Many parents in today's technologically advancing world are putting their kids in computer classes at a young age. There are many benefits for your child to start when they are young, and their minds are curious, and they can pick up on new concepts quickly.
When you decide you want to start your child in computer classes, you may wonder how old they need to be, how to introduce coding, and what resources are available.
We hope this guide will give you all the information you need to get your child started today for a brighter tomorrow.
All children mature and understand different concepts at different ages, and teaching children to code certainly follows this general rule of thumb.
Most children will not understand or be interested in more complex computer courses until around age 7. Your child may be interested in designing their own games or building robots that have them eager to learn more.
If your child is younger, you may start introducing concepts through fun games and apps; there are board games, offline activities, and interactive kits designed for children as young as three.
Keep it fun and straightforward at first, and then as they gain more interest, you can put them in a formal class.
For some children, they will not gain any interest in computers until they are approaching middle school, and this is fine as well. You want your child to have their own reasons to want to learn more, or it will be a battle.
As you start to introduce coding, you want to make sure you do not overwhelm your child. It can be a lot of challenging new concepts, and you do not want them to get too frustrated too soon.
Here are four easy steps to introducing your child in a way that will help them become excited about learning:
Introduce the basics first. The best way to get them started is for them to learn basic concepts, terms, and essentially what coding is. Soon they will be engaged and able to explain what coding is in a few sentences.
Talk about it. Talking about new things you are learning helps it stick in your brain. Your child might enjoy talking to their friends about how the video game they are playing was designed or by asking their science teacher about how robots are programmed. They may enjoy visiting a technology museum or watching robot battles.
Start small. If your child is very excited once they learn that coding is responsible for cool games, robots, drones, and webpages, they may want to start creating a project a little too advanced for their beginner knowledge.
Have fun. Keep coding on their level of engagement and create things they are interested in. Coding was once thought of as something completely boring, but it has come a very long way and can be so fun to watch your creations come to life.
If you follow these simple guidelines, we are sure your child will be wanting to know more and start creating.
There a lot of options, but here are a few of our most popular classes to get you started:
Parents Course - This will help you get familiar with the basics of coding to help support your child.
Introduction to Coding - This course is designed for children ages 6-8; it will go over basic concepts and terms. A strong foundation is essential, and this course will achieve just that.
Python Coding for Kids - This course is designed for children ages 8-10. Python is a great beginner language because it uses plain English in its language versus numbers and symbols. Computational thinking and writing real code is essential for success in coding, and that is the focus of this course.
Intermediate Python Coding for Kids - This course, for kids ages 9-11, continues building on concepts they previously learned and transitions them from coding in native Python using an IDE.
HTML/CSS Coding for Kids - This is an introductory course, for kids ages 12-17, with no prior experience. Learning the basics as they work with pure code writing in the world’s most common code language.
HTML/CSS Coding for Kids 2 - This course is the second module for HTML/CSS, and module 1 must be completed prior to this course.
These are our beginner courses, and once your child masters these, we also offer advanced courses.
You could also introduce your child to fun games, videos, or books.
Remember, games will not teach your child to write code but can be a fun way to introduce these concepts and get them more comfortable with it, plus they are fun! The best thing about coding is that while it may seem complicated, there are so many ways to make it fun!
At Ucode, we offer 90-minute live classes with six kids per class, which means your child will log into our website at a particular time and be taught by a real person.
Having a real teacher, even through an online learning platform, greatly benefits the child in a number of ways. They are able to get taught in real-time, get their questions answered, and have social interactions. Having a teacher there to keep them engaged and on task will also improve the quality of their education. This option also offers a social aspect because your child can interact with others in their class. They can share their work, problem solve and collaborate with kids around their own age.
In comparison, a self-directed course is one a child logs into on their own time and completes tasks at their own pace. This may work for some kids, but most kids need structure and accountability, especially when it comes to coding. If your child gets stuck or has questions, they may get overly frustrated without the help and support they need to work through the problem. If they get behind, they will have a hard time catching up and may quit altogether. This also takes away the social aspect of a live class; your child will have to seek out other ways to get plugged in.
We hope you use this as your guide as you begin introducing coding to your child, setting them up for success.
Remember, every child learns at their own pace and will grasp these concepts on their own timeline. If they get stuck and you are not able to assist them, please check out our online resources and live chat rooms to assist you better. The last thing you want is your child getting too frustrated and wanting to quit. We hope you will enjoy working on a fun project together like a robot or drone building. This could be a fun, creative way to get your child excited about the endless possibilities of creating with code. As they get older, these fun hobbies could turn into a very successful career in any field of their choice!