My wife has recently asked me to teach her some programming. I doubt she will be that highly motivated though. I am guessing her interest is just to explore this world and perhaps better understand the work I'm doing. I have never taught any beginners but this could be a fun experience for both of us. I am wondering what kind of assignments, projects or scenarios to go through, and what kind of a development environment to use.
A friend of mine who is highly motivated is having fantastic success with Zed's "Learn Python the Hard Way" (http://learnpythonthehardway.org/). I can't say I'm teaching him, though, I'm just in text and email contact if he hits a sticking point.