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Graphic Design for Kids (and other beginners) using GIMP Software Review by Jennifer King

Vicki Watson
Homeschool Spark
937-303-5520
http://www.homeschoolspark.com

My oldest son has been learning coding for about a year now and while he really enjoys learning the language of computers, he really wants to do more. He is my creator; he loves games and he loves to draw. When he saw that there was a program just for kids, to teach graphic design, there was an eagerness and excitement about him that made, even this not so tech momma, happy!

This course is video based; simply log on to Vimeo and “watch and learn” as my younger son likes to say.

In order to use this program, you do need to install the GIMP program on your computer (Windows or Mac) which was fairly quick and easy.  There is a video that walks you through this for both versions (I was so grateful for those videos myself).

There are 40+ videos for viewing; each one is between five and twenty minutes. I love how you do not need to have any skills to complete this program. The very first video guides you from the simplest of things (like opening and creating a file) to selecting colors for background and text. Just watch the video and work alongside your instructor.

My boys especially enjoyed the lesson on creating an animated GIF.  We were all pleasantly surprised at how much simpler this was than what we expected. Of course, the videos make it all simpler too since you can see every step from beginning to end.

I love how much is covered in this program. From start to finish you learn how to use the variety of tools that are a part of GIMP. There are even lessons on correction and healing of photos. Since digital photos are all we have nowadays it sure is handy to know how to correct and heal as needed so that we can all enjoy and share our photos! The final project is super fun - create a magazine cover and page - what a fun way to explore a potential future career.

This course is recommended for ages twelve and up, but younger kids can definitely use this as well, with some assistance. My oldest son is twelve, my younger son eight. Yet both of them really enjoyed using this program to create a variety of computer graphics. My kids love being able to use their imagination to create and design; I love that it encourages them to explore and think outside of the box. There are so many things that they can do with this amazing skill!

Graphic design is lots of fun - sure it takes some time to get the hang of all of the features and tools available -- starting them young guarantees they have time to learn and grow in this amazing skill.  The sky’s the limit when our children know and are able to use the languages and methods of today’s technology. This is one way they are sure to have tons of fun while doing that.

If computer languages are more your thing, there is also a Python Programming course available; which my son has his eyes on as well. As one of the more popular languages to learn, any lover of computers and languages is bound to gain lots from this one.

We thoroughly enjoyed our experience with Homeschool Spark and definitely encourage others to do the same!

-Product review by Jennifer King, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, November 2017

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