I remember taking a few summer computer classes when I was in elementary school. One of our favorite programs was Logo because we could use it to draw cool designs on the computer screens. I thought Brennan would have fun learning a bit of computer programming and jumped at the chance to review Logo Adventures from Motherboard Books.
When Brennan first started programming, I recognized some of the basic features of the Logo computer language. I remember making similar designs as this one he did in lesson 9:
In many ways, the MicroWorlds software is far more fun than I remember. Brennan has a lot more choices than the single color lines I used to make by navigating a triangle-shaped turtle.
Logo Adventures is designed as a year-long program to introduce younger students (8-12 year olds) to computer programming. There are 26 lessons, each intended to be used in an hour long class held once a week. I found that each lesson included a short review of past lessons and then introduced just a few new commands.
Brennan finished each of his lessons in less than an hour. I had him time how long some of them took, and he was able to finish them in about 10-15 minutes. He's at the upper end of the recommended age, though, and caught on to all of the concepts quickly. There were a few challenge lessons and some extra credit assignments that required him to think about how to apply the programming commands to a different situation.
I'm impressed with the instruction in these materials, and I can tell that Brennan is exercising a lot of thinking skills to figure out how to make simple computer programs. Unfortunately, Brennan is realizing that sometimes it's not as much fun to learn the basics of programming as it is to play with finished games (such as Minecraft or Clash of Clans). Logo Adventures fits in well as part of his school assignments, but it isn't necessarily something he picks to do in his free time.
The 120-page Logo Adventures book comes as a package with a MicroWorldsEX disk for $129.99. If you happen to already have MicroWorlds, you can purchase the book separately for $29.99.
Since, Logo Adventures starts with L, I'm going to count this review as my Blogging Through the Alphabet post this week. Click on the button below if you'd like to read other posts or link up one of your own.