Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. This post contains affiliate links.
Over the past 6 weeks my son has been learning Python through Homeschool Code Academy’s Python for Beginners: Learn Coding at Home. Let’s find out what it’s about and how the class has gone.
We received the standard 10-month subscription of Python for Beginners: Learn Coding at Home for Tristan to try out.
Tristan loves learning how to code, but I’m afraid that these reviews are the most difficult for me as coding is not my strong suit. As well, Tristan has been working through this course on his own. The lessons are straight-forward for him, which is great. The target age for this course is from grade 5 and up, and he’s in 7th grade.
What’s Required To Learn Python
Not much is required for this class: a Mac or a Windows 10 PC is all – the Python program needed is available to download for free.
However, there are some skills that are needed to progress through the class successfully:
- Addition and Subtraction
- Multiplication and Division
- Decimal notation and place value
- Simple geometric formulas (area of squares, rectangles, triangles, and circles)
- Understand degrees in a circle, diameter, and radius
Yes, your child will learn that math is a required skill for programming – so if they’re interested in coding, maybe this is the way to get them to concentrate more in math class, if that’s a concern in your home.
How It Works
Python for Beginners: Learn Coding at Home is currently Homeschool Code Academy’s only course, but I am sure there will be more on the way. This course includes 158 guided lessons.
This course starts right at the very beginning by explaining what is a computer and what is software. The course sections are:
- Hardware and Software
- Working with Output
- Working with Variables and Keyboard Input
- Doing Math with Python
- Lists and Tuples
- Turtle Graphics
- Writing Programs that Make Decisions
- Loops – Writing that Repeats and Counts
- Re-using Code with Functions
- Getting Unpredictable with Random Numbers
- Space Game Code Along Project
Students are guided through the program by a software engineer, Matt Bohn, who himself was home educated. Matt teaches his students through a series of videos. Students follow along, then download PDFs that contain programming challenges on them to complete, using the teaching videos as a guide. After this, students watch Matt solve the challenge to see if theirs matches up. Tristan enjoys how he has the freedom with this course to change the coding to his liking so that he can use different colours, shapes, speeds, or other options to make the coding his own style.
The ultimate goal is to learn to code your own 2D graphics and arcade style games, which Tristan is looking forward to.
How We Used It
Tristan has been working his way through this Python class by regularly using it for between 30 – 60 minutes a day from Monday to Friday. To date he is 51% of the way through the course.
This is the last item on his calendar each day so he has something to look forward, something he enjoys, and something he doesn’t particularly consider to be ‘school’.
Most days Tristan sits in the living room and works on this while his dad is finishing off his own day of work from home. Sometimes, he’ll come and sit next to me to work on the lessons so I can keep up with what he’s learning. I like it when he shares his interests with me (even if I don’t understand them in full).
The most recent accomplishment was making turtle shapes in one colour and having them fill in with another colour. He went around the house with his laptop, programming specific colours for everyone in their favourite colours!
What We Think
The learning has really picked up over the past couple of weeks as the lessons lengthen, but it’s setting Tristan up towards his goal of learning how to program a game. He’s always enthusiastic to code, and has been known to get up early and do this class before the regular day’s classes begin.
Because I don’t know anything about coding, I appreciate how easy it is for Tristan to work his way through the course on his own without needing my assistance. He’s learning that a lot of code is needed for simple graphics, but that coding can be changed to give a different outcome, which he always tries out to see what effects this will have.
At his current rate of work, he should be able to complete this course before Christmas…which will then leave us with the conundrum of what to fill his time with in the new year that will hold his interest as well as this class.
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