I’ve promised my son a long time ago that I would teach him how to program and recently I just set myself to put the time aside to actually do it. I started by teaching him basic programming concepts, related to algorithms, by using some educational games I found on the internet. My son is 13, so he enjoyed learning these things using games.
A quick search on the web led me to Marshall Brain’s website, that contained a very good list on games that could be used for this purpose, so we gave it a go. We started with Magic Pen (wait 15 seconds to see word “play”), then Fantastic Contraption and moved on to Auditorium. But the one my son liked the most (like Marshall, apparently), was Light Bot! This game is really amazing and it was the first time I had the chance to explain to my son what is a main method and functions that get executed from that main method.
After that, I felt he was prepared to start making his own projects, using some tools also available on the web and after he took a look at Scratch, he didn’t enjoy it much, so we gave it a go with Kodu. Kodu is absolutely fantastic and has pretty much all the components that exist in any game, even the most advanced. One can build pretty complex games using Kodu, which is a very good initiative from Microsoft Research.
Anyway, this is the result of my son’s accomplishments so far, and all I can say right now is that I am very proud of him! 🙂