Everybody code for one hour this week!

Code for and hour with Hour of Code

111: Everybody code for one hour this week!

It’s time for the Hour of Code again – and in this episode, everyone is encouraged to code for one hour! It doesn’t matter when you listen – the activities will be available free for you to try.

You can find all the Hour of Code activities here.

The ones I mention in this episode:

  • Disney Codeillusion: Media Art Adventure with Mickey
    Grades 2-8 | JavaScript
  • Design Your Own Maze!
    Grades 6+ | JavaScript
  • Code a Grandparent Card in Scratch
    Grades 2-8 | Blocks
  • Codesters: Code Your Own PSA
    Grades 6+ | Python
  • CodeMonkey Jr.: Pre-coding for Preschoolers
    Pre-reader | Blocks
  • Build your own chatbot in Python
    Grades 9+ | Python
  • Space Adventure: Write Code and Catch Bananas!
    Grades 2-8 | CoffeeScript
  • Professor Photon’s Color Conundrum
    Grades 6+ | Computational Thinking focused so no language

Show host FundaFunda Academy has a Christmas contest that includes basic Scratch tutorials.

For Computer Education week (ends Sunday 13 December) you can get FundaFunda’s 5-week Beginner Scratch or Python class for just $35 (a $20 saving). No coupon required.These classes are self-paced but are also graded and help is available for students who need it.

Join our Facebook Group especially for the listeners of this podcast! You can ask questions and get advice as you try integrating technology in your homeschool. We would love to hear how you are using tech in early elementary homeschooling!

If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe to the show and give a rating and maybe even a review! Subscribing will help you make sure you never miss an episode.

Code for an Hour during this year's Hour of Code

Participate in the Hour of Code

Participate in the Hour of Code

62: Participate in the Hour of Code


The Hour of Code will be held during the week of 9 – 15 December 2019, BUT you can participate in the activities any time during the year.

The goal is not to learn to code, but to learn what coding is and that coding is fun and creative and anyone can do it.

Visit the Hour of Code website to find a wide range of options of short tutorials that will introduce children to code.

Here are a few you will find on the website that I tried out and enjoyed:

Candy Quest

This uses Tynker. The tutorial explains how to use coding blocks and then you use those blocks to solve each challenge.

Kodable – Build your own Fuzz

Start by creating your creature using code, them you use arrows to choose the path for him to move along. There are arrows that show you what to do the first time and it is all obvious. No reading required

The Little Artist In Your Computer Activity Pack

This is a pdf ie unplugged coding. Listen to our episode explaining what that is. You work through it solving each problem with code.

Code it! – Images and Animations

In this tutorial, you learn how to use code to draw and animate

Dance Party 2019

Use coding blocks to achieve dance moves

Banana Tales: Python Coding Game

This activity uses real Python code. You have to adjust it to solve each puzzle.


Use code to make your character move.

Our show sponsor is offering a Scratch Christmas Contest. Students will get access to basic Scratch tutorials and once they have worked through them will be able to create an interactive Christmas scene. Best submissions will win gift cards.

FundaFunda Academy also has an Intro to Game Programming self-paced unit study that provides a gentle introduction to the world of programming.

Don’t forget to Subscribe to the podcast so you don’t miss future episodes and tell your friends about it.

And be sure to join our Facebook group where we can talk about this together.

If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe to the show and give a rating and maybe even a review!

Contact Meryl via email on meryl@mediaangels.com or connect with her on Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook


Thank you to our Sponsor -The Star Movie


The Star Is Coming Back To Theaters for a Limited Time!

Experience The Star again December 7 and 8 in select theaters!
Back by popular demand, you and your family can celebrate the true meaning behind the season. Be sure to check out all of the great resources for your family to use this holiday season! There are discussion guides, along with tons of FREE downloadable activities! Don’t wait, get your tickets today!

Participate in the Hour Code #hourofcode #hoc #computereducationweek

Unplugged Coding

Unplugged Coding

Episode 43: Unplugged Coding with Sandra Balisky


Be sure to join our Facebook group where we carry on the discussion about Homeschooling with Technology.

Sandra Balisky from Real World Learners is our guest today. She has a background as a math and English teacher and is now homeschooling her own children and working on an online math course for early elementary students. You can find her on Facebook and Instagram

Sandra explained the concept of “unplugged coding” (listen to the episode to hear what it is!)

What coding skills can you learn when you’re not using a computer?

  • Writing a “program” for others to follow that includes giving precise directions. This often entails using positions on a grid or using degrees in a circle to describe location
  • Learning about binary code, how it works and why computers use it, and how to create a simple set of directions with on/off conditions
  • Understanding and coming up with conditional statements (if/then) and playing around with how those affect the overall “gameplay” experience
  • Learning the ins and outs of computer hardware and software
  • Using loops to eliminate repetition and make the code as simple and concise as possible
  • Learning about digital citizenship and how to safely and effectively navigate the online world
  • Developing a growth mindset!! These activities will stretch kids to think and problem solve in new, creative ways. It will also encourage them to persevere and not give up in the face of challenges!

