Sunday, September 1, 2013

Homeschool Programming, Inc. - TeenCoder - Review

Homeschool Programming Inc is the host for KidCoder and TeenCoder, an online computer science curriculum.  It is a self-study program where students move at their own pace.  

The KidCoder Visual Basics Series and KidCoder Web Series is for grades 4th -12th.  This is a light-hearted option for students exploring computer programming.

The TeenCoder C# Series and TeenCoder Java Series is for grades 9th -12th.  This latter option provides an excellent resource for computer science or elective credits for high school.  This course has a more in-depth study of computer programming.

Courses can be purchased separately for a one semester study, or coupled with another program.  Here is a picture of the suggested companion courses:

Learn more about each of these program options by clicking HERE.  I would like to share with you some of the aspects of the program that I liked and stood out to me.

  • no prior computer programming experience is required
  • each course is self-directed, so the student can move at his own pace
  • lessons can be revisited easily
  • each course comes with a solution guide and tests (yes, I'm a tester)
  • free technical support is provided with each course
  • the choice of a printed textbook of lessons, video lessons, or both! Click HERE to see some demo videos and click HERE to see sample pages of the text.
Trust me, there are many more features to this product, but these were real attention getters for me.  For this review, I was given the TeenCoder C# Series which includes the first semester Windows Programming and the second semester Game Programming.  So, this is what I will be referring to as I move forward.   

I allowed my 13 year old son to select which course he wanted to take and when he saw the Game Programming, it was an easy pick.  That will be our second semester course later on in this school year.  He can hardly wait until the final project where he will create his own video game!  But, for now, we are starting with Windows Programming.

Upon receiving access to the links for all of the downloads, I was anxious to get started.  The download process was quite a challenge for me, but I'm computer techie challenged.  I enlisted my husband for this process and it then went much more smoothly.  The download process and registration for the required FREE programs for these courses was a snap.  Homeschool Programming provides excellent step by step instructions from start to finish, including screen shots so you know what to look for.

The TeenCoder Windows Programming, so far, seems to be providing my son with an excellent overview of computer history, windows technology, and the C# language.  The video series are easy to navigate and interesting.  They are a good length so as to deliver the concept of the lesson, but not exhaust the attention of an antsy teen.  He is really enjoying it and is eager to move on.  I am thrilled with the ease of him being able to be self sufficient with the lessons.  We discuss the lesson when he is done so he can share with me what he is learning.  It's been a great experience so far!  I'm thinking this is going to look great on his high school transcript.

Homeschool Programming, Inc offers purchase options to fit your interest, learning style, and budget.  Although the pricing for each program varies slightly, here is an idea of what to expect....

$75.00 TeenCoder: Windows Programming or Game Programming (Course Only)
$90.00 TeenCoder: Windows Programming or Game Programming (Course & Videos)
$20.00 TeenCoder: Windows Programming or Game Programming (Video Only)

You can also purchase both courses for a full year's curriculum at a reduced rate:

$130.00 TeenCoder: C# Year Pack (Courses Only)
$155.00 TeenCoder: C# Year Pack (Courses & Videos)
$30.00 TeenCoder: C# Year Pack (Videos Only)

Remember these above prices are for a FULL year of a computer science curriculum!  I find this to be a competitive price for a quality elective.  The term quality is not just my opinion, Homeschool Programming backs this up with a full page on their website that highlights the many awards their programs have received.  Check it out HERE.

Check out what other reviewers are saying about Homeschool Programming at Mosaic Reviews!

So, which courses will you start with?

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