As technology becomes part of our daily life, coding is becoming a necessary skill for the future. As such, it is necessary to introduce programming as part of childhood education so that children can get acquainted with it much earlier. If you are thinking about teaching your kids how to code, sustaining a child’s interest in programming can sometimes be challenging. Here are a few tips to encourage children to love coding.
For children to learn to code and enjoy it, avoid imposing it on them with rules and strict protocols as it will make programming seem like a chore. Instead, introduce them to coding and allow their curiosity to lead them. Allow kids to explore and try to figure things out without the fear of making mistakes or having to build things. This way, the child will enjoy the learning experience and seek out to discover more about the coding world.
Coding covers a variety of subjects to suit the diverse interests of children. The key to getting children to love coding is making it relevant to what they are passionate about. Strive to align coding with what they like such as movies, storytelling, games, and even drawing. Find out what the children already enjoy doing, and then make them understand how coding can help them actualize the ideas on their subjects of interest.
Sometimes, the lack of interest in programming comes from the fact that people associate it with rigidity and having to follow strict instructions and protocols. To make children enjoy learning to code, point out the creative aspects of coding, and dwell on them as they learn the basics. Since most children like creating things, coding as a creative activity will boost their interest in learning the skill when they get that there are no limits to what they can build.
By allowing children to work in groups and teams, you debunk the myth that programming is a lonely activity and help them learn to code much faster. Encourage the kids to learn and work on projects in groups to make it more social, interactive, and fun. Other than the peer to peer learning that comes with learning in groups, it also helps them develop teamwork and appreciate diversity in terms of ideas. What’s more, having a network of other children in programming encourages them to learn to code and take interest in potential ‘next steps’, such as attending a coding bootcamp or considering careers in fields like cybersecurity.
Children are more inclined to stay interested in programming if they have someone they can look up to for inspiration and motivation. The enthusiasm of a programming mentor will rub off on the children and get them excited about learning to code. A mentor will also offer support and help to keep the children going despite the challenge that may come with learning programming. A mentor can be your colleague or established programming professional. You can also partner them with older students who know more about coding.
There is a myriad of avenues to learn to code, including online platforms that utilize financial aid. The above tips will help you keep your kids interested in coding and help them build a solid foundation in the tech world.