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Teaching Kids To Code

Many kids are enthralled by the video games they play constantly, and that often leads to a curiosity about how those games work and what it takes to present the display they see.

Why computer coding can be good for your child 

The primary skill which is brought out in a child is thinking like a computer, i.e. taking a logical, step-by-step approach to solving a problem. This is something that will serve your child well in school and in life, so it’s a talent that deserves cultivation. In the broader context, familiarity with computers is a pre-requisite for doing any kind of coding, so if your child has not had a great deal of this kind of exposure, coding will certainly change that. Computer literacy is an essential skill for kids to develop today.

The creative process which is necessary for computer coding is another very worthwhile quality that should be encouraged in young people, and is given free reign in the process of creating a computer program. It cannot be overstated how valuable it is for a child to assimilate information from various sources and summarize that learning in the expression of a computer program. The thinking process is stimulated significantly, and the habit of understanding a diversity of data is a skill that will not be found in any textbook.

Creating a functional computer program is very exciting for a young person, and contributes greatly to self-confidence, because coding allows them to produce a very tangible and positive result from the fruits of their own thinking and knowledge. Kids love sharing something good about themselves, and the wonderful success of creating a working computer program is a very solid example of that kind of achievement.

Computer coding is a movement that’s rapidly gaining traction around the globe, because the benefits to children last far beyond the present. Coding can be an introduction to a fascinating world all by itself, and at the very least can provide skills that will be used for a child’s entire life.

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4 Ideas That Will Make You Want To Be A Kid Again

The great German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche once remarked that “In every real man is hidden a child that wants to play”, and that is a truism which has applied to men and women of his age, as well as all others up to the present time. What Nietzsche meant was that everyone who is not afraid to admit it, still has something of the child inside, no matter what their chronological age is.

Today perhaps more than at any other time, all of us adults would secretly (and sometimes not so secretly), love to discard all sense of decorum and responsibility, and just be a kid again. There are so many things in today’s world that strongly appeal to the kid in us, that we’d all like to take that flight of fancy back in time, even if it’s just for a few minutes. Here are a few ‘room’ ideas that might make you want to take flight:

Treehouse room 

Being outdoors on a wonderfully sunny day, climbing a tree, and surveying the neighborhood – what could be better for firing a youngster’s imagination? From your vantage point in the tree, your empire stretches out before you, with all the little creatures below awaiting your every command. If you can remember having this summertime fantasy yourself, you’d know that your kid would be wildly appreciative if you can duplicate the setting for him or her. If an outdoor treehouse in the yard is a bit too much of a project, an indoor treehouse bedroom will be just as good – imagination will fill in all the details. Go ahead and embrace your inner Tarzan.

Pirate captain room 

With the recent resurgence of pirating movies, more kids are imitating the pirate life than ever, and a bedroom laid out like a pirate ship would provide endless hours of seagoing adventures for your child. You could include a porthole in some temporary wall, a lookout nest that your child could climb up a ladder to, and some nautical accessories like ropes, life preservers, anchors, etc. Make them the captain and see what treasure you can find. Perhaps you will even discover that the best treasure is the time you spend with them.

Racing car room 

There are many department stores that sell junior-sized beds in the shape of a race car now, and if your child is interested in cars and racing, this could be the perfect way to enhance the bedroom for fun time. Some racing flags would add a nice touch, along with rugs that are themed as racetrack sections, maybe some small-sized tires, and some toy cars for holding championship races like the Bedroom 500. Checkered flag, here we come!

Camping room 

Kids love camping as a general rule, and by installing a tent in the bedroom, you’d be providing a window for an overnight in the woods or some other wild locale. As soon as the lights go out, the flashlights would go on, and your little camper would be inside, imagining the sights and sounds of the forest, the mountain range, or maybe the Alaskan wilderness. Think of it as camping without any mosquito bites. I’m all in.

Above all, as you make ‘room’ for your kids, they will make ‘room’ for you. Take time to explore with them and help them discover new things. After all, isn’t that what being a kid is really about?

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A Manifesto for Parents

The best entrepreneurs know that opportunity belongs to those equipped to seize it. That’s why they prepare themselves with a solid knowledge base, hands-on experience, and a real passion for their work.

But how do you equip your kids with those same keys for success? That’s where we come in.

Tech Trep Academy is an interactive learning platform dedicated to teaching technological, entrepreneurial and real-life skills. We transform a passive love of tech into constructive tools that equip kids to pursue their passions and seize new opportunities.

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Why Do Parents Homeschool Their Kids?

With a 61.8% increase over the ten-year period from 2003 through 2012, the number of home-schooled students is steadily on the rise, and that trend is predicted to continue, according to the US Department of Education (USDOE). This represents an increase from 2.2% of all students in the ages between 5 and 17, up to 3.4% over that same time period. So why are so many parents opting to have their children home-schooled, and why does its popularity continue to grow every year?

