For many months, the kids have been working their way through the lessons and games at Free Typing Game. I just leave them to it but I should really watch them from time to time to make sure they are not developing bad habits that will be difficult to break later. I recently noticed that Josiah hits the "c" key with his forefinger. I have tried to convince him that this will cause him problems later but he is sceptical.
We are working through Anita Harnadek's Critical Thinking Book 1. It's sometimes interesting but often just slog. It is more removed from real life than I expected. Before we started, I thought we would be looking at real pieces of writing and analysing them "critically". But a lot of the samples of writing used for analysis are just nonsense: "Either you don't have five legs or you have five legs." Few of the examples are interesting. I am wondering whether we would get more out of the book if I purchase the Instruction/Answers Guide or whether that would be throwing good money after bad.
There are enough interesting new concepts to make it worth continuing with and we are only on chapter two: it looks like the later chapters might be more practical.
Three or four weeks ago, we began using an outstanding resource: Learn to Program by Chris Pine. Josiah and I began reading through it together and doing the activities but Josiah liked it so much that he continued in his spare time and is now chapters ahead of me. Tessa chose to read and do the work independently from the start and is also well ahead of me.
The writing style is a joy to read. The explanations are satisfyingly thorough and are straightforward to follow. The activities are fun and build on each other. The book is available for purchase in pdf format, which saves the cost of postage for people like us buying from overseas. I can't recommend this book highly enough.