimistic about our public schools evolving, but I am thankful that as we homeschool we do not have to wait for those changes to happen. He works for Anybody can learn | Code.org (http://code.org/) and we will soon be doing the free hour of code and other activities offered.

belleweather
12-18-2014, 05:39 PM
I'm trying to figure out what age is good to start with coding. My nine year old is very, very interested but also probably has an inflated idea of how easy it is to do 'cool stuff' as a programmer. He's done a lot with scratch and hopscotch and robot turtles and seems like he's maybe ready to take it to the next level, but I'm not sure how to make that step with him. Neither DH or I are coders by trade or inclination, so it's a blind jump for us.

BatDad
12-18-2014, 06:55 PM
I'm hoping someone can chime in. It is a bit of a blind jump for us as well. I just look at it as something that is becoming needed more and more and should become part of a modern education. I plan on learning with my boy, like I do many other things. It looks like this code.org, and a few other resources can get us started.

dbmamaz
12-18-2014, 07:03 PM
Well, we've been doing some classes at Youth Digital - they are somewhat pricey but my 11 yo had no trouble. I think the minecraft mod sale at homeschoolbuyerscoop ends today

dbmamaz
12-18-2014, 07:06 PM
now that I think about it, we got the mod class last year for holiday gift - so he was 10. I think we might have had some technical trouble getting started, but they have great support. Its a 1-year subscription class, so you watch the videos at your own pace, the course price includes the building software, and for a full year your child can send emails or live chat asking for help from the instructors.

a lot of places are popping up with programming classes for kids, too - you should check locally

murphs_mom
12-18-2014, 09:25 PM
There's an older thread (http://www.secularhomeschool.com/homeschooling-extracurriculars/11878-free-html-class-9yo.html) that several folks contributed to...it details several options for learning coding/programming. I can personally vouch for the free HTML course available online. I did it at the same time as DD (in case she got stuck) and neither of us got hung up at any point so badly that we couldn't figure it out. Most of the lessons were quite simple and easy to understand. The later lessons were a bit more involved, but she was totally able to do them, and I think she was 7yo at the time. Possibly an early 8yo. Too hard to remember exactly when we did it. The nice thing about doing a (free) online class is that, if it's too much for them, it's easy to shelve things until they're more ready for it.

DD recently did the Hour of Code w/DH and he said she pretty much blew through it with no problems. Really enjoyed it. DH said that it was similar to WeDo programming, so there really wasn't much in the way of serious programming. It's meant to be an easy intro. The HTML class is more involved and it's true HTML. He also has a CSS and java class for those who go through the HTML.

Don't be afraid to let them try no matter what their age. If they can type, follow directions, and are decent readers, they can code.

BatDad
12-18-2014, 09:46 PM
We found one of those dojos mentioned in another thread about two hours from us. So, not an every day thing, but we may go on occasion. I also happens to be close to beaches, so maybe we could make a day of it.

BatDad
12-18-2014, 10:05 PM
Awesome timing, murphs_mom, and thank you! We went to the html link and registered for a course starting Jan. 5. We are looking forward to this.

dbmamaz, we will be saving the youth digital link. The price may hurt upfront, so we would have to be ready for it. For an entire year, it seems worth the price and it looks like there is a decent variety of courses to get started. Thank you for the share.

murphs_mom
12-18-2014, 10:17 PM
Hope you do enjoy it, BatDad. The instructor was totally okay w/parents signing up along w/their kids back when we did it. He was also open to folks moving through at their own pace. Instead of releasing one lesson each day, he started releasing a lesson each time one was completed successfully. I urged DD to do the daily lesson and then tinker w/it to see what else she could do with the code. I also showed her places online where she could find code to 'borrow' for her own page. DH had done Turtle and other stuff w/her, but she really got into the HTML. I think we're going to back to revisit it once the dust settles around here. I would still like both of us to do the java and css at some point.

Have fun!

belleweather
12-21-2014, 06:03 PM
We just started with the code.org online class on Friday and my eldest sat rapt and worked on it for four hours straight. (This is the kid who our local doc is convinced has ADHD and doesn't sit still for anything). He even worked past some fairly major sticking blocks. I didn't have the heart to make him stop and do reading, he was doing so well at it. As long as they can read, I'd say it's a GREAT place to start -- he was so excited that he could click on each of the modular blocks and see what the actual 'code' that he was writing was. He's excited to go back to it as a part of school on Monday, so if you're looking for a place to start we'd recommend it. I'm thinking of starting the other kid with it too... coding hasn't occurred to him, but the reasoning process would be right up his alley.

merylvdm
12-21-2014, 06:09 PM
I teach programming so can help a bit here.

Firstly, many countries are now teaching programming from Kindergarten. In the US we are VERY behind, so I would encourage everyone to get your kids coding as early as possible. I ran the Hour of Code for our 4-H Computers and Technology group and all the one hour tutorials are still available at code.org/learn. Go and look at the first one (Frozen) and the ones under "Tutorial Apps for Phones and iPads". A number of those are for younger students.

I teach Scratch as a beginner language as it is just "drag and drop" and doesn't require students to remember syntax. It is free and they can teach themselves too. There are lots of places kids can learn programming free - codeacademy.org and khanacademy are two of them. Most free places do have forums for questions if students get stuck.