programming for children

Brett g Porter BgPorter at
Tue Feb 1 17:55:23 CET 2000

"Aaron J Reichow" <reic0024 at> wrote in message
news:Pine.SO4.4.02.10002010929410.27729-100000 at
> On 1 Feb 2000, Ralf Hildebrandt wrote:
> LOGO would be good, but don't underestimate kids.  11 year olders can
> handle at least some Basic.  They had us playing with LOGO (moving the
> turtle, defining routines to draw something, problem solving) in like 3rd
> and 4th grade -- 8 through 10 years old.  I had begun programming (more or
> less) in TRS-80 BASIC around 11-12 years old.
> LOGO is neet for a while, as one can draw neet pictures, but programming
> something functional, like a little quiz or game, gives one a sense of
> accomplishment, especially at that age.
Don't underestimate LOGO -- there's a lot more depth there than telling the
turtle what to draw. MIT press has several excellent LOGO books that show
its depth (My wife used to teach LOGO to 3rd graders...)
Also, there's a massively parallel version of Logo (StarLogo) that's a great
great way to explore decentrally controlled systems -- if you don;t have
access to a Connection Machine, it's available for Mac and maybe Windows...

If my son was old enough to want to write code, I would definitely put
either Python or LOGO in front of him.

> If he cannot handle python, perhaps he should play around with BASIC.  As
> for the "environment," I think just the plain ol' interactive command line
> would suffice, unless he wanted to do minor graphics stuff.  In which
> case, perhaps QuickBasic (get out those old DOS disks...) might be worth a
> look.
I disagree with this -- what did Philippe Kahn say -- "BASIC is to
programming like crack is to your brain" ? It's almost as bad as giving
someone a Herb Schildt C++ book...

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