Sunday, July 21, 2013

Crew Review - Homeschool Programming

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When Homeschool Programming's KidCoder Web Series came up as a possible review product, I wasn't sure what Sassy and MiniMe would think. They really don't spend much time on the computer, and web design isn't something we've ever even talked about. But I threw it out to them, as a possibility and they both JUMPED at the idea. MiniMe especially was REALLY excited about this one, so I figured we'd give it a try.

Kidcoder Web Series is a web design (.html) course for grades 4-12. While it assumes basic computer knowledge (how to open and close files, etc), it doesn't assume any prior web design experience, and doesn't require any special software.  
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This is a BRAND NEW product, so at this time, only the first semester (Beginning Web Design) is available. It can be purchased for $70. When the video is available (which I suspect will be soon, because the vendor was able to send it to us the last week of the review), you can purchase one semester, with video for $85. Once second semester is available, you can purchase both semesters, with videos for $145.

Sassy and MiniMe use their iPods pretty regularly to look things up online and such, but they rarely use the computer. However, they were VERY excited about getting to learn how to make a website, so I figured we'd give it a try, recognizing that they would need to learn some of the basic computer navigation skills as well. Because of that, we have moved slowly, but that's the beauty of homeschooling! Each chapter is divided into lessons, so most days they read the lesson one day, and then work through the activity to go with that lesson, if there is one, the next. I'm not sure how much they understand of what they read, but with someone nearby to answer questions (mostly about the basic computer navigation that they are supposed to already know), they've been able to follow the directions to begin building a website without any problem. 

As mentioned above, the videos were not available until the final week of the review. I did have them watch the video for the lesson they are currently working on and they felt that it gave the same information they had read, and they preferred to read it. However, the video would be great for someone who needs someone else to "tell them" things rather than reading it for themselves.

I knew, going into this that it would probably be abit over their heads, and I wasn't wrong, however they are enjoying it, and learning valuable skills. If I'd been purchasing it, because they don't spend much time on the computer, I'd probably have waited another year or two, but a 4th grader who spent extensive time on the computer would handle it fine. As far as I can tell, it follows a pretty typical format for computer classes (based on the ones I suffered through took in college LOL), and is written in language teens and preteens should be able to follow without any problem. All in all, if you have a computer-loving 4th-12th grader (or yourself, for that matter) who's itching to learn web design, this is a great product for it! If I had a tad more spare time, I'd probably go through it myself, it would help me move my blog beyond a basic prefab template LOL. Maybe someday . . . then again, maybe I'll just wait until Sassy and MiniMe can do it FOR me!!! :) 

Members of the crew reviewed several different products from Homeschool Programming, so be sure to click on the banner  below to see reviews of all of them!


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