Posted in Resources, Reviews

Computer Programming for Teens: Review

Teen Coder Review PicIs your child or teen into computers? Do they want to give programming a try? Homeschool Programming Inc. was founded in 2008 by homeschooling parents with degrees in Computer Science and Engineering. It offers computer programming curricula for children in Grades 4-12. I had the pleasure of receiving the Teen Coder Java Year Pack to work through with my 14 year old son.

Homeschool Programming Inc.Homeschool Programming Inc. courses are designed for self-study, so the parent doesn’t have to know anything about programming – since I haven’t done any programming since way back in the days of Basic, this is a good thing! The Teen Coder Java Year Pack includes the one-semester Java Programming course AND the one-semester Android Programming course, which are compatible with Mac OS or Windows computers. My son was eager to start learning Java – he has been meaning to learn, since so many of his friends are into programming. He found it easy to follow the student book step by step and do the activities. The videos are handy and instructive, which my son appreciated. He didn’t need my help at all, and each lesson went quickly and easily, with no complaints. We will continue to work happily through the rest of the course and it will be his Computer Science credit for this, his Grade 10 year. Teen Coder courses are designed for Grades 9-12.

We found the Teen Coder program itself easy to install on our Windows 7 PC. The other programs needed for download, such as Java, were easy to install, using the step-by-step instructions provided in the Teen Coder instructions in the first chapters of the Student book. Each course includes student activity starters, supplementary instructional documents, a Solution Guide, fully coded solutions for all activities, optional tests and answer keys, guidance on evaluating projects, and free technical support is available.

The Java Programming course covers:

  • Introduction to the Java programming language
  • Creating graphical applications
  • Using dialog controls
  • Java data types and variables
  • User input and flow control
  • Math functions and string operations
  • Java debugging and exception handling
  • Object-oriented programming concepts
  • Classes, inheritance, and polymorphism
  • Collections, sorting, and recursion

By the time your teen has completed this first-semester course, he/she will have finished programming a game in Java!

The Android Programming course covers:

  • Introduction to the Android Development Tools
  • Understanding and editing XML files
  • Creating and switching between screens
  • Managing Android screen layouts
  • Using graphical Android UI widgets
  • Saving data to internal storage and SD cards
  • Debugging using the emulator
  • Displaying images and loading image resources
  • Progress, date/time, and alert dialogs
  • Menus and notifications
  • SMS messaging and networking concepts
  • Creating home app widets
  • Using Location (GPS) services
  • Publishing to the Android Market

Once your teen has completed this second-semester course, he/she will have finished programming an Android Game app!  I can’t wait to see what my son will accomplish once he’s finished creating a Java game and an Android game app – I don’t think those will be the last games he creates.

Learn more about the Java Programming course through this Teen Coder: Java Programming video, and more about the Android Programming course through this Teen Coder: Java Programming video. You can also find sample pages of all Homeschool Programming courses here. And feel free to visit the Homeschool Programming Facebook page.

The Teen Coder Java Year Pack that I received includes the two courses (complete with Student Book) and videos (on DVD), for $155 US. You can also buy just the course (without the videos) for $130 US. And you may purchase the two programs separately – Java Programming and Android Programming are each $90 US for the course and videos, or $75 US for just the course. Please note that Android Programming is under construction and there will be a delay in shipping until it is complete. Check out all the Kid Coder and Teen Coder programs available here. Shipping is available throughout Canada, the U.S., and to select destinations worldwide.

Love, Luck &


**I received the Teen Coder Java Year Pack in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own**