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Our Family

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Homeschool Crew Review: Code for Teens The Awesome Beginner's Guide to Programming (Vol 1)

Code for Teens

With three teenage boys in the house who are all very interested in anything that has to do with STEM, I was excited to see Code For Teens the Awesome Beginner's Guide to Programming (Vol 1) appear on our vendor list from Code for Teens.  This book has been a big hit in my house this summer.  Two of the boys were actually arguing over whose turn it was to use it!
Code for Teens

Code for Teens The Awesome Beginner's Guide to Programming (Vol 1) is a 220 page paperback book with colored illustrations.  This book is a self paced guide to learning JavaScript.  Parents do not worry if you know nothing about coding.  The only requirement from a parent is purchasing the book, reading a 3 page parent introduction and making sure your child has a computer (not a tablet) to use.  The book guides your student through the lessons with clear step by step instructions and shows what their response from the computer should be when they type in their code.  In addition to step by step lessons, each chapter has a quiz (answers provided in the back of the book), drills, aggregate reviews, and DIY projects with recommended solutions.  A glossary of terms is also included along with the chapter that first introduced the term. There are 10 chapters in the book.  Chapters include:

Chapter 1: Hello World!
Chapter 2: Time to Operate
Chapter 3: Comment on the String Section
Chapter 4: Have Some Functions
Chapter 5: Shall I Compare?
Chapter 6: Logically Operational
Chapter 7: Projects Galore
Chapter 8: Hip Hip Array!
Chapter 9: Loop a Round
Chapter 10: Make a Hangman Game

There is no required software to download on your computer.  Students need to be have Google Chrome web browser on their computer.  Instructions for downloading this is in chapter one. They also need a "workbook" to save their quiz answers, reviews, and DIY projects.  There are several  options for a workbook discussed in lesson one including Google Docs, Microsoft Word, iWork Pages, OpenOffice, or Notepad.

I have to admit that as much as my boys enjoy projects such as coding, I do not.  I find it incredibly tedious to type out lines of code and then have to go back through the code and find your errors.  I had purchased an online beginning coding program but they could not do it on their own.  I had to sit with them because we always, always had errors.  I was so thankful that with Code for Teens I could hand the book over and let them work on it on their own!  I did read through the book for review purposes, but I did not have to enter any code myself!  I found it interesting and well done.

Anthony (13) had been the main user of Code for Teens.  The book is written to the student with bits of humor thrown in throughout that he loves.  His lessons have been successful with no errors.  I love that he can work at his own pace and that we didn't need to download anything to use this.  The quizzes and reviews for each chapter help them to retain what they have learned and the projects are fun.  We used Google Docs to make his "workbook" and that has worked well for us.

Alex (14) saw the book, "borrowed" it, and started working his way through it.  He is going into 9th grade and I told him if he completes all of the exercises, quizzes, and projects I would give him 1/2 credit in computer programming.

We would definitely be interested in purchasing additional volumes of Code for Teens.  To see what my Crew Mates had to say, stop by the Crew Blog!

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