The new school year will soon be here, and we have a new computer science curriculum lined up for this fall called Code for Teens: The Awesome Beginner’s Guide To Programming (Volume 1) that Code for Teens sent us to review.
Code for Teens
The Awesome Beginner’s Guide To Programming
This book is a text book, lab book, and teacher answer key all in one. Students will need the book, a computer and keyboard, internet access, Google Chrome browser, and access to Google Documents online, or an installed software program such as Microsoft Word. With the Chrome browser, students will be able to access Chrome’s console to complete the step by step exercises in the book. As a final project in chapter 10, students create their own web game called Hangman.
Students keep track of their progress by creating a “Workbook” within “Google Documents” or on Microsoft Word or similar software program that they can access and use again and again, saving their progress. Students can check their own work, or have a parent check their work. This book is designed so that students can work through this course independently.
Table of Contents
- Chapter 1: Hello World!
Write your first lines of code and make mistakes.
- Chapter 2: Time to Operate
Code with numbers and math operators.
- Chapter 3: Comment on the String Section
Concatenate strings and make snide comments.
- Chapter 4: Have Some Functions
Declare and invoke functions.
- Chapter 5: Shall I Compare?
Use booleans, if blocks, conditionals, and comparison operators.
- Chapter 6: Logically Operational
Work with null, undefined, and logical operators.
- Chapter 7: Projects Galore
Practice methods in lots of short projects.
- Chapter 8: Hip Hip Array!
Introduce arrays and do stuff with ’em.
- Chapter 9: Loop a Round
Put your code on repeat with loops.
- Chapter 10: Make a Hangman Game
Combine concepts from every chapter to build a cool game.
- Glossary of Terms
During this course, students will develop skills for computer programming, problem solving, and learn to think like a computer engineer. After mastering this course, students are encouraged to continue learning HTML and CSS with Code for Teens (Volume 2) where they will learn learn even more coding skills and learn to build web pages, games, and more.
This is a brand new curriculum for teens published in 2018 by Jeremy Moritz and illustrated by his wife Christine Moritz. Together they are raising and homeschool educating six children in Kansas City, Kansas.
In addition to writing curriculum, Jeremy is also a Director of Music Theater, a Choreographer, and a Performer, and he has been involved in over 100+ productions with children and adults. Christine is a busy mom, a creative artist, and the book mentions she enjoys cooking, power tools, and playing piano.
I am head over heals to so to speak over this couple and their family. I spent some time watching Jeremy’s Youtube channels where he shares videos of his family and some of the productions he has been involved in. The videos are not about the curriculum, but about his family and more. I was so impressed with his family. They are a beautiful homeschool family, and the photos show real life events, a lived in house, bouncing and playing in the yard, their church, chess tournaments, and really funny kids full of lots of energy. The videos really capture the life of a large homeschool family. It is so nice to review curriculum written by homeschool parents and see they are in the midst of life, loving it, living it, breathing it, doing it, for the glory of God.
One of the videos that really impressed me was a video he shared of his engagement to his wife on their wedding slideshow. WOW! About half way through that video they both share they are in love with God and it was their love for God that drew them to each other. To hear them talk about what inspired them in each other and what drew them together left me and my kids awe struck!
Another inspiring video is of him and his wife and a skit called Where Do We Start? It was really interesting to see the author and illustrator as husband and wife and their creativity working together. It is something you just don’t get to see most of the time.
I hope Jeremy and Christine will make more videos that inspire people to learn about Father God, his Word, his Son and salvation, and loving each other and raising a homeschool family.
This book is written very simply and step by step. Chapters include short lessons that include new vocabulary and concepts, a Follow Along projects you implement as you learn, then a short Quiz, Drills to practice what you learned, Aggregate Review building on what you have learned, DIY activities so you can learn to think for yourself, and a chapter summary called Key Concepts.
A few key points, about why you might consider teaching a computer coding class to your kids:
*Computer coding is a useful and relevant skill in the modern age we live in.
*Computer coders are highly desired in the job market and well paid.
I read through the book myself and it peaked my interest to join the kids and learn right along with them. There is a lot of vocabulary and concepts that are new to me too.
However, I had a couple of issues with a few sentences in this book. The author encouraged kids to learn code so they can gain “super powers”.
