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Copyright 2006 Julie Shepherd Knapp
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Copyright 2006 Julie Shepherd Knapp.  All rights reserved.
about the book
The Homeschool Diner's Guide to
Homeschooling by Subject


How do Homeschoolers Learn Computer Skills?

by Julie Shepherd Knapp, copyright 2006


Curriculum , free online tutorials, and other resources to help children
learn about common applications, programming, video game
development, multimedia arts, website development, etc...


Every Day Computer Applications
Super Kids Software Reviews: Typing Programs -- a nice resource
for choosing a program your child will like

Mrs Sterling's Word Pad -- free online lessons for using Word, aimed at
5th to 6th graders

Microsoft Office 2000 Tutorials -- some nice free online tutorials for
200 versions of Word, Excel, Power Point, etc.

Avoiding Power Point Poisoning -- tips for improving presentations

Rutgers University Writing Program Tutorials -- free online tutorials
for Microsoft Word 2003 (and a variety of other software of that time
period)  Here are the official
Microsoft 2003 tutorials, too

Get up to speed on Microsoft Word 2007 -- helpful free online videos
from microsoft. Here is a simpler version
Word 2007 Tutorial put
together by Florida Gulf Coast University

How It Works: Your Guide to Notebook Technology -- a great series
of 5 articles by Dustin Sklavos of NotebookReview.com give you a basic
understanding of how notebooks and laptops work, so that you will be
more comfortable choosing which one to buy.  Articles 2-4 aren't
cross-linked, they are here:
Motherboards, Processors, Memory, and
Graphics (pending).

Make a Wiki -- free space for educators (homeschool educators
included), has demos and directions on how to make them


Playful  Endeavors (video games)
Youth Digital Arts Cyber School --inexpensive online tutorials designed
to teach kids in 3rd grade to high school to create amazing video games,
music, paintings, films and documentaries, animations, Manga, comics,
Anime, and cartoons

Click Team -- for kids who want to make their own video games, a suite of
software programs (basic to advanced) that give kids a level of basic skills
and familiarity with game development methods, will prep kids for more
complicated programming languages, visit the Education section of their
website for demos and more info

Game Maker -- create video games by drag-and-drop, no programming
needed (but it is an option), make games with backgrounds, animated
graphics, music and sound effects, and even 3D games

iDTech Camps -- computer summer camps for kids, offers 50 locations
with week long adventures in video game development, design,
programming, and modding; animation, and film/video, outrageously
expensive.... but classes fill up quickly  

Make Your Own Hangman Game using Flash Action Script (not free)

Nintendo Wii Fanboy -- game news, gaming industry news, reviews, etc.
Nintendo DS Fanboy -- it's all about the Gameboy Double Screen


Creative Endeavors (art and music)
Stagecast Creator -- software that lets kids create interactive
simulations, stories, games without needing a programming language.

Alice --  a 3D programming environment that makes it easy to create an
animation for telling a story, playing an interactive game, or a video to
share on the web, free online tools designed to be a student's first
exposure to object-oriented programming.

ASCII Art -- learn how to make those creative signature line pictures

How to Make GIF Animations by stevemd

Scratch -- a free download from MITof a new programming language that
lets you create your own interactive stories, games, music, and art,
website includes kid-friendly tutorials, aimed at grades 3 - 8

The Animation Learner's Site  by the University of Toronto

How to create an Awesome Logo in Photoshop
Photoshop Curriculum by Jane Pawlowski of W.T. Clarke High School
Photoshop exercises -- Donna Pauler of Austin Community College
PhotoShop Warhol Style -- explore the style of Andy Warhol, then learn
to use Adobe Illustrator and PhotoShop to create similar images
Photoshop Lessons by Kevan Nitzberg, Anoka High School

Sim Tunes -- "...allows kids to make their own "musical pictures." Just
select and draw from the color palette - each color corresponds to a
different musical note. Then watch and listen as the quartet of animated
Bugz dance around the screen, triggering bursts of light and sound each
time they pass over a different colored dot or line. String the colors
together to create a tune."  Not free, but cheap ;-)

For more creative computer music applications check out the
Diner's
Online Music Enrichment section

For more creative computer art applications check out the Diner's
Online Art Enrichment section


Making Websites
Kids can create websites without using any fancy software. They can also
make and view their own websites without publishing them to the Internet.  
Check out the
Web Monkey site (below) for free online tutorials.  For
more info on publishing your child's website to the Internet read this Diner
article,  
So, Your Homeschooler Wants to Make a Website?

Lisa Explains it All and Web Monkey -- free, easy to understand online
tutorials for making websites.  On the Web Monkey website, begin with the
Web Basics section under tutorials.  Lisa Explains has more content, but
also has pop-up ads to contend with.

Building a School Website -- basic tutorials for a simple website

Web Primer by W3Schools -- summaries of everything you need to know
about the Web if you want to make websites

L3 Integrated Development Environment -- a free 2-week download
to create L3 files, a highly interactive Internet graphics scripting
technology for pictures and sound,  A tool for web designers and also an
environment for teaching programming, Visit the
Magic Square  website
for details

Flash -- a free online tutorial with free 30-day download of Flash software
Designing and Animating Characters in Flash 8

For many examples of musical applications to website design
check out the Diner's
Online Music Enrichment section


Programming
Computer Programming for Homeschool Students -- free online
tutorials by Richard G. Baldwin, a community college professor.  Designed
specifically for teaching computer programming to homeschool students
and their parents.  Uses (free) programming languages:  Scratch (ages 8
and up), Alice (middle school and up), and Java (high school and college).

KidsSoftware.com - links to free online tutorials aimed at kids for
computer programming with Visual Basic, Visual C#, Visual J#, and Java

Snake Wrangling for Kids: Learning to Program with Python by
Jason R Briggs -- a free downloadable book (you'll need to download
Python separately, as instructed in the book)  Check out
Pygame,
another free source, after you learn Python! ;-)

Hello World! Computer Programming for Kids and Other Beginners
by Warren D. Sande and Carter Sande -- teaches Python programming
language in a kid-friendly way, available by download (first chapter free)

Code Rules -- a free online game aimed at teens that teaches the basics
of programming in VisualBasic.Net


Related Resources

Majoring in Graphic Design -- the pros and cons  graphic designer --
career profile
Majoring in Commercial Art and Advertising -- the pros and cons
Advertising Art -- career possiblities
Desktop Publishing -- career possibilities
Video Game Artist -- career possibilities and prospects

How to Get a  Job in the Gaming Biz by Cliff Bleszinski, Epic Games

Mothers, Don't Let Your Children Grow Up to Be Game Developers
-- an inside look at game industry work ethics
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