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Sunday, December 21, 2008

Let's Make a Web Page!

Phyllis Wheeler, the computer lady behind Motherboard Books, has written an e-book to help your -8 to 12-year-old get started in the world of web design: Let's Make a Web Page! David is a bit of a computer geek and loves anything to do with computer programming (it's his ambition to design a computer game some day), so I was thrilled to have the opportunity to try out and review this 60 pager...and while it's not computer programming exactly, web-design does have to do with coding and all that cool stuff. Finally no more complaints about how come I'm not teaching him more about computer programming.

Don't worry if you have no background in html, this study will take you and your child step-by-step through the easy-to-use interface of CoffeeCup, a webpage editor that is available for a free 30-day trial, plenty of time to finish this study and decide if it's a program you'd like to invest in for your homeschool. David is 8 and is still working on his typing, so Mama helped out a great deal with this one, but, here's the result of his first attempt to create a webpage:

(Please pardon the composite screen shots, it is not being hosted, so I have no link to point you to at this time). Notice the use of robots and daleks---those are actually animated and there is a sound file that plays when you open the page. Pretty cool.

I would recommend this e-book if you are looking for a simple introduction to web-design. While it will expose your child to html (for instance, the book mentions some of the various tags you'll find in any html code for a webpage), it does not teach html. The focus is on the design aspects of creating a webpage: playing around with font, placement, content, fun elements, etc. You can go on to use the CoffeeCup editor and the webpage your child has created in order to point out and teach some of the the html tags, but if you don't have any html experience, you'll want to find another book or program for support.

Let's Make a Webpage is nicely paced and broken up into short, easily digested lessons, but you can explore it at your own pace. David and I split the entire project up into two separate days: on day one he composed his interview questions and emailed them to Daddy and on day two he put the page together. Total time spent: about 3 hours. But you could easily do it in 15 minutes a day over a couple of weeks.

Let's Make a Webpage is available in pdf for $19.99 from Motherboard Books.

To read more reviews on this e-book by other homeschoolers, click the banner below:

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