Sunshine has recently developed a new hobby: computer coding. She was introduced to coding by a short class at our local library, which left her wanting more. I was very excited to have the chance to review the kids coding classes from CodeWizardsHQ. They offer live, online, structured coding classes that prepare kids for university or future careers.
There were six children in Sunshine’s introductory coding class. CodeWizardsHQ keeps classes small so that each student can get individual attention from the instructor. When the class started, the instructor took time to get to know each student. They shared why they wanted to learn how to code and what sorts of things they wanted to code.
Then the instructor had the kids login to the coding editor. This caused some confusion among the class. I quickly realized Sunshine needed to have two windows open on the computer—the class window (so she could see what the teacher was doing) and the coding editor window (so she could do her own work). The instructor helped a few other students figure this out and checked in frequently to make sure that everyone was following along.
The code editor had some code set up for the kids to begin creating a comic strip. The kids were able to edit the code to personalize their own superhero comics. Having the code there made this easy to do and set them up for immediate success. The instructor walked the kids through the various parts of the code, letting them play in their own editors. He was also able to see each child’s work and give feedback if their code had a problem.
The code editor already had some backgrounds and superhero characters uploaded. The instructor taught the kids how to change these on their comic strip, edit the dialogue, and even upload their own characters. Sunshine really enjoyed picking difference characters and backgrounds for her comic strip.
The hour-long class flew past. At the end, the instructor invited the students to show and tell. Each child had a chance to show their project. It was a lot of fun to see how the kids took the same pieces of code and created their own stories with it.
Sunshine kept working on her project for several minutes after the class was done. Aside from coding, this was a great way to encourage her to write. Usually, writing isn’t her favourite activity, but she really wanted to keep adding code to her comic strip. She had to keep coming up with dialogue for the characters. And when coding, spelling is very important! A misspelled word can mean a piece of code that doesn’t work.
Here’s Sunshine’s comic strip:
Overall, I was very impressed by the CodeWizardsHQ kids coding classes. As a blogger, I’ve learned a bit of coding and HTML (and found it rather ironic to be checking my coding in a post about coding). I also took a course on website design when I was doing my writing degree. While coding certainly isn’t my strong suit, watching Sunshine do this class helped me realize how much code I do know. It was also fun to see how much the kids could do with just a few lines of coding. Computer code may seem complicated, but it really isn’t.
Do kids need to learn how to code? Well, I certainly think it’s a handy skill to have. We depend upon computers and code for so many everyday things. Even if Sunshine doesn’t become a blogger or website designer, knowing how code works when she’s accessing her favourite websites doesn’t hurt. I may not be a mechanic, but a basic understanding of what’s under the hood of my van is still useful.
(And hey, if Sunshine wants to keep learning coding, she can be my blog assistant in a few years!)
To find out what other homeschool families thought about the kids coding classes, click the image below:
To find out what sets CodeWizardsHQ apart from other coding classes, check out this video:
Have your kids done any kids coding classes or expressed interest in computer coding?