learning to program

Day before yesterday, I found a link to Invent Your Own Computer Games with Python, a free e-book and online course designed to let 10-12-year-olds learn to program by creating games.  Bookmarked it, shared the link with someone I know who is subscribing the MIT iTunes-U podcast series on computer programming which uses Python, and wondered if our youngest child would like the e-book...

And the answer was yes. I had the delight of seeing my 9-year-old daughter write a program for her first "Hello, world!" yesterday, and then today we got far enough along in the book that we made a guess-the-number game.  The typing is the biggest roadblock, so far.  Sometimes we get around it by having her read the code aloud to me while I type it for her.  She's a little impatient with the explanations, wanting to get to the games right away.  The fourth chapter began with the game, which was good.  Now that we have it working, I think the chapter will go on to explain the underlying concepts to her. 

We'll see whether her interest is held by programming with typed text, or whether we'll want to change over to a more visual, drag-and-drop interface with Scratch.

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