Instructors are thoroughly screened for subject matter expertise and safety
Small Class sizes
Extremely interesting and cutting edge topics
Projects are more complex, useful and interesting than most competitors
Uses topics and projects that kids are actually interested in, e.g. Minecraft and mobile apps
Placement tests let kids skip courses they’re familiar with
Internship program – with non-profits, can be great experience builder
30 day money back guarantee
But watch out for
Not the most affordable coding class out there
Placement tests are $25 per test per course
What is CodeWizardsHQ
Founded in 2005, CodeWizardsHQ is a popular program that offers online coding classes for kids 8-18.
How much does CodeWizardsHQ cost?
Each course costs $149 per student per course, and CodeWizardsHQ allows parents to pay this fee in up to 3 installments throughout each course.
For microschoolers, homeschoolers or parents looking to group host their own coding classes, for 1-3 students, the price remains $149 per student per month, but for groups of 4 or more there is a slight price discount:
Ultimately, yes – we think CodeWizardsHQ is worth the price.
Now, at $149 per course, CodeWizardsHQ isn’t the cheapest option out there.
With three courses per level and a few levels per program, if your child is really into honing their coding skills the costs can certainly add up.
That said, you do get a lot of value for your money with CodeWizards. Each course contains 12 lessons, which works out to about $12.42 per lesson. Each lesson is taught by pretty thoroughly vetted instructors and is quite comprehensive in scope, with individual and thoughtful post-class assignments to boost learning.
Class sizes are small, making sure that kids get enough attention and the company provides excellent 24/7 support, with virtual one-on-one office hours and daily progress reports sent to parents.
In addition, CodeWizardsHQ’s coding curriculum is pretty unique.
Topics are covered in more depth and thoroughness than in other, less expensive coding programs, and the curriculum often touches on some of the hottest trends in technology as well as coding fundamentals.
Similarly, the course projects are well-thought out and quite relevant to real world applications, making them things that kids would be proud to put on a resume or application to college.
Overall, CodeWizards at times seems like more of a professional learning environment for kids rather than just a coding class, even offering placement tests for students with previous coding backgrounds that can let them skip material they are already familiar with, saving money, time and frustration.
There is even a possibility for older students to apply to an internship at a variety of non-profits that can get kids a jump start on their careers or college applications.
And if the price is still making you hesitant, there’s a pretty convenient 30 day money back guarantee that you can use as a free trial to see if it’s right for your family.
How it works
CodeWizardsHQ is designed for kids ages 8-18. Classes are taught in live, instructor-led, virtual classrooms on Zoom, which we think provides a pretty streamlined and familiar experience for kids.
While the classes are taught on Zoom, the coding itself is done in CodeWizardsHQ’s own development environments.
Both Zoom and the coding environments are accessible through a web-browser, which is great since it means there’s nothing to download and it gives kids the ability to learn pretty much anywhere, which is cool.
CodeWizardsHQ does cover a lot of material at each grade level and consequently the course structure can get a little confusing, so we’ll try and describe it as best we can.
Each program in CodeWizards is made up of multiple Wizard Levels. Each level is made up of 3 or so full courses, and each course has 12 lessons to it.
For example, their elementary school level program is made up of two Wizard level courses.
Wizard Level 1 is made up of three courses (Animation and Games with Scratch, Logic With Scratch and Intro to Real World Programming).
The course Animation and games with Scratch, for example, has 12 lessons – Introduction to Programming, Getting Familiar with Scratch, It’s Time to Move Things Around, etc.
After completing these courses, students complete a capstone course that builds upon the information that kids have learned thus far with new lessons in order to complete a project.
Compared to other coding classes, we found that these capstone projects were typically much more involved and complex, touching on a variety of important and useful concepts in computer science and coding, such as
Persistent Data and database storage
Design and UX
Coding teaching method
At CodeWizardsHQ the learning is project-based, meaning that kids will learn various concepts by spending a good deal of time coding and creating various programs and doing other project assignments.
The idea here is that these projects immerse kids into the learning from day 1, teaching coding and concepts as they progress.
As noted above, courses are broken up into smaller lessons that teach various linked concepts in a step by step manner, starting relatively simply and gradually building in complexity.
Along the way there is a mid-term project, where kids put the skills they’ve learned so far into practice, and each course culminates in a cumulative final project where they put all the knowledge from the class into various interesting projects. Past projects include a photo-filter app, multiplayer video game, and even building an SaaS service.
All in all, kids spend a good deal of time, we’d say more than ¾ of the time, actually coding or working on their code, which is great for experience.
This project based approach has a lot of advantages for kids, especially when dealing with complex topics like you might find in computer science.
For one thing, the step by step, continuous learning approach breaks up the material into smaller goals to achieve, which can help kids get their heads around complex topics and ideas.
For another, projects usually let kids see how their work has an impact in the real world, giving them a more tangible sense of their own accomplishments, which in turn tends to foster deeper engagement and interest compared to more theoretical learning models, like inquiry-based learning.
Finally, the fact that these projects are somewhat complex and impressive can help kids build up their self-confidence and self-esteem in the long run.
Unlike some other coding classes that focus on teaching kids the basics of coding or content themselves with fun, but ultimately very casual and hobbyist, CodeWizardsHQ introduces kids to interesting and highly relevant and important coding topics that we feel can give them a more in depth and useful introduction to coding and emerging technologies in computer science.
Younger kids are introduced to fundamental coding concepts through Scratch’s visual coding and ultimately progress to introductory web-development, while older students are introduced to even more advanced concepts such as
Interface design and development
Mobile app development
front/back end web development
Machine learning, neural networks
Natural language processing
Not only does CodeWizardsHQ expose kids to some of the hottest and most current concepts in computer science, but the concepts they learn go far beyond the basic principles and familiarity with syntax and coding concepts that other courses teach.