Advantages of home-schooling

Many parents who have had both – traditional schooling and home-schooling – gush about the freedom that accrues as a result of home-schooling. It is more than a little liberating to not be tied to school life and activities, for instance teacher conferences, any kind of special events, assigned homework, and even the necessity of following school hours and the school calendar.

This is a bigger issue than you might think, because by not having to get up early to have breakfast, get dressed, and catch the school bus, kids can sleep in longer and get a really good night’s sleep. Also, with no requirement to get kids to school whenever it’s in session, parents are free to take vacations at any time of the year, and can do their own special activities with kids on any day of the week.

Studies have shown that self-esteem often plummets for middle-school students, particularly among girls. The same is not true for home-schooled students, who of course do not face peer pressure or any kind of bullying at home. There is no need to find acceptance among peers or dress in trending fashions, so children are free to be themselves and develop self-confidence at an earlier age. Parents of home-schooled children cite the closer family ties between siblings and with parents themselves, since there is more time to bond and strengthen relationships among family members. Religious-minded parents are grateful for the opportunity to imbue their children with faith-based concepts at home, free of the political stress regarding religion in the school environment.

It is a documented fact that kids taught at home can cover material much faster than a classroom of children addressing the exact same subjects. While home-schoolers are sure to get off-topic occasionally, not nearly as much time is wasted as in a classroom setting, where disruptions are generally part of the daily routine. This all leads to kids getting a better education at home, both in terms of how they learn, and what they learn, since literally any topics of interest can be pursued in the home environment.

Aids to home-schooling

For the parent beginning with home-schooling, assembling a curriculum can be a little bit overwhelming. However, most states provide a required core of subjects which must be taught at each age, so this provides a foundation for the home program. Beyond that, high quality, project based, mentor supported curriculum are available from highly reputable companies to assist with this important function.

With the many benefits to educating children at home, and the terrific educational aids available, it is not at all surprising why the growth of home-schooled students continues to soar.

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A Manifesto for Kids

“What do you want to be when you grow up?” is a tough question.

Everyone knows what they love to do, but figuring out how your hobbies could work in the real world is a lot trickier. That’s where we come in.

teenage student giving thumb up while using laptop

Tech Trep Academy helps you learn more about what you love, so you can do more with it.  Love Minecraft? Learn how to make a mod. Love drawing? We’ll teach you how to make your own animated movies.  We’ll give you the confidence and skills you need, and help you discover new topics and paths, so you can figure out how to succeed on your own terms.

And next time someone asks you that question, you’ll have a much cooler answer.

So you bring the courage, and we’ll bring the courses. Together, we’ll give your passions a purpose. 

Dare to Create.

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Student Spotlight: Become a Trep

One of Tech Trep’s most popular courses is the Become a Trep Course. This course teaches kids the basics of building and managing a company and how to handle money in the process.

Become a Trep, or enTreprenuer, gives kids the knowledge to turn a passion or idea into a real business. Creating, designing and selling an idea and becoming an entrepreneur is something a lot of kids think about. Today’s schools are not doing enough to cultivate the creativity in the minds of the rising generation and encourage building a dream. Tech Trep can enable kids, as young as 8, to start and manage a basic business. If your child is starting a business at 8, just image what they will be doing at 18.

“I like to earn money and give to the poor…On the first year we work hard, on the second year we work smart. On the third year we invest and invest.”

Kids like Maylee and Benjamin are getting learning invaluable skills and starting businesses today. Check out our Become a Trep course page to get your kid started building a business and doing things they never knew they could.

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Is your kid ready to be an entrepreneur in 2016?

Many kids dream of being a rock star, a famous athlete, or an astronaut. Other kids set their goals a little more down to earth, with eyes set on owning their own business or creating a new product to sell.

How do you know if your kid is ready to become an entrepreneur? Here are three real-world skills your kid needs to become a successful entrepreneur, along with tips for developing these skills in 2016.

Passion

Does your kid have passion? Whether they’re interested in the arts, technology, business, or a combination of the three, passion should be the starting point. Passion is what drives kids to develop come up with the next big idea.

Does your kid want to be an entrepreneur, but doesn’t have a business idea? Encourage them to explore their hobbies and interests to look for an undiscovered opportunity. Great ideas start with a natural interest—passion can’t be forced. In addition to being the spark to great ideas, passion can help your kid move forward when they encounter hurdles to their success. Being an entrepreneur means not being afraid of failure.

Teaching your kids to be passionate starts by encouraging them to explore their own interests, whether through additional learning opportunities or simple encouragement. When they meet an obstacle, point them towards brainstorming solutions instead of feeling defeated.

Creativity

Entrepreneurship is all about creativity. Many people assume that you’re either born creative, or you’re destined to a lifetime of dull, uninteresting ideas. But it turns out that creativity can be taught and learned, even for people who aren’t naturally creative. This BBC article from 2014 discusses how it’s possible to prime the mind for creative ideas to emerge. Gerard Puccio, the chair of the International Center for Studies in Creativity at Buffalo State College, even goes so far to say that creative thinking “[Is] no longer a luxury. It’s about survival.”

