Much of the work I've done at MITRE has been programming. I still enjoy programming (even though God has redirected my career path), and I'd like to pass my love of programming to my kids. I've heard that kids need to be around 12 before they're ready to program. So I was excited to read about a project at MIT called Scratch.
"Scratch is a new programming language that makes it easy to create your own interactive stories, animations, games, music, and art -- and share your creations on the web.
Scratch is designed to help young people (ages 8 and up) develop 21st century learning skills. As they create Scratch projects, young people learn important mathematical and computational ideas, while also gaining a deeper understanding of the process of design."
It's all graphical, almost like putting Legos together. I played around with Scratch for about an hour with Jacen looking on. The next day he used it to create his own project. Very cool. Download it and try it out.
Next step: the Lego Mindstorms.