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7 Resources for Learning How to Code


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Computer class has come a long way from the days when my friends and I spent most of the hour-long class playing a game I vaguely remember. It was some sort of step-by-step logic game where you had to get this man out of a room or something. Does anyone remember what I’m talking about?

All I remember was that my 16- and 17-year-old friends took great pleasure in telling the man to stand up because that resulted in the computer responding with, “You are now erect,” which was pretty racy humor back in the day.

learning how to code - resources for homeschoolers

Then, when I was in my mid-twenties, the real-job insurance company I worked for got computers with Windows. That was fancy-pants stuff, y’all. In our training class, we got to play solitaire – for pay, on company time and everything! It was so we could learn to work the mouse.

Back when my I had Blogger blog, I knew just enough HTML to be dangerous. I could make some pretty fun changes to my site with some simple coding. These days, I pay someone to do all that technical stuff that is already way out of my league. (That makes me feel really old.)

When Josh told me he wanted to learn to code, I immediately asked the Internets – you know, the folks on my Facebook page.

(Just for the record, in our family when we want to sound really out-of-touch with technology, we add the to the beginning and sometimes an s to the end, as in the Internets, the Facebook, and the YouTubes.)

I wanted to share the recommendations that I got with you because I know that coding is a high-interest topic for many kids. I’m sure that I’m not the only parent wondering where to find good resources for teaching a subject that I don’t fully understand myself.

Khan Academy

Khan Academy has a strong reputation for providing sound, quality instruction on a variety of topics. They have a strong learning toward math, science, and technology topics, including computer programming.

When I asked for recommendations for coding classes, Khan Academy came highly recommended.

Udemy

We discovered Udemy when Chelsea mentioned it in her post about using videos in your homeschool. At that time, they were having a sale on all their courses. They were only $10 each, so I thought, “Why not?”

Josh picked out three or four self-paced programming courses. He’s working his way through the Complete Java Masterclass and learning a lot. He’s really enjoyed the class and likes the fact that he can re-watch any lessons he needs a bit more clarification on.

Scratch

The folks on Facebook recommended Scratch as often as Khan Academy. It’s a free resource designed for kids ages 8-16. From the Scratch website,
Scratch is a programming language and an online community where children can program and share interactive media such as stories, games, and animation with people from all over the world. As children create with Scratch, they learn to think creatively, work collaboratively, and reason systematically. Scratch is designed and maintained by the Lifelong Kindergarten group at the MIT Media Lab.”

Code.org

Many parents also suggested Code.org, a non-profit organization dedicated to making computer science courses available to all students, wherever they are. Their goal is to increase the participation of women and minorities in computer science. They offer their curriculum and tutorials free of charge.

learning how to code

Easy Peasy

Easy Peasy comes highly recommended as an outstanding free resource for homeschooling families in general, but they also offer free computer courses as part of their high school classes. We may look into this more carefully once Josh completes the Udemy courses because they offer a ton of computer classes. They’re all self-paced and free.

W3 Schools Online

Another option for learning coding is W3 Schools Online. It’s a site that offers written and screenshot tutorials for a huge variety of programming languages like HTML, CSS, and Java.

W3 Schools online in another free, self-paced option for learning code.

Usborne books

I was surprised at how many people suggested Usborne books about coding.  They weren’t a resource I’d considered. We haven’t tried any of the books, but the people who recommended them were very impressed with them. So, if you know any Usborne reps, you can make their day by calling with an unsolicited order. {grin}

They have several different books for different programming languages.

So far, Udemy is the only resource we have personal experience with, but all the others were recommended multiple times, so I wanted to share them. Have you used any of them? What did you think?

What resources would you recommend for kids and teens who want to learn to code?

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2 Comments

    1. My sons allergist has a son who is a computer programmer and recommended Code academy. It is free and my 16 year old really likes it. He says it teaches you code, tells you what it means, and why. I was surprised n poo t to see it on this list.

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