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Logo Adventures (Using Micro Worlds Logo Software)

By Phyllis Wheeler
Motherboard Books

PO Box 430041
St. Louis, MO 63143

OK. I admit it. Logo Adventures isn't exactly what I expected. Every time I reached for a product to review, Logo Adventures ended up on the bottom of the stack. Why? These words on the first page, in bold: "This book is designed for a younger child to work together with an adult." Translation: I have to figure it out first--definitely a disadvantage to busy moms struggling to keep up with the rest of their children's schoolwork.

But was I ever wrong! Logo Adventures is a wonderful introduction to real computer programming for 8 to12-year-olds. Anybody can do this--even moms. I hunkered down, opened the first lesson, and found that the material is presented in fun, easy steps with plenty of repetition. There are 26 easy-to-follow lessons in a 120-page, 8.5 x 11 wire-bound book. The book includes graphics to demonstrate what the student's work should look like on the computer screen. This program combines the step-by-step lesson book with computer software, Micro Worlds Logo Software. Insert the CD into the drive, click the picture, and don't worry about any of the symbols or other icons. Everything is explained in due time. Just follow the instructions in the book. I was impressed by how simple it was to use.

So ... what does your student actually learn? Using commands like "fd 45 repeat 4 [fd 50 rt 90]" etc. your child can draw figures, move the cursor (turtle), and create computer "games" while having fun and learning the basics of simple computer programming. If you remember the old Spirograph drawing set (hours of manually drawing incredible designs), you'll appreciate how fast that little turtle can draw a color design once you type in a few simple lines of code.

You can purchase the Logo Adventures book separately or in a package with the CD. I recommend the package, since the book is useless without the software. I did find it a little pricey, but computer programs aren't cheap. An e-book download is also available (with no significant savings), but the CD must be shipped separately regardless. Logo Adventures is set up to work with either of the Micro Worlds Logo Software 2.0 editions: Windows 95 - XP for $77 or the EX edition (Windows 2000/XP/Vista) for $122.

This is a great curriculum for the computer-loving kids in your homeschool.

Product review by Susan K. Marlow, The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, LLC, May 2008

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