Happy Homemaker: Kid Coder-Web Design

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Kid Coder-Web Design

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.

As a homeschooling parent, I find myself constantly looking for ways to work my kids' brains and keep them learning. I often find myself finding learning moments in everything they do from going to the zoo to playing at the park next to the lake. We do math problems as we pick up groceries, or get a reading lesson out of going out to eat , and we talk about history as we drive through Washington or Gettysburg to visit family.

 There comes a time, though, that there are things I just won't be able to teach my kids. One I can think of is anything Web related. Sure, I can teach them the art of typing in Google.com, but not anything about designing websites, writing HTML codes, or anything in that realm of the spectrum. I am just NOT that gifted in that area.

That is where Kid Coder comes in. Kid and Teen Coder are specially made to teach kids and teens from fourth grade all the way to seniors all about programming, editing, designing sites and games, and Java. It is designed for beginners in the World Wide Web, but for children and teens who already have basic knowledge on how to use a computer. (can open/close programs, use the menu, etc) Fourth grade, in my opinion is the perfect age to start learning these basic skills, because they are now able to process this information, can read and understand what is being talked about, and it sets up great ground work to continue learning programming skills in the future.  

 kidcoder.  

 I admit, my daughter is not in fourth grade yet, or even particularly good at reading, so I tried this myself. I was given the first semester of KidCoder Web Design. Due to time constraints, I haven't gotten very far into it-but I can tell why it would work for kids and teens alike. It starts with the basics and shows the student exactly how to open the program and how it works before it ever begins to teach them.

 I was given a digital format, but the workbook that comes with it is well written and interactive helping the student learn quickly, without needing any help. The first lesson starts with what the internet is, then it discusses domains, servers, different browsers , and the program goes from there to discuss browser windows, web sites structure and mark up, the different forms of mark up used in websites, how to create HTML , and so much more! (that's all in just the first four lessons!)



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  Each chapter has a correlating activity that takes what they just learned and use it in a "real life" situation so they aren't just reading about how to do it, they are doing it hands on. The activity is first introduced in the Student handbook, then it is reintroduced through the "View Activity Documents" tab in the Student Menu of the program. This step is extremely important in applying their knowledge to a real life situation and implementing the concepts learned so they can not only have a head knowledge of what they read, but the experience of doing it as well.

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 The instructions for each activity are well written and easy to understand. My daughter (5) could even do some of the first activities with me reading the directions to her. It gives step by step directions and pictures to demonstrate what they should be looking for or doing. The activities are also very fun. The first chapter, for example, they are asked to do a Scavenger hunt of the menu options in search of a hidden message in the HTML of each page. The second lesson they draw an example of a website, and the third they will do a word search for the materials learned so far and a matching activity of words and what they are.

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  The Menu is easy to navigate, and is organized by chapter so it is easy to find each activity. There are activity starters, extras and installations, and your son/daughter can even view finished projects under the 'View my projects' tab. This program is great for beginners, I highly recommend it for an elective for any child, but this would be great for a home schooling child looking for some extra stimulation or who likes to play with computers and wants to learn more about the Web and programming.

  

kidcoder4 

  I can imagine this whole time you've been asking one simple question. If I don't know anything about web pages, programming, HTML or any thing web related, how could I possibly help them or know they are succeeding? Well, actually, it's easier than you'd think. I spent an extensive amount of time looking through the Solution Menu, because, let's be honest, I will be spending more time helping my daughter than I will be trying this program for myself. It isn't very long before she gets to use this program. In fact, she will be ready in less than two years! (the joys of home schooling!)

The Solution Menu has everything you need to help your child succeed and the best part is, they can do a lot of it themselves! The menu includes solution helps for the activities, tests, a full solution guide view, and if needed, it has a shortcut button for the website and a contact option. The Solution Guide and the helps offer easy to follow steps to take to accurately complete each activity and help the student find or do things they weren't sure where to find or how to do. Again, as with everything this program offers, it is easy to use and precise making it easy to see your child succeed and simple to help them succeed as well.

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 Each Chapter also has a test to take at the end like in any other course that they will take at these age ranges. They are easily accessed through the Solution Menu and are in PDF form to be printed by either parent or student. (depending on your house rules/expectations) They are all ten questions each and are in multiple choice form. They each review the concepts learned throughout that particular chapter, and work to really reestablish each concept one last time before moving on and make sure the student truly understands/remembers what they have been learning.

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  This program is a great option for home schooling families or even for students who are interested in the internet and programming and would like to learn more about these concepts and how to use them. It would make the perfect summer program to work on to keep the brain juices flowing while teaching new skills and concepts. It would also make the perfect elective for any high school student and would look great for any student looking to get into any career involving technology.

 It is great because you can purchase it for the full year, or if you want to do it a semester at a time, you can do it that way as either a program to sprinkle in through the whole year or as a summer program. It is simple enough for the fourth or fifth grader, and it gets gradually more in depth and difficult for the older student who is looking for more "meat" so to speak. It is written in a way, it would even be good for adults who want to either freshen up or learn how to program or work through and around the web as well. (cuz face it-things are changing as time goes on!)

 These are skills everyone should have, it will change the way you face the Web and bring your Web experience to a whole new level. KidCoder is the perfect program to start your fourth - eighth grader with, (even high schoolers could use it) because it starts right at the beginning with things that they have likely not learned yet. The only skills this program requires ahead of time is basic computer experience, such as opening programs, using the internet (basic-think, "I can type Google.com"), and the ability to read.

 The best part about this program is, if you have an audio/visual learner, you can get the video version to go with your program making it easy for them to learn as well and giving them the option to effectively and successfully take this course as well. If you want to know it's easy, my six year old can do many of the exercises, if you want to know it is useful, I used some of the concepts in the making of a website I am working on, and if you want to know it is a good choice for your child-take a look at the information below and check out the website provided in the "Where to Buy" portion of my post.

There is nothing to lose, but a lot of knowledge to gain. I have really enjoyed trying this program for myself and can't wait until I can get the second semester and allow my daughter to take this course when the time comes. This course will not only be something fun and educational to do, it will offer useable skills that will prepare them to for the future.    

More Information: http://www.homeschoolprogramming.com/overview/product_overview.php  

  Product Description:

The KidCoder Web Design courses are designed for 4th-12th grade students looking for a step-by-step introduction to designing their own web sites. HTML is the foundation of the World Wide Web. It's important for students interested in web design to begin with a solid grounding in good HTML techniques.

You can also purchase optional Instructional Videos, which are great supplements for the audio/visual learner. For every lesson in a course, we have a matching 5 to 10 minute video, which will cover the same concepts as the lesson. You may see animation and narration describing a concept or a recorded demonstration showing exactly how to complete a task. The textbook is still needed to complete the course, and the videos are optional, but they are a great addition to our curriculum!

The TeenCoder Windows and Game courses are designed for 9th-12th grade students 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. Each TeenCoder course uses the same fun, easy-to-learn style as our KidCoder series but covers computer science topics in more depth.

You can also purchase optional Instructional Videos, which are great supplements for the audio/visual learner. For every lesson in a course, we have a matching 5 to 10 minute video, which will cover the same concepts as the lesson. You may see animation and narration describing a concept or a recorded demonstration showing exactly how to complete a task. The textbook is still needed to complete the course, and the videos are optional, but they are a great addition to our curriculum!

 Where to Buy:

http://www.homeschoolprogramming.com/  

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCUB4n0H6k5qcI8H0Z4zlxPA
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bk-hfz13fmk
 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NOJ4I1ogWUo  


 I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.