Think your child is too young to take coding classes? This may surprise you, but thanks to some recent innovations in kids coding education, your children may be the perfect age to start. Computer programming (also known as “coding”) tells computers, websites, games, and apps to do what you tell them to do. Many educational experts view coding as a new literacy that will be as important as math and science in the 21st century, and kids as young as five can learn it through a variety of methods, ranging from online courses to robotics kits to app builders. Here are five key reasons why you should consider introducing kids coding classes to your child at an early age:
1. Kids coding classes build creative skills
When delivered in the proper way, kids coding classes can be highly creative, and they are an excellent way to make computer time productive. The best kids coding classes help students envision things that they want to create, and then give them the skills to bring their creative visions to life. At both our online and brick-and-mortar academies, instructors help kids modify the source code of Minecraft to build custom “mods” that the students dream up in our planning sessions. We often compare coding to disciplines like woodworking. Students are always working towards a final project and there is a deep sense of accomplishment when they complete it.
2. Programming builds students’ analytical and problem solving skills
Kids coding classes teach students how to deconstruct problems and how to use logic to solve them in actionable steps. We’ve found that computer science education helps students with a number of life skills including prioritization, resource planning, and problem solving. Teaching students how to approach problems, break them into steps, and create a logical plan for solving them can help students in nearly every academic or vocational discipline in life.
3. Coding strengthens mathematics skills
One of the biggest complaints that we hear about modern mathematics education is that it does not relate to anything meaningful in student’s lives. Computer programming changes this by making math relevant, and many students who previously disliked math find it interesting. For example, in one of our kids coding classes, students in second and third grade were using Java code to produce explosions in Minecraft. Part of the instruction involved understanding the mathematical concept of radius. Students learned quickly that changing the size of the radius had a direct impact on the size of the explosion, and students who had never grasped the concept in class developed a perfect understanding of it.
4. Computer programming improves self-esteem
Watching children code games and apps from the ground up and then observing parents beam with pride is a wonderful byproduct of our academy’s kids coding classes. Coding is not easy, and it requires patience and persistence. Students who put in the work to learn computer programming can learn it quickly and their successes help build confidence in their abilities.
5. Kids coding teaches 21st century skills
It is estimated that by the year 2020 there will be over 1.4 million computer programming jobs in the United States and a qualified workforce of only around 400 thousand to fill them. Many jobs that your children will apply for in the next several decades don’t even exist yet, and many of these jobs will be technology focused. Jobs in tech occupations also pay very well, and are increasing at twice the national average job growth rate, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Coding will impact nearly every occupation of the 21st century including education, medicine, business, law, finance, government, and more. By taking kids coding classes at an early age, students can gain important skills that might prove advantageous in the future.
Equipping our children with tools that they need to succeed in tomorrow’s world is always our goal as parents. In our experience, one of the best ways to get kids to try coding is to introduce it to them through things that they already enjoy, like Minecraft, video games, and apps. The next time your children display an interest in a video game, app or anything coding related you might consider asking them if they’d be interested in learning how to make it rather than just passively play it. There are many types of kids coding classes, both online and through academies, that you can choose from, and your child will develop important skills that can impact their lives forever.