I love exposing my children to different activities and experiences. A wide range of exposure helps them explore and discover their God-given talents and passions.
Like many kids his age, my oldest son LOVES technology and gadgets. He is also looking for ways to start his own business.
As I look for ways to help him think like a creator/inventor/business man and not just a consumer, computer science sounds like just the thing we should try next!
I was excited when the opportunity to review Computer Bible Games for Microsoft Small Basic was presented to me.
The tutorial is designed to be used by teachers, homeschool parents and children that have little to no experience. The language is simple and easy to understand, and uses clear step-by-step instructions.
After using the program the child/student will be able to develop his/her own applications and computer games using Microsoft’s Small Basic Development Environment for Beginners.
Computer Science for Kids’ tutorials are appropriate for early middle school, high school and adult students.
Computer Bible Games for Microsoft Small Basic contains a total of 13 lessons (click to see Table of Contents). Depending on the age of the child and his/her prior experience, each lesson is expected to be covered in one week. To fully grasp the material it will take the student a total of 3-6 hours of time to complete each lesson (click to see a sample Chapter Preview). The tutorials are self-study and self-paced and the times are just recommendations.
As soon as 10 weeks into the program your child can be programming and playing his/her own Computer Bible game! The games he/she will learn to program include:
Daniel and the Lions
Elijah and the Ravens
The Good Shepherd
The Prodigal Son
The Lost Coin
The lessons are written in simple language, easy to understand, regardless of your or your child’s level of prior experience. Though the exercises and practice assignments can be performed by a child that is 10 years old, I found the reading material to be above an average 10-year-old’s comprehension level. This did not stop Isaiah from being introduced to the world of computer programming!
I would read through the lesson the day before and work through the practice programs. At this point I felt comfortable enough to walk through the assignments with Isaiah, and would have him do the practice assignments. If he asked or if I thought necessary, I would explain some of the theory or definitions from the book to him
I would not go too much into the technical wording and theory with my son. I would give him as much as he asked! I would answer questions, or explain when he asked me to. My purpose is to expose him and let him have fun with computer science and let his questions drive the experience. The technical jargon made him lose interest quickly!
I found it difficult to keep track of the terms and definitions. It would be helpful to have, at the end or beginning of a lesson, a list or chart of terms and definitions. This would be especially helpful as one moves further in the program and the lessons are more lengthy and involved.
The lessons are downloadable and are available in Word format. PDF would be much easier to navigate.
What I Liked
The program is a great introduction to more complex computer languages (i.e. C++, Java). I would especially recommend it for students 12+. If your child is interested in technology, it is also a program a parent can go through with him/her.
The program was well-organized, starting out simple and gradually getting more complex, making it easy to follow and keep up. The theory was explained in clear language, making the world of computer programming reachable to anyone!
The lessons do not just teach the computer language and program design, but also good habits! When the student gets the opportunity to design their own programs, the text explains and encourages important practices to keep, like:
keeping notes in your program, making future changes and collaboration with others easier.
good planning skills
building your program in stages…otherwise, errors compound.
I enjoyed how this program made teaching computer science not just possible, but fun!
You can order Computer Bible Games for Microsoft Small Basic at Computer Science for Kids! You have the option of ordering Beginning Microsoft Small Basic Tutorial (the same as the one reviewed, with secular games to program).You have the option of ordering the paperback textbook Plus E-Tutorial Digital Download for $59.95 (free shipping in USA) or the digital e-download, ON SALE NOW for only for $34.95!
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