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What You Need to Know About Homeschool Computer Science

Does your child need a homeschool computer science credit? In some states, one of the graduation requirements is a technology credit for high school. But don't worry, it's usually a VERY broad, nonspecific requirement, and almost anything goes.

Homeschool computer science is easy to cover and there are many topics you can cover for a computer science class. Colleges want to know that your children are computer literate. Learning to use Microsoft Word, internet skills, email, and keyboarding skills all demonstrate computer literacy. 

If your child is already computer literate, then you can give them credit based on the skills they possess. Put together a course description listing your child's skills. Ask the child to help. A more computer savvy teen will be able to list quite a few programs they can use. You can also go through the programs file on your computer with your child and ask which ones they are familiar with. Can they use Excel? How about PowerPoint? Some kids are online almost constantly, so ask them if they can make YouTube videos, code a website, or write on a blog. These are great skills to learn and have for the future. 

Pro-tip: When going through these program listings, some teens will want to count video gaming as a computer skill. It may be a computer skill, but it isn't one you'll want to count here. 

Computer Science Credit

Computer science is about the software and coding - the binary code of computers. This might be a good class title if your child is learning computer coding languages, creating software, developing apps, learning operating systems, and developing websites. There is an AP® Test in Computer Science. If your child is good at this kind of techie stuff, consider if taking a Computer Science AP® Test might be a good option. 

If your child is interested in computer science but doesn't yet have the skill, there are great resources out there to help them. This is a great online resource that lists many different programs to learn coding. The programs vary by age, so be sure to scroll all the way to the bottom of the page in order to find one that fits your child best. 

Computer Engineering Credit

Computer engineering is about the hardware, or the physical pieces of the computer. This might be a good title for kids who are putting hardware together, and working on computer equipment, circuit boards, routers, microchips, and electrical stuff.

Computer Technology Credit

Technology is a basic class describing how to use different kinds of technology. If your child is NOT computer literate, then you can create a computer class emphasizing basic skills. I would focus on basic Microsoft Office skills (Word, Excel, PowerPoint), keyboarding, (perhaps using the Mavis Beacon program), as well as basic internet skills. Remember that the goal is computer literacy, and independence at college and in life.

Computer Science as a Foreign Language

Some colleges will even count computer science as a foreign language credit. It sounds strange, but it's true! Be sure to check with the college(s) that your child is interested in to see what their requirements are.

Are you teaching computer science in your homeschool? What curriculum are you using? 

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Wednesday, 25 November 2020

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