Sunday, 15 February 2015

Computer Programming for Kids!

I've been planting primroses in pots today.It's one of the spin offs of having a large garden, flowers such as primroses, foxgloves and forgetmenots seed profusely and there are always spares. I'm hoping that these will root and bloom in time to pot up into pretty cups and mugs for Easter as we are planning a coffee morning to raise money for our local NAS.

Google is coding. In fact he has been coding for the last fortnight. He's been talking about "matrixes, " "vectors," and  "variables".Then a friend added "arrays" to the mix - a whole new language for me! As always in these cases when I don't know the answers I've bought him a book which arrived today  The Computer Game Design Course  . At the moment that's what Google  thinks he wants to do , so until he decides otherwise thet's what we'll concentrate on. Google tells me that he is using Computercraft from Minecraft but he has already bought a tome called Java for Dummies. My friend tells me that once you can program then it's fairly easy to read other computer languages too .

Google tells me that he was speaking to a friend who goes to school and is a year older than him. His friend is doing programming as part of the national curriculum and they are using Scratch . I recognised the name and realised that Scratch was the program used by Google four or five years ago when he first began to dabble in programming and I was looking for advice. The advice I was given was to give him the space and time to teach himself and that's exactly what I did. It's working too.Computers are such an intricate part of our world and whether we like it or not it helps to understand them.

So if, like me you have a child who loves computers and you aren't at all technically minded, don't worry.Just sit with him and ask him to explain what he's doing, get on home education forums and ask for advice, borrow or buy books, watch you tube, do online courses.Anything and everything to build up your knowledge in readiness for your child's next step (because it does appear to work like building blocks, Google learns for an intense period then stops for a while and starts up again when his brain has absorped all he's learned)
If you are looking for a simple book for beginners then this one wasn't around when Google was small but looks clear and interesting.Computer coding for Kids It's cheap with. The Book People. We also borrowed this book which is more expensive from our local library which some may find useful!

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