There’s so much you can do with coding, and for kids who want to create their own online games or websites, it’s an essential skill. But learning to code can seem daunting, even for kids who are eager to create projects that require programming knowledge. Below we’ve got some expert tips for how to get your kids excited about coding.
Anyone Can Be a Programmer
If your student has struggled with STEM subjects in the past, they may think that coding isn’t for them. As much as we try not to label our kids, it can be hard to avoid, especially in school. Maybe they’ve been labeled as the kid who isn’t good at math or who doesn’t catch on to science lessons. The good news is that despite any labels or preconceptions your child might have, anyone can become a programmer.
An article in PLOS Computational Biology states that “competence at programming is not innate but is rather a learned skill that can be acquired and improved with practice.” In fact, they mention that instructors who believe that some kids will just innately “get” coding, while others won’t, invest less into the students who they believe just won’t be able to master coding fundamentals.
If your child shows an interest in coding, but is hesitant because they feel they won’t be good at it, make sure to reinforce with them that anyone can become a programmer. Everyone catches on at different speeds, but the most important factor to mastering coding skills is how much practice a student is willing to put in. Just like learning a foreign language or a musical instrument, practice is what makes perfect.
The Creativity of Coding
The biggest misconception about coding is that it’s boring and all about crazy combinations of letters and numbers. Coding makes things come to life and can be super creative. As an article in THE (Technological Horizons in Education) Journal mentions, “most kids like to create things, so coding will come as naturally as painting a picture or building something with Legos.”
Through coding, kids can build their own games, apps, and websites. They can add music, photos, change backgrounds, choose font colors and sizes, add interactive elements, and more. While learning the syntax of a coding language is more about memorization and practice, what you can do with those coding languages can be extremely creative.
Point out all the creative possibilities of coding to your kids, especially if they typically enjoy building or creating things in their free time.
Focus on Your Child’s Interests
The article in THE Journal also recommends approaching coding from the perspective of what your child is already interested in. If your child loves to play video games, talk to them about being able to build their own video game. If they like to make their own videos or play an instrument, coding can allow them to build a website featuring their own recordings.
Kids who like more hands-on activities might be drawn to robotics. Not only can they build and customize their own robots, but with programming skills, they can program them to do countless numbers of tasks.
The possibilities with coding are endless, so it’s easy to find a way that ties coding into an activity your child already enjoys.
Highlight Languages That Match Your Child
Going along with the previous tips, it’s also helpful to focus on programming languages that coincide with why your child wants to code. An article from Syracuse University emphasizes that you shouldn’t get bogged down with a single language – instead, you should focus on what your student wants to do with coding.
Teachers That Get Kids Excited About Coding
CodeWizardsHQ’s classes are all about getting kids excited about coding. Each class focuses on teaching different coding fundamentals through fun, interactive projects. Students are able to start creating their own games and webpages from the very beginning thanks to CodeWizardsHQ’s proprietary library of images, graphics, and sounds.
Although the curriculum is focused on interactive projects to make coding fun, it’s our teachers who really get kids excited to learn to code. We hire teachers who not only have professional coding skills, but they’re passionate about teaching kids. From the very first class, they tell their students that anyone can become a programmer, and they take the time to get to know their students’ interests so they can help students really make projects their own.