Why Kids Should Start Coding Early

2022-07-21, Yasser Jilani
 Why Kids Should Start Coding Early

With coding now predicted to become the new measurement of human literacy, is it ever too early to develop this transferable skill? There are good reasons to believe that children that explore coding early can advance more in complex thinking and thus set themselves up for future success.


Imagine that 65% of today’s children entering primary school will hold jobs that don’t exist yet. These professions will likely require technical skills and a highly adaptable mindset. This way, coding is relevant not just due to its beneficial learning impacts: It could potentially define the employability of future generations.


When introduced progressively and with the right difficulty levels, children of virtually any age can start to embrace coding step by step and, here’s why.


The compounding cognitive effects of coding


“Everybody in this country should learn a computer language because it teaches you how to think,” Steve Job’s words (who actually never coded for Apple) certainly referred to the core of coding. Coding means giving a computer instructions to perform specific commands to develop a product, so it creates a particular way of thinking.


Beyond IT proficiency, coders are known for being extremely detail-oriented. Learning to code makes for a persistent, communicative, and collaborative child when practiced together with peers. While coding takes place on the left side of the brain, children mostly use the right side of the brain. A five-year-old child that has reached the pre-operational stage understands the mental representations of words and images. This is said to be the perfect time for starting the coding journey and learning multiple languages.


Children over five should have coding as part of their school curriculum. The demand for jobs requiring the same cognitive skills as coding (including emotional intelligence and critical thinking) will only continue to rise by 2030. This is why educators and social and healthcare professionals need to know more about how learning to code benefits children’s development. The essential factors are the early-stage and the age group, and why coding should be introduced as something fun and easy to understand.


The best approach to learning code


Making coding amusing shouldn’t be too hard. Coding language itself has close links to storytelling techniques such as creative writing. Code With Us’ project-based game designing curriculum is developed with that in mind. We encourage our students to think creatively and design creatively by using a medium that they can relate to and enjoy. Our goal at Code With Us is to make Coding just as exciting and versatile as any other school subject because it allows children to make something on their own and be inventive.


Coding is more than creating syntax and executing commands; it’s about developing applications, colorful video games, animations, and building websites with adjusted difficulty levels. If a child already plays with LEGO or likes to draw, programs with specific themes and concepts for interactive stories and games—or even programmable robots—will satisfy the same need. Some options are Cozmo Coding Toy, LEGO kits and toolboxes, Scratch, and Minecraft, to name a few.


We all remember what it was like learning something we didn’t want to learn. But coding doesn’t have to be like that. By exposing children to the coding language during the first development stages, they will learn to shape the learning method and approach the subject in their own way. This way, the child develops both sides of the brain faster as they take charge of the learning process. Instead of being told so, they will learn how coding improves their mathematical abilities and other school subjects.


As the child learns to break down a bigger issue and find smaller solutions in line with the objectives of coding, decomposition abilities, and computational thinking come into focus. By going over something, the child develops a more critical mind. This makes for efficiency and a child good at adapting any production skill. What greater preparation for higher education is there?


Coding children - the new normal


With coding being an increasingly in-demand skill, there's little wonder that fans of the subject want it integrated within primary school education. To empower the future workforce generation, a whole 90% of U.S. parents would like coding for kids to be a part of school curriculums. As parents discover the power of computer literacy, they are equally eager to learn themselves on top of getting their child involved. And with more virtual education methods and coding classes accessible to anyone everywhere, learning the skill is within reach to whoever wants to learn.


Providing the same outlet for imagination as other children's activities, coding can give more long-term value. And learning it at the right time is the perfect foundation for the next generation of programmers, IT professionals, and communicators. Coding is the required skill society is screaming for and done within reason and tact—it wouldn’t take away a childhood; it will only add to it.


* This article was published by Hackernoon

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