Its not about the programming language, its the ability to break down problems.
Python is considered easier then other programming languages but its not about learning the syntax itself. It’s more of his ability to take initiative and create complex programs with basic tools. This is the basics of any language and the point of using a computer to run real world problems.
I don’t think its a good idea to give a gaming computer for completing the course. His initiative will become for a gaming computer, not for the liking for programming.
I started programming around 13 - 14 years old and I just turned 17. I was able to learn the basics of HTML, CSS and JS in middle school with building some more complex programs. However, it wasn’t until later in high school that I could truly understand some deeper coding concepts. Learning Java helped me understand Object oriented programming and made me get past the massive road block that many fall from in JS.
It wasn’t easy and I took long breaks. Younger teenagers, especially your 12 year old, will hit a learning curve eventually that will test patience way past any gaming PC. Keep in mind that programming is already hard for adults, for kids that haven’t taken higher math and computer science classes its even harder. Programming went hand and hand with me being a 14 year old. I spent most of my time already on a computer and didn’t do well socializing. Spending my free time programming for many hours on end was interesting, but for 99% kids my age it wasn’t. I’m still the small 10% (guessing) of kids my age who have even take a programming course and I’m nearly a adult.
My concern with young kids programming is that… kids like to be kids. At the age of 12 I would much rather go out and play with friends then spend my time building algorithms. The attention span for younger kids is higher playing basketball with friends then spending 300 hours on a Python course. Young kids need to spend time socializing to build basic social skills, computer science can always come later.
I don’t want to sound arrogant, as I have never done the Python certification, but FCC isn’t that monumental to complete. Even someone with no interest in programming can make it through the course due to how basic the challenges are. It’s once your done with the learning and enter the final projects (and beyond FCC) that the true challenges arrive. I don’t want your child to complete the course with help through the final projects, then walk away from it.
Applying what you learn to create something totally new and personal to you is where truly understanding of programming comes into play. I have 310+ contributions in project review and the biggest learning curve is when people are told to go out and create 5 unique webpages that past 10 or more tests each. People who blasted through the learning process with flying colors hit a road block of transferring what they learn into building real projects. This is where the idea of 25 years of experience in anything is worth more then any Phd.
I’m not saying your kid will never program, just that 12 is a young age and the chances of sticking with it from now until high school is low.