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Kids Coding Classes

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Jeff V
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Kids Coding Classes

Post by Jeff V »

Anyone have experience with these? There's an outfit with a nearby storefront who I clicked on an FB ad. That triggered additional ads, including one that offered a free class. This one is a start-up by folks formerly from Google and Discovery. I liked the pedigree, and signed up my son for the freebie. He's into old-style video games and although he's only 6, he wants to create a mod for one of them (Baldi's Basics).

The first attempt at a class was derailed from his inaction -- the teachers are apparently in India and maybe he didn't quite understand, but he just sat there and stared, not interacting at all. After 30 minutes getting nowhere, I pulled the plug but agreed to give it one more try. i spent a lot of time in the past week getting him pumped up for it (it seems to be something he really does want to do) and with a few hiccups, he made it through his first class on Saturday. Once they got into the actual exercises, he hit his stride.

A 48-class (I think once per week?) certification program where by the end he creates an app that can be distributed on Google or Apple's appstores. This costs $1200. There is an extended program ($2400) that gets into robotics. Being that money is an issue at the moment since I'm not working, my thought is 6 is on the young side for total buy-in, although they claim that is the starting age for many of their students. Have any of you put your kid through such a program and can speak to the value? I don't think we'd go all-in at this point for the expensive program, but $1200 isn't IMO all that unreasonable if the program is effective. Some of my major concerns are they are aggressive (they've tried to call me about 10 times since the class 2 days ago) and while I understood the teacher just fine, I can't say the same about others from the company I've had to deal with. He turns 7 in September, and having a professional certification on his resume at that age might be impressive, but it will still be many years until it matters and in tech, that's a full generation.

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Sherpa
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Re: Kids Coding Classes

Post by Sherpa »

Unless your son is extremely precocious, 6 seems a bit young for what you're looking at...

Scratch (https://scratch.mit.edu/) is a great, easy to understand route for kids to get into coding -- here's an example --
https://projects.raspberrypi.org/en/cod ... -module-1/

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LawBeefaroni
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Re: Kids Coding Classes

Post by LawBeefaroni »

My daughter (10yo) has done some Scratch courses. Has helped with getting a grasp on the basic concepts.


$1200 for a class seems a bit much for a 6yo. And it sounds kind of scammy with that end goal ("sell your app on the Apple App store!"). Way over-promising there.


At that age the idea should be to learn the concepts and tools and you can get that fairly easily and cheaply (even free) with Scratch.
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AWS260
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Re: Kids Coding Classes

Post by AWS260 »

Scratch is excellent for young kids. My son started on it when he was about 6.

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Smoove_B
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Re: Kids Coding Classes

Post by Smoove_B »

In the before times, we sent our daughter to a number of half-day coding camps that were run by Black Rocket. They've pivoted to an online coding camp model for now, but based on our experience I'd recommend them. You can see the variety of courses they offer here. What we liked is that so much of it was contextual. When Minecraft was cool (it middle school it suddently become uncool, but I'm happy to report as a 9th grader it's cool again), she took a few classes on how to add and create custom content.

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Paingod
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Re: Kids Coding Classes

Post by Paingod »

I'm going to triple-down on Scratch. That's where our eldest got his start in programming.
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RunningMn9
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Re: Kids Coding Classes

Post by RunningMn9 »

A couple of things. We are talking about a 6 year old, yes? No certification given to a 6- or 7-year old will be worth anything, ever.

When it comes to programming and kids, one thing needs to be understood, your kid isn’t going to sit down and learn C/C++/Java/Kotlin/Rust/etc.

The structure and detail of an actual programming language are well beyond any 6 that isn’t a certified genius. At this stage, what you want to be looking for is a teaching tool that teaches the logical building blocks of programming.

Understanding the basic concepts of telling a computer to “do this” and have it do that. Visually teach logical loops, by building them out of color-coding building blocks.

That’s where the value is for a 6 year. And that is the prime reason for the existing of things like Scratch.

And even Scratch is designed for kids older than 6.

Do not spend ANY money on teaching a 6 year old to program. $0.00.

My son is a sophomore in college studying computer science, and has been programming in Java now for four years with straight A’s. It still shocks me how little he knows about programming. The fault isn’t his, the fault is in how programming is taught, and the reality that programming is actually a fairly difficult discipline to be good at, let alone to master.

Sitting a 6 year old down and paying $1200 for anything? A complete and utter waste of money.
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