the Vicki Arnold blog uses affiliate links, please see the Policies page for more details.
Oh, how I love getting to review things! This is another review with the Mosaic Reviews team. I received the materials needed to do this review via downloads in exchange for my honest review. So, that is what you are getting here, an honest review.
I chose to review the KidCoder Web Design course because that was the only one that I had a student old enough for and I have been DYING to get my hands on this program since I first heard about it in another blog’s review/giveaway (I didn’t win their giveaway…boo).
Why? Because I have a son who is very interested in computers and has discussed various ways he could have a career in programming or video game creation. If you know anything about computers, you know that they ain’t cheap. However, one of the things I love about homeschooling is the flexibility to work with a child’s interest. But that is a different post, on with the review…
Homeschool Programming is the company behind KidCoder and TeenCoder. They have created computer programming courses for both kids and teens.
They offer these programming courses (in parentheses are grades recommended):
- KidCoder Visual Basic Series: Windows (6th-12th)
- KidCoder Visual Basic Series: Games (6th-12th)
- KidCoder Web Series: Beginning Web Design (4th-12th)
- KidCoder Web Series: Advanced Web Design (4th-12th)
- TeenCoder C# Series: Windows (9th-12th)
- TeenCoder C# Series: Game (9th-12th)
- TeenCoder Java Series: Java (9th-12th)
- TeenCoder Java Series: Android (9th-12th)
Each course is intended to be a semester, but the course is self study. This means you can go at your own pace, taking more or less time as needed.
KidCoder is NOT required before TeenCoder. Each series is an independent course track. The first semester is an entry-level course suitable for students with no prior programming experience.
Pricing options range from $70-$85 per course or you may purchase full year courses which range from $120-$145. You may also purchase instructional videos for those who need that extra audio-visual guidance. These are $20/course or $30/year.
KidCoder Web Series
I reviewed the Beginning Web Design course. This course is designed to teach kids the basics of HTML by building their very own website. Don’t worry, the site is all on your computer and isn’t available on the internet unless you were to buy hosting and put it there.
The course requires either a Windows or Mac OS based computer with a CD-ROM drive. The full system requirements can be found here. Your student does need some computer experience before using these programs. You can find those details here.
Beginning Web Design Review
Let’s get to the nitty gritty. My honest opinion. Long story short, I am still in love with this program. Now to the extended version.
This program is very thorough. It starts with the basics like how the internet works, web browsers, and defining terms for the student. This is great, the only problem I ran into was that the terminology was over my 4th grader’s head and he bored rather quickly.
I would say that this would probably be more suited for students starting in the 6th grade, like the other KidCoder programs are listed. As it were, I ended up continuing with the program on my own. We will revisit this in a year or so when he is more able to sit and focus.
I would pay the asking price for this, and probably will for more series in the future. The videos are awesome for audio-visual learners. I can not speak to the quality of the physical student text because I was provided all my materials electronically. However, it is logically laid out and all the activities, tests, and starters are easy to find in the digital files.
The installation is also laid out in multiple locations and included on the first video, in case you have issues. I did not contact customer service, but the information to do so is very easy to find.
I think this quote from the student text section on why you should bother learning HTML sums it up nicely:
Imagine you get your first bicycle for Christmas. You hop on the bike and ride off into your neighborhood without first figuring out how the different parts of a bike work together. As long as you know how to ride the bike, you’ll probably be fine for a long time. However, if you ever got a flat tire, or your chain slips loose, you might not know how to fix it.
I’d like to be able to change my bloggy flat tire myself. I’m cheap, er, frugal like that. Plus, I just think it is really cool.
Other Mosaic Reviewers reviewed different courses and you can find those reviews here.