Coding for Kids

By Melissa Taylor

STEM
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Coding for kids is popular for some very good reasons, the least of which includes potential future career paths. Coding (learning to read and write computer language such as JavaScript, Python, HTML, Ruby, and PHP) shows children how to think logically, problem solve, and understand difficult concepts such as algorithms, recursion, and heuristics. But I think the most important benefit of coding is how it teaches children to think logically. Coding for Kids_Sylvan Learning_Original_Image 1 Imagine how beneficial both logic and strong computer programming skills will be to your child! And, if you consider what a good imagination adds to those skills, your child will thank you for building his or her 21st century skill set. Another benefit of learning to code is that children will develop what’s called computational thinking (CT). CT is a “problem solving process” which essentially leads to the development computer applications. Understanding how computers can be used to assist humans is a foundational skill for all kids growing up in this digital age. Coding for Kids_Sylvan Learning_Original_Image 2

via Google for Education

In education, you’ll hear programming and computational literacy in the context of computer sciences. Google for Education defines computer science (CS) clearly: “CS is the science of abstraction: creating the right model for a problem, representing it in a computer, and then devising appropriate automated techniques to solve the problem within the model.Coding for Kids_Sylvan Learning_Original_Image 3 It’s likely that you will have to look outside of your child’s school to find quality computer science learning opportunities. Computer sciences aren’t a required subject for most levels of learning (from elementary up to high school) and even when it is taught, it’s not always cutting edge. According to Mother Jones, “Unfortunately, the way computer science is currently taught in high school tends to throw students into the programming deep-end, reinforcing the notion that code is just for coders, not artists or doctors or librarians.” But you don’t have to be stuck. Look no further than Sylvan Learning to teach your kids coding in a fun and relaxed environment. Sylvan offers several Coding for Kids classes that feature video game design (SO COOL!) and computer programming. The classes are designed for children ranging from grades three to eight. For all the details about the available classes and locations, go here. So what will your kids learn in the coding classes? Basic coding and programming, problem-solving, logic, physics and more! What’s better, is that they won’t even realize how much they’re learning — that’s how much fun these classes are.

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Start your kids with coding early. Not because they’ll become programmers, but for the thinking skills — and the bonus of becoming savvy in computational thinking and digital literacy.

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