The majority of parents start with the fundamentals when choosing extracurricular activities for their kids: cricket, dancing, or arts. Programming is probably not their first thought when it comes to keeping their elementary-aged children entertained. But should you consider it?
Why children should learn to code has been a hot topic among parents groups and educational institutions in recent years. As a result of the recent surge in interest in computer science, statistics from the 2019 State of Computer Science Education Equity and Diversity Report show that 45 percent of high schools now offer computer science courses, up from the 25 percent Gallup reported in 2014.
Parents want their children to learn how to use computers because it makes sense in our increasingly digital environment. In addition to preparing students for future employment options, learning to code also offers a variety of soft skills and advantages, which we shall discuss further in this article. But what’s the best time to begin their coding journey?
It turns out that the majority of professional developers began learning their job at a young age. Over 54% of professional developers wrote their first line of code by the time they were 16 years old, according to Stack Overflow’s 2020 Developers study. Although it might seem logical to include a child’s first coding session in their high school curriculum, children can begin learning to code much earlier, perhaps as young as four.
While introducing coding at such a young age may seem strange at first, it’s much more frequent than you may imagine. In the aforementioned Stack Overflow survey, over 9% of engineers surveyed said they started programming before turning ten. Furthermore, it appears likely that as digital literacy solidifies itself as a fundamental pillar of contemporary education, the justifications for teaching children to code will grow.
To be fair, there are numerous benefits to teaching children to code at a young age. In the following points we’ll go over all the top, scientifically proven reasons why teaching youngsters to code.
Coding enables problem-solving abilities
Problem-solving challenges and requests are commonplace for programmers. The procedure practically mandates that they break difficulties down into more manageable sub-problems before working their way through an iterative process of figuring out, prioritising, and putting solutions into place. So, the moment kids take on their first coding challenge, they take their first step towards honing problem-solving abilities.
Coding reinforces persistence
One of the few professions where it’s completely okay to almost always fail is computer science. The fact that a programme “breaks” and ceases to function as planned, makes failure obvious, and success cannot actually be attained until all faults are fixed. Even the simplest programmes need a coder to comprehend and resolve a set of issues in order for the programme to function properly.
Children who start programming learn that failure is temporary and need not be discouraging or a barrier to further growth. They can get the inspiration they need to overcome programming problems from even minor victories. This tenacity builds a child’s ability to persist past repeated failures over time and is one of the most significant predictors of their future success in school and in the workforce.
Coding can aid in your child’s development of a growth mentality. What better attitude could a young person develop?
Coding promotes creativity
Psychologists from UC Berkeley have found out that creativity usually diminishes as we age. No wonder why most adults are desperately looking for “out-of-the-box” thinking abilities!
Coding is advised for children by experts. Coding, as a practice, places developers in the role of “creators” or “world-builders” within a programming environment; the profession by definition calls for innovative thinking and an experimental approach.
Kids are continuously encouraged to experiment when they engage with programming. Once kids are familiar with the fundamentals, they can keep introspecting – “What if I tried this?”, ”Is that possible?”
Young coders are further inspired to discover practical answers to any problems they encounter by the instant feedback that computers provide. Children are encouraged to tell stories, animate characters, and create original programmes as a result of age-appropriate coding projects, which enable them to integrate their logical and systematic thinking with their creative, artistic, and intuitive learning.
As a result, they nourish creativity for a lifetime.
Coding, obviously, helps with digital literacy
The term “digital literacy” is broad. In general, it refers to a person’s capacity to comprehend and interact with technology in a deliberate, purposeful manner. Digital literacy encompasses subjects like online safety, cyberbullying, digital footprints, and online ethics.
While coding isn’t currently in high demand as a daily skill for internet users, it most likely will be in the years to come. Online communication is already entirely made possible by programmes that have been created. It makes sense to assume that programming will eventually become a necessary literacy in and of itself, just as using social media or conducting online research once did.
It is advisable for parents to urge their kids to learn to code at a young age in order to acquire a jump start.