You know having your child learn to code is a valuable skill for their future but are you wondering how to get them on the path to coding success?
Here are five tips to give your child a strong start and how to best support them throughout their coding journey.
1. Set Them Up for Success
Each child learns differently and will need a plan of coding support that will best suit their preferred learning style. Here are a few questions to consider:
- Does your child thrive in an environment where they can learn on their own with little guidance? If so, then find a coding platform that is self-guided where they can learn at their own pace.
- Is 1:1 guidance needed while they’re learning a new skill? If yes, then sign them up for weekly private lessons where they can get coached and assigned weekly goals to achieve.
- Would they rather learn in a group setting alongside others? If they do, then find a coding platform that offers group coding lessons.
Your child may have a combination of preferred learning styles, so finding a blended support system will help set them on the path for coding success.
2. Set Aside Dedicated Coding Time Each Week
We all need structure to keep us on track for what we want to accomplish each week and so does your child. Whether your child is self-guided in their learning or meeting with a coach each week, they’ll likely need your help in setting up some dedicated time for coding each week.
We recommend setting aside 1.5 - 3 hours each week for coding. Take 10 minutes at the beginning of each week to decide with your child when they’ll schedule this time, and then check-in at the end of each week to see if they’ve achieved their goal and tweak it accordingly.
For a free online resource, download this free Learn to Code e-book to use as a guide.
3. Engage With Your Child in Their Learning
You don’t need to know how to code to engage with your child in their learning. Check-in with your child each week for 10-15 minutes to ask what they’re learning and if there are any blockers that are holding them back or frustrating them. If there are blockers, help them to search for answers online or if they’re getting private lessons, write them down to bring to their next coach meeting.
4. Let Your Child be the Guide In Their Learning
You know your child best and know when they need a push to persevere through a difficult task, and when to step back and let them have the freedom of choice.
As difficult as it may be, if your child is not engaged in their learning and you find yourself having to push them each week to spend time coding, they likely will not succeed. They may come back to it later on in their life or they may not, and that’s okay - let it be their decision.
5. Celebrate their Wins and Help Them to See Failure as a Learning Opportunity
If they have projects that they’ve completed and are proud of, have them walk you through it and explain their process and code that went into it. Celebrate their learning and share their project(s) with friends and family to keep their coding momentum going.
If they’re struggling with failure in a code project, talk about the opportunities that come from failure. Code can always be fixed if it’s broken and making modifications will help to strengthen their problem-solving skills.
Explore the Best Fit for Your Child
Whether your child is interested in learning to code or not sure and curious to try it out, you can support them in their coding journey. And if you’re wondering what is the best coding language for them to start with, explore the differences between block-based coding and fully featured programming languages.
Has your child not yet started their coding journey but want to give it a try? Sign up for a free 2-week trial and let them discover whether coding could be a good fit for them.