Computer Science Pure and Simple Package 3rd Edition
Category Description for Computer Science Pure and Simple (3rd/4th Ed.)
Written by both homeschoolers and computer professionals, these year-long courses give homeschooled students a solid foundation in computer skills, from word processor and spreadsheet skills to basic programming and web design! Both of the courses are designed like lab manuals written to the student, with the student reading along as they complete their assignments. Because the course is set up in this way, parents don't have to be computer gurus themselves, but it does help if they know how to open a document, use a word processor (on a very basic level) and use e-mail. There are no set prerequisites for the student, but the author recommends typing instruction if the student has not already learned.
Book 1 begins with the basics, including word processing (using Microsoft Word® 2007 and earlier), spreadsheet use (using Excel® 2007 and earlier), basic programming in Logo, internet use, and basic web design. The 26 lessons are designed to "spiral," which means that students will be working on various computer skills at a more challenging level throughout the book rather than mastering spreadsheets before moving on to programming. The instructions are clear and simple to follow, and the guide walks students through the assignments. There are exercises for the student to hone their skills, which may take more practice. Answer keys are included for exercises with specific answers, but the author recommends removing this (so kids aren't tempted to cheat), and using these for tips when they get stuck.
Book 2 builds on the skills learned in Book 1, delving deeper into programming with MicroWorlds and designing a multi-page web site. Its 31 lessons are divided into three parts. In Part I, students will create five different computer games using the Logo language. Games include Madlibs, Maze, Race, Hangman, and City. In addition to learning how to write computer games, you will get a lot of practice working with variables, procedures, if-then statements, loops, and logical operators. Part II provides internet exercises and web page design. Students will design several pages of a web site and put it out on the web. Part III covers a few miscellaneous topics, including how to perform calculations on a spreadsheet, basic DOS commands, and what to study next. There is a small amount of MS Office instructional content here, also based on the 2007 version and earlier. Like Book 1, answers are supplied.
To use either of these books, you will need the MicroWorlds computer program, which is an application based on the Logo computer language that provides visual feedback for the young programmer. MicroWorlds EX is Windows and Mac compatible. MicroWorlds EX will work with Windows 2000 through Windows 7 and Mac OS X 10.4 or higher. Additional programs are also recommended for the web portions of the course, and these can be downloaded as free trial versions (specific instructions for obtaining these are found in the applicable lessons).
In the homeschooling or school market, there is very little available to teach children computer skills, and I think you'll agree that these courses are very well done and extremely useable. When they've completed these courses, students will have a solid foundation in computer skills that will make learning more computer languages and more advanced computer skills much easier. ~ Anh/Jess