Easy access to smartphones and the omnipresence of the internet has allowed access to all information at a moment's notice, altering the way children think and learn. Knowing how to code gives them a better understanding of the digital world they live in and the right tools to navigate it. It also helps in building creative thinking and problem-solving skills from an early age. Since children are unintimated by lines of code, writing code shows them how to patiently work well and build automatic reflexes to find solutions.
Computers, cell phones, video games, social media, are embedded in the lives of children today. Even simple toys are making use of digital programs and the internet. Thus, teaching coding to kids is becoming more and more popular every day. Many parents are leaving their children out of cricket and art classes in favour of this essential 21st-century skill. As the demand for coders increases in the 21st-century workforce, more and more jobs will require you to have at least a basic understanding of coding. By teaching children to code, you invest in their future. Here are a few tips to consider to help a child embark on a coding journey:
Let the child follow his thoughts
Allow your children's imagination to run wild while coding. Children often deviate from what they have been taught when writing code. You may be accustomed to make them stick to the known path. But creativity and determination are children's best resources when learning to code. Following their own ideas and discovering their limits will be a much more rewarding experience than a set track.
Enable goal-oriented learning
Preparing children to code is telling them about the end results. They will be more interested to learn to develop a computer game than learn a programming language. Most adults think of coding as a monotonous repetition of code. When starting, covering a wide range of topics is better than going deep into technical details.
Foster a growth mindset
Writing code can sometimes be difficult and frustrating for children. But programming can also be a lot of fun and the feeling when something finally works is exciting. Coding teaches young coders to handle failure and not lose motivation when they don't get something right. Teaching them to foster a growth mindset, instils an attitude where they don't see their skills as something that can't be improved. But see it as a skill they can develop with practice and resolve.
Encourage children to code a little every day
Steady, incremental progress every day will help in sparking a child's interest in coding early on. Practising even for 30 mins will help your children practise and perfect important concepts and enable them to apply them in more effective ways.
Find a coding mentor
Enrol your children in coding classes for kids. Even though there are several online resources teaching coding online, one of the most important factors is the absence of 2-way communication. Most online learning options are passive, and even if interactive, provide no means for students to let a real person know where they're struggling. Personalized 1-on-1 coding will help to tailor the coding curriculum to address these needs and allow a better grasp.
You will be surprised at how quickly one can learn to code if it is taught in the right way. Children have the leisure of not being daunted with numbers when writing code. Getting them interested early is important to not let any mental blocks occur around coding. And the skills they'll learn—problem-solving, logic, and patience—will be used throughout their lives.
The writer is Co-founder & CEO, Toppr.
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