Computers are an important part of the world we live in. Technology is everywhere and it is advancing at a rapid rate, which means children are going to have to learn to interact with it at a younger age. While other generations didn’t have a cellphone until they were a teenager, that is no longer the social norm. More than likely, your kids are going to use a smart phone to make a call or watch a video at a very young age. Because they are being introduced to technology at a younger age, they should also be introduced to concepts like coding at a young age.
What Should Kids Learn Growing Up?
There are a lot of debates about what a child should and should not learn while they are growing up. While the concept of advanced computer skills may be up for debate, there are still a lot of values people do agree on. For example, kids need to learn discipline, they need to understand how to work together, how to properly express themselves, and the importance of communication.
While coding doesn’t teach these skills directly, kids do learn them as they manipulate technology. With the guidance of a parent or teacher, they can learn how to complete coding projects with help. They can learn to ask questions and develop a good moral compass. They learn patience and can see their hard work pay off in the long run.
Coding As a Child’s Hobby
Most parents want to teach their children to find a creative hobby that can educate them as well as entertain them. For some kids, this means spending time at ballet, playing an instrument or painting pictures. Modern children, however, are focusing more on technology, rather than these traditional sources of edutainment. Learning how to manipulate an app or website can be a great way to express yourself.
Coding can also be very entertaining, regardless of your age. Trial-and-error processes can create some silly results that children love, but the end results are usually what captures their attention. Many times, children are learning how to make their own games that they can play as often as they like.
Digital Skills Are Practical
Having computer skills is a necessity. Even if your kids aren’t learning how to develop an app, they need to understand the basics in order to survive in the modern world. Coding helps give them a better overall understanding of the rapidly changing technology that affects them every day. Learning the foundations of coding can help children develop these skills and play a part in the change.
Best of all, almost any child can learn how to code. Children as young as 4 can command a tablet or smart phone, even learning what advanced commands do. Older children can then further their skills in specially designed classes. These fundamentals can lead into a variety of careers, such as engineering, robotics, or computer technology. Children aren’t just learning how simple commands can entertain them, they are learning skills that can help them get a good job in the future.
Learn Problem-Solving Skills Through Coding
Programming is quite complex, even at a fundamental level. Learning to manipulate code means understanding a problem and exploring, testing, and choosing from the best of several possible solutions. While a child might not understand a complex algorithm, they are still learning the steps that can help them solve the problem. This helps them develop key problem-solving skills earlier on, giving them a head start.
Language Skills Are the Key to Success
While children learning computer coding at a young age may be up for debate, the importance of good communication never is. When thinking about coding, you need to treat it like a foreign language. Do you think it’s a good idea for your child to learn Spanish or Italian when they are young?
Teaching a computer language at a young age gives your child similar benefits to foreign language study. They aren’t just able to work with technology easier; they are also able to communicate better. They will be able to know if their tablet computer has a problem causing their favorite game to stop working, or if the game itself has a bug. This makes their technology problems much more manageable.
Coding is quickly becoming a universal language. While it isn’t always verbally expressed, it is still important to learn in order to interact with technology.
Where Can Kids Learn How to Code?
One of the biggest benefits of coding is that it can be taught at any age and at any pace. This means that parents have a lot of options when it comes to instruction. Several programs designed to teach children how to work with computers at home are available. Most of these programs use games to show children problems and give them direct ways to solve them.
Older children can learn coding in a classroom setting. Try finding schools that offer special computer programming camps or extracurricular classes. These classes aren’t designed to bog your child down with extra homework; they are designed to be fun learning experiences that help your child express themselves.
All children need to be computer literate if they want to survive in the modern world. Coding takes this a step further, giving the child an opportunity to learn better ways to interact with the technology around them. They will learn how to solve problems and gain the skills they need to get a career later in life.