Sunday, July 21, 2013

TOS Crew Review: Homeschool Programming



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As a homeschooling mom, I often worry I’m not focusing on enough areas that my children need to learn. Like the arts, computers, music, and things that I certainly do not have great knowledge in, or can teach well.


Since computers is one of them, I love to find things that can help. Recently we got the chance to review KidCoder Visual Basic Series, from Homeschool Programming.


I choose KidCoder Visual Basic for Monkey Man (11 yrs old)  to try, since he really has limited previous knowledge of this type of thing. This is designed for kids in 6th-8th grade, which was also a perfect match. With the download for this program, we got the Student book, and they offer instructional videos to go along with them.


Frist we had to make sure our computer could handle the program. The minimum requirements are 1.6GHz processor, 1024MB RAM, 1024x768 compatible video card, 3GB available space on the hard drive, and a DVD-ROM drive. With a operating system of Windows XP or higher.  We had all of that at least. My husband being a computer geek, and gamer, there was no doubt!


After making sure everything was all set and the program was downloaded, I proceeded to print off the student book for him. So it was easier to read, and he could make notes. The program was very easy to download, and open. Hubby did the downloading part, and then we let Monkey Man proceed from there.

A great aspect to this program is he can read and do the lessons all on his own. I don’t have to be here for him to get them done. So I was able to walk away and help Little Monkey on some of her lessons.

There are some things that your child should already know before starting this. Such as knowing the basic parts of a computer, how to use a mouse and keyboard, and how to navigate and use simple programs.


The program chapters include the following. . .

  • Introduction to Computers
  • Get Your Feet Wet
  • Exploring Visual Basic Programs
  • Data Types and Variables
  • Basic Flow Control
  • Getting User Input
  • Working the Numbers
  • Working with Strings
  • Using the Debugger
  • Loops in Programs
  • Functions
  • Arrays and Structures
  • Distributing Your Programs
  • Putting it All Together


How the program works. . .

Your child is able to just sit down at the computer and start their lessons. They start with watching a video or read a text lesson. After they finish with that, they then do the assignments. Total there are 14 lessons, that then are divided into 48 chapters. Each Chapter ends with a review, and a “your turn” section. In the “your turn” section your child preforms a task that they learned in the lesson.

Here you can see a sample page, and a demo video.

Our thoughts. . .

Monkey Man has done 12 of the 14 lessons. Due to a few family emergencies we couldn’t finish the last two. However, he really loved the program. He found it to be very informational and enjoyed it.

I really liked the way it was laid out. It was easy for him to understand, and I could leave him to work on it while I was doing other things. I also liked that if he had a problem, I could usually look over the work, and figure out what he didn’t do, or needed help with.


Since we didn’t get through all of the KidCoder: Windows Programming, we have yet to start KidCoder: Game Programming. So the best I can do is give you an overview of what it involves. (Though Monkey Man is very anxious to start it)


The KidCoder: Game Programming, is a 238 pg book. It also has 14 chapters that are then divided into 45 lessons.  You do need to have finished KidCoder: Windows Programming before doing this.

This program teaches your child how to write your own computer games.

What you will learn with this program. . .

  • Game Design
  • User Input
  • Screen Coordinates
  • Graphics and Drawing
  • Images and Animation
  • Sprites
  • Sound
  • Game Physics
  • and more!


Monkey Man is very excited to get to this! I love seeing him excited about what he can learn.


Price. . .

KidCoder Visual Basic Series – $120 (Courses Only)

KidCoder Visual Basic Series – $145 (Courses & Videos)

KidCoder Visual Basic Series – $30 (Videos Only)

You can find all the prices here. There are also options for buying semesters separately.


More reviews can be found on The Schoolhouse Review Crew Blog.









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