A lot of parents are familiar with this scene: their kids spend hours in front of a screen while on the couch, in the car, or at the table. If this sounds familiar, don't worry; there is a benefit to this growing interest in screens.
You may already know careers in computer science are expected to affect the future landscape of jobs around the world. In fact, future jobs are very likely to involve computer programming or working with a programmer.
Take a look around your child’s class. Of those kids, 65% of them will go into jobs that don’t exist yet.
At Hatch, we teach a variety of both hard and soft skills benefiting children's lives in school, work, and play. And we do it all through teaching computer programming to kids.
Why Coding Is Important for Students & the Future Workforce
Let’s take a closer look at why learning to code can help children thrive in our unpredictable digital future.
- Today there are 23 million programmers in the world, expected to reach 28 million within five years.
- A 2016 study, by the Canadian Information and Communications Technology Council, estimated 182,000 skilled IT and communications workers were needed in 2019 with another 36,000 needed in 2020.
Top 5 Skills Gained From Learning How to Read and Write Code
Children need to be able to communicate their visions in order to succeed at programming. Your child needs to express strong, sound reasoning while writing computer programs in order to figure out how things work. This will benefit your child when they work on group projects with teachers. It’s a skill they’ll need throughout their lives.
Adam Caplan, teacher at St. Clement’s all-girls school in Toronto, gives a teacher's perspective on the importance of learning how to read and write code. He says communication, syntax and working together are always important skills to learn. When his students learn these skills while reading and writing code, they can use them outside of school in other aspects of their lives.
The Hatch learning process is all about your child learning to solve problems on their own. Of course, Hatch is there to assist when kids get stuck, but ultimately, it’s about kids figuring stuff out for themselves.
Hatch student, Rishi, says his learning has helped him work things out for himself:
“Learning Python on my own has taught me how to figure stuff out on my own. When you don't have people...you have to be smart with your time and time management. I have learned how to solve my coding problems through research even when there are no people there.”
Computer programming is thought to be inherently creative. Once your child has the basic fundamentals down, there are no boundaries. There are rules, of course, but how you follow these rules is up to you. The things your kids can design and build are limitless!
For Hatch student Jocelyn, it’s all about seeing her ideas come to fruition in her end result. Her parents say the gratification of seeing her idea all the way through is what keeps her engaged and active in reading and writing code.
4. Critical Thinking and Math Reasoning
If your child likes puzzles, coding is likely a fit for them. As a coder, your child is presented with obstacles they creatively overcome. The more complex the problem, the more variables or puzzle pieces they need to keep track of. They learn how things are built with code and also how to identify structural flows in brackets - pieces that don’t fit together. Your child also learns how to build something from the ground up, just like you would a puzzle.
Math and computational thinking go hand-in-hand. A lot of work, creative or otherwise, depends on basic math skills; reading and writing code is an excellent way to help children develop math skills from an early age. 13-year-old Hatch student Liam says Math, Science, IT and computers are his favourite subjects in school because he finds them easy to comprehend thanks to the skills reading and writing code has given him.
5. Organization and Problem Solving
Coding takes organization. When your child begins reading and writing code with Hatch, you’ll notice they start to think about things in a more structured way. They begin to pay attention to the order in which things are done. Reading and writing code is a step-by-step process, so they’ll think about the steps ahead and the steps they’ve completed simultaneously. Now that’s organized thinking!
Reading and writing code also involves solving problems with logic. It is like a game defined by rules. A coder has to follow these rules to perform well. They need patience to break problems down into manageable parts and tackle each part piece-by-piece.
Hatch Parents Jonathan and Claudia say their son thrives when he encounters a problem, and he doesn’t stop until he’s figured it out. They say that as he gains more skills, he asks for bigger challenges.
Coding... It’s Not Just for Nerds!
Reading and writing code is a great skill for anyone interested in technology. If your child loves games or applications, reading and writing code will allow them to interact with their interests. Your child could potentially develop and evolve the future landscape of everything we interact with in life.
There’s a social aspect to reading and writing code.
When kids express an interest in reading and writing code, they may start to seek out how to build things on their own. That’s how Hatch student Zev entered the world of reading and writing code. He began learning from YouTube while talking with others he met online. That’s when his mom, Carol-Ann, decided she’d enroll him in Hatch@Home. Today, Zev has friends all over the world who share his interests and keep him engaged in reading and writing code.
Kids like Zev sometimes go on to participate in all-star coding events in which they push themselves to further their abilities and collaborate with other children to create projects. Developing residual skills from learning to read and write code undoubtedly helps in these challenges.