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My boys all love just about anything related to the computer. R had a blast reviewing KidCoder Visual Basic Series by Homeschool Programming this past school year. So it is no surprise that he’d be thrilled to review TeenCoder C# Series when his older brother was unable to add it to his workload for the review period.
Technology for High School ~ Homeschool Programming & Teen Coder
TeenCoder C# Series uses the free Visual C# 2010 Express development environment and strives to have a fun, easy to learn style while delving into computer science topics.
Microsoft’s latest generation programming language, C#, is commonly used in business and academic settings. Students will learn with a free version of the industry standard Microsoft Visual Studio development environment that C# programming job applicants should know when starting a software career.
Each chapter explains a programming concept in detail with corresponding sample code. In hands-on activities for each chapter the student will write their own programs based on the chapter topics. Students are encouraged to be creative and personalize their programming projects!
Instructional videos (optional to the program) cover the same conceptual topics using different examples and, in some cases, screen recordings of a real programmer accomplishing a task within the development environment. These videos are Flash-based and will play directly from your computer’s DVD drive in your Flash-enabled web browser.
Windows Programming is the first semester of this course and teaches students to create graphical Windows applications using object-oriented design concepts. This semester long class has material broken down into several lessons over 17 chapters.
Game Programming is the second semester of the course. It pairs the ‘C#’ programming language with Microsoft’s XNA Game Studio to provide a modern, easy to use game-creation framework. With 15 chapters containing three or more lessons plus activities, it could take a student a little while to complete.
Included for each semester is an executable file that will install student and/or solutions manual onto the computer. If you do not want the student peeking at the solutions manual, there is the option to not install that component. Just keep in mind that you’ll need to install it on your computer to access! Solutions can be viewed in a text editor such as Notepad if you do not also have Visual C# 2010 Express installed.
The year long TeenCoder C# Series costs $130 for the books only or $155 for the books and instructional videos. You can also purchase just the semester materials separately for $75 (books only) or $90 (books and videos.) Although you can buy the semesters separately, the student needs to have completed the Windows Programming section before embarking on the Game Programming semester.
Technology for High School ~ Our Experience with Homeschool Programming
Before even starting on actually using the materials, R felt compelled to look through the books (on the iPad as we were sent a digital copy for review) to see what the final projects would be. The boys love to play chess and he was happy to see that the culminating project for the Windows Programming component is to create a graphical chess game. He’s also looking forward to working on the Game Programming component with the final project of an arcade game called Bumper Cars. (Is it any surprise that a kid who loves to play games would want to create his own, too?)
Each of the semester long courses has what seems like a daunting amount of work. However, we found that some chapters have familiar material and can be done in a day or two while others require more time. Also, with a child who adores computers, there is a drive to do more in a day for this particular subject that in another subject (e.g. math or writing) which leads to a faster completion time.
While going through the Windows Programming component, R found that many of the topics were covered in Kid Coder. But, as review is always good, he sped through much of that material. When he did hit the new material, he realized that the executable file that comes with the materials to do the work had not been installed on his computer. (This mama forgot to give him that component at the start!) Once he had that file up and running on their laptop, he was back in business. Well, until he hit a few stumbling blocks in chapter 16 that we are currently hammering out. I’ve been trying to have him spend time in thought before pulling out the solution guide.
I know, though, that even with some challenges like R is currently experiencing, he LOVES this program and what he is learning. My other boys are itching to get started on this curriculum as well with our previous school year just about wrapped up. And, I suspect that the Web Design series that is just launching will be on our shopping list for this year as the computer bug has truly ‘hit’ our house and I’d rather see them spending time on it learning how to maximize the computer as a tool rather than an item for play.