The ubiquity of technology in recent years has turned coding into a requirement for basic literacy. Knowing how to use a smartphone or a tablet is not enough anymore. Schools in the UK, Singapore, and even some in the US, have already introduced coding in the curriculum. You may think coding is just for the future software engineers and computer programmers, but it’s actually a skill that can be beneficial to anyone, even at a young age.
So, how does teaching coding help your little one?
1. Your child will think about the world in a new way Steve Jobs once said, “Everyone should learn how to program a computer because it teaches you how to think.” Not every job will require technical skills, but the logic-based thought one learns through programming is an important intellectual skill. Your child will start looking at the bigger picture while also learning how to break down big challenges into smaller, more manageable tasks
2. Coding will be beneficial in school Learning how to code helps your little one with problem-solving. Your child will learn how to plan actions in a step-by-step manner and structure answers in an organized way. Coding and mathematics are closely linked, each offering beneficial insight into the other. Children with programming knowledge can apply their concrete coding skills in understanding abstract mathematical concepts.
3. Your child will become a storyteller Coding is sequential. A program has a beginning, progression, and ending. When programming, one must first figure out why one thing logically leads to another in a particular order and then think about how to express that sequence coherently. Thinking in abstract sequences is an important skill, extending far past programming. Many daily activities, from planning a walking route to school to recounting experiences of the day, require an ability to organize ideas and concepts sequentially.
4. Coding helps develops creativity Much like arts and crafts, coding is a form of expressing one’s creativity. Any problem has almost limitless paths to a solution. Part of the creativity of programming is finding out which path is the right one to take. According to Karen Brennan, one of the developers of Scratch (a free online computer programming language where you can create stories, games, and animations), “Kids were used to being told how to think, how to memorize. This allows them to be in control. It takes some time, but once kids have a little taste of being creative, many of them don’t want to look back.”
You don’t need to be an expert to teach your children how to code. There are simple and fun activities that you can do in your own home to teach your child the concept of coding.