Parents' Guidelines for Teaching kids to Code

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Coding for kids, often known as computer programming for children, is becoming increasingly popular. Parents are particularly enthusiastic about their children using technology, with a recent study revealing that 90% of parents in the United States want coding for children to be included in school curricula. 

Coding is a fantastic method to keep kids amused while introducing a new skill, thanks to the abundance of online materials and tools available. In addition, coding can teach young children essential skills such as basic programming, website development, and much more. Given how reliant society has gotten on technology, it is no wonder that an increasing number of individuals are looking into attaining this apparently impossible expertise.

This post aims to give guidance on academic approach, curriculum, and other resources, as well as some easy, successful strategies to establish your personal coding courses and groups.

teach kids to code

Ready to Teach!

When parents and teachers have recognized the need to take action, you might be wondering where the issue lies then? Unfortunately, many neighborhoods, cities, and even countries do not have access to high-quality coding choices. The parents and teachers are not as well versed in the subject as required. 

Luckily, to teach children to code, parents don’t need to have vast programming experience. Here are some tips to get you started!

Start With What Is Coding?

It's impossible to envision a youngster learning anything so challenging, so start with the foundation. Coding isn't always the same as traditional "computer science," which you or your children may be resistant to. In fact, it is designed to be enjoyable and gamified to keep children's minds interested and active.

Coding is the language we use to interact with computers, and it's what we use to create and run websites, apps, games, and other applications. The objective of a code is to get the machine to do what it's instructed to achieve a particular result.


The Reason Why Kids Should Learn Coding

Your child may not reap all the benefits coding offers immediately. Remember, this is an investment, though. An investment in your child's future. The skills that they develop by learning to code will surely take them a long way! Read what advantages coding can provide to your kid and evaluate if it is worth the input required.

  • Market Need : The first reason why coding is necessary is because of the great need for programmers in the market. As per Code.org, computing accounts for 67 percent of all new STEM employment, yet only 11 percent of STEM graduates major in computer science. There is a severe lack of computer science degree holders.
  • Competitive Edge : Coding gives you an edge to step up on the competition when applying to universities, internships, and employment. You suddenly look more attractive in a pool of candidates in front of your college admissions officials and employers.
  • Better Insight on The Technology : Children will understand technology better by learning to code. Most of us don't know what makes our cellphones, computers, social media platforms, or computer games operate. Essential programming skills may transform how we engage with the technology we use daily and open our minds to the endless potential of programming.
  • Creativity : Coding will also boost your child’s creativity. When you learn any language, you utilize it to communicate with others. The same can be said about coding. Computer programming enables children to not only access but also produce technology and media. For example, instead of playing a video game or utilizing an app, kids may consider creating their own computer game or imagining what their own website would look like.
  • Problem-solving Skills : Coding helps you solve problems faster. When children code, they split down complex issues into manageable bits. Children know what it's like to address an issue with rational, statistical reasoning as a software developer would. Whether in school, in business, or in life, logical reasoning is a valuable skill.
  • Persistence : Learning to code, like learning any new skill, is difficult. As a result, dealing with complicated issues and making errors can be highly stressful. However, coding develops the essential talent of perseverance. This highly sought talent is developed through understanding how to resolve problems and seek answers by researching and teamwork.
  • Communication : Communication is a necessary skill required in everyday life. Productive individuals in all sectors and areas of life can clearly express complicated concepts in simple words. When children learn to code, they learn to speak with the most basic of audiences: computers. Computer coding, as previously said, teaches children how to deconstruct complicated ideas and organize them in a way that computers can comprehend.

Which Coding Language Is The Best For Kids

which coding language is the best for kids

Now that the child has jumped on the coding train, it's time to make the first educational stop. Remember that it is essential that the child gets overwhelmed by any terms or the course itself. 

Suppose coding is the process of instructing a machine what to do. In that case, there has to be a standard method of communication, correct? Passing commands to a computer is the fundamental function of the coding language. The only snag is that languages come in a variety of forms and purposes.

Here is an easy way to explain coding languages to the child: "Just as various languages are needed when communicating with humans from different countries of the world, different programming languages are required when communicating with different machines."

You've undoubtedly heard of JavaScript, Java, Python, and C++, and they're all used for distinct purposes. Here are a few precise details about them:

  • Scratch is a block-based computer language that allows children to construct interactive media like avatars and games by dragging and dropping code "chunks."
  • JavaScript is used by almost every interactive website or game you've ever seen. It's typically due to JavaScript that a web page responds to keyboard or mouse operations inputs.
  • Java is one of the most commonly used programming languages. You must have heard about 'Minecraft.' It was created in Java. Students who know Java may learn how to develop and integrate their own Minecraft modifications.
  • Lua is a fantastic language for game developers. Suppose your youngster is more interested in Roblox over Minecraft. In that case, Lua is utilized for Roblox programming and may make Roblox games.

When introducing coding to children, selecting the appropriate coding language for each age bracket is critical. Though there are numerous block-based and text-based programming languages for children, grasp the proper structure for your child's age before beginning to teach them to code.

How To Develop The Child’s Interest in Coding

We think it is safe to say that your child is fascinated by at least one of the topics mentioned in the last section. Therefore, we believe the above language description is a great place to start when it comes to getting kids interested in learning to code.

Relate coding to the activities that your children already like. Java and Minecraft, Lua and Roblox, and additional combinations like Python and AI, visual coding, LEGO, C#, and virtual realities are some examples.

If you are still confused, follow these steps to develop your child's interest in coding:

Step 1: To begin, have the children learn anything. Ideally, it should be around the fundamentals of coding. This is because it's challenging to learn how to do anything if you can't fully define what things are in your head, as we mentioned in the descriptions above.

