Code Kingdoms deliver courses where your child can write Minecraft mods. They’ll be learning to code, but then they get to actually play the mods. It’s a great idea.
You pay a monthly subscription, and you get access to all the courses. Depending on how patient your child is, and how much programming they already know, you can pick which course to start on. Each course is well-labelled with the content (so that you can pick something fun), the level, and how long it should take.
The programming is done in their own online development environment. Each course has videos that walk the child through exactly what they need to do. Once they’ve made their changes, they can test them on a real Minecraft server, and invite their friends to play.
The last bit is the only drawback for home educated kids. If your child was doing this in the classroom, they’d have a bundle of other kids to fight against to test out their mods. If you’re lucky enough to have kids at the same level who can work together – maybe your child and a friend, or two siblings close in age – this is great. Otherwise, they’ll have to fight you, and they will inevitably be disappointed by just how rubbish you are at Minecraft fights.
Or maybe that’s just me.
Anyway, the videos are corny but fun, and it’s all very well designed. You get pre-built Minecraft worlds, and specific bits of code need to be added. You can vary things a bit, and try your own mods, but only within certain parameters. You don’t have access to every part of Minecraft to mod it, but nor can you make only the changes they specify. It’s a nice balance.
Verdict: Good fun, and a fairly painless way to get your child to code if they love Minecraft. Find them a coding partner or expect to have to fight them regularly. It’s not too pricey, but nor is it cheap considering that computing is just one subject in the curriculum. Up to you whether it’s worth it, depending on your means and how much you care about your child learning to program.