Homeschool & Coding with Bitsbox // plus Discount Code
Dutch, Dutch, Goose! received one month free Bitsbox for the purpose of this article, as always though all articles are written by me based on my experience with the product.
A few months ago I updated you on how our homeschooling was going. We were just setting out and slowly finding our footing in the transition. I finally feel confident about our schedule and curriculum choices. I’ve embraced the ability to be flexible. We travel, bring lessons on the road and follow the kids’ passions. Although we are using a Charlotte Mason based approach to homeschool, I wanted to make sure we took a modern approach that integrates technology.
The Big Little has been super interested in learning to code. Specifically, he wants to understand how people create the apps he loves. We’ve tried a number of things, but nothing really held his attention. He is a hands-on learner and wanted to see the fruits of his labor.
Bitsbox Subscription Box
That is where Bitsbox comes in. This monthly subscription box teaches coding by helping kids develop real apps that they can share with their friends. The lessons are simple but reinforce elements of coding such as coordinates, motion loops and variables. (See – I learned a bunch too.)
The Littles all love getting mail! It is so fun to have this box show up at our doorstep and everyone be excited for the project. We love to give experiences and classes as gifts, so this is a great option! (Don’t forget to use the discount code at the bottom of this post!)
What Comes In the Box?
Bitsbox has several options. We were sent the Bitsbox Deluxe. The Deluxe box includes the monthly app project cards and trading cards which have additional coding projects. A chart with all the months’ projects and stickers are included to track your progress. The Deluxe box also includes a mystery toy. As this was our first box, we got our Bitsbox binder, a three-ring binder that holds all the project cards that come each month. The box also includes a parents guide, so you know a little bit about what you are doing with your child before you get started.
My Middle and Little Littles were obsessed with the fun tattoos that come in the box.
The boxes are themed. We started with an Animal themed box. The gift and all the apps share the theme.
Our “mystery gift” was a Paint by Stickers book, which is such a great quiet activity. The boys all love these books, so I tucked this into our Morning Basket.
How to Get Started
Getting started was so simple! As soon as the box came the boys wanted to give it a try. Luckily, the box includes a quick start guide. You will need a computer with a keyboard to do the actual coding. We revamped an old Macbook for the kids to use for typing lessons and the National Park Service’s Webrangers program. We simply added a bookmark to the Bitsbox webpage so the littles can easily access their apps.
Each Bitsbox contains a variety of coding projects. We loved that the box lasted us all month. It was easy to divide the projects to fit into our homeschool schedule. We do afternoon rotations with the boys, so Bitsbox just became one of our weekly afternoon rotations. I am able to use the same projects for both the Middle (5) and Big (7) Littles without needing a separate subscription.
How it works
None of the littles are proficient at typing yet which means that they both need help when doing the Bitsbox. It makes a nice activity to log some one-on-one time with the boys.
Each activity card guides you step-by-step through setting up the app on the bitsbox webpage. You (or your child) types in exactly what is written on the card.
Our Littles cannot type very well yet, so we help them with the typing. We have the Big Little read out each line on the card and type exactly what he says. This means that he needs to read “comma” and “close bracket” each time he encounters them in the code.
Once we have typed in the code together we hand it over to the Big Little to play with. He made so many mistakes, but that is where the learning happens. He learned how to adjust the coordinate numbers to put things where he wanted them. He also learned how the size numbers affect how the dog would look.
Once the Big Little was feeling confident he got very creative. A library of commands is available in the top right corner on any app you are working on – the combinations are endless.
When you have completed an app it saves on your home screen. Every time we log in we can easily return to one of the apps we have already worked on.
Sending Out Your Completed App
The Big Little loves to send his game apps to his friends. He sent his version of “Run Dodo Run,” which occurs in space, to all of his friends for them to try. (I actually did the sending to their moms.) The apps will open on a phone or tablet.
What I love about Bitsbox
Although we got this Bitsbox to try for free, we will be continuing our subscription as a gift for the littles come Christmas. I love the technological piece this has added to our homeschool week.
So here is a concise list of what we love about Bitsbox
- My Littles love getting mail
- Bitsbox has enough activities to last us all month
- All the Littles can use the same subscription
- Coding projects become apps they can use and share
Bitsbox Discount Code
Dutch, Dutch, Goose readers can get $20 off a subscription of $50 or more with the code GOOSE.
Dutch, Dutch, Goose! received one free month of Bitsbox in exchange for this post and additional social media marketing. As always, my posts are 100% written and edited by me. All opinions are my own.