Computer Coding for Kids

My boys had an amazing day!!!

It was one of those homeschooling days that I know they'll be talking about for months, if not years, to come.

There was a homeschool field trip to the Microsoft store for a free coding class that we were participating in.

I was half excited and half dreading it; I knew the kids would love the class and the experience but I'm not a huge fan of driving through cities, in traffic, or to any place new.  Homeschooling has really forced me to try new things outside of my comfort zone.   We're constantly trying new things, driving to new places, and meeting new people; all things that tend to make me uneasy.  As usual it was a good thing we went.

We had such an amazing day! I know I keep saying that but it really was amazing!

And you just can't beat free!

We had a good 20 kids showing up and since this was a bit further away from us we had a lot of new people to meet. We were meeting at the Westfarms mall Microsoft store.  The Microsoft store offers these classes free of charge to local schools for grades 6-8 and for homeschoolers ranging in grades 3-8.

Evan wasn't sure if he was going to be able to do everything on his own and wanted me to stand near him to read things to him.  He ended up moving over for another family and neither him or his partner seemed to get frustrated so I'm sure he kept up just fine.  It forced him to read pretty quickly and he did great!

They started class by introducing themselves using a microphone, then they took a tour of the store.  They were shown new technologies like 3-d printers and TV's built right into the wall as well as the usual things like laptops, phones, controllers and headphones.  All the kids were interested and engaged.

Introducing himself; they had to say
their names and the 3'c-- favorite cereal,
favorite car, and favorite cartoon

Alec's turn

Evan's turn

But the real excitement came when they got to start coding.

They jumped right into class using Hour of Code Turtle Drawings.  They had to program codes to get their turtles to move and they had specific goals and objectives to meet.

There were personnel on hand walking around lending helping hands when needed.

The kids all worked well together in groups of two and had lots of fun.

They switched to Kodu Game Lab  for some more coding fun.  The hour and a half flew right by!

 The kids were told that they hold week long summer camps all summer long too.  Figuring that it was far and probably out of our price range (for three kids!) I hadn't paid much attention at first; until I learned that they too were free!!

They all got free pens and mini instruction/ informational booklets 
These maze pens were a huge hit! 

Touring the store 

Seeing all they had to offer 

Starting to code; following along with the teacher

Evan and his partner working on their program

Ian and his partner were having lots of fun 

Alec and his partner were so serious & quiet working together 

see? serious! 

I was trying to capture their Kodu world but it was tricky with all the
lights bouncing back off the screens 

The whole class hard at work 

You know it's engaging work when they gave
up their seats to really concentrate! 

Getting some help.

Once the class ended we still hung around the store for a bit.

My kids wanted to try out some of the free games they had available and Ian started talking about the merits of turning in his Xbox 360 for an Xbox one.  He's been saving up a lot of his work money and wondered if I'd let him spend some of it to buy himself this new gaming system.

Trying out the Xbox one 

Ian loved this racing game

 After we FINALLY pried our kids out of the store we went to lunch with some friends of ours that also attended the class.
Once home,  Ian asked me to download/ find the two programs they used today and he set to work for another 45 minutes on Kodu reviewing everything that he had learned today.   It was great to see them discovering a new passion.


  1. Looks like a blast! My boys would love taking these types of classes! ~Adrienne

    1. It really was amazing! I could not believe all that we learned through a free class!


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