The courses are designed to teach kids skills that are not only useful and creative but also directly relevant to careers in computer science and are in high demand by major companies all over the world, ultimately giving them the tools they need to create far more advanced personal projects and even skills that will help them stand on college applications or an internship later on.
And just because its really useful doesn’t make it dry at all.
CodeWizardsHQ does weave a lot of things that keep things engaging, relevant and entertaining for kids, for example, a capstone project may involve:
creating a Minecraft environment with Java
creating a multiplayer video game
Creating a virtual reality video game
building a social-media oriented mobile app.
All this, we feel, makes CodeWizards stand out in the field of online coding classes for kids.
One of the things we liked about CodeWizardsHQ is that they keep class sizes small.
They have a cap of seven kids, and generally speaking there are about 6 or so at one time. This creates an environment in which kids can get more of a personal connection with the instructor, letting them ask questions and approach the learning material at their own speed which can let them get a deeper understanding of coding
CodeWizardsHQ teachers: the code wizards
Being designed for kids, CodeWizardsHQ does put a good deal of effort into selecting its instructors. Teachers are screened for both relevant experience and teaching ability and are thoroughly background checked for safety, including going through an FBI fingerprinting.
Overall, the teachers are professionals working in tech and a passion for education, or teachers with experience teaching computer science or coding concepts. Instructors we’ve seen include coders, web developers, cybersecurity specialists, and even AP Computer Science teachers.
In general, CodeWizardsHQ’s teachers do a very good job at explaining and demonstrating complex concepts to kids. Monitoring progress from their administrator dashboard, they can interact with each student, checking their code in real time and offering immediate feedback.
Previous customers often report that their kids had positive interactions with their instructors who they felt explained things clearly and in great detail, which was our experience as well, making CodeWizardsHQ feel more like 1 on 1 instruction, rather than a class.
How long is each lesson
CodeWizard classes are an hour long, once per week for up to 12 weeks. In addition, students are given after-class work and practice that usually takes about an hour or two to complete.
The hour long course is, we feel, a good length of time for most students. It’s long enough to get the concepts down but short enough that kids won’t lose focus or get bored with the online format.
And while classes are only once a week, students do have after-class assignments and the time between classes does give them enough time to complete them without becoming overwhelming
CodeWizards does offer parents and students a lot of support that we feel makes the program seem all the more professional and organized.
Students get 24/7 access to course materials and class recordings, as well as email support from instructors should they need help with their work.
Interestingly, and much like a college or university course, there are virtual “office hours” where the student can ask questions and get help in a one on one online format.
Finally, parents get daily progress reports with grades on quizzes so they can make sure their child is keeping up with their lessons and making the most out of the program.
A big problem with many coding classes is that students often come in with different levels of coding experience.
Despite this, the classes often take a one size fits all approach, teaching material in a step by step manner from beginning to end.
While this is great for most kids, since it makes sure that there are no skill gaps as the material gets more complex, students with a fair background in coding may get bored or frustrated with the introductory material and pace and disengage from learning.
These students may overestimate their own skills and be unaware of knowledge gaps, which can lead to them struggling later on with the material, shaking their self-confidence.
To help with this, CodeWizardsHQ offers students placement tests, which we think is a great idea.
Parents can request a skills and knowledge test and based on the results can opt out of the first three classes of a program, which can save time and frustration.
Our only issue is that these tests aren’t free, costing $25 each. As each test has to be taken one at a time, testing out of all three courses would cost $75.
While a considerable sum, we should note that this cost is deducted from the overall course fee when you enroll.
AP Computer Science Prep
Interestingly, CodeWizardsHQ is one of the few providers of kids coding classes that offers prep for the ap computer science exam itself.
Aimed at Grades 7 – 12, the AP Computer Science prep course uses the same project-based teaching and small classroom environment as the regular courses, with an exception being that the instructors are often AP Computer Science teachers familiar with the AP-specific curriculum.
To fulfil the curriculum requirements, there are two classes: Introductory and Intermediate Java. Together they pretty effectively cover the AP computer science curriculum, everything from Variables and Data Types to Inheritance and Polymorphism, and usually ends in a two lesson project that reviews the concepts taught and reinforces the learning.
At the same price as the regular courses ($149 for each course) it’s not the cheapest AP prep around, but we feel the highly qualified instructors offer excellent instruction and the engaging, interactive Java projects help reinforce the concepts and really do bring learning to life in a way that you may not get from traditional prep methods and classes.
CodeWizardsHQ also runs an online coding camp during the summer.
Generally speaking the camps offer intro to programming for younger students, web development and python courses for older students.
While generally the same curriculum, methodology and price as the regular courses, their summer coding camp is quicker and more condensed, with classes taking place on mondays through thursdays for an hour a day over 3 weeks rather than once a week.
Interestingly, while CodeWizardsHQ isn’t often the most affordable coding class option, when it comes to their summer coding camps they are actually quite affordably priced.
Considering that many other summer coding camps can cost many hundreds or even a thousand or more dollars a week, CodeWizardsHQ’s $149 per student per course is actually quite reasonable and makes summer coding more accessible to a greater number of families, which we like.
While it perhaps won’t fill up your child’s schedule like traditional camp, CodeWizardsHQ’s summer coding camp is a great crash course in coding that can help squeeze in some summertime STEM learning.
With top-notch instructors, small class sizes and project-based learning, if you’re looking for instructor-led online coding classes for your 8-18 year old, CodeWizardsHQ should be at the top of your list.
While it’s not the most affordable program out there, the cutting edge coding concepts, interesting internship possibilities and cool projects all make CodeWizardsHQ one of the better choices for developing real-world applicable coding skills.