I've had a lot of success using the How to Design Programs textbook
(http://www.htdp.org/), which uses a series of Scheme-based languages
explicitly designed for beginners. The TeachScheme, ReachJava!
(http://www.teach-scheme.org/) curriculum uses this book in a
two-semester sequence where students learn programming in the first
semester with HtDP and these Scheme-derived languages, then transition
to Java and objects in the second semester.
I'm happy to provide additional help getting you running in this
curriculum if you'd like.
Jay McCarthy <j...@cs.byu.edu>
Assistant Professor / Brigham Young University
"The glory of God is Intelligence" - D&C 93