Too Young to Code?
I have a five years old kid, I’m trying to teach her some basics of programming.
After several weeks of practice, I found it maybe too early for a five years kid to learn programming. Even I use the scratch programming language. Instead, I moved to teach her to find the feeling of building things, such as Lego.
Interestingly, the same kid is a computer savvy with smartphone games, tablets, video games, and other new-age electronics. Therefore, while it is a fact that programming or tech literacy is important for students today, which age should kids start to learn to code?
Some of my friends are also teaching they kids to programming, I found that kids around seven years can learn foreign languages rapidly.
As such, this might be the right age to introduce coding and programming basics in your kids’ education. Coding for kids should be done in high-interest content forms, such as under the guide of games. This makes the learning process fun and engaging.
Why Should Kids Learn to Code?
Coding classes for kids are important for the following reasons;
- Helps Kids Learn Problem-Solving Skills
Every parent wants their kids to become proactive problem solvers to enable them to overcome any presenting adversity. Understanding the basics of programming helps kids to appreciate how things work. For instance, they get to understand how software engineers solve problems logically and creatively using math. Problem-solving skills are important skills that kids use in their entire life.
- Helps Kids Develop Resilience
By learning how to code, children develop a natural ability to bounce after a loss or failure. They get to learn that failing isn’t a bad thing, and it can be used as a learning opportunity. Mastering how to debug a code helps kids understand that they can learn from their mistakes and be resilient until they achieve the desired result.
- Teaches Kids How to Think Differently
Coding skills teach kids the importance of thinking differently. Note that programming isn’t about learning how to type lines of code. Programming also involves teaching kids that they should think differently. An effective programmer should use logical thinking to identify a problem, break it into smaller and solvable pieces. In coding, this process is referred to as decomposition and a key feature of computational thinking.
Learning the basics of coding gives kids a vague idea that they should creatively use it to solve coding problems. If the first solution isn’t successful, they should try other alternatives until the problem is solved.
- Coding is the Future
Coding skills are essential now and in the future for many reasons. For starters, nearly all businesses, including health, retail, technology, and finance, currently rely on computer codes to complete their daily functions. Therefore, a kid who learns to code early will benefit from several employment opportunities in the future, regardless of the industry they choose.
That aside, there is a significant shortage of programming skills in the software industry. Experienced programmers are currently in high demand. Advancing technology means that this demand is poised to increase with more opportunities arising for employees with coding knowledge.
How to Introduce Kids to Coding
If your kid has expressed interest in learning to code, the daunting task is figuring out how and where to get them started. Fortunately, several coding books, websites, apps, online courses, and YouTube videos are available. Choosing the right avenue has a great impact on your kids’ learning ability. Regardless of your choice, ensure that your kid enjoys coding and gets the most from it.
Consider the following tips to get your kid started;
- Begin with the basics – coding is a steep learning curve for both kids and adults. Therefore, it might not be easy for your kid to grasp even the basic concepts. Therefore, show your kids the fun of programming by watching or engaging in light reading. This could be articles, YouTube videos, or books.
- Try something small – most parents or teachers make the mistake of going overboard from the start. Even if your kid recently learned the coding bits of robots, video games, movies, and mastered the basic computer programming languages, their first coding project shouldn’t be designing a battle bot or adventure game. While some kids can do this, it is important to keep their expectations realistic when starting out.
- Move to something challenging – after your kid has understood coding basics, you can slowly advance to slightly complicated things. However, you shouldn’t shoot for the stars yet. This could be designing a simple game or mobile app.
Introducing your kids to programming sets them up for academic success. Coding helps kids improve their writing and mathematics skills while imparting valuable life skills to them. Being an outstanding skill in the modern era, you shouldn’t hesitate to introduce your kids to programming at an early age.
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