When I received notice that there was an opportunity to review TeenCoder C# Year Pack by Homeschool Programming, Inc, I immediately jumped online to put my name in the hat! The Astronomer, age 14, has always enjoyed his time on the computer and has the strong logic skills needed to conquer programming, so I was thinking this would be a great opportunity for him to stretch his wings a bit.
Before we get to the actual review, let me give you a brief synopsis about this product from the website:
“The TeenCoder C# Series and TeenCoder Java Series are designed for 9th-12th grade students looking for a more in-depth study of computer programming. These courses can be used for high school computer elective credit, enhancing transcripts, and preparing a college-bound student for a technical degree.”
These “courses are self-study and can be completed on the student’s own computer, at their own pace. You can steer your student in the right direction with no prior programming knowledge. Students only need typical computer usage skills to start; we will teach them programming from the ground up!”
Maybe you’re a little like me in this area; I have a very, very limited knowledge of any computer programming. Thankfully this course comes with everything your student needs to work independently. TeenCoder has a textbook, activity starters, instructional documents, and a solution guide for all of it. There are also tests, answer keys, and even videos if you need them. If you’re unsure how to grade your student, there is guidance provided for you. And If you get stuck at any point, there is free technical support available. So that took away most of my fear and trepidation about attempting something like this at home.
(For more specific information about what is included in TeenCoder C# Series, please visit their website.)
Reviewing TeenCoder was a good opportunity for a couple of reasons…sometimes people, you know, the nay-sayers, ask home schoolers how they can possibly teach high school level classes. I’ll even admit, that in the area of computer programming, it would be something I would have never even attempted to do at home, thinking like our critics, that the subject is clearly beyond my ability. If I am being totally honest, at first glace, I thought…oh no, what have I gotten myself into? When I started glancing through the textbook, I found myself a little overwhelmed. But then I remembered The Astronomer’s natural abilities are very different from my own. And I handed it over.
I think probably for us, (ok, me) the hardest part was getting started! Digging into something totally different, left me with more than a little bit of apprehension…
I thought the first chapter was a little dry; he came down after reading it with a big grin on his face telling me how interesting it was!
I started reading the next section, and the words started to blur on me….I was scared! He sat down, read the chapter with no problem and came to get me, with a big fat grin on his face, to show me how he had just made a “button” using C#. As he moved on to adding pictures and linking to a website, his excitement for the process grew… And that was just the start! (Check out that nice picture he added!)
As we continue with this course, I am looking forward to the hours he’ll spend learning how to do something he is interested in. He will be working independently, but thanks to Homeschool Programming, Inc., I don’t need to be an expert in all things. (And we can tell our nay-sayers, you’re right, sometimes it does take a village… our village just looks a little different than yours.)
Reviewing TeenCoder was a good exercise in relinquishing control to my very capable student. For the final project, The Astronomer will create a graphical chess game, using the skills learned throughout this course. Once we have completed the first semester, Windows Programming, we will continue with the second semester, Game Programming.
Bottom line, if you have a high school student who is interested in learning computer programming, TeenCoder is an excellent place to start.
This product can be purchased directly from Homeschool Programming Inc. (Watch this demo video for a sample.)
Price: $155.00 course and videos, or $130.00 course only, $30.00 Video only (price as of this writing)
There are also additional products available for younger age groups:
KidCoder: Visual Basic Series (6 – 8th Grade)
WIndows and Game Design
KidCoder: Web Design Series (4 – 12th Grade)
Beginning & Advanced Web Design
TeenCoder: Java Series (9 – 12th Grade)
Java & Android Programming
Other members of the Mosaic Reviews team were also provided with copies of TeenCoder C# and other products for review purposes. Click the Mosaic icon to head over and see what other families thought about these products. Disclaimer: I received a copy of this product in exchange for my honest review. No other compensation of any kind has been received.