We live in a technology-driven world, so you may be wondering if your kids should start coding while they’re young. Yes. We all know learning a new language is easier when you’re young, and the same goes for software programming.
Your first question is probably, “What is coding for kids?” It is an introduction to programming, but where reals skills and programming knowledge is passed on.
Teaching a child coding is no different from learning a new language. The notion that coding has to be dumbed down or warped to be taught to children is silly, especially when the basics of programming can often be taught in a straightforward and basic manner.
Not all kids are good at coding, just like not all kids are adept at playing the piano, throwing a ball, or playing racing games. However, you should at least let your kids try coding, perhaps take a few lessons, just to see if the subject clicks with them.
Some Kids Enjoy Coding
Obviously, you want your kids to spend their young years running around and having fun, not sitting in front of a computer writing code. However, there are many hobbies a child can partake in, and coding is no less valid than gaming, reading, or swimming.
Give your kids the chance to enjoy coding, but do not force the issue. What typically happens is that a child quickly turns away from coding but learns to love it in their teens.
The teenage years are when most kids settle down, become more sedate, and are typically better suited to coding. Give your kids a taste of programming, but do not force the issue because it may scare them away forever.
Coding Improves Math and Logic Skills
You need fairly good math skills to choose a career as a professional coder. However, coding actually improves a kid’s math logic over time. You will have to start your kids off with smaller and more basic projects, but as your kid learns more and becomes more interested in coding, they will learn the required math.
In many cases, learning the math terminology is the most challenging part. Like back in school, you kept confusing mean, median, and mode. Kids who are good at math will always have an easier time coding (and learning to code), but struggling with math has never held back a determined coder.
Coding Improves Problem Solving Skills
The weird thing is that it improves problem-solving skills simply because the problems are so much fun to overcome. Coding is a playground of problem-solving, and the fact is that the problems you solve are the ones you create.
Think of it this way. You want to build a wooden rabbit hutch. You could buy a pre-made one that you erect with glue and bolts. Alternatively, you could buy plans and the pre-cut wood and screw them together.
Alternatively, you could buy lots of wood, make your own plans, and build a rabbit hutch yourself. Or, you could make a plan and then work out exactly how much wood you will need in a way that means there will be no waste, and then build your hutch.
Do you see how easy or complex the hutch building process can be? Now, imagine the same scenario, but in this case, you want to build a program that checks Amazon prices against eBay’s prices.
There is a world of options open to you, and you pick the path you suit and take on the problems you wish to solve. Coding offers your kids the same opportunities for problem-solving.
Children Become More Digitally Literate
Learning how to code allows a child to take a peek under the hood of how modern technology works. It can have long-ranging effects that work throughout their entire life, from understanding how a website works but helping them install and run old Harry Potter PC games.
Plus, even if coding is not future-proof, even if they do away with your chosen programming code in the future, learning how to code will help a child understand computational thinking.
This will permeate other parts of your child’s life. It is a little like how people who understand English and Spanish can often understand elements of Italian and French. The skills and knowledge seem to seep into other parts of your life, and that is not a bad thing, especially when it comes time to choose what to study for a professional career.