[Tutor] Teaching an 8-year-old programming.

Alan Gauld alan.gauld at btinternet.com
Mon May 21 01:39:34 CEST 2012

On 20/05/12 21:07, boB Stepp wrote:
> This is, in a sense, a related question to the ones I just posted.
> While observing me studying programming, my son has become interested
> in learning how to program as well.

While its possible to write good code in QBASIC it's much easier to 
learn a lot of bad habits.

Learning Python will be better. Python was largely born as a tool to 
teach beginners to program while also usable in the real world. (There 
are many excellent child friendly languages to teach programming to kids 
but most are seriously limited beyond the basics - examples are Logo, 
Squeak/Robots/eToys etc.)

A good compromise is the excellent Turtle module in Python. It gives 
instant graphical results, teaches how to apply sequences, loops and 
branches and leads naturally into other programming challenges in Python.


 >>> import turtle
 >>> help(turtle)

and experiment... remember that >>> prompt thing? :-)

You can also try my tutorial, I have had one 10 year old and one 14 year 
old complete it that I know of and it is/was used in a junior school 
computing class for a while. And of course, the author is readily 
available :-)

Alan G
Author of the Learn to Program web site

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