That was the response that Jacob, age 9, gave me when I told him he will be doing a five-day virtual coding camp. We had the opportunity to enroll him through Code Wiz’s Westborough location and I thought he would be excited to learn something new.
“Let’s take a look at the different types of camps you can join.”
No thanks?? UGH! At least he was using his manners.
He finally sat with me to look at the different camp options. Some of the options included game design, coding your own virtual reality games, voice apps for Alexa, and coding for Minecraft and Roblox. That’s when he got excited! We read the descriptions of each class and decided that Roblox was the best option, even though we never knew it existed until we opened up the site to browse the camp offerings!
Time to Code with Code Wiz Westborough
I had no idea what to expect the first day of camp. Was it going to be structured lessons? Free play? How many kids? Would he understand how to use Roblox? Would his limited computer use make this camp a disaster? Mom anxiety was in full swing.
On the first day, I was set up next to Jacob at his desk to offer assistance. We clicked the Zoom link and were welcomed by friendly staff who added us to the appropriate break out room for his session. Jacob had two different coaches over his 5 days and both were so incredibly patient, helpful, and supportive. Class size was very small with the largest day having 2 other children, maintaining the 1:3 coach-to-student ratio. This definitely worked in our favor because Jacob (and I!) needed a lot of personalized assistance to learn the basics of Roblox. Despite being a novice, Jacob caught on fast and built an amazing Obby! By the last day, he only needed my help getting the link for Zoom.
We had some technological challenges in the sense that one day we briefly lost our internet connection and then our old tablet started to fizzle out the last two days. Despite this, the coaches didn’t flinch one bit! They helped fix a few problems and Jacob was back to learning the basics of coding in no time at all.
Thoughts from Mom
Yes, I would 100% recommend the virtual camp offered by Code Wiz Westborough. The team is professional, knowledgeable, and asks thought-provoking questions to promote critical thinking skills. The programs are clearly age-appropriate and gently guide the child to improve their computer science knowledge. There are also lots of STEM concepts integrated in the various camps.
I didn’t find any drawbacks with the camp, but you certainly want to make sure that you have the right technology. Tablets are not recommended (oops!) and I wish we had a headset as that would’ve cut down on background noise. Other than that, it was amazing!
We are definitely considering some of the classes in the fall to use as part of our homeschooling curriculum. Jacob learned so much in five short days. He wants to keep moving forward with his new interest so all his friends can play in his Obby.
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