I know the title sounds funny and as if it is referring to a secret language. In fact, I’m referring to computer coding and programming. I know we might be biased since hubby is in the computer science industry. But seriously, kids learning coding or programming is a necessary skill. Sadly, I know many adults and kids are scared of it because they don’t know anything about it. Don’t be! It’s really not scary and there are lots of programs out there for beginners of any age.
Our son started playing with scratch at 5 and now has his own account with 50+ programs or games. Scratch is free and from MIT. Go to http://scratch.mit.edu/ and check it out! Scratch can also be combined with Lego WeDo. Our son first did this at Techno Chaos and then thanks to a deal through Homeschool Buyers Coop we got our own Lego WeDo so he can do even more projects. ADS-8 also took this free class on Scratch http://pluralsight.com/training/Courses/TableOfContents/learning-programming-scratch from Plural Sight. There are lots of videos and other tutorials out there.
Processing is a programming language my hubby introduced to our son after he had become fluent in Scratch. Processing is primarily for 2D graphics but it is not limited to it. I admit to liking the projects our son and hubby do. This language is a great next language after Scratch and is a prequel to learning Java. It is a gateway to arduino and energia (microprocessor boards). https://www.processing.org/ is loaded with great tutorials and examples.
There are even more languages out there, but this is a great start and some of the “easier” ways to start programming. http://www.trycomputing.org/resources is loaded with links to free programming sites such as Alice, Scratch, Tynker, Squeak, Robomind, Python, Lightbot, Greenfoot, and more. I admit that we are just starting on this adventure. We are following our son’s interests which is currently Scratch, Processing, and Minecraft. He now has the desire to learn raspberry pi and arduino (these will be saved for their own blog as its combining programming and robotics). Programming can lead to future making, tinkering, and inventing!