A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this website.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that kids won't connect with strangers on the CodeHS programming instruction site, unless they post or respond to comments in the section dedicated to improving the site. If your kid is serious about learning to code, you'll probably want to spring for the monthly subscription; only the first set of lessons is free.
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What's it about?
CodeHS was developed by two former Stanford computer science teaching assistants to help kids learn to write code. Self-guided modules with narrated videos and examples provide instruction. Kids can also try to code in exercises and challenges. The first learning section on the site is free. To access other sections, kids will need to purchase a $25 monthly membership. A $75 premium monthly membership offers access to all sections and unlimited help from Stanford-trained tutors, who will also grade kids' coding assignments.
Is it any good?
CODEHS offers 10 sections with multiple programming lessons, puzzles, practices, and challenges to help kids learn to write and use code. The informational videos are each less than five minutes but provide thorough instruction. Because each section is broken down into individual lessons, students can learn at their own pace and track their progress on the site, helping them set and complete educational goals. Using Karel the dog as a way to teach commands makes things accessible for beginners; you'll move him around and set down a bunch of tennis balls on a grid using code. Kids'll also have fun with the first results of their coding: retro games and simple art programs. The only real detriment is that parents need to purchase a hefty $75-a-month premium subscription for kids to access one of the site's coolest features, personalized help from its on-hand Stanford-educated tutors.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how what kids are learning on the site relates to real life. Coding involves a series of commands. What other actions, like completing a homework assignment, are easier to do if you split it into tasks?
CodeHS is broken up into sections to teach kids different principles. How can your child track progress and use the site's structure to work toward setting and achieving goals?
Discuss different learning methods. Does your child find it easier to understand new concepts when they're presented in writing, or visually in a video?
- Subjects: Language & Reading: following directions, reading comprehension
Math: functions, sequences
- Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: applying information, strategy
Tech Skills: digital creation, using and applying technology
- Genre: Educational
- Topics: STEM
- Pricing structure: Free to try, Paid (Free to try. Plans vary by course. Details at https://codehs.com/info/individuals.)
- Last updated: April 04, 2019
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