Thursday, July 25, 2013

Homeschool Programming and a lesson for Mom

This seems to be Cameron's year to learn computers, our recent HTML lessons are no exception. Thanks to Homeschool Programming for allowing us to review the program.
Homeschool Programming is a complete program to teach your child to write programs, create games, and even android apps.
We received the KidCoder Web Series a $85 computer based course for Windows or Mac OS complete with textbook and video lessons. (The full year package retails for $145 and will be available in August 2013)
I have to preface this review by saying I love the mouse character graphics, he is too adorable.
When we began the program, Cameron was given the assignment from Mommy to create a new banner for the blog, unfortunately during the process, the computer we were using the program on crashed. So during week 6 of lessons we had to stop and go back. We are still working on recreating the work. (I should have printed out the text file we were working in or saved it to his school thumb drive.)
Thankfully, near the end of the review period and after the computer crashed we received the videos to go along with the lessons. It was like learning the lessons all over again.
I love that the program teaches using a basic text editor rather than a program, something that simple and without extra cost.
I myself learned HTML in college using a text editor and it made it easier to edit.
The lessons are clear and concise. The lesson text does an excellent job giving lists of commonly used items.
The step by step simple instructions add to previous lessons in a very logical format.  I have found other programs explain ideas in such a missed match format that the students don't see the connection between concepts. Thankfully, the lessons and the videos with the KidCoder Web Series follow a logical format.
The Student Textbook comes as a 234 page pdf file and includes 13 chapters with 1-4 lessons per chapter (The last chapter contains a final project). Each lesson is complete with graphics and text illustrating the examples and ideas clearly. The mouse graphic is featured through out the lessons with variations to either stop the student with some highlighted information important to the lesson or give some extra information. The first few lessons  review some basic computer, networking or browser information making sure the student is on track.  The website contains FAQs to help parents along with a simple form to help with technical questions or course work questions. It is reassuring to know that you are not alone in this journey down the technology path in homeschool.
The Full Year course covers the following topics.
  • Mark-up concepts
  • Website layouts and files
  • Backing up projects
  • Essential HTML symbols
  • Styling of text
  • Using symbols and lists
  • Internal and external hyperlinks
  • Navigation bars and footers
  • Simple CSS effects
  • Spacing and positioning
  • Graphics and image editing
  • Tables
Some times I forget the struggles I had when I studied HTML in college, I am so very grateful for programs like Homeschool Programming for having such a user friendly homeschool product that will give my little man the tools he needs to be successful in the technology field even if it is just as my webmaster and HTML assistant.

 Homeschool Programming has more than just webcoder, they are a full service programming curriculum for a variety of ages. The Schoolhouse Review Crew received a variety of their programs to review and share their thoughts.  I know I look forward to reading their thoughts.


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