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teaching kids how to code

February 13, 2021 by Samra Nisar with 0 comments

5 Tips For Teaching Kids How To Code

From a technical perspective, teaching kids how to code could be termed as a creative activity that any child could actively engage in. Your child might not focus on just writing data processing algorithms. They could also enjoy creating games, designing websites, programming music or just playing around with code. In this article, we will provide you 5 tips for teaching kids how to code. These tips will be highly effective in guiding your children in becoming skilled learners. It will be helpful for children to learn coding in Pakistan and other parts of the world.

Use scratch for young kids and python for older kids.

From a technical perspective, MIT’s Scratch could be termed as a free programming tool that has been designed specifically for kids. It could be played in any modern Web browser. The visual style of Scratch was influenced by the Logo program. It is a staple of programming classes for children of the 80s and 90s. However, scratch is more than just a logo knockoff.

Kids between the ages of 8 and 13 would reap benefits from the simple graphical interface of scratch. The drag-and-drop code blocks snap together for scratch. The small pieces of code that may never make computational sense won’t directly fit together. This will make syntax errors almost impossible. Scratch is also highly beneficial for younger kids.

Students that do try to make highly sophisticated programs would certainly eventually run into a wall due to scratch. For teens as well as pre-teens, having a real-world programming language such as python could be highly suitable. Python is indeed an excellent first programming language. This is mainly because the language has a very simple syntax. This is contrary to other languages such as Java or C# as they produce readable code and have a large community of developers behind them.

Illustrate source code for actual programs

Despite its intellectual reputation, programming is regarded as a practical skill that requires practice and patience and not just reading books. The interactive shell of Python allows experimentation to find out what instructions do. If you have been teaching kids how to code on a daily basis, writing code goes a long way when compared with just talking concepts at them.  Even after learning about loops, variables and functions, just sitting in front of an editor along with starting a new program could be highly intimidating.

You can sit with them and illustrate the code they must write. Moreover, if you have been using online resources for the purpose of sharing with your child, you should be able to look for the source code that can be used for small games. Programs that have less than a couple hundred lines of code work could be the most beneficial.

The Scratch website can help to share the source for all essential projects for learning coding in Pakistan and other parts of the world. You can allow your children for making modifications to the code. This will be helpful in watching how they are able to change the final program. There are several tutorials on the internet for teaching kids how to code for beginners.

Don’t assist the kids during learning

It is indeed highly beneficial to help your kids when they are trying to learn. Showing your kids what you know about programming is indeed very good. However, coding is a skill that could only be learned through the means of hands-on practice. As a result, you should allow the children to learn themselves. You should avoid jumping in to type on the keyboard when you have to work with kids, even though it is temporary.

If they have to click on a button or menu, you should be able to point to the screen with your finger and not the mouse. As a result, you can click it yourself. Whenever there is a code that is required to be typed, you can allow them to type it. It could also be faster if you did it yourself. However, your student needs the practice more than you.

Adapt your teaching style for the specific age group

When you are thinking about teaching kids how to code, you should wonder what the right age should be to start it. As it happens, children would be able to learn how to code when they are young as kids coding is fun. Age 5-7 could well be the ideal age for teaching kids how to code as they can learn the logic behind coding as well as electronic devices. This includes smartphones, tablets, etc.

At this age, children have already started learning how to read and write, and they will be able to create with coding. If you have to use real programming languages then age 9 or 10 could well be a fine age to start learning Python. However, the age that a child is interested in learning is the one that they can start learning to code.

De-conceptualize coding and make it fun

Teaching kids how to code is all about the end result. Their interest will be piqued if you tell them they’re going to build a small game rather than learn a programming language. The key to that often is to use offline tools that help to build coding skills and a lot of games that kids probably already know can help. You can teach kids how to code a game.

Unsurprisingly, it tends to be easier to deconceptualize coding when you’re teaching kids rather than adults. Kids realize that programming isn’t rocket science. Even as a parent if you don’t know programming, you can learn coding for kids as this will help them in the future. You should also start the lessons by illustrating them source codes. They can experiment by modifying a few lines and see how it changes the way the program works.

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