Why Children Should Learn to Code
Introducing your kids to coding is undoubtedly the best way to prepare them for a better future and support their learning activities. The benefits of learning to code go beyond education and career aspects. According to several studies, learning to code imparts kids other essential skills, such as problem-solving, organization, confidence, and perseverance. That said if you still doubt whether your kids should learn to code and are unsure of the best age to start coding, this guide answers all your assertions.
What Age Should Kids Start Coding?
While there is no exact perfect age for kids to start coding, primary going children can start learning computer programming. Like other topics in primary education, coding consists of multiple tasks and elements with varying levels of complexity. As such, simpler elements are perfect for young children. Children aged seven and above can grasp several aspects of coding systems, especially if you use the right approach and program.
Reasons for Kids to Learn Coding
There are various reasons why children should start coding. Among them include;
Coding Improves Problem-solving Skills
Learning to code is undoubtedly a straightforward way of boosting your kid’s problem-solving skills. Simply put, problem-solving describes someone’s ability to handle complex situations efficiently. Anyone with great problem-solving skills understands how to use creativity, collaboration, emotional intelligence, and decision-making for a cohesive response or solution.
In the coding context, programmers are subjected to many challenging situations that build their problem-solving skills. Practice requires them to handle complex situations by breaking them down into manageable parts. They should then identify, prioritize, and implement solutions accordingly. Doing this enables children to hone their problem-solving skills as they take on various coding challenges.
Justifying this is a 2013 study done on 5 and 6 years old kids, which found that children who participate in coding environments develop their math concepts, social, and problem-solving skills. Another study found that participants exposed to programming activities demonstrated better non-cognitive abilities. Therefore, even if your kid won’t be interested in coding in programming as an adult, introducing them to coding at an early age helps them develop transferable cognitive skills.
Coding Boosts Computational Thinking
A 2014 study concluded that coding apps and games improve middle school-going kid’s computational learning abilities. Just to mention, computational learning involves expressing tasks and situations in ways that computers would. Students who adapt to this thinking model easily break down difficult tasks into small and manageable issues, revealing the underlying patterns in the task.
Kids can start by solving coding puzzles on paper, progress to game boards, and do other challenging tasks on computers. By doing this, kids advance to increasingly complicated algorithmic activities that build from tacit knowledge and the excitement of playing coding games.
Coding is Career-building
The importance of programming in the current digital world cannot be understated. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, job availability for software developers will likely increase by 21% between 2018 and 2028, which is four times the average growth rate of other careers.
However, this doesn’t mean that your kid should automatically become a full-time software developer or programmer. This is because kids can benefit professionally by learning one or two coding languages. Being savvy in programming is valuable, regardless of our child’s job interest and education background. For instance, it can place them above other job applicants.
Coding Fosters Persistence
Programming or computer science, in general, is among the few professions where near-constant failing is acceptable. In programming, failure is immediately identified (when a program fails to work or breaks down), and success is achieved only when all errors are eliminated.
Therefore, even with straightforward programs, coders should understand various underlying problems and solve them for the code to run as intended. Fortunately, with failure and frustrations come a lifelong benefit, persistence. As kids learn to code, they understand that failing is transient and shouldn’t be a progress stopper.
Coding Improves Creativity
Creativity is a skill that parents and early educators are focused on. Creativity is a skill set and unique personality that is developed during childhood and enhanced in adolescence. Creative people often have instant and effective responses to difficult situations, which help them achieve most life goals with ease.
That said, coding in itself requires great creative thinking and an experimental mentality. Developers and coding positions work as “creators” in a programming environment. Therefore, coding constantly prompts kids to think and experiment. Simple coding projects prompt kids to animate characters or develop unique programs, which enhance their systemic and logical thinking.
The Bottom Line
For this and other reasons, programming is certainly among the few constructive hobbies that your kid can adopt. It not only sets up your child for lucrative careers but also opens up their world. However, due to the challenging and steep learning curve associated with programming, you should find the right learning approach. Coding courses offered by The Coder School are perfect for kids and beginners.
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