It's probably no mystery that I am not the most proficient at computer things. See? I don't even know what to call them! I can do only very basic things and only after someone has labored to teach me with countless mistakes. I learn slowly. Very slowly.
Computer programming was not something I ever really thought of doing but always thought it would be neat if my kids knew how to do it. But how do you teach something this technical if you don't know it yourself?
You find someone to do it for you! Or a curriculum to teach it for you anyway. With this latest review we were able to review a curriculum that does just that. Teen Coder Homeschool Programming teaches your kids how to do programming for Windows and Games. I can't even imagine!
I really wanted this for my high schoolers but they had too much work at the beginning of the year to be add one more thing but my 11yo desperately wanted to try it. It is a high school class so I wasn't sure if she would be able to figure it out. She in honors math-6th grade doing Honors Pre-Algebra and doing two sciences courses this year so she is motivated and smart enough!
I still wasn't sure though.
For Mosaic Reviews we were given the course materials to download the curriculum and that challenged me almost to the breaking point. ugh I told you I'm not computer saavy. I clicked the link to download everything and it went to a zip file.
Okay, I can do this. I really can. I won't panic and I will read all of the pop-ups to make sure I know what they say. I won't download it only to lose it to a saved file I didn't look at the destination for. I will remember...I will remember...
Whew! The file unzipped and I remembered where it said it was saving it to. I was so pleased with myself. I felt accomplished and oh so smart. Maybe I would take this course after all!
I should have known it was too good to be true.
Once the files were saved and I found them again I opened them to get the program started. Umm, am I supposed to know what to do now? I opened all the files to see what they all were and finally calmed down enough to read what I was seeing. One of the files I opened had more files to download with pdf files for instructions. Praise God for those pdf files! I kept them open on the desktop and clicked back and forth between the two the entire time I was downloading things.
I got the Student Files and Solution Files downloaded and was breathing a sigh of relief. I opened them to familiarize myself with them and saw the Student Book in there. Another shout of praise went up as I saw the Student book was printable and had detailed instructions for the daily activities. Woohoo!
I set up the printer and started looking for other things to discover. Then the printer decided it was too tired to work and just stopped. No reason. So not cool. I couldn't turn it off or hit the reset button because the 252 page book was only 1/3 of the way printed. Deep breathing helped keep everyone alive. I really think it was just tired because it started working on its own until it got a paper jam. Twice. Seriously.
After about two hours I got it to complete the print job and didn't care that it was only one sided. It was done. And we were ready to begin for real this time.
Only our main computer locked up when trying to download part of the software we needed to do the class. I was just about to give up and just write an informational review but Hannah kept begging me to keep trying. I canceled the process and started it again. It kept trying for 28 hours. My husband finally told me to stop. Sigh. Then, Hannah had a brilliant idea. Try your laptop! Well, it couldn't hurt could it?
I pulled out my laptop and went through the process again and this time it was surprisingly simple. Everything worked the first time. The files all opened and everything was where it should have been. Woohoo! We 3-hole punched the Student Book put it in a binder and started up the first lesson.
Can you say foreign language? I honestly couldn't understand much of what I saw but Hannah was devouring it. She read the entire first three chapters and was ready to start on the computer. She followed the instructions for the first Activity and couldn't get it to work. It was supposed to have a page pop up on the screen with the words Hello, Form. We just couldn't get it to work. We will frustrated. We quit for the day.
The next day she came back to it and remembered the steps to do it again and tried it. This time it worked! She was thrilled and was ready to plow ahead. She breezed through the next Activity and was able to do all the items they asked. She changed the color on the page, changed the font, put a button on the page, and a few other things. It is pretty cool. And she feels like she accomplished something.
She is going to love this program and learn so much from it. It is really great. But enough about us, here is some information about this program.
Here is some information abut Homeschool Programming, Inc:
Our courses are self-study and can be completed on the student's own computer, at their own pace. You can steer your student in the right direction with no prior programming knowledge. Students only need typical computer usage skills to start; we will teach them programming from the ground up!
And here is some information about the TeenCoder we reviewed:
Our TeenCoder C# computer science courses for high school teens are listed below! Each course is roughly one semester long depending on the student pace.
The TeenCoder C# programming courses are designed for 9th-12th gradestudents who may be interested in computer science as a career, hobby, or who may need a computer course for high school graduation. Build your school transcript with a high quality technical elective that is easily recognized by college professors.
The TeenCoder C# Series uses the free Visual C# 2010 Express development environment. Each course maintains the same fun, easy-to-learn style as ourKidCoder series but cover more computer science topics in depth.
Microsoft's latest generation programming language, C#, is commonly used in business and academic settings. Students will learn with a free version of the industry standard Microsoft Visual Studio development environment that C# programming job applicants should know when starting a software career.
Each chapter explains a programming concept in detail with corresponding sample code. In hands-on activities for each chapter the student will write their own programs based on the chapter topics. Students are encouraged to be creative and personalize their programming projects!
Optional Instructional Videos!
We offer optional Instructional Videos for each course, perfect for your audio-visual learner! These videos do not replace the Student Textbook, but they do re-inforce every chapter and lesson in a fun, animated manner. We cover the same conceptual topics using different examples and, in some cases, screen recordings of a real programmer accomplishing a task within the development environment.
This is a great program and I am so glad we were able to review it. If you would like to buy one of these packages for yourself Here are the prices for the program we used:
TeenCoder: C# Year Pack (Courses Only)
$155.00 TeenCoder: C# Year Pack (Courses & Videos)
Homeschool Programming, Inc. offers programming for all ages. They have KidCoder Visual Basics and Web Series as well as TeenCoder Java Series. Each program can be bought individually or as a package. Check out this page to see all the programs and check out the prices. The TeenCoder series is a high school credit class for 9th-12th grades with each semester being .5 credits.
To find out what other reviewers over at Mosaic Reviews thought head on over there and check them out!