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.
My kids are fascinated with computer technology and have always wanted to learn to code. When given an opportunity to review Everything You Need to Ace Computer Science and Coding in One Big Fat Notebook, from Workman Publishing, I knew they would be interested.
I have to confess, I am very restrictive with computer access and screen time. I was excited this product is a book and not online learning. It does lead to computer projects, but the information is coming out of a good old fashioned page flipping book.
There are eight units within the book:
- Computing Systems
- Data and Analysis
- Software Engineering
- Algorithms and Programming
- Universal Programming Principles
- Programming with Scratch
- Programming in Python
- Web Development
The book is written for middle school students but can easily cover upper elementary. As my high school son is especially interested in learning about programming, I wasn’t surprised to find him looking through the book as well.
Each unit is presented in a fun format. Important facts and terms are highlighted, underlined, or written in color; helping students to focus on major points. Doodles and graphics reinforce the bigger ideas presented.
Each chapter is filled with information, with questions at the end for students to check their knowledge and understanding of what they’ve read. The first five units provided my kids with a better understanding of computer science. Being able to use a computer or play a video game is not computer science, but having the knowledge to write a program for a game is.
After reading through the unit titled Programming with Scratch, my kids were ready to apply their knowledge. The unit provided a basic understanding of the programming language, and they easily got started. They refer back to the book for help in creating games and interactive stories, and also utilize tutorials within Scratch.
Python is another widely-used programming language, and the unit in the book provides a basic overview to get a user started. We have not tried it yet but will refer back to the book when we use it in the future.
Overall we thought the book had a fun format, and it provided us with a better understanding of computer science. Although I will continue to be restrictive with computer usage, I have made some allowances for programming projects. I am amazed at how quickly my kids are advancing in the complexity of their coding projects.
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