Two years ago, my boys started expressing an interest in coding. We tinkered in it off and on but never thought about adding coding to our homeschool curriculum permanently. That is until this year. With them still having a passion to learn, it was time for me to start researching to find programs that would feed their curiosity.
Adding Coding to Homeschool Curriculum
One of the great things about homeschooling is the ability to pick certain electives. Both of my boys have a huge interest in coding. We started slowly introducing it last year into our school. This year, it’s become a permanent part, and they love it!
Having tons of coding programs available for children, I sat down and started researching. As any homeschool parent knows, this is par for the course. After looking over several programs, I decided to add Chibi Chip Love To Code Starter Kit to our 6th-grade curriculum.
Why Add Coding?
Coding is such a wonderful addition to any curriculum. Let’s face it. We all depend on technology. It’s a way of life for this upcoming generation whether we like it or not. When we open the door to coding, it encourages children to be creative. It encourages problem-solving, and when there’s a group learning together, children will learn teamwork. This in turn, helps to prepare them for their futures.
Chibi Chip Love To Code
The Chibi Chip Love to Code Starter Kit has everything needed to fall in love with coding. Children will follow a fun story about the Fern the Frog. Together they will learn about circuits, coding and debugging. Inside this kit you’ll find
• Microcontroller (pre-mounted in this chibi chip)
• Programming Cable
• Circuit Sticker Stencil
• Chibi Clip
• 2 rolls of Copper Tape
• 36 Chibi Light White LED Stickers
• 64 Fabric Tape Swatches
Two ways to learn coding
Chibi Chip understands that not everyone has knowledge when it comes to coding. We started out using Chibiscript that comes with this kit. However, since this program is originally part of the Timberdoodle 7th-grade curriculum, we decided to switch to the Microsoft MakeCode.
The difference between the two is:
» Microsoft MakeCode is designed for true beginners. The layout is similar to Scratch and uses simple drag-and-drop programming.
» Chibiscript is for more advanced users and utilizes text-based languages. Through this book, your child will ease into Arduino and C++.
What we’ve learned so far
In the very first lesson we learned to turn on a light. It walks you through the steps in a way that isn’t scary or intimidating. The boys were blown away by how cool it was that they created a light by simply adding copper take and an LED light sticker. Once they create the working light, it then goes on to explain to them why it worked.
From there, we’ve gone on to learn how to code blinking lights, and are just getting into adding a switch.
Staring in Chapter 2, you’ll start using the computer, phone or tablet. As long as you have a web browser, you’re ready to go. This is where we type the code that will be sent to chibi chip, and adds another whole level of fun when it comes to coding.
We have been using this program in our homeschool for over a month and have really enjoyed it. The minute this program arrived, we immediately got started. Davis was too excited for us to hold off on starting it.
Having only dabbled in coding over the years, I wasn’t sure what to expect with this program. To my surprise, the directions are very straightforward and easy to understand. Chibi Chip is laid out in a way that isn’t intimidating at all. It walks you through step-by-step, even showing you how to place the copper tape without having to cut it. Once the activity is complete, it then explains why and how it worked.
We look forward to continuing this program to completion. My 3rd grader has already decided that he’ll be doing this program when he gets a tad older.
To learn more about Chibi Chip, click HERE.