Saturday, September 21, 2013

Lesson 19 - Left & Right

Yesterday she announced that she wants to learn to code. So we went back to Turtle Roy to do some programming.

We started, once again, with some basic turtle graphics stuff like

    fd 100
    lt 90
    fd 100

.. and so on. I was a overly optimistic to presume she'd be able to memorize how to turn to left and right and how to move forward in a blink of the eye. In fact, it proved quite hard this time. Maybe the problem is that left and right themselves are quite tough concepts for a 4-year old. When you add that we discuss in Finnish and code in English, and that English is not written the same way it's pronounced, I can understand that it's not easy. 

So this time we spent most of our time learning turtle graphics and trying to memorize left and right. On the other hand she easily remembered how to construct lists using square brackets around them and commas between the list elements...

All in all, this lesson felt like a step backwards. Or maybe more like a reminder of the fact that she's just 4. So let's take it easy and have fun.

It is said that Logo and turtle graphics are a great way for kids to learn programming. However, I realised yesterday that teaching is usually started at age 12 or 13. Finnish children of that age can

  • speak / read / write English
  • understand numbers up to 1000 (?)
  • understand some geometry, including angles
Children at four, on the other hand, can do none of these things. So the learning curve is in fact quite steep. 

But we won't give up! 

I'm open to new ideas too. What should we do instead, or in addition to Turtle Roy?


  1. Great blog and adventure!

    Something to watch or get inspiration out of:

    The online environment can be found here:

  2. Scratch Junior, aimed for kids aging 4+ should be out early 2014,, hope that's not too late for you

  3. Excellent blog btw! Started reading from the beginning a moment ago...and like a good book, finding it hard to quit reading :)