Have the youngsters begin with some light reading or show them a brief video. Then, get them to the stage where they can explain coding in a few phrases to a friend or family member.

Step 2: Then, have the child talk to someone about what they have learned. Being able to chat to somebody about something fresh definitely helps it retain in your mind. Motivate youngsters to ask a family member about how the computer game they're enjoying would be impossible to create without coding. They may also inquire about how programming controls robots with a technology instructor from school.

Never undervalue the importance of conversational learning. It allows youngsters to recollect what they've already learned while also allowing them to learn something new through listening.

Step 3: Think if your child is ready to move towards practical teaching. Again, remember this is just the beginning, and no learning should be intense. It can push the child away from coding.

Begin small and allow them to gain a visual sense of programming with software like Scratch or something comparable before diving into coding. Alternatively, they might be able to discover an app that exposes them to programming. These sorts of exercises are ideal for anyone who wants to learn how to program in tiny increments.

Step 4: To aid in the learning experience, encourage them to concentrate on something they're already comfortable with and love. Consider making a basic iPhone application or a Facebook game. Make them take a course available on the internet. They'll be able to observe how different components work together and are recreated through programming.

Give them plenty of opportunities to work with source code. Resist assuming responsibility for any minor issues they may have. When you take over the mouse or keyboard when a child is stuck, they get disinterested. When children are allowed to come up with innovative solutions on their own, they are more likely to remember information. The most effective technique to teach coding is to utilize a trial-and-error method while leading them through the processes and methods that will help them learn.

Coding Websites For Kids

teach kids to code

You'll be close to getting your youngster hands-on with beginning coding platforms if you've completed the aforementioned core activities and gained their interest. Here are a few examples:

Scratch is a visual programming language and a web-based learning environment and community for newcomers, as previously said. It allows children to "create tales, games, and graphics," which they can then exchange with classmates from all across the world.

Suppose you're searching for several self-paced coding choices. In that case, Code.org offers various computer programming possibilities, including full-length classes and one-hour lessons.

Get Familiarize With Coding Terms

Currently, you're probably thinking that everything looks really easy and entertaining, right? But, to be quite honest, there is a lot of coding terminology you'll want to brush up on before trying to teach coding to children! Here are a few examples:

  • Variables are similar to boxes in that they store vital information or data. Different data kinds, such as numerals or text, can be stored in a variable. Consider it as a chest as it is technically a storage compartment.
  • A conditional statement aids in the direction of a program's progress. It accomplishes this by limiting the execution of a particular code to specified circumstances. The terms if, else, and elif are always used in conditionals.
  • Loops enable you to replicate a code block many times. A while loop is used when a code has to execute an unknown or non-specific number of times. For loops, on the other hand, repeat a certain number of times.
  • An algorithm is a collection of instructions that computer software will use to do A, B, or C tasks. To be more explicit, it is a set of instructions with the primary purpose of solving a problem or performing a particular activity.
  • A bug is a flaw or defect in an app, computer program, or system that causes it to generate an unexpected result or act in a way that differs from the algorithm's expectations.

While you must understand these, steer clear of using technical jargon before the child for as long as possible. It may result in the child getting bored and running away from learning. Once you see the child at a stage where he or she will grasp this, only then introduce and familiarize them with these terms.

Get Expert Assistance

Regardless of how hard we try, parents will run into some sort of obstacle when it comes to teaching their children to code. It might be a tough topic or just a struggle to keep your youngster engaged and interested to keep going.

There is no need to worry. There's a wealth of knowledge available on the internet, so you may keep looking in the hopes of coming up with a solution that meets your needs. You may also let your youngster try out different teaching materials for children on their own.

Going online, however, is not free of difficulties itself. The lack of two-way communication is a significant problem. Supposedly, interactive platforms don't allow kids to tell an actual human on the other side where they're having trouble and for that human to modify the curriculum to meet those requirements.

Still skeptical?

Making decisions for your children is never easy. You want what's best for them but also want to avoid overburdening them with unnecessary activities. Here is a list of apprehension that you may develop when you start teaching your child coding:

  • Not everyone is cut out for coding.
  • Kids have more important things to do than study coding
  • Pushing youngsters to learn to program may take away their enjoyment
  • They are already giving too much time to technology

It is natural for you to have these thoughts, and we agree that coding isn't for everyone.  Does this, however, mean that we shouldn't encourage the people even to participate? Some youngsters who try coding will enjoy it and want to learn more about it, while others will not. Good parenting is accepting that both results are fine.

Deciding whether or not the child has better things to do and how much time is "too much time" to give to technology, you need to focus on whether those "better things" or the time that the child is already giving to technology is productive or not. If you compare coding to the time that the child spends on their phone watching shows during dinner, it is just unfair to the child.

teach kids to code

When Should the Child Learn to Code?

Modern parents are flooded with contradictory information and advice. Some say three foreign languages should be taught to your youngster. On the other hand, others ask not to teach the child a foreign language since it will affect their native vocabulary. It is the same for coding. Some parents feel that you shouldn't overburden the child by giving them too tricky tasks for their age. Others begin teaching their children the fundamentals of coding at a young age.

The idea behind the second option is that a kid learns to comprehend the world at the age of five through mental representations such as words and images and the current accessibility of educational materials and technology. Many parents, however, are hesitant to introduce coding to their children this early.

Regardless, parents are encouraged to at least start introducing coding by the age of 7. Every child grows at a different pace and in various ways, so methods and intensity of teaching should be customized. It is recommended that kids as young as 5 or 6 years old can begin learning fundamental exercises. Introduce numerous logical games that imitate the ability of coding to accomplish this. You can go to more complex activities after a year or so.

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