Learning to code is an exercise in learning how to learn. Children should start small, practice often and be open to making mistakes. Unfortunately, nothing here will make your child a coding genius, but most coders acknowledge that getting started is the hardest part. If you want to get your child started but don’t know how, here are a few tricks.
Tip 1: Start with projects that mimic daily life
Learning to code requires a great deal of abstract thinking, something that younger children may find challenging. Starting with projects that mimic objects and events that children are familiar with provides both context and meaning to what they are doing, helping children grasp the abstract concepts of coding.
Tip 2: Separate problems into achievable chunks
When a project seems complex, children often have trouble even starting to write their first line of code. In Singapore it is worse as children are often fearful of making mistakes.
An integral part of learning how to code, is being able to breakdown problems into smaller manageable pieces. Sounds familiar? Yes, this is similar to problem solving skills that are required in Mathematics! Breaking down problems into achievable chunks builds a child's confidence and gives a sense of mastery that encourages them to try and explore.
Tip 3: Don’t try to learn everything
Parents often gravitate to buzzwords such as Python or Java, while learning Python is great for a child's future it is important not to put the proverbial cart before the horse. In most cases, focusing on learning coding logic rather than an actual programing language builds a stronger foundation in logic especially in younger children.
While as parents it is tempting to want to exposure our children everything, a balanced approach is required to nurture a child's curiosity and interest in coding rather than cause unnecessary stress and frustration.
Tip 4: Schedule ‘learning time’ into the week
Learning to code is akin to learning to swim or learning a language - it does not happen over a 3-day holiday crash course. It requires repetition on a regular basis for the concepts to be internalized. Coding has never been about memorizing syntax. It is about application of coding concepts to solve problems.
Tip 5: Start today
As with everything, the getting started is probably the most difficult part. Getting started is half the battle won.
The Logic Coders is a coding school for kids aged 6-16 in Singapore
Locations: City Square Mall #06-05 / Parkway Centre #13-07
We offer term-time and holiday programs using the Lego EV3 Robotics platform and Python
Learn more at: https://www.thelogiccoders.com.sg/