Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Programming for Kids

My son is learning to program using Javascript.

After many years learning the basics of computer programming with Scratch, my son is learning his first programming language. Javascript. His last project on Scratch was a Mrs. PacMan game. After working many weeks on his design, which included downloading and reading the code of a similar game, he was ready to move on. Well, actually he wasn't. He wanted to make his game perfect which is a common trait of a computer programmer and engineer, but we told he he was ready to level up, or graduate if you will, to bigger and better things.

We found the key in the book Javascript for Kids. After reading the first chapter I was hooked. The author explained that in reality, computers were actually very dumb. They can after all, do only what humans have told them to do. It made perfect sense and made me laugh.


Then we moved on. This book is perfect because it starts with the very basics and builds from there.  In discussing variables, the first main topic, the difference between numbers, strings and booleans is explained. Short program examples are given and the kids can type them right into the browser to see how it works. Chapters also contain challenge questions designed to get kids creating their own programs using the tools they learned.

We covered about a chapter per week and by the end my son was on a roll.


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