CodeWizardsHQ Review: Is It The Right Choice for Teaching Kids Coding?
It seems like the number of platforms for kids to learn coding have increased manifold, especially since the Covid-19 pandemic began. CodeWizardsHQ has been around for a long time now and is one of the popular ones. Started in 2015, it mainly offers three programs targeting children in different age groups.
Let’s look at what it offers, how it works, and how it can benefit your child, in particular.
What is CodeWizardsHQ?
CodeWizardsHQ is an online platform for kids to learn coding through online classes. It was founded in 2015 by Jey Iyempandi, who himself is one of the teachers. He initiated this project as he himself taught his daughter coding.
CodeWizardsHQ offers online coding courses for children aged 8 to 18 years. The classes are taught online by their teachers in small groups via Zoom. So these aren’t pre-recorded lectures or videos but actual teacher-led classes, just like a real classroom.
How Does it Work?
There are essentially three programs with two to three Wizard levels. Wizard levels form the basic structure of the program. Each Wizard level has four courses with 12 lessons each.
The three programs include:
- Ages 8 to 10 (Elementary School)
- Ages 11 to 13 (Middle School)
- Ages 14 to 18 (High School)
As for the Wizard level, it takes about a year to complete. Children have to take all the lessons, as well as complete the Capstone assessment at the end of it. Think of it as a project to test their skills and teach them even more.
Kids with some prior coding experience can take a placement test to find a level that’s more appropriate for them. So if you have an older kid who knows some coding, they might be able to join a higher level class.
The Elementary school level Wizards learn animation and games with Scratch. The other two courses include Logic with Scratch and Intro to Real-World Programming.
The High School level program obviously is the most advanced with three Wizard levels. It also covers some basic Software Engineering concepts that can prepare them to pursue computer science and software engineering majors at college.
While the actual class takes place via Zoom, the coding environment where children practice is web-based.
So there’s no particular software to download. They can take the class from any computer and use the browser to access the environment to practice their coding lessons.
A lot of the time is spent working on projects that children work on by themselves as opposed to Tekkie Uni which is a one-on-one platform. So it’s very hands-on, even with the structured approach.
Pros of CodeWizardsHQ
CodeWizardsHQ reports a student success rate of over 93 percent. Even if it’s a self-reported success rate, the whole model of this platform works in students’ favor. Here are the main benefits of CodeWizardsHQ:
Proper Classroom: Many online code teaching classes or platforms, especially free ones rely on videos to teach kids coding. This online academy follows a classroom-like structure with teachers and projects (homework) that motivates children to learn.
- Experienced Teachers: One thing that sets CodeWizardsHQ apart is that they don’t just have coders as teachers but teachers as teachers. Their teachers know how to teach coding to kids, answer their questions, and make it fun for them. Children can ask them questions if they feel stuck.
- Small Classrooms: Each online class has up to seven children only, which means the teacher is better able to pay attention to each kid. This is highly important for teaching coding because each kid has a different pace of learning, and as lessons advance, some might need more attention than others.
- Well-Designed Curriculum: The curriculum is pretty well-rounded and bifurcated by age/school level. This basically takes the guesswork out for parents who may or may not know so much about coding. It also creates an advancing structure for kids, so they cover all their bases adequately before moving on to more advanced topics.
- Internship Opportunities: CodeWizardsHQ is perhaps the only coding platform that gives its students the opportunity to work with a non-profit and put the skills they’ve learned to work. They complete projects under mentors and get certificates and letters for completing the internship.
Here are some drawbacks they could work on:
- Paid Placement Test: The availability of a placement test in and of itself is a great thing. However, it’s not free. They do deduct the price from the fee if your child qualifies for an advanced level in any of the three programs.
- A Little Pricey: The $149 (to be paid in three installments) may be a bit higher for some parents who just want something more extracurricular. However, given the student support and the quality of teaching, the price is somewhat justified. So it’s better for kids who want to learn to code and are very serious about it.
CodeWizardsHQ is hands-down one of the best platforms for kids to learn how to code and they will learn more than just coding basics. The three programs are very well-structured, and the fact that actual teachers teach these courses makes it worth the price.
In addition, kids have access to class recordings, slides, and can communicate with their teachers if they have questions. There are also summer school and AP Computer Science training courses as well.
What really sets it apart is that it’s like a classroom with an experienced teacher. Unlike those free courses with just video lessons, these courses are more hands-on and may lead to internship opportunities as well.