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My son has taken several of the online computer programming courses offered by Youth Digital. We originally found them through the Homeschool Buyers Co-op.
We run them on a Mac, but they run on PCs as well.
When we have had technical problems, the YD team has been quick to email back and forth until a solution was found.
I can highly recommend these courses.
Having earned a BS in Computer Science and having graduated my first homeschooled son, I would agree that basic computer skills such as you listed are necessary. However, I would not call it "Computer Science". Computer Technology or Computer Skills would be a better choice. I completely agree with Michi's comments.
If your student wishes to learn Computer Science, here is a great website -- no computer required!! Although some activities require multiple students, many can be adapted for 1 (or just get the whole family involved). I taught this as a fun class for middle schoolers and they loved it. All of these topics were covered (in more depth of course) in my college course work.
Website is Computer Science Unplugged at http://csunplugged.org/
I agree with Carrie. Most students learn word processing, spreadsheet, surfing the net, etc. on their own and don't receive credit for it.
I think this article might be better titled "High School Technology Credit" or something similar. Community colleges offer "Information Systems," "Computer Information Systems," or "Information Technology" courses with content such as you describe.
Computer Science courses, on the other hand, go much deeper into the study of programming languages, algorithms, data structures, and so on. Calling a web design or keyboarding class "Computer Science" would raise eyebrows in admissions offices.
Those students SHOULD receive credit. One of the many reasons it's important to keep track. A morning meeting can help mom and student touch base. Many homeschool moms use that time to get an idea of where students are spending their time. Here's a link for the article: Have a Morning Meeting
When defining technology oriented courses, Lee has found that course descriptions are very important. She talks about finding inspiration for course descriptions in this article: Inspiration for Course Descriptions
Assistant to the HomeScholar
We used the homeschool computer science programs from homeschoolprogramming.com. The Java set is probably the best to start out with. It also helps to prepare a student for the Computer Science A AP test. Each of their highschool programs are worth a semester credit.
This article might explain a bit more about how to determine high school credit: http://www.thehomescholar.com/blog/hours-in-a-credit/2398/
One credit can mean different things between different schools (public or private) and there may be a variety of opinions. However, parents get to make the determination in their own homeschool.
A high school credit is worth more than what you have suggested. A course in technology or computer science goes into more depth. If we're going to give credit, make it worthy of a credit. There are free courses available online that cover the programs completely and more accurately would reflect a student's knowledge.
Homeschooling parents giving credit for next to nothing is why some colleges discount the value of a homeschooler's GPA, which does not help future students.
Lee, This is EXACTLY what I was wondering! This is such a huge help to me a relief that my son will get a technology credit for skills that he already possesses! How do you know so much?! (:
Thank you, Mrs. Binz. Your comments and suggestions are always welcome.
My Mom looks forward to hearing you at the conference in August.
Hello Mrs. Binz,
I am fifteen years old and have started my own business with the help of my parents. I decided to comment on this post because it was most applicable to the starting of an online business. (I think I could have commented on a lot of your other posts, too.)
I have always had an interest in owning my own business, and my parents helped me to achieve that goal through my homeschooling. They purchased the Homeschool Entrepreneur Course for me to learn basic business skills. I used this course along with other sources to develop my online business.
I greatly enjoyed the experience of developing a website with the help of my parents, especially my father. He learned HTML along side of me in order to design a website using my ideas for my online business. My mom also helped me learn marketing to advertise my website.
I hope this encourages parents to help their high school sons develop their interests using some of their high school courses like computer or economics.
My business sells e-Books of public domain authors of the 1800's. My website is http://www.olde-books.com. I am also a vendor at the Heart of the Matter Conference this year. I would greatly appreciate it if you would visit my website. I am always open to suggestions. Please use my contact page on my website to leave your recommendations or suggestions for books that would interest the homeschooling community.
Actually, I did require keyboarding at a very young age for my oldest because she used to have a ton of problems with handwriting. Typing and MS Word liberated her - she finally had a way of recording all her fantastic stories and dreams.
You and I live in a particularly rotten school district, and if they don't require typing that wouldn't surprise me. But in other states, technology credits are REQUIRED, in the same way that Washington required occupational education. One way or the other, though, it's up to the parents to make sure their children are well educated, and it this environment that means computer-literate. In order to be efficient on the computer, it helps to be a good keyboardist, rather than hunt-and-peck. I hope that helps. You and I aren't "required" to teach typing, and our schools may not teach it, but that doesn't mean when can't decide it's a great course to teach our kids.
I've heard that schools aren't teaching typing (OK, keyboarding) anymore. Is that true?
My children did not start out with primitive computers ("The Little Professor" digital math game, programmable calculators, TI-99, etc.). They did not work their way through increasingly more sophisticated hardware and software technology as I did. They have not known anything different than Microsoft Windows operating system, Microsoft Office programs, and the Internet. Yet they have easily taken to it - the equivalent of swimming right away after having been thrown into a lake. I think it's due to a willingness on their part to try things just to see what happens. That and, as homeschooled students, they have the time to think and explore. Unfortunately, it's taken the skills of a full blown computer programmer (my husband) to stay one step ahead of my younger daughter's experiments so she doesn't cause any real damage!!!
I tried to incorporate games into our homeschool whenever possible, in order to make school fun. We played math games, art games, and economics games. They would giggle when I wrote on the assignment sheet "Play 30 minutes of Masterpiece" or "Play SAT Game." Making homeschooling fun is a great way to instill the love of learning.
Make school fun with
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