As a Developer, I believe Children would be better suited for the jobs of tomorrow if they learn how to code. Coding is everywhere. When you are coding, you get a real sense of accomplishment. Whether you are building apps or programming a robot, the results are tangible. According to the “Technology in US schools” report from PWC, by 2020, 77% of all jobs will require some degree of technological skills. Many European schools have been teaching code, as early as 1st Grade, for over a decade. Yet, schools in the US have been slow to catch on. Teaching code in US schools is still seen as a privilege. If you are a parent and would like your children to learn how to code, but you are not sure how to get them interested, keep reading.
Combine coding with a child’s passion
You know your child better than anyone. You may have noticed that they are showing a particular interest in something. Some children begin to repeatedly mention space and the universe. Some children take a fascination with cars. Other children will lean towards one sport or the other. Children are curious beings and they will eventually pick up an interest. Once you identify this interest, you can make it related to coding. For example, if your child loves cars, programming Arduino models can be a great way to learn to code. Your child can learn how to custom build RC cars while also learning how coding is integral to its construction.
Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life
Show them the power of apps
My 7-year-old daughter loves to draw, read, and create short stories. I made her a simple jQuery photo gallery website to help her illustrate her stories online. Now she has an idea that with a few lines of code, some HTML, CSS, and jQuery, she can create a simple story website with photo galleries and slide shows. This is just one example. Whatever topic you have found your child to be interested in can be explored through the hobby of app building.
Show them coding is fun
Another great way to let kids feel the awesome power of coding is by showing them coding is fun. Parents can introduce their kids to coding by using games. A great resource for this is Code.org. Code.org is an online site that helps teach kids how to code through puzzles, and interlocking, color-coded blocks. Through Code.org your child essentially learns to code by creating fun games and solving puzzles.
Make coding a group, social activity where kids compete and share ideas
Children are social creatures. For the most part, children love to communicate and interact with other children. Finding a way to make coding a social activity is a great way to encourage the hobby. You can enroll your children in coding summer camps where they learn to work together, share ideas, and compete for prizes. Children naturally love the idea of competition, because there is usually a prize involved. There are many coding camps out there for kids & teens ages 7–19. Some great examples are, iD Tech, CODEINU, and Coding with kids.
Those are a few other dynamic ways you can inspire your kids to love learning to code. Good luck, and happy coding!