5 Qualities of Coder Kids Summer Camps
Parents have lots of questions about our summer camps. We prepared this post to display some of the testimonials / survey results we've received from our parents. It also explains the aspects that make a Coder Kids summer camp unique vs our competitors. Read on to find out what makes us, as one parent put it, "Definitely the favorite camp this summer."
"[My son] had a great time and learned a lot. Thanks for providing such a great experience for him this summer. We hope you offer more camps during the school year and next summer."
Our focus is on learning. We want your child to walk away from camp having actually learned something that they can apply at home. Those skills may manifest themselves through school performance or development in a new hobby in coding. Throughout our camps, we push students to challenge themselves and not give up. We explain projects clearly and help kids along the way. When students go home, they have a portfolio of projects along with actual knowledge and skills that they can use during the school year or at the next year's camps.
Academic camps aren't for everyone. We typically recommend our camps for kids who are more academically focused and patient. Our classes aren't like a typical classroom setting where the teacher constantly tells you to get to work. There has to be an inner-drive to learn to code (that is true for everyone).
We also aren't going to do your child's projects for them. Sometimes that means student projects are amazing and refined. Other times, projects leave something to be desired. We leave it up to your student and let learning happen. We still give them lots of support, but ultimately we have to let your child learn to code.
Our camps aren't the most... active. This isn't a sports camp and it isn't something that will necessarily get tons of energy out. Our students are kids who might be working on the computer at home, playing video games, or watching youtube videos if they weren't with us. Which means it is really great when they join us, because they get out of the house and they are learning.
"My son loved this camp. He would do this all summer if he could."
We've got topics for all grades and interest levels. We offer a wide range of classes for kids to enjoy throughout the summer. Admittedly, it is challenging to offer classes for all interests and age levels. Many of our most enthusiastic kids last summer were very young, and I don't recommend keeping them in coding all summer. Better to explore a variety of topics. But by third or fourth grade, a student can choose to join us and, if they are interested and focused, study with us all summer and complete a wide variety of projects.
Listed below are the camps that we intend to offer in Summer 2018. We hope to offer these classes in Houston, Dallas, and San Antonio. Check back with us for future summer listings! I'm sure the list will only grow over time.
- Young Coders (games, code.org, apps, robots, early coding challenges)
- Beginner and Advanced Scratch
- Swift Playgrounds / building iOS apps
- Minecraft Modding in Java
- Arduino (C) and Raspberry Pi (Python)
- Building games in Python
- Web Development in HTML/CSS/JS
- App development for Android
"Grateful for the prices for working families. Please maintain the same prices and scholarship opportunities as it presents good faith and business practices."
Compared to other coding camps, our prices are very affordable. As mentioned in various places throughout our website, our prices are affordable in part because we aren't a huge organization and in part because we care about making coding a part of everyone's life, no matter the income level. Some camps, particularly IDTech Houston, can charge parents from $700-1300+ for a week of camp. And while there is certainly demand for the wide variety of topics they offer, most kids won't be able to attend with a price that high.
Coder Kids Texas is also unique because we offer scholarships. Our scholarship program operates on the idea that everyone should be able to participate. I for one would not have been able to regularly participate in a Coder Kids camp because my parents couldn't have afforded it. So it is important for us to offer these scholarships, based on need and availability. That means that not every scholarship applicant will receive a scholarship and not every class will have space for scholarship students. But last summer we had about 20 scholarship students and we hope to have many more.
"I think the staff did an excellent job working with the kids. The ratio of teachers to students was great!"
Most coding classes offer a guaranteed ratio of teachers to students. At Coder Kids summer camps, our typical class is 1 teacher to 8 students. What makes us special in my opinion is our small class sizes. We don't have space in our average facilities for 50 students, so the relationship is much more individualized than a typical summer camp.
At camps for younger students, we even offer a ratio of 1 teacher to 4 or 6 students. A major part of our training is about meeting individual children's needs. Coding camp is unique in that we fully expect everyone to work on different things, or if they are working in the same project, for some kids to move at a faster pace than others. Our low teacher-student ratio allows us to have that flexibility.
"Loved the instructors. They took the time to explain what he was working on each day and how I can support it at home."
"My son loved his coach, Bevan. He had a good time and said it was one of his favorite camps."
"Emerson and Sunee were very helpful and understanding and patient with kids and made learning basic concepts fun. Hope to see them again at future camps!"
Our teachers so far have been amazing. I tell people all the time that I'm unsure if I will be able to continue to hire the high level of talent that we have brought on so far with Coder Kids. Last summer's instructors did excellent work. I believe that our relatively small scale allows us to find the right people for the right positions. The reality is that all camps try to hire the same students, and the only things that will set us apart are our hiring guidelines, pay, and training. So we will continue to put a major emphasis on hiring and retaining great talent as we grow.
With all these factors in mind, please consider a Coder Kids summer camp if you are in Texas, or reach out to us if you are elsewhere. We promise to keep our prices affordable, offer camps that are near to your home, and teach topics that will be interesting to most kids. The quality of our curriculum is strong and based on feedback from parents, our courses are overall a better experience than our major competitors.