There are many ways you can foster creativity in your kids and teens. First, identify the ways in which your child likes to express their creativity. This can take on any number of activities, but encourage them by providing the time and resources necessary to explore. Encourage their ideas without interjecting—autonomy is key for them to explore new concepts.

Business Savvy

Business savvy is crucial for any kid who hopes to become an entrepreneur. You can have all the passion and creativity in the world, but if you don’t know how to organize your ideas into a profitable, business model, it’s difficult to make any progress. Of course that’s not to say that your kid’s creative efforts need to be profitable, but giving them the foundation they need to do so gives them that option.

Luckily, business savvy is a lot more straightforward to teach than creativity or passion. Teaching your kids about money can start at a young age, by giving your children an allowance and showing them how to budget that money. Kids who are a little older can benefit from a financial literacy course that will teach them to apply real–life financial principles and make informed decisions about personal finances. If your kid is ready to take the business world by storm with their own ideas, there are even classes that can teach them to develop a business plan.

Regardless of whether or not your child is ready to become an entrepreneur, it’s never to early to start teaching them the principles of passion, creativity, and business savvy.

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Student Spotlight: Sound and Audio Mixing

Tech Trep’s Sound and Audio Mixing is a course that covers everything from music effects and sound mixing, to navigating copyright and intellectual property.

Sound and Audio Mixing enables kids to create and explore while teaching them technical skills. In this course students use digital audio editing software called Audacity to edit, create, and mix music.

 

“I wanted to show the whole world that I make my own music. Music makes me feel good because it’s soothing and I like listening to it, playing it, and making it. The making is the best part. “

Sound and Audio Mixing is so fun it doesn’t feel like learning, but kids are learning skills that world can hear. Check out Sound and Audio Mixing Course page to learn more, and get your student making some music.

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5 Incredible Courses to Supplement Homeschooling

Homeschooling is a great option for kids who like to learn at their own pace and follow their passions. In addition to math, science, and history, kids can learn how to build a website, make a movie, or design a masterpiece.

Embrace your kid’s creativity and passion with online courses to supplement your homeschooling. Tech Trep offers a variety of courses that help kids utilize technology to learn real-world skills. More importantly, our courses help kids and teens find the fun in learning.

Tech Trep courses are an awesome opportunity to supplement homeschooling curriculum. Each course is structured with units, modules, and quizzes to guide your kid through the course. Additionally, all of courses come with access to an Online Mentor to guide them through the subject material.

Here are 5 ideas of how you can supplement your child’s homeschooling with creative and fun online courses.

Minecraft Modding 1.8 with Java

Most parents see video games as a waste of time for their kids. But what if video games could be a part of your homeschooling curriculum? A win-win for parents and kids. With our Minecraft course, kids can learn the basics of Java programming while building custom game elements. Not only does this make the game more fun to play, but it also provides a fun and engaging introduction to programming.

Learn more about the Minecraft Modding 1.8 with Java course.

3D Printing and Design

If your kid has a knack for building and designing objects, take their skill to the next level by introducing them to the world of 3D printing and design. Modeling 3D objects is a great way for kids to improve their spatial awareness as they learn how objects come together, as they watch their creations come to life, layer by layer. In this course, students learn how to design and print 3D objects, use photos to scale 3D models, learn about 3D-printing applications, and even print their own custom 3D model.

Learn more about the 3D Printing and Design course.

Become a Trep

Regardless of your kid’s passion, all kids can learn how to turn their interests into marketable skills. Our Become a Trep course helps kids get started on the path to entrepreneurship. They’ll learn everything from how to earn and manage your own money, to the basics of building a business. Along the way, they’ll hear stories of other enTREPeneurs who have built their own businesses from the ground up. The course even guides kids through the process of creating a unique business plan for their own company.

Learn more about the Become a Trep course.

Drawing, Sculpting and Stop-Motion Animation

When you combine technology and the arts, the opportunities are endless. Unleash your kid’s creative potential by teaching them how to make simple drawings and sketches come to life. Our Drawing, Sculpting, and Stop-Motion Animation course teaches kids and teens everything from the basics of drawings, to the technology they need to create 3D meshes and stop-motion animation clips. This course uses Meshmixer, an online sculpting program, and HUE, a stop-motion animation software, both of which are included in the course fee.

Learn more about the Drawing, Sculpting and Stop-Motion Animation course.

Programming Foundations

Instead of teaching your kids a foreign language, why not teach them the language of computers? Programming is an extremely valuable real-world skill that also teaches kids how to solve problems, organize their thinking, and see the bigger picture. In our Programming Foundations course, kids and teens can learn how to program using MIT’s Scratch software, specifically designed to teach kids how to program. We make learning to program a fun experience, as kids learn to create interactive programs like a maze adventure and a racing game.

Learn more about the Programming Foundations course.