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Coding For Kids: Why It's Important and When to Get Started

Anna Burgess Yang
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Parenting
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The world of technology has entered nearly every aspect of our lives. No longer is computer programming some obscure field that only computer scientists use. Instead, technology impacts every industry as well as our interactions at home and with others. 

Think of coding more like a second language - one that millions of people are learning to speak. No matter what field your child ends up going into, a basic understanding of the principles of coding is imperative. Coding for kids can give your child the foundational skills for future success.

Coding is about so much more than typing lines of instructions into a computer. If we look at the big picture, coding provides kids with benefits far beyond input and output.

Why Should Kids Learn to Code?

At its core, coding is about telling a computer what to do. A computer programmer uses code to give a set of commands that a computer knows how to follow. 

Different computers use different programming languages. You may have heard terms like C#, Java, Python, and others. There are even games focused on coding skills, such as Minecraft, Scratch, and Roblox.

But underlying all of these different coding worlds are some basic fundamentals. Learning to code is about learning how to learn.

Coding for kids teaches learning techniques that can be applied in many different ways. It is about recognizing a problem and working to find the solution.

At What Age Can Kids Start Learning to Code?

Coding may seem like a complex subject better suited for older children. But in reality, it is like learning any language where the younger you start, the better.

Young brains are sponges and can pick up new information with more ease and fluency. Many famous computer programmers began coding at a very early age.

Here are some of the top reasons why children should begin coding early.  

Brain Development

Children who start coding early will have a huge advantage over those that start later. Brains development happens when complex structures are built on top of existing, simpler structures. Continued exposure strengthens brain development.

Language and logic are critical brain functions. Repetition and learning actually rewire the brain to function differently. Children's brains can be naturally rewired and gain the knowledge they need for other skills through coding.

Communication Skills

An essential part of communication is the ability to take a complex subject and break it down into simpler terms. Coding fosters this skill. A problem needs to be broken down into small pieces and worked on until a solution is found.

Moreover, turning complex ideas and translating them into simple solutions is an overall life skill. It is a skill that can be used throughout school, work, and life.

Building for the Future

No one knows where technology and the future will go. But one thing is for certain, across the board, technology is ingrained in our lives. Technical skills, in general, are going to be critical in almost any field. 

Careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) are on the rise. Not only is the demand for these fields increasing, but they are also high-paying jobs. It is a career path with many opportunities and a lot of stability. 

Benefits of Coding for Kids

Not only is coding building a foundation for kids for the future, but it is also really fun! Coding can often have a "gaming" type of feel, and after all, computer games are built on coding. 

Whether your child views coding as a hobby or a skill that they really want to develop, there are some amazing benefits.

Coding Is Creative and Empowering

Think of a computer program as a blank slate. Kids can cover that slate with their own creative approach to solving a problem.

There are thousands of possibilities in creating a computer program. Kids can be empowered to control the program and make their own decisions.

Coding Has Tangible Output

Kids can see the results of their hard work through coding. Like reaching a new level in a game, kids can strive to take on more challenging coding projects. When they solve the puzzle, they can have a lot of satisfaction from their efforts. 

Coding Requires Attention to Detail

A typo or spelling error in a sentence changes the meaning. Like any language, coding has structure.

Kids can learn attention to detail and how to find and correct errors in coding syntax. Much like proofreading an essay, kids can learn how to "proofread" when they code.

Coding Is Always Evolving

There is no end when it comes to coding. Not only does coding continue to evolve in the languages and applications, but coding always has new techniques. There are endless possibilities.

Even highly skilled coders go back and review their code, trying to figure out how to make it better. Much like there is no end to novels that can be written, there are always new ways to write code. Kids will never grow bored of coding.

Getting Started With Coding Classes for Kids

As a parent, you want to ensure your child's future success. We know that technology is the future and will only accelerate. Coding for kids will give your kids vital skills for the future, as well as engage your child in a digital world.

Like enrolling your child in soccer, piano, or art classes, coding builds skills that can be useful across your child's entire life.

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