Homeschool Programing – Review


When I was in school there was a required class called Computer Lit. Basically it taught you how to use a word processor, make spreadsheets and do power points. That was the only computer education I ever had, everything else was kind of trial and error. I know that in todays world that will not be enough for my little one. When I was given the opportunity to review a program that was designed to teach kids and teens computer programing I was excited. Homeschool Programing is an amazing curriculum written by homeschool parents. The curriculum actually teaches kids (and their parents) how to write their own computer programs, games and websites. There are a variety of courses available.

  • KidCoder Beginning and Advanced Web Design
  • KidCoder Windows and Game Programing
  • TeenCoder Windows and Game Programing
  • TeenCoder Java and Android Programming

    We were given the opportunity to review the KidCoder Beginning Web Design Course.

    The KidCoder Web Design course is for kids in grades 4 to 12. It is a year long course (2 semesters)that teaches in a step by step way, how to use HTML and how to design a web page. The course can be purchased a semester at a time for $70 for the course only, $85 for the course and videos, or $20 for just the videos. As of the writing of this review, the KidCoder advanced web design is not available yet, but it is coming soon. Click here to see sample pages and here to see sample videos.

     
    The course comes with a textbook and a course cd. For this review however, I received everything downloadable on the computer. Along with the course there are solution manuals and help available if you need it. The best part of the program is that you don’t have to be a computer wiz to teach it.
     

    How did we use it?

     
    For each lesson you read the lesson in the textbook (and watch the video) and then do the activity. My little one is in 5th grade now, but she is not a confidant reader so I read through the lessons with her. For a strong reader there probably would be no problem, but my little one found the vocabulary used in the lessons and the amount of reading to be a bit overwhelming. We continued to push through and honestly she showed little interest in the program. When I told her she was going to learn how to make a website she thought that she would just get to pick colors, fonts, and pictures, not actually learn how to write code and learn the wonderful information that was being taught.
     
     I decided to complete a few more lessons on my own. I found the lessons to be very interesting and overall very helpful. At first I was a little overwhelmed by the thought of learning how to write computer code, but I learned a lot of things that I hope will help me to spruce up my blog. When I first downloaded the program the videos were not yet available. Once the videos became available I had AJ watch some of them and she did enjoy them. The videos definitely add a great element to the program and were helpful for a visual learner. If I were to purchase the program in the future I would buy the course and video option.
     

    What did we think? 

     
    Overall I think that the KidCoder Beginning Web Design course is a great course. My little one is just not ready for it yet and that is okay. I think in another year we will try it again. With the ever changing technology in todays world there is a great need to know and understand how computers work and this course will help her to learn a lot. I feel that it is a good, program that is hands on, easy to teach, and very informative. I would recommend it to anyone who is looking for a way to teach your child more about computer programing.
     
     

    Home Made Compass

    We are still working on our electricity and magnetism unit. We just completed a really neat experiment. My little one created her own compass. It was quick, easy, and we had all of the materials here at home. Below what she wrote about the experiment.

    Magnet Madness

    Today I made my own compass. I filled up a bowl with water. The next step was to take a piece of cardboard or foam and make a float. I took a bar magnet  and slid a needle across the top of the bar magnet . I did it like five or six times. The needle became magnetized and even stuck to the refrigerator. Then, I taped the needle to the foam and put the float in the water. The needle pointed to the North. Then I moved the needle to the West and the needle moved by itself to the north. The needle kept turning to the north. If I know where North is I can always figure out what direction I am going. I never knew that you could make a needle have a magnetic field.

    I love the fact that her science has so many hands on experiments. It really helps her to understand the concepts.

    If you want to see a video of the experiment visit our facebook page http://www.facebook.com/pages/Daily-Life/411107232304311

    Science Fun

    Today my little one started the next unit in science. She will be learning about electricity and magnetism. In this unit there is at least one hands on experiment in each lesson. Today she learned about static electricity and did a very simple experiment.
    First she blew up a balloon and rubbed a piece of wool on it. Then she had to place the wool next to the balloon and watch what happened. The balloon was attracted to the wool.
    For the next part of the experiment she blew up another balloon. This time she rubbed both of the balloons with the wool and then placed them next to each other. The balloons repelled each other.

    The next experiment involved magnets. First she placed two magnets on the table with the north poles of the magnets facing each other. The two magnets didn’t want to go together.

    Next, she placed the magnets on the table with opposite sides facing each other. (One north pole and one south pole.) This time the magnets were attracted to each other.

     
    The lesson learned from these two experiments was, opposite charges attract and like charges repel. She had a lot of fun playing and learning with the magnets and balloons. I have a feeling that this unit of science is going to go very well because she is a hands on learner.
    

    Science Fun

    Post Contains Affiliate Links

    We have finally gotten through the boring parts of science and are onto the fun ones according to my 9 year old. We are working on the third unit, Chemistry of Solutions. She has been learning the difference between mixtures and solutions and solutes and solvents. Every lesson so far has had at least one experiment to go with it and she has enjoyed every bit.

    In one lesson she had to mix drink mix, sand, and cooking oil with water to see which ones made a mixture and which ones made a solution.

    In another lesson she had to see if different solvents that dissolved in water would dissolve in soapy water, vinegar, alcohol, or cooking oil.

    Another experiment she did was to see if whole or crushed sugar cubed dissolved faster and if shaking them or stirring them made them dissolve faster or slower.

    A fun experiment she just did was to learn about concentration and dilution. She had to make up some drink mix and poor it into six cups. Then she added water to five of them, a little in the first and a lot in the last. She pored the solutions into ice cube trays and later tasted to see the difference between the regular drink mix and the diluted ones.

    She has learned a lot from these experiments and they didn’t take too long or cost too much. Most of the items we had available in our kitchen. In fact, the only things that I had to buy special were the sugar cubes and the drink mix. I like that there are so many hands on lessons to help her learn. She is definitely one that learns by doing not by seeing.