CompuScholar, Inc. has a coding course available for homeschool students – Java Programming. It’s been a pleasure to review this product and has opened our eyes to a new way of increasing our computer skills.
- Online program
- Course is divided into 27 chapters with anywhere from 3-6 lessons per chapter
- Quizzes at the end of each lesson and chapter
- Each chapter contains videos, written lessons and at least one activity (but many times more than one activity)
- You will need to download software in lesson #2 for the java programming
- This is a 2-semester course so a full year is probably what you need although some students may progress faster than others
- Price: $120/annual or two monthly options ($15 for for self-study or $35 for teacher-lead by their expert staff)
This program starts with the very basics of computer hardware and software with each chapter building on the last. Other chapters include getting started with Java, how to use Integrated Development Environment, and progresses to writing methods, debugging code, arrays and collections, vector and bitmap images, and ends with a class a team project, additional labs, and a case study.
This course is also recommended by the College Board for the AP Computer Science A exam. Pre-requisites are not required but at least a basic understanding of computers (like your student won’t run from the room pulling out his hair because he’s afraid he broke something in the computer). 🙂
All this to say … it’s a very thorough program!
How We Used The Program In Our Home
In signing up, we had two log-ins: one for the teacher (me) and one for the student (Lauren). When I am signed in as the teacher, not only do I have full access to the courses, but I also have access to view the grades that are posted once Lauren takes a test.
Speaking of tests, each chapter is broken out into several lessons and each lesson has a test. So, by the time Lauren finishes a chapter, she has taken several quizzes and activities. I can see her grades on my log-in and see how she’s doing (you can also export the grades). I can also track her progress through the course. Her grades are recorded as she completes the quizzes and her average for the class is right there for me. I can see where she messes up and where she’s excelling.
We have a very independent homeschool, meaning that our children are given material to learn, are tested on it, and move through it at their own pace. When they have questions I go over it with them. Our goal is that they will learn to become independent learners and can learn to find answers on their own.
Why is that important with CompuScholar, Inc.’s Java Programming? This fits really well into our model. Once I signed her up I let her loose. When she doesn’t understand something, she starts talking to herself as she works through the errors. She moves back and forth between the code, the activity, and then goes back to the directions to see what she’s doing wrong. Yes, there have been a few frustrating moments, but for the most part she’s been working through each lesson fairly easily. When we were stumped, I was able to email the customer support techs and we received an answer fairly quickly. It was even after normal business hours and we had an answer that night. They also made the point of reminding me that we shouldn’t wait to be frustrated before emailing them. 🙂 They are there to help and they would prefer that you reach out to them sooner rather than waiting and trying to figure it out and becoming frustrated in the process.
I asked her for her input on the program and this is her take on it so far (in her own words):
- “I like the videos. They are entertaining because of the little people [the cartoon characters] they use.”
- “The reading lessons add more info than the videos by themselves. You really need both for the tests. I think they go more in-depth than the videos.”
- “I also like that the lessons are short. It keeps me on point.”
- “I think the quizzes are kind of hard, though.”
- “The material makes sense. I don’t think they should change a thing. And, it’s easy to navigate.”
I think CompuScholar, Inc.’s Java Programming course is very detailed (as it should be for a coding program). This course is designed for grades 9-12 and I think that’s appropriate for the depth of material involved. Yes – CompuScholar, Inc. does a GREAT job of explaining the material. They also have a great customer service department that will help answer any questions you can’t figure out. We ran into problems in Chapter 2 and they were helpful in getting us past that point.
If you have a techy child, this would be a great program for her. Coding is here for awhile as are computers. The more your child knows in this area (especially if she intend to pursue a Computer Science degree in college) the more ahead she will be.
CompuScholar, Inc. was formerly known as Homeschool Programming (if you’re familiar with that company). Please reach out to CompuScholar, Inc. at their new social media links:
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CompuScholar
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/CompuScholar (@compuscholar)