We all want our students to gain the life skills they need to achieve academic, personal, and eventually career success. But with so many important skills and extracurriculars available for them to learn, it can be hard to know what to prioritize.
Coding is one skill that stands out in the modern era. It offers kids a boost in important life skills, socialization, and schooling — as well as a headstart on their future careers. Here are our top 8 reasons why every kid should learn to code.
1. Coding gives a new way to look at the world
Computer code is a way to describe reality — similar to English or any other language. A programming language, just like any natural language, has its own grammar and syntactic rules. Thus, learning to code is very much like learning a second language and provides many of the same advantages.
2. Coding fosters creativity
Taking a mental image and giving it form in the real world is the very heart of creativity. Even at an early age, students can harness their creative abilities to make animated graphics, websites, and interactive video games with their coding skills.
Coding is one of the few creative venues that results in truly interactive works — and there is nothing more exciting for kids than interacting with your own creations. This serves as an excellent supplement to other creative venues, giving kids another way to bring their artistic ideas to life.
3. Coding improves math and logic skills
Learning code teaches kids computational thinking — the process of breaking down complicated tasks into individual steps (like loops, conditionals, etc.) that a computer can understand. This is the same process used to break down complex arguments and is a pillar of logical thinking. The more kids practise coding, the better their logic skills will become.
Math skills can often feel abstract and hard to grasp. This is particularly true as a student enters high school-level mathematics, a transition that many of us have struggled with. Coding projects can make math concepts feel more real. As students proceed to learn pre-algebra, algebra, and geometry, variables and other concepts that they have already garnered from computer science are sure to give them a headstart.
4. Coding helps children with problem-solving
Simple coding projects offer an excellent introduction to problem-solving skills at a young age. Coders learn how to break down complex problems into simpler ones. This is one of the most crucial and rewarding parts of problem-solving.
With coding, students can test solutions to make sure they work. Few other problem-solving experiences offer this benefit. When all else fails, they improve their Google research skills while seeking solutions, and who wouldn’t benefit from being better at independent research?
5. Coding projects help kids develop resilience
The ability to cope with failure is a vital life skill. Through coding, kids learn that failure is a stepping stone, not an ending. Recovering from a misstep happens quickly with coding. The process is less frustrating because students can try several solutions quickly. This makes it much easier to develop resilience without feeling overwhelmed.
Even just an hour of code a day through hands-on coding projects can teach kids the importance of persistence and resilience.
6. Coding makes learning fun
Computer programming projects give exciting results, that you can see right in front of your eyes. Your student can build stand-alone projects like Tic Tac Toe, an animated animal face drawing, or even their own video game design from their imagination.
They can also bring their coding skills into their current favourite toys and games. Minecraft add-ons are an amazing example. Kids can use code to enhance activities that they already know and love!
7. Coding is a social activity
Remember all those coding projects we already talked about? Your student can also show off what they built to their friends! Sharing how they built their favourite game reinforces what they have learned and improves their confidence. When your student shows off that new Minecraft add-on or video game they built, their friends are sure to be impressed.
And there’s another way to turn coding into a social activity: Hackathons for kids. These virtual competitions give kids a chance to work on collaborative problem-solving and building with a goal in mind. It’s hard to find better preparation for teamwork skills in school or work!
8. Coding prepares students for the careers of the future
Finally, we can’t end this list without mentioning careers. Coding skills are indicators of digital literacy — a necessity in this digital age! Nearly 50% of all jobs require some coding skills.
Of course, these skills are especially crucial for coding and computer science careers. Further, coders have proven problem solvers and logical thinkers, skills that are valuable in any career field.
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Individually, each of these is a strong reason for your student to learn to code. When combined, they make coding one of the most valuable skills for young kids in the 21st century!
Finding resources to help kids become computer programmers used to be hard. Over the past several years, the advent of online courses and guided coding projects has made the process much easier.
A Juni Instructor teaches Scratch to a student.
Juni Learning is here to help as well. We offer a range of private and group online coding courses for kids ages 8-18 that gives students solid foundations in computer science, logical thinking, and even creative subjects like website design. Every student is matched with an expert instructor who’ll be their personal guide into the world of coding.
This article originally appeared on junilearning.com.