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Computer programming has increased in the performance and demand. Many children learn coding to prepare themselves to the future and some reasons. The first time I heard about the coding lessons for kids, I was a bit sceptic. How can a young age kid learn coding which is considered sophisticated subject by most people in the world while there are many techie people around us have to take a special lecture to learn coding and programming. Even myself, it is hard for me to learn coding and programming. I just thought whether:
- Parents are too ambitious
- Children would feel superior earlier
- Children would be a nerd in front of the computer. Even I thought that they are lessons for nerds
- Children who learn coding are genius
My opinion changed after a friend of mine, who is a homeschooler, gave a presentation about the coding class he opened for children. Well, he is actually an English native speaker that I think my kids will have benefits to practice communication with native speakers. He explained how coding can give a lot of benefits for children. I didn’t think further about the benefits yet since my goal at that time was to reduce their electronic playing time besides to practice the communication skill. I want their computer time becomes more productive.
After couples of weeks, those prejudice has changed. I have got more positive reasons for children to learn coding. The mistakes I made was I didn’t know what kind of learning the children have. Learning coding in the children basic level involves:
- Planning projects, including the big picture of concept
- Finding resources for the components of the projects
- Arranging the setting of each project
- Learning the instruction components
- Giving instruction based on the provided components in a logical sequence
- Customizing each component of the sets of instruction
I was surprised and excited that none of the computer languages is taught. It seems that learn coding is just in the matter of the structure of computer language. It is just like a grammar lesson that can be customized later based on the programming language child would need or be interested to learn in the future.
Reasons for Children to Learn Coding
Train Systematic and Logical Thinking
Coding needs the ability to think sequentially and logically. The instruction needed to run the project should be in detail and in order. Otherwise, they won’t work as it was desired. It is similar with learning flow chart when I was in high school. I remember how complicated it was to learn how to make and use flow charts. The lessons were incredibly boring and meaningless. I didn’t understand the purpose of learning flow chart at that time.
If I had known the purpose of learning flow chart was to train systematic and logical thinking, I would have learned well. The very basic lessons in programming or coding is to learn to think in order systematically. It dues to the nature of computer program that needs proper commands to operate well.
However, it is not only the computer programming that needs systematic and logical thinking. There are many areas that need the systematic and logical thinking. Therefore, learning coding is very useful in training systematic and logical thinking for children.
Most children are consumers in using computer. Rarely of them are productive in using the computer. They can spend a lot of time in front of the screen since that is the only thing that they know about the use of computers.
By giving them a great opportunity to learn coding, they will have different things to do instead of playing. They can build up their creativity inspired by
- their experience in using the computer
- the need of certain programs in the real life
- the finished projects shared by the community
- the examples from the tutors
Thus, they are not merely gamers anymore, but the are producing some thing with their creativity. For those who love music, they can make a coding project that explore music, but those who love maths can also combine the music with the maths activity. The creativity doesn’t have any limit.
Computers are like robots. Even it is the basic of robotic technology. A robot is not like a human, but it needs commands to perform the action as the user requires. Careless language in a computer programming will make undesired actions performed instead of the required ones. Coding is one of the programming processes when you give codes or commands to the designed projects.
When children learn to code earlier according to their level, they will learn indirectly to work accurately. Working accurately is a habit that they can bring until they grow up. It will be great if your children can be a successful programmer in the future. However, the habit of working accurately is also needed in other jobs. Whether you are a doctor, an accountant, a journalist, a writer, etc, you will still need the habit of being accurate.
Develop The Linguistic Ability
Learning the basic of coding for children usually involve arranging boxes with command inside. Like it was mentioned previously, it will be able to train children to think systematically and logically. Besides, it will be able to develop the linguistic ability of children. By simply putting the boxes into good order based on the rules, children are trained to follow the rule of another language, which is the language of computer programs.
Codes in the computer program are also languages. There are a lot of languages people use in the computer programming. By learning the structure of the language, children will just need to choose the best language they need in the future.
When children learn coding, they will train themselves to be independent learners. For me, I have never had formal coding lessons. I learn coding by myself. Kids don’t know that. Therefore, they don’t rely on me.
Besides, everyone has different project that demands them to do it by themselves. They only can consult to the tutor or searching in the community about similar projects they have. In this way, children are growing to be independent learners. When it is trained to be a habit, they will be independent as well in other works.
The coding lessons are just the basic, but real application and experience of trials and errors are the real learning. That is the nature of learning, especially for coding. Both the virtual and real meeting lessons will give basic knowledge of the systems at first. After certain periods of trial and error, some tips will just be given. Thus, children are trained to be perseverance in coding.
It is not different from adults, some children will have a time to be desperate when their codes don’t work properly as they are expected. When they learn coding, they will try to find out the ways to reach their creative project goals.
With the hard work children have with trial and errors, their confidence will increase. They will be proud of what they have done. They will usually share their works to others to the communities they join and to the family and relatives.
Well, as a mom, I always give compliments as their rewards. Although their projects look simple, I know how they have worked hard during the process. Learning to code will make children to be more confident without leading them to be arrogant as there will be more and more challenges.
Train Problem Solving
Learning to code will also train the problem solving skills. Children will learn how to solve problems in coding step by step. They learn to be patient to apply the basic knowledge in solving the problems in their projects. Therefore, the systematic and logic thinking they are trained in coding should be applied automatically in solving the problems.
Balance The Brain
Learning to code which will be continued to the computer programming doesn’t only train the logical thinking, but it will also train the artistic and creative ideas of children. For sure, a well-run program will not be able to attract many people without interesting display or performance. On the other hand, the artistic and creative displayed work accompanied with the correct codes will be more interesting.
When I was browsing the resources for children to learn coding, I found this video is very interesting. Find out when, where, what, how, and why the famous people in the computer and online industry learn to code:
Resources for Children to Learn Coding
I have collected some resources for children to learn coding and some ways to incorporate the computerized lifestyle to children. Follow and check out them in my Pinterest board
Follow Blessed Learners’s board Technology and Coding on Pinterest.