Which kid's beginners programming - Python or Forth?

Colin J. Williams cjw at sympatico.ca
Fri Jul 1 15:26:27 CEST 2005


BORT wrote:
> Please forgive me if this is TOO newbie-ish.
> 
> I am toying with the idea of teaching my ten year old a little about
> programming.  I started my search with something like "best FREE
> programming language for kids."  After MUCH clicking and high-level
> scanning, I am looking at Python and Forth.  Both have advocates that
> say each is a great approach to learning computers.
> 
> My programming classes were a long, long time ago in a land far, far
> away.  My programming muscles, which were never truly developed, have
> atrophied even so.  That said, I want to learn this as we go.  The
> PROCESS of research and using net resources for a self-learning
> adventure is almost as much of the goal as learning a programming
> skill.
> 
> That said, a good learning goal for my kid would be to create a
> spelling tutor for his little brother.  My (simple) vision would be:
> 
> 1.  an input file of this week's word list
> 2.  use a free text-to-speech engine to call out one word at a time
> 3.  in turn, monitor each key press as a particular word is being
> typed, beeping on an incorrect keystroke and going to the next word if
> correct
> 
> I don't care if it takes a year or two to get to this level, I just
> want a vehicle that will take us there.
> 
> I told my son, who wants to learn how to compute probabilities, that we
> have to start with some boring stuff so we can learn how to do the cool
> stuff.  Adding and subtracting aren't really fun, but figuring odds on
> rolling dice IS fun.  Learning to program will be kind of like that.
> He accepted that explantion.
> 
> So, that said...   In ~simplest~ terms for the stated goal -- Forth or
> Python?
> ....the goal is NOT the spelling tutor... it is learning how to use a
> tool to solve a problem.  I am asking which tool is more suited to an
> otherwise arbitrary direction of "spelling tutor program."
> 
> [NOTE: This is not a troll.  I'm geting ready to bark up a tree and I
> prefer to avoid the wrong one. I am cross-posting.]
> 
> Thanks
> 
As a pre-learning-Python stage you might use the Firefox browser:
	1. Set up a text file with correctly spelled words.
	2. Open that file with Firefox.
	3. Ctrl F to open the search window at the bottom of the screen.
	4. Enter each word to test.

Fun? for the younger brother and a suggestion as to the functionality 
you might build into the second stage of your Python program.

Colin W.



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