Author Topic: Online Coding courses for kids  (Read 508 times)

lavagirl

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Online Coding courses for kids
« on: February 11, 2019, 07:45:13 AM »
We are considering online public school for our soon to be sixth grader. Our county has an online curriculum that children can complete instead of going to school.  Our reason is that the middle school assigned to us is not safe. Weíve told him that if he chooses online school, then he must do coding for one hour/ day as well as a sport.  Not worried about the social aspect because he has many friends who live nearby and they all hang out regularly.  I was wondering if anyone can recommend an online coding school or some kind of curriculum for this situation?  The ones Iíve seen are in support of teacher teaching coding.  I donít know coding so I will be no help and am looking for a self learning curriculum or something with a teacher.  For the Record, if we move to a better school district, we would end up spending twice as much on our mortgage- we got a really good deal on our current house and itís fine save for the middle school. 

thesis

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Re: Online Coding courses for kids
« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2019, 08:43:40 AM »
Wanting to avoid a dangerous school is one thing, but forcing your kid to learn programming in sixth grade? Are you serious? Most kids who experience programming in k-12 do it in high school, I'm not really sure career prep is what middle school is all about. It doesn't hurt to explore subjects they may be interested in studying (I remember taking Tech Lab in 7th or 8th grade), but still. I learned programming in my 20s and am gainfully employed in software development. Sorry, just slightly shocked at this, I'm not sure what the motivation is.

lavagirl

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Re: Online Coding courses for kids
« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2019, 09:26:23 AM »
You bring up a good point. The reason for the coding is that he will have a lot of extra time and we do t want him playing video games all day.  We were thinking of one hour a day, low stress learning some coding to keep him occupied and I donít think it would hurt for him to learn something. If he hates, we will obviously reconsider but he has expressed interest and seems excited about it. 

me1

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Re: Online Coding courses for kids
« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2019, 09:53:23 AM »
Code.org has all kinds of coding activities for kids. I donít think itís weird that you want him to do it at all. My son started doing some very basic coding things as play when he was 5.
They create little logic loops and itís all through play and fun.
I mean obviously the level at which they do it at 5 vs 11 vs18 will be different, but I donít think itís weird to want your kid to learn about it.

thesis

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Re: Online Coding courses for kids
« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2019, 12:26:52 PM »
Ok, I can see that. Smart to limit time spent on video games at that age! I think I was afraid this was a case of "we must start our son programming now so he can be competitive!" Super glad that's not the case :)

Actually, one fun way to introduce your son to coding might be through programming video games, since it sounds he is already interested in those. Just for example, several friends in high school learned programming by writing games in BASIC and installing them on their TI-83 calculators. One friend wrote a text-based RPG. It wasn't extensive, but it was fun to play. Also, I have heard good things about a language called Scratch, which is very game-based, and Lego Mindstorms combines Legos with basic robotics programming. If I'm not mistaken, those can be expensive, though, and I'm not sure how advanced those sets start out.

Raw coding might be tough for a middle-schooler to find interesting (though I'm sure it happens), so I would suspect that combining programming with video games / toys would be a fun way for him to start

soccerluvof4

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Re: Online Coding courses for kids
« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2019, 02:20:16 PM »
I dont think if there is a coding program out there for your childs age there is one thing wrong about taking it. In fact you have me thinking about checking it out for my youngest a 7th grader perhaps on line in the summer. Coding is so critical if your going to do anything with technology that more power to you.

seattlecyclone

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Re: Online Coding courses for kids
« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2019, 02:41:34 PM »
I'd disagree that coding is merely "career prep." It introduces new ways of looking at problems, breaking them down into manageable chunks, and solving them. Many people do it for a career, but that's not the only reason to learn. It's useful for brain development in a similar way as one might learn calculus or history even if one has no intention of using that knowledge in their eventual career.

GreenEggs

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Re: Online Coding courses for kids
« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2019, 04:32:24 PM »
Code.org has all kinds of coding activities for kids. I donít think itís weird that you want him to do it at all. My son started doing some very basic coding things as play when he was 5.
They create little logic loops and itís all through play and fun.
I mean obviously the level at which they do it at 5 vs 11 vs18 will be different, but I donít think itís weird to want your kid to learn about it.


Thanks for the link.  I might have to give coding a try. 

soccerluvof4

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Re: Online Coding courses for kids
« Reply #8 on: February 12, 2019, 02:38:04 PM »
Legos were to todays Engineers as coding is to Technology. Heard or read that recently and came to mind so needed to circle back.

SnipTheDog

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Re: Online Coding courses for kids
« Reply #9 on: February 16, 2019, 11:39:22 AM »
We are considering online public school for our soon to be sixth grader. Our county has an online curriculum that children can complete instead of going to school.  Our reason is that the middle school assigned to us is not safe. Weíve told him that if he chooses online school, then he must do coding for one hour/ day as well as a sport.  Not worried about the social aspect because he has many friends who live nearby and they all hang out regularly.  I was wondering if anyone can recommend an online coding school or some kind of curriculum for this situation?  The ones Iíve seen are in support of teacher teaching coding.  I donít know coding so I will be no help and am looking for a self learning curriculum or something with a teacher.  For the Record, if we move to a better school district, we would end up spending twice as much on our mortgage- we got a really good deal on our current house and itís fine save for the middle school.

Is there a reason why you don't want to code yourself?  Learning with your son sounds like a great opportunity.  Coding is solving problems and there are lots of problems to be solved in life.  Automating that problem is divine.

Zola.

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Re: Online Coding courses for kids
« Reply #10 on: February 16, 2019, 11:48:35 AM »
codeacademy.com

its free

Severian

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Re: Online Coding courses for kids
« Reply #11 on: February 16, 2019, 07:21:24 PM »
As a professional programmer who was fascinated by computers as a child, well before there was home internet, I'd say just help him(?) set up an environment, maybe Python, and see what he does with it, helping as needed. If he spends a while making random circles appear in a window, OK. Maybe nudge him toward making simple games at some point if necessary, but...

I think something people often miss about coding these days is that it's a fundamentally creative discipline. Give your kid some (figurative) crayons and let him do what he wants with them. There will be time later for structure.

SnipTheDog

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Re: Online Coding courses for kids
« Reply #12 on: February 17, 2019, 09:38:58 AM »
The Raspberry Pi is a cheap ($35-65) computer with lots of built-in apps for learning to program or just learning about electronics in general.