Review of Code For Teens: The Awesome Beginner’s Guide to Programming (Volume 1)

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In this age of technology it is becoming more and more important for students to learn some basic programming skills so I was thrilled to be able to review Code For Teens: The Awesome Beginner’s Guide to Programming (Volume 1) from Code for Teens.  Ever since our family joined the Home School Review Crew a litte over a year and a half ago, I have wanted at least one of children to learn to code, if for no other reason than to be able to help with our blog.  Our seventeen-year-old son carries the torch in this area.  He is willing to take the time and energy to learn to code in order to help me.

With software engineering being among the fastest growing career paths around today, I feel like I would be doing our youngest son a disservice if I did not expose him to coding.  The Code for Teens website states, ” This book is written with the goal of teaching young teenagers to code without ANY parent or teacher involvement. Important concepts are introduced gradually with ample review and many drills and small challenges to ensure that the child understands the concept fully before moving on.”  I loved the idea of my son being able to work independently.

The book was written by Jeremy Moritz and illustrated by his wife Christine Moritz.  I have to say I absolutely love the illustrations.  You can read the introduction and first chapter here on the website just above the superhero looking graphic.  Because JavaScript is the most common language for computer programming, students learn about it in this book.  The book is basically designed for anyone who has at least a sixth-grade reading leve- so basically older children and teenagers.

The book contains an introduction, a section for parents, and then starts off slowly and builds through ten chapters that cover a variety of topics and include such chapter titles as “Hello World!”, “Time to Operate”, “Comments on String Section”, “Projects Galore and More”.  The book also includes a conclusion, answers and a glossary.

Each chapter includes reading, activities, a quiz, key concepts, and drills.  The very first chapter required our son to find the average age of our family using coding.  He really enjoyed this.  Starting with chapter 2, the review is cummulative.  In Chapter 2, the learner works on a project which builds on the concepts introduced in the chapter.

So far our son has completed Chapter 2 and is working on Chapter 3.  Because he already has coding experience, he felt like the book started off a little bit slow for him.  However, a child with no coding experience will probably find this book perfect.  I had him glance through the book and he stated chapter 5 begins to reach a level that will hold his interest more.  You can find Code for Teens on Facebook here.

So far our son is really enjoying the book and I am enjoying seeing what he is creating.  Even though we are off to a slow start, I  can not wait to see what else he learns.  Code for Teens is worth checking out for your own family if your family is interested in learning more about computer programming, coding, or JavaScript.  If you would like to read reviews by other members of the Home School Review Crew, click here or on the graphic below.

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Review of CodeWizardsHQ

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Finding electives for our children that they enjoy and that can provide useful information causes me to stretch my mind and opinons sometimes.  Other times, I find things for our children to study that could ultimately help our family or each of them as they move through life.  I am so excited to share with you about a coding class for kids from CodeWizardsHQ that we just finished.  They also offer homeschool computer programs as well as coding classes for all students.

CWHQ Program Levels

CodeWizardsHQ is a company that provides coding classes in a live online environment where six to eight students come together with an instructor to complete assignments, work on coding projects and interact in a real-time environment.  On their website, the company states, “We teach programming, not just programming concepts. Your child learns how to code using real-world languages like HTML, CSS, JavaScript, Python, etc. These are languages used today to build all the software around us.”  Here is a link to an article from the Wall Street Journal entitled, “Why Coding is your child’s key to unlocking the future”.

The courses are designed for children in 5th through 12th grade.  While the courses are set up on a 12 week schedule, it is set up on a monthly subscription plan.  The company offers incredible customer service and opportunities for learning.  They even offer the opportunity for scholarships.

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Our son had the opportunity to participate in a one-day special class.  During the hour he spent with the instructor and other members of the class, he created his own comic book.  Every time I walked into his room to check on his progress and to take some photographs, our son was actively engaged in the course.  He frequently laughed or made comments.  On several occasions I heard him ask questions.  Because he was using a headset, I could only hear our son’s comments.  When the hour long class was nearly over, apparently the instructor made some comment regarding the impending end of the class and our son was surprised at how fast time had gone by.

