Given that coding is already difficult even for us adults, what more if we have to teach it to our kids?
Coding is not an easy subject to teach. Teens and even adults have a hard time learning and mastering it. That being said, it is important that we level with our kids and teach them in a way that they can easily understand.
Thankfully, there are several coding for kids programs that are available online today. With just a quick Google search, you can find several learning materials, resources, and even tutorial videos that you can use as an aid when teaching your kids.
With that in mind, we have created this guide to help you better teach your kids how to code.
Provide a great foundation
Interest is the best foundation for learning.
Before you actually teach your kids how to code, try to get them interested in coding first. Interest is a powerful drive that can jump-start your kids’ journey into coding. As we all know, kids are more likely to pay attention and learn if they are interested in the subject.
So like a carrot on a stick, you have to find ways to get your kids hooked into coding.
One of the things that we have learned from several coding for kids programs is through games and apps. For example, if your kids like to play Minecraft, then you can use it as an introduction to coding. Since Minecraft puts emphasis on customization, you can teach your kids how to use mods and packs to improve their character in the game.
Simplify even the basics
Coding and programming are all about syntax and structure. In order for kids to absorb and grasp all these sets of rules, you have to put them into a different perspective. Rather than immediately jumping into text-based code, why not start with block-based code instead. Using block-based code would help them to easily visualize how their code works.
Thankfully, there are a lot of free block-based coding platforms online that you can use. One of the most popular ones is called Scratch. It is a block-based visual programming language developed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
In fact, schools from all over the world are starting to realize the benefits and potentials of using Scratch as a mode of teaching. Rather than letting kids memorize a block of text codes that they cannot understand, Scratch’s easy drag-and-drop feature allows kids not just to memorize codes but also to understand how syntax and structure works in coding.
Maximize their creative potential
For some, the main appeal of learning how to code is that anyone can create their own apps, games, or any projects. That being said, maximizing your kids’ creative potential and letting them create their own projects is a great way to sustain their interest in learning more about coding.
It would also make learning a lot more fun because they have something original that they can be proud of. Your kids can create their own apps and even games that they can show to their friends.
Therefore, as a teacher, you should encourage your kids to create more. You can do this by assigning projects or activities every week. This way, your kids can remember and easily recall what they recently learned from you.
As you probably already know, learning how to code is more of a trial and error. Most of the time, your code would not work on the first run so you have to try several different ways just to make it work.
Imagine this happening to a kid, with little to no patience?
With that in mind, you should not only teach them the basics and fundamentals of coding, but you should also teach them some of the soft skills needed to be a successful coder.
It would be a waste of time and potential if your kids were to quit the first time they fail to run their code, wouldn’t it?
That being said, you should teach your kids how to overcome these problems as well. Try to do short sprints or activities for a short period of time. This way, the problems that they will encounter would be more manageable and the end result would be more noticeable. It would be an easy solution and they can easily see their success in just a short period of time.
Apart from your kids gaining valuable skills, you can also use this opportunity as a way to bond with your kids more. Rather than having a teacher and a student set up, get comfortable and try to make the learning process a lot more fun and exciting for your kids. This way, your kids would be more inclined to sit through the learning process with you.