Monday, July 16, 2018

Code for Teens - A Coding Guide for Teenagers - Review

You know how much my son loves coding.  You also may remember the online coding class he did earlier this year.  And you already know how our family feels about electronics and children.  <--- We don't encourage it as much as other parents because we feel kids spend too much time on video games and watching how-to videos instead of actually doing.  However, because the world we are living in is becoming more and more technology-driven we want our kids to have some idea of how to navigate in a world full of "tech-geeks".  So we tried our hands and brains at another coding program.  I'm back today with another review for you, Code for Teens: The Awesome Beginner's Guide to Programming (Volume 1) from Code for Teens.

What Did We Receive

We received a physical copy of the Code for Teens: The Awesome Beginner's Guide to Programming book.  

Code for Teens

About the Code for Teens Book

Code for Teens was written by a homeschool dad and illustrated by his wife.  They have 6 children and they were his inspiration to write this book.  This book teaches the coding language, JavaScript, which is the most commonly used programming language in software engineering. It is used in over 90% of websites and is also useful for games and apps.  So you can see why he teaches this coding language.  The author created the book to empower children to teach themselves how to code.  The book has 221 pages, it has quizzes at the end of each chapter, drills, DIY activities, answers to the quizzes, drills, and DIY activities, and a glossary. 

How we Used it

I originally planned to use this with my 12-year-old son, however, although he is still working through it he doesn't like it too much.  My 15-year-old daughter was willing to give it a go even though she is not interested in coding at all.  She is loving it!  They are each using it differently.

My son works through a few pages a day at his own pace.  I do not make him work on it every day.  Usually, he works on it once a week and that is ok with me because I know that right now he is not that fond of it.

My daughter is working on it 2-3 days a week.  She does a complete chapter one day, the quiz on one day, and the drill and DIY activity on one day.  This comes out to be a chapter a week. 

Our Final Thoughts

My Son Thoughts

"It is not that bad.  I would love it if there were more activities instead of just typing scripts, it would be better if I could make games or activities.  It's great for people who just want to learn the basic of just coding, but I would love it if it was more interactive.  It's not a bad curriculum it's just to slow for me."

My Daughter Thoughts

"I love the coding book its a really fun curriculum and the author makes it easy to catch on and follow the instructions. The projects are pretty simple which can get boring but they increase in difficulty as the chapters proceed. I think it's beneficial how the author explains every step and why we need to do it precisely. Overall it's an enjoyable curriculum and I even like the quizzes."

Mom Thoughts

I love the layout of the book.  The pictures, the color-coded chapters, even the way he presents each lesson.  For my son, it was not the best approach because he prefers more interaction and someone walking him through the steps verbally.  He didn't like having to read through each lesson.  I, however, think that is an important part because the author is teaching the why behind coding, so he is not just showing your child how to do it he is also explaining why they do it and he also takes it a step further and have the child make a mistake on purpose so they can see what will happen if they do code it wrong.  He is very encouraging and thorough with his teaching.  When I read through the lesson I felt as if he was actually here with us teaching it, that is how well he explains it. 
Although the pages are nice and glossy the downfall to that is that when the kids are holding the book open, that's another issue, the creases start to fade the words in the text a little.  

My son was looking for more game and video creating activities.  Although these were not available in this text (they do learn to make a hangman game later down the line) the author explains that those are things your child will learn when learning other computer programming languages and he encourages your child to further their learning.  JavaScript is just the beginning and this book is for building the foundation.  His goal is to teach your child how to think through problems and create solutions just like a real engineer.  Volume 2 of Code for Teens will teach more in-depth concepts like building a website and creating a game. 

The concepts in this book are sort of like math they build on each other so I suggest that you make sure your child has mastered the concept before moving on to the next.
The drills are a great review to ensure your child retained the information that was taught in the lesson.

I would definitely recommend this to anyone who is interested in learning how to code.  I would say the child should at least be able to read well before starting the program.   

Be sure to check out what other moms are saying about Code for Teens.  Click on the banner below to see their reviews.

Code For Teens: The Awesome Beginner's Guide to Programming {Code for Teens Reviews}

Thank you for stopping by!  I hope this review is helpful for you as I know how important it is when picking the best curriculum for your children.  Have a bless day!

Crew Disclaimer


  1. Thanks for review, Markie! I hope your son sticks with it. Learning the basics can feel slow at times (like learning scales with a musical instrument), but they create the foundation required to make the exciting stuff in the future!

    1. Life as Mrs. CooksAugust 1, 2018 at 2:25 PM

      I agree, Jeremy. He is hanging in there with it. It is teaching him patience!