My eldest son has been asking me for ages to teach him some programming. I remember learning to program in BASIC on a Sinclair Spectrum and using LOGO on the BBC Micro’s in school and was looking for something as simple as that for him to start to learn with. I didn’t want to scare him off with a jump straight into some OOP language and the complexities of a modern IDE.
I also considered showing him some HTML, but he really wanted to program and I didn’t want to confuse him straight away with differences between presentation and logic etc.
After a surprisingly long search, at one point of which I had decided that I was going to write something myself, I found Small Basic from Microsoft. It looks like it is exactly what I wanted. It can be found in the Kid’s Corner section of the MSDN Beginner Developer Learning Center, which also has a lot of great articles, videos, learning programmes and links to other useful resources.
Small Basic is currently in version 0.9, which probably explains why it has not got a massive presence web yet, and has support for BASIC and LOGO. Perfect!
Microsoft have provided a blog and forums for support. The first post in the Small Basic blog explains some of the history of the project and shows that I was not the only one struggling to find a good way to teach my kids to program.
We are going to start this weekend, I’ll blog about our experiences and progress. I can’t wait! Wish us luck!
BRING OUT THE TURTLE….