This post is about programming for middle school
This past year I have given each child an independent project. For two of my children it was easy to find good materials, and ways to guide them, for my third, my engineering child I floundered. There are a lot of STEM projects, classes, and books. However, my first two attempts at this failed miserably. I tried some books I found that were highly recommended. On the second project, he got stuck and asked me for help. I had no clue what to tell him. I don’t know how to program. I feel proud of myself when I can fix little things in my blog, but I really don’t know a thing about programming, and I certainly don’t have a clue how to teach programming for middle school, that’s a whole different level. I backed up and found a great electrical engineering project for the engineering part of his goals, and now I’ve found some great programming for middle school classes.
(This post is sponsored by Homeschool Buyer’s Co-op, links are affiliate links)
You know what I should have done? I should have gone to Homeschool Buyer’s Co-op
Instead, here’s what I did. I had these two programming books I’d won at some point, and tried them. They didn’t work because I know NOTHING about programming, and when he ran into a problem I couldn’t help him. I just said, “ask your Dad when he gets home.” Not super effective for solving the problem.
In the end, we were both frustrated, and I wasted an entire semester of his independent project.
Now I’m looking through the Science and Technology section at Homeschool Buyer’s Co-op. I scrolled down to Programming: General and then selected 6-8. That narrowed it down to about 6 choices, I also decided to look into Minecraft programming, you know since he’s a big fan of Minecraft and has already taken a class in that.
Middle School programming Resources I’m looking at
- Taken Charge Online Educational Video Games– I think Superman would enjoy this, but ultimately is more game and play than I want for this plan. I see this being most useful for a parent looking for an extra incentive.
- Online Progamming and Design Classes– this is currently my leading contender, but I have to make a decision by tomorrow. I like the different modules and the interactive part of it. It’s a one-year subscription, but my husband will like it moving into programming in C# (which I am mentally calling C sharp, that may be wrong). It is, however, more expensive (but it’s half price off!). I see this being great for a kid who loves Minecraft and wants to dig deeper.
- Code Monkey– The big pluses for me on this one, I can get all of my kids programming (I can have 5 students) and it’s got over 250+ challenges. Downside, the programming language won’t transfer over to other projects (however the skills will, so that negates it somewhat). This is perfect for laying the groundwork. I see this for a kid just starting out.
- CodaKid– This is a strong third place because again it uses actual coding language (Java) to work on Minecraft. It’s several different classes and goes into all sorts of things. The price is monthly, so it could be a much cheaper option, or it could get very expensive if he takes a while going through the classes. This looks to be best for someone who wants to try out coding and programming for a while to see if coding is the kid’s passion.
- FabSchool Maker Studio– looking at this more, it’s not my current goal, though I think all of my kids would enjoy this. It’s a crafting/engineering challenge that is right up their alley, so I might use this for some summer funschooling. This is perfect for challenging your artistic kid to apply science and engineering skills.
Have you looked at programming courses?
Programming for middle school is a whole new field for me to look into. When I envisioned homeschooling it never even crossed my mind I would be researching programming classes for my twelve-year-old.
Right now I’m strongly leaning towards Code Combat. I think the adventure idea will appeal to Superman, and he can work through it with Jeff.
A bit more about Homeschool Buyer’s Co-op
They are my first place to look for homeschooling materials. They have a wide variety at a great price. When we studied American History I got the Colonial Williamsburg series, and that was a great experience to watch those live streamed broadcasts. I bought Cover Story through them. The key to getting the most out of Homeschool Buyer’s Co-op is to plan ahead or be patient. Because they are always finding cool new deals.