What Is This Product?
Simply Coding provides an online curriculum for kids in the 11-18 age range. It’s a very interactive program, giving kids a hands-on way to practice what they are learning. There are short text based lessons, with helpful videos for review. We skipped out on the videos, as our internet is metered and the text did a great job explaining the concepts.
There are several classes available, though some do have pre-requisites. As you complete courses, you can access additional ones. There are courses in four different tracts:
- Tech Essentials
We stayed in the Coding tract for this review, though one of my other children is interested in taking the photography course in the Media section. There are a few other options that caught our eye, so we’ll continue using this program throughout the duration of our membership.
What Are the Courses Like?
The courses are designed for independent learning. Here’s one of the lessons in the Intro to Websites course my son and I worked through together:
A couple of things to note:
- The lessons are short and quick, so they don’t take long.
- There are bold words to help draw the eye and emphasize important words and directions.
- You can easily find the video portion.
- There are examples.
- It’s easy to read so kids can have success on their own.
How Did We Use This Product?
As mentioned above, we focused exclusively on the coding portion of this product. There is so much more available that we haven’t dived into yet.
But, we worked on a lesson about three days a week. This was a good pace for the crazy summer, but I think a more frequent (or longer) session would have been better. Often you end the lesson in the middle of something, and continue in the next one. The break between days meant that we were often having to go back and reread the previous lesson to remember what was going on.
Now that school has officially started back up for us, it’ll be easier to do it four or five days a week instead. Or, we might drop down to two days, but do several lessons at once. We’re still deciding which route will be best for this particular child.
My son really wanted to take the Minecraft Mods in Java course. He was so excited when I told him about it. But, we ran into a slight problem. We have Windows 10 Minecraft, not the Java edition. The two aren’t compatible, so he couldn’t make and try anything from this course.
This was a big disappointment to him. He was really looking forward to the Minecraft lessons. I think this disappointment shaped his outlook on the whole program, as he never really got into it as much as I hoped he would.
But, he was still a good sport and completed the lessons with me.
The lessons were very gradual, and one helped prepare you for the next. There was this lesson, where you practiced using a text editor in the lesson itself. It was fun to hit the “Run the Code” button and see the changes that were made.
Then in the Intro to Websites course, you need to download a program called Sublime Text. This is a text editor that lets you practice HTML. You can see how it’d look in a browser, and continue editing code. The directions for install were simple, and I appreciated that.
This text editor also looked like the one we’d practice on within the lesson, which made transferring the knowledge very easy.
We could have Sublime Text open on top of the lesson box, and easily follow the step-by-step directions. I think using this on our desktop with two monitors would have been even better, but we just used the laptop for simplicity.
In this lesson, my son and I were learning about tags and how they work. We put them into Sublime (the black box) and when we hit the view in browser button, this is what we saw:
The words are a little strange, but that was what the directions said. Afterwards, we played around for a bit on our own. It was easy to open a new file so we could keep the reference one the way it was supposed to be.
What Did We Think of This Product?
I was very impressed by how much content is available with Simply Coding. There are so many courses available, all of which will help prepare kids for the future.
My son was 11, so he was at the lower end of the age range. But, they were not too complicated for him. He did learn a lot about coding, even if it wasn’t his favorite subject. He said he liked using the Sublime, but thought some of the examples were weird. (I’d say they were cheesy :D).
It was nice for me to refresh my knowledge of HTML, as I use that for my blog and really only know some of the basics. I learned some new things taking this course, which I appreciated.
If you’re looking for a great way for your child to learn key technological skills, I highly recommend a membership with Simply Coding.
But, don’t just take my word for it. Plenty of other homeschooling families also had the opportunity to review this product. You can see what they had to say by clicking the banner below: