In our digital era, coding has become an integral element of learning. As everything around us is driven by technology, understanding how it works has become essential. Coding is a creative process, and kids with fresh minds tend to code more rapidly because of their sense of imagination, which is a valuable advantage for discovering innovative solutions to real-world problems.
Parents don’t need extensive programming knowledge to teach kids to code. To help kids learn to code, one needs to be patient and tactful. It also takes some effort to select an age-appropriate coding language and provide interest-based materials to motivate them.
Below are some tips to help teach kids to code.
1. Introducing coding to Kids
It might be challenging to introduce computer programming to kids, especially those unfamiliar with coding subtleties. Fortunately, various apps, tools, and manuals have been developed to help young learners understand the often-complex subject of computer coding. So, where do we start?
These are some resources that parents may share with their kids to get them interested in programming.
- Programming Tutorials From Made With Code by Google
- Resources for Parents From MIT Media Lab’s Scratch Team
- Tynker’s Hour of Code Free Activities
- Lessons and Tutorials From Code.org
- Computing Lessons on Khan Academy
2. Play Coding Games
Games are an excellent method to get kids interested in coding. Such games are designed to introduce various coding topics entertainingly and engagingly. Coding games for kids remove the fear of failure, allowing kids to learn coding without fear of failure. These games are intended to help in the development of the cognitive process required to solve issues using a programming language.
A gaming session, on the other hand, should not always be about testing. Take the teaching hat off now and again, let the kids play their games and be goofy if they want to. By doing so, you’ll demonstrate to them that coding is enjoyable and that the process is rewarding from start to end.
3. Skip Computer Science
Allow the youngster to dip their toe in the water before forcing them to swim. Start with basic principles and avoid computer science at first. Put the technical intricacies on hold until the kids are more comfortable with the fundamentals.
The things you can initially focus on are:
- Conditional statements
- Practical yet simple programs like convert roman to integer in java.
The Terms you should skip at the start:
- Networking protocols
- Object-oriented programming
- Design patterns
While teaching a kid to code, there’s one quality everyone needs to have, patience. Remember that coding is a complicated concept that requires time and commitment.
4. Always follow their plans
One might be shocked at how much they depart from their initial plans while teaching kids to code. It’s important to ask kids what they want to make: a video game, for example, or Is there a little video sequence? Is this going to be an interactive story? Even if their ideas appear ridiculous initially, it’s critical to follow their lead because a kid’s imagination is frequently their most valuable asset when coding. Following their ideas and recognizing their limitations will appeal to them far more than following a predefined path.
5. Encourage Hands-on Practice
It’s a popular tenet of teaching that, when learning a skill, kids tend to retain information better if they’ve come up with the solution themselves. Always provide them with plenty of opportunities to work with source code. Refrain from assuming responsibility for any minor issues they may have.
When the teacher or parents take over the mouse or keyboard when they are stuck, they get disinterested. When kids are allowed to develop innovative solutions independently, 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 strategies that will help them learn.
6. Let Kids Work Together
Programming is iterative and problem-solving in nature. Many of it is done in groups: Github, Quora, and StackOverflow are just a few examples of places where experts crowdsource solutions.
Allow students to work together, ask questions, and help each other through issues in a supervised fashion to mimic that experience. According to studies, kids perform better in groups and still behave nicely when teachers aid them. Also, being in the company of like-minded people can help keep youngsters engaged and interested in the matter.
7. Let them set their own pace
It is a fact that different learners progress at different paces.
While a teenager preparing for their first programming course may aspire to complete an entire coding program in a matter of weeks, a younger student may be overwhelmed by the same pace.
Learners may make steady progress at their speed, thanks to bite-sized lesson modules. This progressive learning method will assist kids in breaking down the information into pieces and assist them in understanding the coding utilized in each scenario.
Ensure the kid has the confidence to take pauses, ask questions, and seek help when they need it. After all, the point is to have a satisfactory experience.
8. Learning from YouTube
YouTube’s popularity is undeniable. It is one of the most popular video-sharing websites on the internet. Kids use YouTube to find amusement, hear opinions from famous individuals, and learn new things. It is worthwhile to use valuable YouTube channels to boost kids’ teaching programs.
There are many YouTube channels available that can make the learning process easy for kids. Some of them are,
- Photon Education
- Kids Pro
Today, we have the opportunity to change how kids learn coding in the most effective way possible.
9. Virtual Coding
Once it determines what the kid is interested in, the next step is to choose a programming language for them to learn. Always select a language with a visual component. The most acceptable textbooks contain pictures because most youngsters do not understand just from words on a page or computer.
Not only can kids see the finished product on their preferred device, but the coding process can also be visualized! When a learner can see the consequence of a change on the screen in front of them, coding becomes much more tangible.
10. Try to Keep the Vocabulary to minimum
Everyone undoubtedly had a teacher in school who used so much jargon that what they were attempting to educate went right over the head. Remember that all the kids are in the same boat.
At first, they won’t be interested in the lessons on design patterns or data structures. It’s critical to show them the source code and the results, but keep the Vocabulary to a minimum.
They’ve come to learn the fundamentals of coding. If they’re younger than teens, you may want to skip part of the theory at first to give them more practical experience.
Apps like Blockly and Scratch have the significant benefit of allowing kids to visualize the algorithms they’re building and to combine essential programming ideas like instructions, recursions, conditions, and variables in an accurate and exploratory way.
Hopefully, the tips mentioned above will help turn the house into a productive learning environment and teach your kid to code. Allow youngsters to discover their love for coding since this will keep them engaged in coding in the long term. If the kid has almost no desire to learn, you should wait to start teaching them until they are ready.