In the Introduction at the beginning, the author compares acquiring coding skills to super powers, and encourages kids to learn to code so they can have powers such as Harry Potter. I was shocked, on the one hand, the author is telling parents they didn’t need to teach this course to their kids, just turn them loose with the book and they could learn it on their own, yet to the kids it is referencing the wizard Harry Potter and harnessing their brain to gain power. There are also a few references in the book to magic wands, magic keys, etc. He also draws a comparison to knowing code as being mortal/immortal, having magical ideas in your head, having power to control others, and having power to make machines obey your coding commands. These statements are off the cuff, and seem to be intended as funny jokes to kids, and do not seem intentional to cause harm. However, it has spiritual significance.
The author has a sense of humor and I get it that he is trying to be funny and keep kids interested in learning. Had it not been for these few comments about Harry Potter, power, magic, and imagining yourself at Halloween, etc. I would have considered this book near perfect. But for our family, these are things we don’t participate in and referencing them in curriculum makes us pause and consider if we want to continue learning with the material. We are a faith based homeschool family and are involved hands on with our kids education. We believe that sorcery is wrong, Father God has forbidden it in the scriptures, and we do not encourage our children to seek out books, movies, or ideas that promote magic and sorcery.
My personal thoughts about coding computers, smart devices, and Ai:
I believe a “PROCEED with CAUTION” sign is advised for Christian families when learning about computers, and we need to understand how they are changing, and how we use them in our every day lives. I hope more people who love Father God will wake up to the truth that is happening right before their eyes and proceed with caution when it comes to computers, coding, smart phones and smart devices, the internet, and Ai.
The bible tells us that the final kingdom is “trans” human, as it blends clay and iron (man and metal, man and machine), brings about a “one world” religion and government, and is cashless needing only the mark of the beast to buy or sell. It tells us that the Beast, False Prophet, the Antichrist, and Abbadon (also known as Helios and Apolyon) will soon release a terrible time in history upon mankind. The increase in computers and Ai machines that people place their trust in will fulfill bible prophesy. For example, many have already accepted the rfid computer chip to buy and sell and access their personal medical records and passwords. The rfid computer chip can get them into their offices, air planes, trains, expedite hospital admissions, access their bank account to pay for their coffee and purchases, and more. Another example is of the co-creators of Google, they have opened a church called “The Way” and worship “Ai” as a “god”. People are putting their faith in Ai to answer their life questions, to run their schedules, to guide their cars, to make purchases, to do facial recognition, to predict risk, to find a mate, to know when you ovulate and when to procreate, to create solutions to social dilemmas, to mix chemical formulations for pharmacy to treat diseases, to predict diseases and life span, to choose life or death for the unborn and the aged, to secure their homes, etc. There is a lot more examples I could share, but hopefully this is enough to raise your eyebrows and sound an alarm bell in your head.
Did you know that in Hebrew, “Ai” was the place other gods were worshiped, they set up temples to these other gods, especially the transgender god Ishtar (Iana, Diana, Easter, Venus, Morning Star, Summer, Sumeria, Liberty, Queen of Heaven, Lucifer) and participated in festivals to various gods, and it made Father God very angry and Israel was judged for it? Did you know that in Hebrew, “Ai” means “ruin”? The bible says there is nothing new, these deceptions have all been done before and continue to be done in society and even in the church. Ai will once again become a heap of ruins, and all those who put their trust in it will be ruined for eternity.
We are living in the end times, and we are warned in the scriptures of a day when folks will be forced to take the “mark” or starve, and forced to worship the “beast” or be killed, and worship the image of the antichrist, the one who replaces Jesus of Nazareth, Yahusha Ha Mashiac, our healer and savior. This evil one will use technology to create an image that speaks. He will be trusted for everything and people will believe he will make the world a better place. He has also been given the “power” to work sorcery, signs, miracles, cause storms and earth quakes, and he will create a false peace and trust. But he will eventually break that trust and bring terrible events, disease, and war upon the people of the earth.
I encourage you when you and your kids are learning about computers and smart devices, computer languages and design, to understand its place in bible prophesy and proceed with caution and use discernment to test the spirit, pray, and understand the big spiritual picture.
I would encourage Homeschool parents who are interested in teaching their kids about coding computers to check out this curriculum and perhaps learn how to code right along with their kids. I know this book is designed so parents don’t have to teach it and kids can teach it to themselves, but perhaps one of the best relationship building things you can do with your kids is to work through the curriculum together and talk about what you are learning, talk about how it lines up with history, with current events and the bible, and grow in your relationship and your spiritual walk.
You can read the Introduction and First Chapter for FREE at Code For Teens.
Homeschool Review Crew
Be sure to check out what others on the Homeschool Review Crew had to say about using Code for Teens in their home.