Teaching Coding to Kids: Ultimate Guide For Proactive Parents and Educators
As a caregiver or instructor, the idea of teaching coding to kids can feel like a complete minefield. However, foreign as it seems, this skill is quite accessible and becomes less daunting when you are adequately prepared.
There are a few non-negotiables to teaching kids coding. Which computers to use, having proper internet access, and investing in quality courses are at the core of materials needed. Other aspects are more flexible such as which courses best suit your child depending on their age and level of experience. With the right tools and approach, you are sure to set your bright star toward an engaging and successful path—even if you don’t identify as a coding expert.
Thoughts to Consider for Teaching Kids Code:
What is coding?
How do I teach kids code if I don’t have any experience?
What materials do I need to teach my child coding?
Which are the best courses to enroll my child in?
When integrated, the benefits of coding provide a wide range of life skills and fulfillment beyond the classroom. From seeing how their favorite games work from the inside out and building their own interactions, children exercise their creative and imaginative muscles while applying logic and strategy-based thinking to complete tasks. The benefits may be obvious, and this guide offers pointers on how to teach kids coding and lead your student on the right path.
A Brief Overview to Coding
Simply put, coding is a language used for computer programming. It is a set of instructions created by an individual that informs computer software with what to do or how to complete a task.
From the surface level, it is the set of directions that create a webpage. At its most complex, it is the language behind creating applications, games, and more.
The coding process can range from writing technical instructions to dragging and dropping visuals on a screen. When teaching kids how to code, be sure to bridge educational materials with engaging and native entertainment. Fortunately, many course programs offer a fun and light-hearted approach to learning and how to teach kids to code.
How to Teach Coding to Kids If You Don’t Have Experience
Experience can make things feel more comfortable, but the only way to get something done is to start. On that note, it can be conducive to familiarize yourself with coursework before your student begins a class. Not only does this prepare you for any roadblocks or questions a child might face, but it also builds your confidence in knowing that you’ll know how to steer them in the right direction.
Remember to have fun along the way! Most of the courses are designed with this approach in mind. When you are prepared ahead of time, it lifts the burden of not knowing what to expect and clears space for you to be in full service to your student.
What materials do I need to teach my kid coding?
There are two main components necessary, including gear and approach.
When equipping yourself with the right gear, you’ll want to make sure you have a computer, internet connection and have enrolled in a leading and reliable course. It is recommended to have a computer younger than four years if you want flexibility in the types of lessons your child can take. Older computers are still an option but may limit you to web-based options. Optimal internet accessibility ensures course options remain diverse.
Having suitable materials will make your teaching approach much more fluid and manageable. With that being said, an open mind and the right attitude are also essential to creating a safe and inspiring learning space.
Which are the best courses to enroll my child in?
Course options are endless and can make the enrollment process feel overwhelming. Deciding on the right course involves a few core elements including your student’s age and level of experience. How to teach coding to elementary students will require different programs than if you were to teach code to a high schooler. It is also important to factor in who is behind the course. STEM expert development is a key piece when ensuring the material is reliable and applicable to furthering their skillset long-term.
Scratch (elementary level)
For younger students, between second to fifth grade, Scratch is a course that introduces concepts in a beginner-friendly way to teach coding to elementary students. Kids learn how to code from an intuitive perspective to create games and animations with a simple drag and drop design. While Scratch appears simple at the surface, young children also learn STEM concepts like events, loops, and variables, making it an excellent foundation for more demanding courses as they grow.
Python (middle school level)
Python is a phenomenal selection for beginners at the middle school level, where students learn a range of common concepts in Computer Science. Here at Code Galaxy, we offer multiple levels of this course where children can build upon skills to apply in the real world. Python is a well-rounded place to start and understand more advanced skills to create sophisticated programs, whether your kid is learning to code for fun or pursue a career.
Web Development (high school level)
It’s Time to Teach Your Student
If your student is already eager to learn and play, half of your work is done. The step necessary for a proactive parent or educator to take is the role of a supportive guide. With the right attitude, up-to-date gear, and trusted course material, you are ready to lead your superstar toward a rewarding coding experience.