Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.
It’s amazing what kids can achieve in a month when they learn to code with Simply Coding‘s Coding for Kids Annual Membership. When the opportunity arose to review this program, we simply couldn’t let is pass. It turns out these coding classes are much more than we expected!
We received an annual membership for our children, which meant they could both learn something new. My son (12) loves learning to code, but I wasn’t sure my daughter (10) would be very enthusiastic, but with all of the classes available with the membership, I was sure there was something we could entice her with. As it turns out, she dove right in and has already started another class and has set her sights on at least two more of the classes.
Simply coding is geared towards ages 11-18…however, I want to finish up a couple of projects so that I can have some time to learn some of the courses as well.
Please give me some leeway in this review as I am totally not a code-geek and although I do blog and know my way around a website and a nano-amount of coding, it’s not my forté and thus it’s difficult to know the ins and outs of it. Phil is much more the go-to so he worked alongside the children for this class.
We were all surprised to see that so much more was included with the subscription than just the ‘Simply Coding’ courses that we saw on the main website! There’s certainly something for everyone along the 4 pathways. Whether your interests lie in tech, social media, business admin, or gaming, there’s a class for you.
The Coding Classes in the 4 pathways:
Simply Coding – websites, gaming, apps
Simply Media – photography and videography
Simply Tech Essentials – business programs
Simply Tech4Kids – a good mix of the above geared specifically for children
The programs are log in and go, although for some of the courses such as photography, you will need to purchase the programs that you want to learn, if you don’t already have them.
High School Credit
Although we’re in the UK, it’s still interesting to see how many high school credits can be achieved through the various courses. These give me a good base to start from when thinking about how high school courses will fit together and what level and how much work is appropriate. The courses that I’ve looked into have between .25 – .5 credits each and take about 15-30 hours to complete.
When a student completes a course they can upload it to a portfolio that they can then use to show off their abilities and future schools or employers.
How The Simply Coding Classes Work
Each of the courses has a syllabus that outlines the class. In essence, the classes are broken down by week. Each week there will be a lesson (there’s the option to read through the lesson or to watch the video – having both options is a great idea as students learn in different ways), work on the project, and a quiz. Students should achieve a particular grade (in our case 80%) before they can move onto the next lesson, unfortunately, my children were able to move on with a 60% grade in a couple of cases.
At the end of the course there is time to study, then a cumulative test. (It was a little odd that Tristan, who had 80-100% on his weekly quizes had only 56% on his final test, and that it was exactly the same grade as Kallista.) However, I do believe that having a timed test threw them off a bit as they are not accustomed to that type of pressure. At this point, you also upload your project.
At this point, I can’t say yet what happens with that project as we haven’t had any feedback on it. Over the last period of time Hurricane Sally has been impeding the ability for the site to have their live webchat running, and I’m sure that this is also impacting other services (but you can email them if needed and they will reply). We’ll update you when we find out.
For some of the classes, such as building websites, you must complete one course before you can unlock the next course.
Intro To Websites
With Phil currently working from home, the children had a later class with him when he was finished work for the day, although about half way through the class they were feeling more confident and would get up early and work on their coding first.
Kallista has been wanting her own website for quite some time now, so this was the perfect avenue to get her interested in coding.
She worked hard on this class and had so much fun choosing layouts and colours and changed her design many times to get it just right for her. She’s already a third of the way through Creating Your Own YouTube Channel, and also wants to take Blogging4Kids. She’s been thinking about all of this for a long time already, and she has many ideas for videos and blog posts lined up!
Click on the image below and you’ll be taken to her website – the menu bar is above her header banner – have a look around and let her know what you think in the comments at the bottom of this blog post.
Tristan also chose this class as it will lead into Java and Python; both of which he would like to learn. He has had some coding experience, but in a very different manner. He was very good when Kallista was having trouble and he would very calmly explain something to her. He also was able to explain a couple of things to his dad, too!
Click on the image below and you can visit Tristan’s website. This website is light on text, but you do click on the text to go to the next page.
There are so many courses within the Simply Coding program that will help students build a portfolio, which is what they will have by following the classes and uploading their work into the recommended portfolio. This is something that I haven’t come across yet in other coding classes.
What I’d like to see
This is a great program, and there’s very little I would change. Updating the course syllabuses and credit hours would be helpful, as well as a little more guidance on what happens when you submit your projects and how your final grade is calculated.
What I love is that you can ‘pause’ your subscription for up to three months for when other things come up such as holidays or illness. This option puts less pressure on families to rush through and not fully enjoy the experience of the courses.
Simply Coding gets a big ‘thumbs up’ from our whole family. It’s interesting to see the children’s personalities cross over into coding. Tristan is more interested in the coding part himself, and not so big on using text to explain what he’s thinking on his pages.
In contrast, Kallista, who didn’t think coding was for her, wants to ‘talk’ to the whole world now that she knows how to set up her own virtual speaker’s podium!
I am no longer in our town’s camera club, so I’d like to take the photoshop and videography classes. This would also be good for Kallista so she can learn to better use her camera and how to edit her pics as well.
Tristan has his eye on more of the Simply Coding classes in Java and game design. He may follow in the steps of his Canadian cousin and find himself working for a multi-national game developer.
If you have children 11+ years old, and they are showing an interest in coding or learning more about how tech works, then give Simply Coding a try with their 10 day free trial and see how it will benefit your family.
Click here to read 65 reviews about Simply Coding by the Homeschool Review Crew. If you’d like to know more or would like to follow Simply Coding, you can connect with them through their website, Facebook, and YouTube.