Sunday, September 1, 2013

Homeschool Programming KidCoder Web Design

Homeschool Programming
KidCoder Beginning Web Design
Grades: 4-12
Price-See Below

We were given the opportunity to review a Homeschool Programming course of our choosing and I JUMPED on the Beginning Web Design option, thinking that would be a GREAT SKILL for my boy to learn. I thought he would be interested in it and I have about as much knowledge of computer-y things as your average kitchen sponge, so I KNEW this would NOT COME from ME!

We received a downloadable textbook, a link to download the files for the course onto our computer and a link to view videos to help along the way. Since my eyes sort of begin to glaze over with techy talk, I handed this over to my 15 year old son to handle...and since it was SUMMER, I thought...woohoo! He will have plenty of time to work on this! The Beginning Web Design course is a one semester course and will earn my boy half a credit for an elective. We did not have any issues with any of the links loading, but it was difficult having a PDF of the textbook. I printed off a few of the pages of the book, but at about 200 pages, I thought my boy could just look at it on the screen...while not impossible, it would have been more helpful to print the whole thing. I believe that the PDF and file download was just for review purposes and a printed textbook and a CD Rom is what you will receive when you order your course.

The textbook and videos step you through the process of designing a website. If I am understanding things correctly, it is not necessary to have both, but one may be more helpful than the other depending upon learning styles. Your student then works on a practice website: Raptors: Birds of Prey. As they are inputting the codes, they see things coming together piece by piece.

For those of you in the know, here is a list of topics covered in Beginning Web Design Course:

Mark-up concepts
Website layouts and files
Backing up projects
Essential HTML symbols
Styling of text
Using symbols and lists
Internal and external hyperlinks
Navigation bars and footers
Simple CSS effects
Spacing and positioning
Graphics and image editing

Here are a couple of screen shots of my boy working through the program:

This is still a work in progress, as we were busier this summer than anticipated, but my boy has been working on it and learning quite a bit. He thought that it was a good way to learn how to build a website...and while he may never do this again, he has gained a skill that I cannot even begin to teach.

Ok, so what we thought:

This was a TOTAL SELF STUDY...every time I tried to look in at it, I felt like I was reading a foreign language...I did not need to know anything!!!! HUGE PLUS!!! This program was designed by homeschool parents with degrees in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering...I am telling you...I am SO THANKFUL for these people! They created these products after finding nothing on the market to teach computer programming to children and young adults. These courses work with natural interests to fan the flame of delight into a possible future career path (or even a fun hobby). As many of you know, I LOVE PRODUCTS created by homeschool parents!

This is a great way to teach a subject that I am not skilled (AT ALL) to boy was able to complete every task that he came to. The directions were very good and he understood what he was reading. There was quite a bit of information in the textbook giving a lot of background that was necessary for the course.

There is an option for giving high school credit to student who finish the course. I could not find much about it on the Homeschool Programming website, but that it should be left to the determination of the teacher. After my boy completes this course, I think I would require some sort of an independent project to show that he KNOWS the material (Maybe a face lift for my blog!!!) and then would give him a half of a credit. This looks like it would be entirely up to the parent.

Cost is always something to consider with homeschool families, as many are one income homes. The course we selected was $85 for the course with the video (which I recommend!). There is an option to buy both Beginning Web Design and Advanced Web Design for a discounted price.

I am not sure if my boy will become a Web Designer, but it was a fun course with great instruction. If you have a child who has interests in this area, I think it would be a great fit for you. I have added links for sample pages and video below...check it out if you are not sure.

Here is a list of all the courses offered by Homeschool Programming:

You can view sample pages from each of the courses here and sample videos here. I think these would give you a feel for if it would be a good fit.

Check out more Mosaic Reviews for Homeschool Programming here

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