I was presented with the opportunity to review Kid Coder: Windows Programming and Game Programming by Homeschooling Program Inc. Together they form a year long computer program designed for students in grades 4-8 although younger students may need assistance with topics such as negative numbers. My son John is in 8th grade and has had no formal computer programming instruction so this seemed like a great place for him to start.
If purchased directly from Homeschooling Program Inc, Kid Coder includes a student workbook and an installation CD. An optional component are video lessons on DVD.
I have to admit I had some troubles installing the components but I believe that is because I had various links from which to install instead of a single CD. I find reading the workbook on the screen to be a bit tedious but our younger generation doesn't seem to have that issue. I LOVE the video lessons. They are a perfect addition to this program for the audio learner or a child that just zones out from reading alone. The instructor has a pleasant voice and speaks at a comfortable speed. The student is advised to read the workbook but I think that for most it will just be skimming and to complete the assignments after viewing the video lessons.
I was hoping that my son would be excited by this program as we explore career opportunities as he is nearing high school. He is certainly liking it but not the wow factor for which I was hoping. Although John is not wowed by this subject, he will complete the year as I think he will get more excited when he begins the second semester and designs a video game of his own.
Overall, I think KidCoder is a very good product at a reasonable price that can be used by students with no computer programming background. If you want to read more opinions of this program and other Homeschool Programming products, go here.
Important Info about KidCoder:
Where to Purchase: Homeschool Programming Inc
Pricing: Each semester course individually $70, $85 w/video lessons
Visual Basic package $120, $145 w/video lessons
Other Products Available: