TOS Review: Code For Teens

Code for TeensTechnology is increasingly becoming a more and more integral part of our world and it is very important for our kids to learn how to use it. Fortunately, many kids today seem more adept at handling modern technology than their parents. However, there are many technical aspects to computers that elude even them, such as programming. I took my first programming class when I was in college and it was very basic, I wouldn’t even know how to begin to explain the concept to my high schooler. So, I was excited to take a look at Code for Teens: The Awesome Beginner’s Guide to Programming from Code for Teens for this review.

Code for Teens 

This full-color book focuses on JavaScript and covers topics like coding with numbers, functions, arrays, loops, and even making a game. It is written entirely to the student and is very easy to follow without being juvenile or kiddish (my son’s words, he’s a senior this year so this is very important to him). There are some basic requirements for the program: you must have a laptop or computer and you must download Google Chrome. That’s about it. One very cool thing about this book is that kids start coding right from the beginning. Really, they start performing very simple stuff from the very start, which I think takes away a lot of the intimidation associated with the whole process.

As your child moves through each chapter they will complete chapter quizzes, reviews and projects that they will save on the computer in their “workbook”. Answers to these quizzes and reviews are in the back of the book (which is awesome if you are not tech-literate like me). This workbook also gives them a sense of accomplishment as they see all that they have done as they work through the program. The projects are actually fun, and not boring, which my son kind of thought they would be (because, as he told me, most end of chapter projects are). Some of them are similar to logic puzzles, or may involve writing a bio of themselves or some other sort of activity, but he enjoyed them all and there are helpful hints in the back of the book if your child gets stuck (again, thank you Jeremy Moritz for that because I would not have been able to help on my own for sure!).

Code for Teens also includes a glossary and all the words in the glossary are in bold print in the text, which is nice for context. The color illustrations were a nice touch and added some humor to the book (which was also light and funny and not super serious which is what I remember about programming class, a fact I didn’t particularly enjoy). So, if you think computer programming has to be dry and boring and really difficult, I have to tell you, Code for Teens will prove you wrong. It’s fun, but still thorough, and a great introduction for a high school student looking to learn the basics of programming. I hope the author has plans to write similar books for other types of programming too. We really enjoyed this, and I would definitely recommend you check it out! To learn more, connect with Code for Teens on social media here:

Code for Teens on Facebook

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 Code For Teens: The Awesome Beginner's Guide to Programming {Code for Teens Reviews}

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Menu Plan Monday 7/17/18

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I am back to vacation and getting back into my normal routine (slowly) after getting done with all the unpacking and laundry and going to the grocery store. It’s hard adjusting back to normal life after a whole week off! The temperatures in the mountains were beautiful so it’s also kind of hard getting back to the regular heat here in Florida. This is our menu for this week:

Monday: Spaghetti (I still wasn’t prepared to really cook)

Tuesday: Stuffed Peppers

Wednesday: Chicken Caprese

Thursday: Buffalo Chicken Salad

Friday: Sausage and Peppers

Thanks for stopping by! Have a great week.

TOS Review: Math Essentials

Math EssentialsLook, I didn’t enjoy math when I was in school, and I enjoy it even less now. As a homeschool mom, I managed to navigate elementary school math okay, but once we got to the upper level stuff, I knew I was in trouble. So I did what most of us do when we encounter a subject we don’t want to teach, I farmed it out through online and computer courses. However, there are still some times my son needs my help, and I need to be able to help him which means I need some help. So, for this review, I was happy to check out the Math Refresher for Adults book from Math Essentials. This simple workbook is chock full of information for adults (and older kids) like you and me, who maybe have some big gaps in their math instructions, or just don’t remember it and need a little help.

Math Refresher for AdultsSo, getting started, I should tell you this workbook is full of all kinds of problems on all kinds of topics from the very basic like addition and subtraction of whole numbers, fractions, and decimals, to much more complicated things like finding the slope of a line, graphing equations, probability and even (gasp!) word problems! But don’t worry, you aren’t left hanging trying to figure all of this out on your own. Math Essentials gives you access to video tutorials for the lessons led by Richard Fisher on their website and the No Nonsense Algebra website so you can watch the lesson before you try to do the problems.

Most of the tutorials are (thankfully) brief, at least from what I’ve seen so far, and that works since I do not have the patience to sit through a 45 minute math lesson. I like to watch the video, pause it, try a few problems, then watch it again, try a few more, and check my answers to see if I’m doing them right. There is an answer key in the back of the book for each lesson, which is convenient, I only wish they showed how they got the answers for some of the problems, but that might be asking a little too much.

You could certainly work through this whole workbook if you wanted to review higher math concepts on your own, or you could use it as a summer refresher for one of your students if you wanted. I also think it would be great for some extra test prep as well. If you have just a few topics you need to freshen up on you could easily just go through the table of contents and pick and choose which ones you want to practice (or have your child practice). There really are a lot of possibilities for this one, but I think it’s a great addition to your homeschool shelf, especially if you have one or more students who struggle with math. I definitely feel like I am in a better position to help my son with some of his algebra when he comes to me with questions now.

To learn more about this program, connect with Math Essentials on social media here:

Math Essentials on Facebook

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Math Refresher for Adults {Math Essentials}Crew Disclaimer 

Menu Plan Monday 7/9/18

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Woohoo! This is our vacation week. I am so totally excited. Every year we head up to the mountains of western NC for a week of R&R. It is nice to get away with my family to a place that doesn’t really have great cell phone reception or super reliable internet where we can hang out and go hiking and enjoy the outdoors and just spend time together. I do cook when we’re on vacation, because let’s face it, eating out every night is expensive. However, I try to keep my meals simple and easy so I can spend less time in the kitchen and more time relaxing. This is my vacation menu:

Monday: Mexican Chicken Salad

Tuesday: Shepherd’s Pie

Wednesday: Spaghetti

Dinner out: (it’s our 21st anniversary!)

Friday: hamburgers/hot dogs down by the lake

Thank you for stopping by! I hope you have a great week!

Menu Plan Monday 7/2/18

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Wow! We are more than halfway through the year and one full month into summer! I am looking forward to celebrating the 4th of July this week with a barbecue/birthday party at a friends house and then going to watch a fireworks show. Here’s whats on our menu:

Monday: Mac and Cheese (crock pot)

Tuesday: Cajun Cauliflower

Wednesday: Party time! I’m bringing Roasted Corn Salad

Thursday: Beef Burgundy

Friday: Cheeseburger Skillet

Thanks for stopping by! Have a great week!