My husband is a systems analyst, so he works on computers with code all day long. My 11 year old has decided over the past couple of months that he might want to do that when he grows up, too. I’ve been looking around a little bit for a curriculum or course that would help to teach him some basics, but I had not run across anything that looked meaty enough to really get him going until we were approached to review a LIVE coding class from CodeWizardsHQ.
CodeWizardsHQ allowed my son to try a special one-time trial of the first class of the first of their homeschool computer programs. The program has a structured curriculum that progressively gives students a chance to work on more and more complex coding.
These classes are roughly meant for students from about 5th-10th grade. Each course is a 12 week class with weekly one-hour class times. The thing that really stands out about this program is that your child will be working live with an instructor. Each class is capped at a handful of students so that the instructor is able to teach, answer questions, watch the students’ progress, offer assistance, and even do a show and tell with the whole class in REAL TIME.
Our trial class was the first class in the first course of the Wizard Level 1 pathway. My son had one screen open with the live chat and wore a headset with a microphone so he could interact during the lesson. This was a first for us, so he learned really fast how to mute himself so that when his loud brothers came into the room, the whole class didn’t have to hear them!
I like that he was able to interact with the instructor and the other students in this way. They began with some ice breaker questions and introductions and then got right to work coding. For this class, my son was shown how to change the code around and add more code to edit and also create his own comic. He was shown how to add his own graphics, type in text, add more boxes to continue the comic and make it longer, and so on.
He did all of the coding in a separate window on the CodeWizardsHQ website. This was a little tricky for him, because the window he had open for the live chat needed to be open to where he could see what the instructor was showing him. The screen on there was showing exactly where to click around on the CodeWizardsHQ website to find what he would need and how to do the coding, so he had to be able to see it all. My son had a hard time figuring out how to get the two screens visible at the same time so he could be typing and watching without covering up anything important. Overall, he was able to get it figured out by about half way through the class. Now that he has done it once, I’m sure it would be less of a hindrance for him the next time.
He did like the class a lot. I like that they have it divided into 12 classes per course, because it’s bite-sized and seems less daunting than a full year type of course. I also like that they offer so many different courses and that the class size is small enough that each student gets plenty of attention and support.
My son liked that the class time was just one hour. There was plenty of instruction and a solid curriculum to keep the kids busy the whole time without overwhelming them. Since they get to learn and implement this information right away, they are able to complete a project during the class time. My son liked being able to make his comic in the allotted time. The instructor let the kids do a show and tell at the end, as well, so they were able to see what the other students in the class came up with. These are all aspects of a real classroom that we do not normally have in our homeschool. I would love for my son to take a full course, and I would love to find more online classes in other subjects that are similar to this! It really clicked for my 5th grader.
If you are able to get a group of homeschooling kids together to all take a class, CodeWizardsHQ will even let you decide (as a group) on the class day and time and will give a discount for signing up together. The more students (up to 8), the greater the discount per student. Keep in mind that their pricing is PER MONTH, so you would need to pay for 3 months to complete a single course.
The Review Crew all reviewed the same introductory class. See how other kids liked it by clicking on the banner below.