Working on projects is the core philosophy of Free Code Camp.
Your own project idea is good, but it does require an understanding of backend technologies as well as front end. This is fine, of course, but much harder than the projects suggested in the curriculum.
Also, if something isn’t sticking, discuss it with others on the forum - that’s what we are here for
Actually, it’s that nothing is sticking because I can’t practice it. I’ve gotten to the Basic Algorithm Scripting and I don’t remember how to do any of it because I hadn’t actually retained any information, I wasn’t actually learning anything. Nothing was used after it was taught, and the solutions to the problems were the same as the example. I didn’t have anything to figure out or think about. I understand that what I want to do requires more than just front-end but the part I’m doing now is just the front end part. It’s not that I don’t understand exactly it’s that I need to be able to actually apply it in order for it stick. The curriculum doesn’t do that, nor do many other resources I’ve tried, so in order for me to actually learn anything I need to practice on my own.
When I started learning to code at Codecademy, I would delete all the provided code and type everything on my own through a combination of memorization and actually understanding the concepts. If I made a mistake, even the slightest syntactical error, I would force myself to do the exercise all over again from the beginning.
Of course the memorization part doesn’t necessarily help to grasp the concepts, but the rewards-based repetition trains the mind, eyes, and hands. That eventually takes away the distraction of syntax, allowing the concepts to come into focus.
I understand its a bit dissapointing to discover you belong to the 99,99% of the people who dont have a photografic memory. The good thing is you also / already discoverd the remedie: practise! Ureka!
Most people on here experience the same learning journey you are describing and there are plenty of other resources linked to throughout the forum. Many of us find a lot of value in w3schools, MDN (Mozilla Developer Network), and the free book series You Don’t Know JS.
I’m just saying that I personally would like more practice and that this is how I’m doing it. I feel like others may be in the same position and that maybe they should try this. I don’t see the point in pushing through with the course when even when I look up how to do it and how it works, none of it sticks. If I’m not learning anything then, I need to do something that will make me learn it. And it’s not that I don’t understand it, because I do, I just don’t retain anything with the way this is going. I find myself retaining more of it as I work on my own projects using the things I’m studying. I don’t see a problem so long as this works for me.
Not only is this not a problem, it’s the natural progression everyone makes towards being a productive programmer. I dare say that programming projects is the one and only way to really learn to program. Even if you retained 100% of what you did through the exercises, you would not have learned the material in the same way you do when using it to create from your own mind. This isn’t unique to programming, either. Production is the gateway to mastery.
There is learning and there is practice: they are two sides of a coin and you can’t learn programming unless you do both.