Teaching programming concepts to kids

Alex Esplin alex.esplin at gmail.com
Sat Nov 11 20:29:24 MST 2006

On 11/11/06, Dr. Scott S. Jones <scott at fyrenice.com> wrote:
> How do I pry my boys away from puff games on the net and the x-box and
> playstation and convince them they could be writing the programs on those
> platforms instead of just playing them?

I think I may be somewhat of an anomaly on this list in that I didn't
start programming until I was 23.  However, I think the seeds for that
were planted when I was quite young.  Instead of giving in to my
incessant pleading and begging back when the first Nintendo came out,
we had Legos and an Erector set.  Then when we had a computer (a
Commodore 64 and later an Apple IIgs) the kind of games my dad got me
into playing were the problem-solving type (an old FRPG called
Questron and its sequel Questron II, and the orginal Bard's Tale
games).  So despite the fact that I didn't learn to program until 3
years ago, at a young age I got hooked on solving problems and
building things and figuring out how stuff works.

As for you boys, I don't know what exact games they play, but it may
just begin with a shift from mindless "blow away everything I see"
games to the more problem solving type.  Get a kit to build something
and have them help you, so they can begin to see that finished
products have a process and that things work because of how they are
put together.  Just a thought though, since I don't have kids.

Good luck

Alex Esplin

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