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How To Teach Kids Coding: 8 Best Tips

How To Teach Kids Coding: 8 Best Tips

In the modern digital age, teaching kids technological life skills is more important than ever. A growing number of careers require an in-depth knowledge of different technologies, with coding and computer science playing a central role. Knowing how to code gives children a great head start in life, so in this guide, we’ll be discussing 8 of the best tips to teach kids coding.

1. Understand What Coding Is

If you didn’t grow up in the age of technology, or you’re just not a natural when it comes to all things tech, then coding might not be something that you’re too familiar with. However, coding is a complex skill, and in a world increasingly driven by technology, teaching kids to code is one of the best ways you can set them up for future success.
The first step should be to define what coding is:
Code is used to instruct computers to behave in a specific way. Written as a script, lines of code become a set of commands that gives the computer a set of steps to follow, for example, to run a certain program or display an image.

2. Teach Coding Language From Day One

From JavaScript to Python, there’s a huge amount of terminology used in the world of coding that will likely be completely alien to your kids, so when you start teaching children how to code you should ensure that you’re introducing words and phrases from the different programming languages from day one. To pick up coding language syntax, kids should be discussing the meaning and function of one or two phrases each and every day.

3. Start Out Simple

Teaching coding to kids can be challenging, especially if you haven’t had much experience with coding yourself. That’s why it’s important to start out simple and focus your initial attention on how a computer works, and what computer science is.
Once you’ve taught a general overview of computer science, then teaching coding basics to kids will become a lot easier — they’ll now have the foundation to build from and develop their knowledge in a natural way.

4. Try Out Different Languages

When it comes to teaching kids coding, there are a number of different classes and online courses available according to the specific language that you want your child to learn. These languages have been built to meet specific goals, so one language might not be as relevant to your child as another. Some of the most popular coding languages include Python and C++, but for beginners, there are a few that you might want to start with:

  • Scratch
For kids, Scratch is one of the best coding languages to learn. Being block-based, it allows children to learn visually and intuitively, creating games and animations from the very beginning to keep them engaged and inspired.

  • JavaScript
Despite being a more advanced language than Scratch, JavaScript is actually one of the best options for children who want to learn to code — it’s exciting, and lays the foundation for all things animation in video games or graphics! Kids who learn to write JavaScript to make their own games will be able to control characters and animate landscapes with ease.

  • Java
Although it’s a more complex language, Java is a great choice to teach children if you want to boost their future employability. First developed in the early 90s, Java is an object-oriented programming language that runs on billions of devices, making it a highly sought-after skill for the future by employers all over the world.

What’s more, once a student has learned JavaScript, the Java syntax becomes a lot easier to pick up, so it's a natural next step on their coding journey.

5. Encourage Kids To Predict Program Outcomes

Teaching kids to code is about more than learning a few different languages — one of the most important foundations you should help your children develop is the ability to predict what may happen when a specific line of code runs.
As part of the learning process, encourage your students to say what they think will happen when they input the line of code that they’ve written, and then take time to assess the results after the program runs to compare their expectations to reality. If the result was unexpected, positively discuss why and how they can change their approach next time.

6. Make It Fun

When you’re teaching kids to code, you’ll need to take a very different approach to teaching adult beginners. Kids pay attention completely differently from adults, so knowing how to make coding fun while taking regular breaks is paramount. This gives kids the best opportunity to enjoy what they’re learning, and gives you the best chance that they’ll stick with it when the questions become more complicated.

7. Teach Through Doing Rather Than Listening

Coding is a complex skill that needs to be learned through doing, rather than listening to an explanation or watching an expert write code without input. When teaching kids to code, having them write their own lines into a live system is one of the most effective methods you can use, and you’ll be able to teach programming quicker and easier with this approach.
8. Find An Online Coding School
If you’re teaching coding to children as a novice, you run the risk of making small mistakes that your students may pick up, which can seriously hinder their development. If this is the case, it might be more effective to find an online coding school that can teach kids programming using professional instruction, and can guide them through every stage of their coding journey.

How ITGENIO Can Help

If you’re looking for a coding school that can teach kids programming at a more advanced level that goes beyond the basics, then ITgenio can help. Unlike traditional coding schools, ITgenio can teach coding for kids online in a way that keeps topics interesting and engaging, even drawing on your child’s favorite games like Minecraft to develop their knowledge of building code correctly! Teaching is provided on an easy-to-use platform, and your child can speak with tutors via video chat making it easy to learn from anywhere. ITgenio fosters logical thinking, self-reliance, and improvement at school, so using the platform to help kids learn to code is a no-brainer.
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