In recent years, technology has made inroads into all aspects of our lives. We’ve come to rely on websites, apps and gadgets to help us through the day be it at work or at home.
All technologies rely on software and all software is essentially instructions written in the form of lines of code. In short, it is now definitely a world that runs on code.
As such, coding for kids is increasingly becoming part of the curriculum at schools and colleges. Learning to code has numerous advantages when it comes to personal development as it involves problem solving, logic, creativity, and critical thinking.
It is clear that coding is the new literacy. And as the leading computer scientist and entrepreneur Paul Graham says, “In the world of software, the best way to lead is with code.”
In order to become leaders and flourish in the modern world, it is now essential that all children have a deep understanding and familiarity with code.
In this guide, we will answer all the questions parents might have about introducing coding for kids. Let’s get started.
What is coding?
Coding is the language of computers. We humans speak in various languages such as English, Hindi, and other regional languages to communicate with each other. Similarly, machines have their language.
The series of instructions created is known as the “source code” of the program. Later, the term gained significance and was called “code”. So when we work on the source code to build software, an app, or a website, we refer to it as “coding”.
In short, computers understand only machine language. Code is the set of instructions given to a computer and coding is the process of developing these instructions.
Is there a difference between coding and programming?
In short, yes!
Coding is the process of translating a set of instructions from human language to a computer language. Programming is the process of creating the set of instructions that tell a computer how to perform a task.
Let’s take a calculator as an example. If we want to add two numbers on a calculator, we give an input of two numbers and get an output that is the sum of these two numbers. When we write the code for adding the two numbers, it’s called coding.
On the whole, the program on the calculator brings together all the codes that perform all these different operations. The process of tying all the code together is called programming.
To summarise, coding refers to writing the many single lines of code to perform single operations. While programming refers to bringing all these codes together to perform different operations with a single device like a calculator.
What is the best age for kids to start learning to code?
A kid’s coding journey can begin at the age of five. According to child development experts, ages 2 to 7 are prime for acquiring fluency when it comes to learning a new language.
Learning to code is like becoming fluent in a new language—your brain is learning new vocabulary and syntax and synthesizing them into creative expression.
There will naturally be challenges when it comes to getting started with coding for kids. Kids learn differently from elders, and they often have less resilience.
The setbacks are essential steps, as coding at any level always involves some level of failure. It involves learning why and how a piece of code fails and how to improve it. By experiencing these challenges from the beginning, kids learn that failure is part of the process of coding.
What are the benefits of learning to code at an early age?
Coding offers many advantages when it is taught in the early stage of life. It helps a child develop problem-solving skills, improves communication skills, and boosts creativity. Let’s take a closer look at each of these.
Coding is known to boost problem-solving skills in children. It prepares children to break issues down into more manageable sub-problems, then progress through an iterative process of identifying, prioritizing, and implementing solutions. Thus, kids start honing their problem-solving skills.
Coding improves confidence and communication skills. Enrolling your child in a coding course on a community-driven platform is a great way to develop their team-building and communication skills. It empowers children to collaborate with others, perform well academically and achieve their goals.
Coding sparks creativity and creative people have rapid and effective responses that help them achieve their life goals and enjoy the journey. Coding also helps you preserve your creative skills as you age.
You can learn more about the benefits of coding and get started early on your coding journey.
Why is coding for kids one of the top skills to learn?
There’s no denying that technology now dominates a huge amount of different industries. And ‘learning to code’ seems to be the buzzword at the moment.
Today’s students must be prepared to thrive in a constantly evolving technological landscape. The ISTE Standards for Students are designed to empower student voice and ensure that learning is a student-driven process.
There are seven ISTE standards for students of a digital world. They are Empowered Learner, Digital Citizen, Knowledge Constructor, Innovative Designer, Global Collaborator, Computational Thinker, and Creative Communicator.
Coding for kids enables most of the ISTE standards. It helps children to become the digital creators and innovators of the future.
Why should children learn to code?
Coding involves problem-solving, perseverance, collaboration, mathematical logic, and reasoning skills.
Could anyone argue that these are not skills that we want for all students? It can be easy to get caught up in the common barriers of why not to code, such as lack of time, lack of knowledge, or lack of resources.
Coding can be integrated into any curriculum, and the learning can take place along with the students. There are many low or no-cost solutions to teach coding for kids.
How is coding taught to children?
While the idea of teaching coding may seem overwhelming and complex, basic coding lessons do not even need to start with a computer. Coding lessons can progress from simple to complex.
A lesson that does not require a computer is referred to as “unplugged” because computer technology is not needed. An introductory unplugged class might include teaching the students the vocabulary of coding.
For example, writing an algorithm is one of the fundamental concepts in coding. An algorithm is a set of steps used to complete a task. Using the “unplugged” philosophy, students can write algorithms of their routine at school to learn this concept.
The kids can be introduced to writing an algorithm that consists of the steps they take to get ready each morning. What do they do first, second, and third? They can write this algorithm as if they were talking to another person, no need to use any “code” to start.
How can we make coding fun and engaging for kids?
When kids start learning to code, it will take some time for them to figure out the new world they have entered. Let me tell you something, we all have been there while starting out with anything new.
Your coding skills always get better with practice. Writing code is like cooking. When you start, it’s not easy to make a delicious dish. You need to learn everything: which ingredients to use, how much quantity to add, and so on. The pleasure comes as you go along, begin to understand things, and start to have fun with them.
Do you need coding courses to get your kids started?
In short, yes! Whether your kids are getting started with learning to code or looking forward to advancing in their coding journey, coding courses will lead them in the right learning path.
Before getting started with a course, it’s essential to figure out and set your goals first. Once you know what you want to achieve, it will be much easier for you to choose the best coding platforms.
To begin with, set your coding goals first, figure out what you want to achieve and choose the best coding platform and the course accordingly.
What are the benefits of paid coding courses?
If you want your kids to learn a few basics, you can get started with free introductory coding courses available.
But, if you’re looking for customized learning, you need to invest in an excellent coding course. You can customize and pace your child’s learning journey to get the maximum value from the courses offered.
The expert teachers and mentors enable a significant momentum in your child’s coding journey. Experts will help your kids with what to learn and how to learn it quickly.
Free courses are suitable to get kids started and learn a few basics. Paid courses are great for personalized 1:1 (one-on-one) learning and deliver quality and value-added coding education.
What are some of the best platforms for kids to learn to code?
Scratch is a free visual block-based coding platform and allows kids to create interactive games.
Blockly is another great platform which helps kids to create code by snapping different types of blocks together.
Code.org offers courses that include videos, tutorials, and projects. The platform offers courses and activities that are free, interactive and fun.
Codingal is the #1 platform for kids to learn coding with interactive one-on-one classes and a community-driven learning experience.
Juni Learning offers beginner to advanced courses for kids. Wherever you start, you’ll build strong coding skills.
Tynker is a fun and interactive coding platform offering step-by-step coding courses for kids to apply coding concepts.
Learning to code can be one of the most constructive hobbies to adopt. It can help them develop persistence, communication, creativity, and higher-order thinking.
Yes, coding for kids acts as a stepping stone towards potentially lucrative career opportunities, but it offers children so much more than that. A modern parent can’t go wrong by encouraging their child to program.
Start with some of the resources above and introduce your child to developmentally appropriate programming today!
There’s no better time than now to get your child started on their coding journey. So go ahead and book your free one-on-one coding class right away.