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May 2011 Newsletter
Self-study homeschool computer science curriculum for kids and teens!
Learn Windows and Game programming in Visual Basic and C#!
In This Issue
  • What is Microsoft DreamSpark?
  • Instructional Video Update
  • Package Deals
  • 2nd Edition Released
  • Student Programming Contest!
  • Tech Tip of the Month
  • Check us out on Facebook
Instructional Video Update
We are excited to announce that the 2nd Edition KidCoder Instructional Videos have been released and are now shipping! We are working hard on the TeenCoder videos with an estimated release of late June.

Instructional videos are all-new, covering every Chapter and Lesson in the textbook. They are great for students who enjoy audio and visual reinforcement of the textbook material! The videos are not a replacement for the textbook, but may be purchased as an optional component.

See sample videos at our Sample Pages & Demo Videos page!
Package Deals!
You can purchase your Textbook Kits together with the Instructional Videos from our website and save off the retail price! Simply place a Textbook Kit or Year Pack together with corresponding video product and you will receive an automatic discount in our shopping cart.

See our website for details!
2nd Edition Released!
Both 2nd Edition KidCoder and TeenCoder Textbook Kits have been released and are now shipping!

Read all about the improvements on our 2nd Edition News page!

We now feature Visual Studio 2010 Express, a convenient install program, graphical course menus, and new optional Instructional Videos for all courses!
Check Us Out on Facebook!
Have you visited our Facebook page yet? This is a great place to check out our latest information, post questions and just plain "Like" us!
Forward to a Friend
Do you know someone who might be interested in our newsletter? Please feel free to forward this email!
What is Microsoft DreamSpark?
Microsoft DreamSpark is a Microsoft program designed to get free "professional" versions of Microsoft development software into student hands. Normally a software engineering company (or adult hobbyist) must pay big bucks in order to purchase this kind of software. But Microsoft is making some of their flagship development products available to students in order to encourage the next generation of software engineers to continue purchasing Visual Studio and other tools when they reach industry jobs.

What kinds of software are available for free through DreamSpark? Here is a sampling...

Read the entire article here!
Student Programming Contest!

Don't forget to submit your creative programs to our Program of the Month contest! The best entries will win our exclusive HSP T-Shirt (image at right), have their program listed on our website for others to download, and of course gain bragging rights for the month!

Congratulations to our most recent winners:
  • Matthew D. from Bennett, CO for his C# "SongCreator!"
  • Alexander K. from Federal Way, WA for his Visual Basic "SketchBook!"
See our Program of the Month page for contest rules!
Tech Tip of the Month
Showing your File Extensions
By default, many versions of Windows will hide known file extensions from you. So if you have a file named "todo.txt" on your hard drive, it may show up just as "todo" when you look at it in Windows Explorer.

As a programmer you will find this highly annoying. Programmers deal with files on a regular basis, and like to tell at a glance exactly what file type they are dealing with. Often you will have multiple files with the same first name and different extensions (MyProject.sln, MyProject.vcproj). So it's even more important to make those extensions visible to you in Windows Explorer.

Here's how you do it in Windows 7. Other versions of Windows will be similar!

First, pull up Windows Explorer. Then click on the "Organize" button near the top-left and scroll down to click on the "Folder and search options" command.

You will then see a "Folder Options" dialog with three tabs: "General", "View", and "Search". Click on the "View" tab. You will see an "Advanced Settings" list containing many checkboxes. Scroll down until you see one that says "Hide extensions for known file types" and unchceck this box!

Then click the "Apply" button to change the settings for the immediate folder, and also click "Apply to Folders" to make this change across all of the folders on your hard drive. Now you should be able to see the file extensions directly in Windows Explorer. No more guesswork!
Homeschool Programming, Inc. offers computer programming curriculum for homeschool kids and teens!
Browse our Visual Basic and C# courses teaching Windows and Game Programming at

This newsletter, all articles and referenced content are Copyright 2011 by Homeschool Programming, Inc.