We all know learning a new language is important. What are the benefits of raising bilingual children? Words and phrases built upon each other is how we as humans share and communicate with one another. Language has got to be human civilizations greatest evolutionary feat. Yet, when we talk about languages our mind jumps straight into spoken languages. Maybe even to second languages we think will be useful to us in the future. Most of us don’t even contemplate the most important second language in the future, computer programing languages!
But just like spoken languages there are many to choose from. So which computer programing languages should you introduce to your child?
Which computer programing languages should my child learn?
I truly believe that in the future everyone will need programing basics not just for work but every day life. Perhaps you can begin by looking around your home, how many AI or coded products do you use?
Facebook rates it’s users by how many smart devices they have. Tech in our homes to make life easier is not the future, it’s already here. By knowing programing, you will essentially be able to personalize your tech.
Teaching kids’ computer programing languages is a key future skill for them to learn and develop. However, there are so many different computer programming languages. Because of this it can be hard to decide which one will be the best to pick for your child. Should they learn python, java, html, etc, the list goes on! There is no right answer, different coding languages are used for different things. Just like picking a second spoken language you should find one that fits your child.
From having created coding curriculums for children aged 5 to 12 years old, here are my top 3 coding languages for that age range:
This has to be my all time favorite; I play on it still. If your child is new to coding, this is probably the easiest way to get them hooked on coding. That’s because Scratch is what I would say rational text based coding. If you had to code a robot just using spoken language that’s basically what Scratch is. Because of that it’s a good introduction, especially for young kids.
With Scratch your child can create animations, stories, games, music and share them with others on the website. Another thing I love is exactly that, the share-ability. You can play a game and then see how it has been coded, this can be used as a teachable moment. Children can learn from each other and use it to help make their own creations. It was also developed by MIT if that isn’t enough to convince you I don’t know what will.
Python is a popular, well used, text-based computer programming language. Because it is more complex it should be introduced to older children, starting form 8 years old. It is often used as a starting point to introducing other coding languages because it’s much simpler. Because it’s so popular there are plenty of free resources online. Python uses language that reads like a book it also has built in basics into it’s system. The reason why it’s so widely used is that it’s easy to spot coding errors, and harder to make them!
If you want your kids to learn the most popular coding language this is it. Pretty much everything runs on Java. Whatever browser you are using to read this now, it’s a sure bet it’s been coded with Java. It is also much harder than Scratch and Python. Because of this I suggest introducing it after your child is well versed in other computer languages or when they are older (starting at 10 years old). Java can be used for so many things, from coding robots to controlling web systems. That makes it the top coding language to learn.
You can use some of the direct websites or packages to teach your child how to code. However, should you want something more specific there are some interesting language codes websites out there that you may introduce. Here are my favorite ones.
Top favorite language code websites for kids:
Similar to Scratch, Tinker uses coding blocks to represent programing concepts. It makes it easy, fun, and most importantly accessible to kids. But unlike Scratch, it has been designed as a teaching software. It’s used all over the world by parents and in schools. The easily broken down courses make learning coding easy as it’s done step by step, starting with the basics. The way the course works is by making coding a game. Students go up by levels and complete challenges that earn them badges. It has interactive tutors that can teach specific coding concepts. This makes it a great tool, especially for families whose parents are not coding experts. It offers access to different coding languages so you don’t even have to pick!
Like Tynker, it is done by levels or curriculums. It starts off by focusing on sequence, conditions, loops, etc, the basics of coding. Because this is built mainly as a school curriculum some activities can seem difficult to do at home. I like that they offer different price packages making it easy for parents to choose what skills they want to introduce. The best thing about Kodable is that they have created their curriculum to match school standards. It starts from kindergarten all the way up to 5th grade.
Code Monkey is split into 5 courses with different challenges involving you guessed it… a monkey! Like the websites above it starts by focusing on the essentials and builds up. This is similar to Tynker in that students have levels and goals to achieve, like a game. Code Monkey focuses on text-based coding using CoffeeScript. It’s also considerably cheaper at less than 5 dollars a month for a year!
Learning how to code is no longer just for IT professionals, it’s becoming an everyday skill we need to posses. As our lives become more interconnected with tech learning how to code is an essential skill. It will not only lead to career advancement but improve our daily life. Because of this it’s essential to introduce computer programing languages to children from an early age. Like any language, the earlier you introduce it, the easier it will be for them to pick it up. This can easily be done by using language code websites. Happy coding!
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