Simply Coding: Coding for Kids Annual Membership Review

Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.

My 13-year-old was super excited to try the Coding for Kids Annual Membership from Simply Coding. What did he think? More importantly, did he actually learn anything? Hear my thoughts in our latest review of Simply Coding.

Simply Coding Review

We signed up my son for the Javascript Game Design Course within the Simply Coding dashboard. It's one of several courses offered, but this was the one that was a beginner level option that he seemed interested in. 

Within the JavaScript Game Design modue, you'll see several Lessons. Each lesson is not a simple, one-day session, however. It actually took my son most of the review period to get through the Lesson 1 module, because there is a video to watch and activities to do within each of the individual parts of each Lesson. There is a good background to help kids understand their workspace and the proper ways to name and save files (which is a very useful tip.) I really liked that they approached coding as a life-long skill and have kids start creating good habits for organizing their data now -- so that, when they do more complicated projects later, they've already built good work practices.

It starts off right away with coding, and the instructor leads with a video. After the kids have watched the video, they can do a practice activity using what they've learned in a little side window. 

Here is a look at the student's view of a lesson after seeing the video:

If they forget something or need to backtrack, it's easy to click the green button to open up the video again for review.

I love that this program teaches with video, reinforces with text, and gives kids a chance to work on a project with sample code right away. Doing is the best way to learn!

Then, everything is reinforced at the end of the lesson with a quiz. This is useful for terminology, theory, and best practices knowledge.

Here is a view of an almost-completed project that my son was working on from Lesson 1. It's a version of the Pong video game. The coding allowed him to know what commands change the paddles, ball, etc. Using real-life examples like this game helped to reinforce coding knowledge in a way that he'll remember, and that's fun for him, too.

What did we like about Simply Coding?

Simply Coding was unique from other coding products and courses we've tried in that it was self-paced so my kids could learn on their own time at their own pace. But, the independent nature of the program didn't mean that they were on their own. They had access to both a video instructor walking them through the projects with pre-recorded instructions, as well as live support during certain times of the day and week. Live mentors are available for chat support from 9 am – 6 pm CT on weekdays, but your child can send them an email any time on the evenings or weekends, as well. This meant that I didn't have to know anything about coding to get my kids the help. If they got stuck, they could reach out to a live coding instructor and get past their issue. This is a HUGE benefit and something you don't see with a lot of the other options out there. 

As a busy, working mother, I don't have a lot of extra bandwidth to help my kids with things like coding. I also have confidence that they are getting assistance from people who know what they are doing, vs. trying to search the web for tutorials of videos that may or may not be the best way forward. Having vetted experts on hand is such a great perk.

Who is Simply Coding for?

Everyone says that kids need to learn to code these days, and I agree. The problem is that many of the parents of these kids do not code, nor do we have time to learn. Simply Coding is for anyone who wants their kids to love coding and carry the skills on to daily life, whether as a career or just for fun. With the self-paced nature, it's for anyone with an internet connection (even those with busy lives). It's ideal as an alternative to live courses that be difficult to manage from a scheduling or internet bandwidth perspective.

Simply Coding review summary

Coding is here, and it's not just for whiz kids. If your child has graduated beyond the elementary-level coding sites and are ready for real coding, you'll find the work presented with Simply Coding to be both rigorous and completely manageable for kids ages 11 and up. The fun activities, clear explanations, and useful video tutorials leave nothing to chance. Live tutors fill in any gaps and help kids through the toughest part of the course, if needed. This is one of the best options out there for building life-long coding skills. I highly recommend this site!

The Javascript Game Design is just one course offered in the learning path, and the first lesson was very comprehensive and taught my son so much.  Other beginner courses include Minecraft Mods in Java and Intro to Websites. Once these are completed, you can "unlock" intermediate level courses such as  Responsive Web Development and JavaScript Tower Defense. (My son is looking forward to getting to the advanced level module of 3D Game Design!) The annual membership includes access to all nine game and website coding modules for one price. 

Learn more about Simply Coding at their website, or check them out on social!



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