My husband and I grew up in the 70's & 80's. We didn't have a computer, except in high school (and maybe a little in junior high), and it wasn't anything like it is today. There were no colors or great graphics, that I can remember, at the beginning. It was MS/DOS or something : ^ ) I used the computer in math and at the library. At home, we did things like play outdoors, ride bikes, play Atari, and basic other kid stuff (at least I did, not sure about my husband, lol). I didn't know much at all about the language of a computer.
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But the world of technology has changed a lot since then & Computer Science for Kids wants to help students learn the basics about computer programming so that they are better prepared for an ever advancing technological world. They offer products that will help your kids learn how to create applications and games using Microsoft Small Basic.

Computer Science for Kids (CSK) offers 2 programs to do this: Beginning Microsoft Small Basic and Computer Bible Games for Microsoft Small Basic. They are essentially the same programs up to chapter 10. After that, Computer Bible Games adds 3 additional chapters that allows the student to program & play Christian based games instead of Secular games, as the Beginning Microsoft Small does. As members of the SRC, we were given Computer Bible Games for Microsoft Small Basic for review. 

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This program is geared for middle school students (10 & up) and is designed to help them understand Microsoft Small Basic "while developing "fun and simple" learning games and Computer Bible Games" (CSK). 

So what is Microsoft Small Basic? It is a programming environment to help prepare kids for future work with "more complex programming languages like Visual Basic, Visual C# and Java" (CSK).

Computer Bible Games is an interactive, self-paced, program that is very easy to follow. Your student will learn: program design, text window applications, graphics window applications and other elements of the Small Basic language. Throughout the 13 chapter course, your student will learn a great number of things about programming. The following is a list of the chapters (you can click Table of Contents to view the chapters in depth and Sample Lesson to view chapter 4).

1. Introducing Small Basic
2. Small Basic Program Basics
3. Your First Small Basic Program
4. Small Basic Program Design, Input Methods
5. Debugging, Decisions, Random Numbers
6. Small Basic Looping, Subroutines
7. More Small Basic Looping, Arrays
8. Small Basic Graphics, Mouse Methods
9. Timers, Animation, Keyboard Methods
10. Noah’s Ark Project
11. Daniel and the Lions Project
12. Elijah and the Ravens Project
13. Additional COMPUTER BIBLE GAMES & Learning Games Projects

Your child will learn how to program and play: Noah's Ark, Daniel and the Lions, Elijah and the Ravens, The Good Shepherd, The Prodigal Son, The Lost Coin, and Bible Scramble

Computer Bible Games offers numerous examples in the over 400 pages of course notes teaching the student to use Microsoft Small Basic to successfully create programs while having fun. Each chapter builds upon and reviews the previous lessons.

In lesson 4, we created a savings calculator that simply asked for basic input and then calculated the total amount saved including percentage rate. It was simple, but fun : ^ ) Below is a screen shot. . .
The only thing that we found disappointing was that these games are not discussed until the later chapters. But this is because it's important to learn the basic steps before moving on to the next level. Jumping from A to D without B & C will cause you to miss essential lessons that are vital to your program working correctly. So we have been patiently working 
through the lessons, building our knowledge base up in preparation for more fun to come.

How To Purchase: Computer Bible Games for Microsoft Small Basic can be purchased as a physical book or a digital e-book. The E-book is really a set of files that download and are opened individually as a Word document. We received the single user e-book version for review. The Single User License Digital E-book is normally available for $59.95, but now through 7/4/13 can be purchased at the sale price of $34.95. That's a good price for basically a one semester program.

What We Thought: We have enjoyed using Computer Bible Games for the last few weeks. So far I've learned some new things, and am realizing that I already knew a few of the basic lessons. My kids are enjoying learning about programming and are looking forward to completing the whole course.
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Since we have only had this program for only a few weeks and each chapter takes approx. 3-6hrs. to complete (over the course of a week), we have not completed all 13 chapters. But we are eagerly anticipating learning how to create, & play, the actual Bible games in lessons 11-13. The screen shot to the left is from the game Elijah and the Ravens taught in chapter 12. 

We worked together on each lesson and spent the necessary time needed for all of us to fully grasp the concept. The language of programming can take a little bit of time to get used to. My daughter (17) caught on pretty quick and wanted to zoom through the lessons, but my son (12) needed some extra time to understand. She has seen some programming before, but he never had. He is, however, anxious to get to the games. He loves playing computer games and the fact that we will be creating them ourselves (with clear guidance from the lesson, of course) is fascinating to him. I think that once all of this truly "clicks" for him, he will be asking to continue on to the next level of programming. And then. . ."boldly go where no man. . ." Sorry, I couldn't help myself  : ^ )  All of this computer talk reminded me of the advanced technology of the sci-fi show of my day, lol. 

But really, learning to navigate through Microsoft Small Basic with Computer Science for Kids can start an exciting journey into the world of computer programming for my son and yours. We've had a lot of fun so far and know that there's more to come. 

Check out Computer Bible Games for Microsoft Small Basic for yourself and see what you think. For more reviews on this program and Beginning Microsoft Small Basic, click the banner below.

 


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