Computer Science For Kids – Review

Computer Science For Kids products are written by Phillip Conrad and Lou Tylee.  The companies KIDWARE & Biblebyte Software were started in 1982 in an effort to present “family-friendly” learning games for kids.  You can read more about the authors here and the company background here.

KIDWARE Software publishes computer programming tutorials for schools, homeschools and computer enthusiasts.  They have tutorials for Microsoft® Small Basic, Visual Basic®, Visual C#®, and  Oracle JavaTM . Their products are geared toward middle (5-8) and high-school students.

We were able to choose between Computer Bible Games with Small Basic or Beginning Microsoft Small Basic for our review.  So I asked what Jonathan (who is turning 11 in a week) wanted to study and he chose Computer Bible Games.  It allows the Christian middle school student to study Microsoft Small Basic while creating a fun but yet simple game.

When I got the tutorial downloaded, I printed it off.  Be sure to have a whole ream of paper and print on both sides.  The tutorial is about 400pages long.  I also printed it in draft to save ink.  But be sure to leave it in color so you can see the different text colors for Small Basic text in the window.  Definitely something that is important when writing Small Basic script.

I would read the chapter he was working on ahead of time so I would know what he was about to do in the course and also because I am a computer geek!  I was actually very excited that computer classes come up for the Review Crew! 

So we would spend about an hour to an ninety minutes a day approximately 3 days a week working through each chapter.  Other than the installing of Small Basic Program (which is described in one of the first chapters), I have him work through steps a couple of times to get the hang of the Small Basic computer language.

To me it’s not that hard, but I have a bit more experience than Jonathan.  He would ask a few questions and I would explain the best I could.  I also got daddy involved as he is also a computer geek. 

I can really see Jonathan was enjoying himself as he learned more about computers and their programming.  He is so excited that when he is done with this course.  We try to do one lesson a week.  I really keep him at that pace as I don’t want him to rush through and miss any steps.  Any step that goes missing could significantly alter the outcome of the final product.  He double and even triple checks his work and we go over it together. 

Each chapter can be anywhere from 20 – nearly 100 pages.  So it definitely takes the full hour each class to work through.  Like I said above, I typically schedule 3 days but if the chapter seems particularly long then I will schedule 4 days.  But we have been able to stick to the 3 days a week for the most part.

As a parent and teacher, I really like how this curriculum is put together.  It covers every step, from installing the software to color selections for the program.  They explain things in ways that are simple enough for middle school and high school students to grasp and be able to follow as they work through the lessons.  It is very thorough and explanatory.

There are 13 chapters (lessons) to work through in this course.  We are about half-way through it right now and Jonathan is loving it.  Each step closer to the finished project he gets more excited. 

Computers and more importantly computer technology is going to be a very important part of the future.  By giving our children access to technology and training them how to understand and use it is an important skill to have today.  It will be a valuable asset to them.

Computer technology was something my own father told me to go to college for, and while I really wanted to major in music, I listened to him.  He was right!  Computers are everywhere.  That phone you have, it most likely has a computer in it.  Especially if it’s a “Smart-Phone”.   

Overall, I would definitely recommend this course to any homeschooling family.  It is perfect for the child who wants to learn more about computer program writing.  My son loves it. 

We will be updating with some screenshots of our finished program soon.  🙂 

My son and I received the Single User License Digital e-Book download for Computer Bible Games with Small Basic.  It is on sale for $34.95.

They also have a Paperback textbook + eBook tutorial for $59.95

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