 

 

I think one thing that made our son happy was that he was also able to see what his classmates had created.  Although, he seemed disappointed that he missed seeing one because he was finishing his own creation.  Here is a video from the company.  Click here for the link.  And here is a photograph I took myself.

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Here is what our 17-year-old son wants to say about this program in his own words:

I enjoyed it a lot. It was informative but at the same time relaxed, so I was more inclined to listen (as opposed to it just throwing information at you where I would probably zone out). I’ve never taken a class in a webinar style before,but even though it pushed me out of my comfort zone a little, it was fun and I would do it again. 10/10 – would recommend

As my son and I were talking immediately following the webinar, I asked him if he felt his previous coding experience helped or not. He felt this class would be good for any student regardless of their level of experience.

Click here if you would like to see our son’s project that the company sent to us after Nathan completed the course..  Also here is video our son made discussing his project.

 

 

You can find CodeWizardsHQ on social media at:

CodeWizardHQ offers an incredible opportunity for students to learn coding.  So check out the company for yourself.  If you would like to read reviews by other families from the Home School Review Crew, click here or on the graphic below.

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Review for CompuScholar’s Web Design

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In these days where computer technology, blogging, and websites becoming more and more a part of life, I was thrilled that our family was selected to review Web Design by CompuScholar, Inc.  As a blogger and owner of a website relating to our homeschool, I felt this course would be an incredible source of information for me if not for our teenagers.

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The topics included in Web Design include fundamental web design skills such as:

Basic website layout, HTML5 symbols and elements, Text styles, Hyperlink and Navigation Bars, CSS effects, spacing and positioning, Graphics and image editing, Tables, Page Design principles, Dynamic menus, Embedded audio and video, JavaScript and jQuery.   The course includes 28 chapters that are broken down into several lessons with individual quizzes to test the material covered in each lesson along with an activity for the chapter and a test that reviews all the material in the chapter.  By the time students complete the course, they will have created two websites.  There is also a mid-term project that is meant for more than one student to do together.

For our family, my youngest son and I worked on the course together.  Because of his other subjects, I decided to devote one week to each chapter.  So each lesson was basically done in a day.  Each lesson consists of a video that is well done and very informative, lesson text to be read by the student, and the lesson quiz.  The only exception is the days for the activities.  Those include reading about the assignment and then actually completing and submitting the activities.


My son is defnitely enjoying the course.  He found the activities to be fun.  He appreciated the fact that instructions are provided for both MAC and Windows computers.  He is finding the course to be very informative.  He likes the way the lessons are laid out.  He has been very successful with his quizzes, activites, and tests.  He took great pleasure in telling me his grades were “100” for every quiz and test he has taken.  I look forward to actually doing the coursework with him.  He actually is excited about doing the lessons, which is fantastic for a teenager.  My ultimate goal in us using this course is to be able to make improvements to my website eventually.  And he seems willing to help me with that endeavor.



Although we have not made it to the midterm project, I definitely plan on continuing the course.  I look forward to gaining knowledge I can utilize for my own websites.  CompuScholar, Inc. also offers other courses as well including Digital Savvy and Java Programming.  They offer the choice to purchase courses by the year or by the month.  There is also options for either self-study or teacher-led courses.  Once the initial log-in is completed, additional siblings can be added.

I would recommend this course to anyone who is looking for information on designing websites.  It definitely works well for an individual child or a group to do together.  There is a parent/instructor login that allows the parent/instructor to view the course material, check the grade book,  and even includes a section with tutorials on using the materials.

You can find CompuScholar, Inc.  on Social Media on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/CompuScholar or on Twitter at https://twitter.com/CompuScholar   @compuscholar

If you wish to read more reviews of the products from CompuScholar, Inc. , click here or on the graphic below.

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