Homework help requested (not what you think!)

John Ladasky john_ladasky at sbcglobal.net
Wed Jul 17 00:43:45 CEST 2013

Hi folks,

No, I'm not asking for YOU to help ME with a Python homework assignment!

Previously, I mentioned that I was starting to teach my son Python.  


He just took a course at his high school called Web Technology and Design.  They had the students use tools like Dream Weaver, but they also hand-coded some HTML and JavaScript.  He has a little experience.  I am building on it.

Well, a few other parents caught wind of what I was doing with my son, and they asked me whether I could tutor their kids, too.  I accepted the jobs (for pay, actually).  

The kids all claim to be interested.  They all want to write the next great 3D video game.  Thus, I'm a little surprised that the kids don't actually try to sit down and code without me prompting them.  I think that they're disappointed when I show them how much they have to understand just to write a program that plays Tic Tac Toe.

Where programming is concerned, I'm an autodidact.  I started programming when I was twelve, with little more guidance than the Applesoft Basic manual and the occasional issue of Byte Magazine.  I hacked away.  Over the years, I have acquired a working knowledge of BASIC, 6502 assembly language, Pascal, C, and finally Python (my favorite).  If I knew how to impart a love of experimentation to my students, I would do that.

One kid looks like he's ready to forge ahead.  In the mean time, one parent has recognized his son's lack of independence, and has asked me to assign programming homework.  I hope it doesn't kill the kid's enthusiasm, but I'm willing to try it.

So, what I am seeking are suggestions for programming assignments that I can give to brand-new students of Python.  Please keep in mind that none of them are even up to the task of a simple algorithm like Bubble Sort -- at least, not yet.

Many thanks!

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