Code Rocket - A Homeschool Coding Kit Review

Thrift Schooling


Have you ever introduced a new hobby to your child only to be pleasantly surprised that she/he fell in love with it from the get-go? Well, Code Rocket by Let's Start Coding was that pleasant surprise for me with my eleven-year-old daughter, and for that I am thankful!

We are no strangers to coding in our home. My teenaged sons have built their own computers from scratch, installed Linux on them to try to ensure a little more privacy in the home, and are currently taking a coding course with the intent to navigate the Internet and tech in general in a safer, more private manner. That said, I never in a million years thought that my daughter would share the same interest, and she didn't until I introduced her to Code Rocket

She was hesitant at first but quickly realized that this is exactly what she needed in her life! Seriously. She has given up many of her hobbies that she now considers childish and is trying to figure out what she enjoys. She loves to read and interestingly she loves to edit. All last year, I would find children's books online that were in the Public Domain and make grammatical errors in them for her to find and change. She thrived on that! She was able to both read and look for hidden errors along the way. It kept her mind sharp and she loved it. Who knew that coding would work the same part of the brain and give her the same sense of fulfillment? As she started the Code Rocket coding lessons she was always drawn to the "debugging" aspect of the project. She loved looking for what was wrong with the code, fix it, and see it work once fixed. Her love for editing has taught her so much about the ins and outs of coding in only a few weeks!

After telling a computer science friend of mine about this, he said that this is a great skill to have when it comes to coding. Apparently, much of your time spent coding involves debugging regardless of how good you are at it. Many people get frustrated and annoyed with this aspect of coding so the fact that she enjoys this part is a huge plus! 

Before Code Rocket, my daughter's only experience was with programs that pretty much do the work for you such as MIT's Scratch or coding toys that spell everything out for you and you just do minimal work. This project dives so much deeper, teaching your child eight and older how to configure the code directly from their computer. 

When you order your Code Rocket, you will receive a board that is rocket-shaped connected to a USB that you can plug directly into your computer.

You will also receive instructions with how to download the program to your computer. I love this feature. Your child doesn't need to remember a website to use this program but once installed they can easily spot the icon on the computer, click on it, and work from there. I also love the cards that come with the rocket. My daughter is so excited to have plenty of opportunities to "play around" with the rocket even when all the lessons are over. 

The Code Rocket is part of the current Fifth Grade Curriculum Kit, a complete year's worth of coding projects for your inquisitive child! If your child already has a love for coding, then this package is the perfect addition to your homeschool!

When the rocket arrives you simply begin with a setup and test. You can then dive into the lessons. It's pretty incredible how nicely the lessons are set up. Such complex ideas are presented in a simple, fun, and engaging manner. You can tell that a lot of thought and work went into creating this program. I am extremely impressed. Not that I know anything about coding. I don't. But I see how engaged my daughter gets, I see how she feels a sense of accomplishment after each lesson, and I see how she is excited to try another lesson the following day. This shows me that the lessons aren't too short nor are they too long. They are perfect bite-sized chunks for the intended age. I'm sure there are plenty of kids out there who want to do several lessons in one sitting but my daughter doesn't quite have the attention span for that so the length of these lessons are perfect.

The lessons are also formatted perfectly. 

You'll see on the top that each lesson follows the same format. Each lesson includes an intro, the code to input into the rocket, a video explanation, challenges, a discussion on the concepts, and a quick and easy quiz. It makes the lesson seem doable for the student even when attempting difficult concepts. The image above shows my daughter's favorite lesson. The one on the Morse code. It was challenging and it took her some time to figure it out but she kept at it and once she got it working she was so proud of herself!

Now that she has been introduced to coding, and has fallen in love with it, she has been joining in on the coding class that her brothers are taking. She goes into each class hoping that she will be exposed to something she learned in the Code Rocket course and when she does she is so excited! She is able to put what she learns in the Code Rocket course to practical use!

If you are looking for something new to introduce in your homeschool, I highly recommend trying out Code Rocket!

Disclaimer: This review was made possible by Timberdoodle. I received the above product in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinons are my own.

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