Where can I find resources to help my kids have fun learning these skills without sitting in front of a screen?

Sandra has a post about unplugged coding with a free printable unplugged coding game and she has other unplugged activities for sale:

More Resources that offer lists of activities, printables, and ideas for things to do to practice coding skills offline.

Once your children have learned some principles of coding from unplugged activities, consider signing them up for one of Fundafunda Academy’s Intro to Game Programming Online Class.

If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe to the show and give a rating and maybe even a review!

Contact Meryl via email on meryl@mediaangels.com or connect with her on Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook

How to practice coding without a computer #unpluggedcoding #codingforkids @codingfun

Special Thanks to Our Network Sponsor -Bridgeway Academy!

Bridgeway Academy was founded in 1989 in response to the need for more freedom in education as well as the protection that accreditation offers for homeschooling families. Since then, more than 30,000 K–12 students, and many charter and brick-and-mortar schools, have made Bridgeway Academy their trusted education partner.

As part of our commitment to personalized homeschooling, we are proud to offer both secular and Christian options for homeschool families, charter schools, state organizations, co-ops, athletic organizations, arts schools, and others who seek flexible education options for their families.

Click here to learn more!

Programming with Scratch

Programming with Scratch

Episode 37: Programming with Scratch


In episode 11, I covered ways to introduce your children to programming. One of those ways was Scratch, and in this episode, I will go into more detail about programming with Scratch.

What is Scratch?

Scratch was created by a team at MIT to be an accessible way for children to learn to code. It is free and can be used online, or it can be downloaded. Scratch can be used by children from age 8 all the way through high school. Younger children can use the Scratch Junior app on an iPad.

Scratch is block based. Students don’t need to type the code but just drag the blogs and stack them together

Learn more about Scratch from this TED talk by Mitchel Resnick who headed up the MIT team that developed it.

Why is Scratch great to use for coding?

  • It is easy to use. Students can learn the basics quickly.
  • It is fun to use.
  • Completed programs can be easily shared
  • Students can play each other’s games with one click see how it was coded
  • .

What can you do with Scratch?

Scratch can be used to create interactive cards, animated stories and many different types of games.

Here are some examples:

Cloud Catcher Game
Shoot the Fishes
Beach Hunt
Lucky Shot

Be sure to take a look at FundaFunda Academy’s online Scratch classes. You can select 5-week self-paced ones that progress from Beginner to Advanced or a one-semester class that can be taken over the summer or during any semester. The full semester classes are equal to all 3 of the 5-week classes and will earn high schoolers a 1/2 credit in computer programming.

If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe to the show and give a rating and maybe even a review!

Contact Meryl via email on meryl@mediaangels.com or connect with her on Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook

And join our Facebook group.

Programming with Scratch #learntocode #scratchprogramming #homeschoolpodcast

How to introduce your kids to programming

How to Introduce your Children to Programming

Episode 11: How to introduce your kids to programming

Why is it necessary for children to learn to code?

1. This is where the future lies. “Career track” jobs which need coding skills pay $22,000 per year more than jobs that don’t. Half of the jobs in the top income quartile (>$57,000 per year) are in occupations that need coding skills. And, programming jobs are growing 50% faster than the market overall.
Source: Burning Glass Technologies. http://www.burning-glass.com. 2018.

2. Programming teaches logic, problem-solving, learning how to think – and it stimulates creativity. All skills students need.

How can you introduce your children to coding?

1. Hour of Code – one-hour coding activities for all ages levels of experience

2. Offline / unplugged games – Code.org has a number of lesson plans. And here is an offline game where you choreograph a robot dance.

3. Board games – Thinkfun has a number for all ages – RobotTurtles young children, Codemaster and Robot Repair for older)

4. Robotics – WonderWorkshop Dash and Dot, Lego Mindstorms, First Lego League

5. Apps – Daisy the Dinosaur, Lightbot (2.99), Kodable

6. Scratch Jr (iPad) and Scratch are easy drag-and-drop languages.

7. FundaFunda Academy (the sponsor of this podcast) has classes for all levels – Intro to Game Programming, Scratch and Python

Until 23rd December 2018 students from grades 4 through 12 can compete in a Scratch Christmas Coding Contest offered by FundaFunda Academy. There are 2 divisions – one for those who have never coded in Scratch before (instruction will be provided) and one for those who have.

If you found this useful, please subscribe to the show and give a rating and maybe even a review!

Contact Meryl via email on meryl@mediaangels.com or connect with her on Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook

How to Introduce your Children to Programming