Coding Courses for Kids: How to Pick One for Your Child

As a parent, you want to give your child a good head start and a learning path in life. And what better way to do that than to help him learn coding skills.

But why should your child enrol in one of the available coding courses for kids in your area?

Back rear view of young asian kids boy using computer laptop coding python language programming for big data computer science lesson or tech club in online school remotely learn online school. Back rear view of young asian kids boy using computer laptop coding python language programming for big data computer science lesson or tech club in online school remotely learn online school. coding courses for kids stock pictures, royalty-free photos & images

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Coding for kids: averting a potential crisis

According to the Learning and Work Institute, a policy, research, and development organisation, a substantial number of employers are looking to hire people with advanced digital skills, including coding.

However, the think tank warns that there is still a massive gap between the needs of the labour market and the actual skilled workers which can adversely affect the country’s economy if this trend is not reversed.

England was among the first countries to recognise the value of teaching digital skills to schoolchildren, initiating the addition of computer programming to the compulsory curriculum back in 2014.

But since that time, the government’s goal of igniting interest in computer science has tailed off as evidenced by the sharp decline in IT courses enrolees.

Although the need for workers with basic and advanced computer skills continues to trend upward, the demand might be too big to fulfil. And as a parent who wants to give their children a brighter future, you can’t rely solely on what your child’s school teaches them, Hence, the need to pivot toward a more proactive approach, like enrolling your child in a coding course.

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Learning how to code: acquiring invaluable skills

A degree in computer science can help your kid earn as much as 40 percent more than other children who finished other courses.

But even if your child is keen on taking another course other than computer science, coding imparts a few critical skills that can help them in school and even later on in their lives as adults.

Students who learn the coding language tend to outperform their peers in school and are more likely to attend college. Furthermore, kids who know how to code acquire the necessary skills vital to problem-solving, like creativity and patience.

Simply put, coding for kids has become a part of basic literacy, like learning how to read, write, and solve basic mathematical equations.

Helping your child choose a course

With so many programming languages and new courses for coding offered by various institutions, how do you choose a course that’s right for your kid?

When it comes to kids’ coding courses, there is no one correct answer. Instead, you have to consider a few critical factors. Here’s a brief look at these factors that can help you select the right coding for kids course for your child.

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1. Find an Age-Appropriate Coding Course

When choosing a coding course for your little one, one of the first considerations you need to make is whether the course is appropriate for their age.

Kids as young as six years old can enrol in some coding courses, although typically, children within the same age range are grouped in a class.

Ideally, you should opt for a coding class where most students are the same age as your child to help him get settled quickly.

2. Consider your kid’s interests

Another crucial consideration before enrolling your child in a coding course for kids are their interests.

Knowing your child’s interests will help both of you know which programming language to specialise in.

3. Choosing between online and offline learning

Is it better to take coding exercises and lessons at home in front of the computer or in the classroom?

Again, there are no right or wrong answers. In the end, it boils down to your child’s learning style and personal preferences.

4. Make it visual

Most kids are visual learners. And you have to take that into account when you are choosing among different classes in your shortlist.

With advances in computer science, learning how to code has become more accessible to both kids and adults. Apart from the traditional way of learning to code by typing algorithms, kids can now learn this vital skill through visual learning.

Through visual learning, your child becomes more engaged in his coding lessons.

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Kids’ coding: choosing a course provider

Kids Coding In School Kids Coding In School. Sitting by the desk in front of laptops and mid adult female teacher learning them coding. Focus on laptop on front. Kids' coding stock pictures, royalty-free photos & images

Once you have a fair idea of what course and programming languages your child wants to learn, the next order of business is finding a coding school.

For this important task, you need to consider a few things.

1. Evaluate the curriculum

The programming languages used decades ago are vastly different from the ones used today. And that trend will continue until the foreseeable future.

When choosing a coding school for your little one, it is best to find a school that will provide them with the foundation blocks for coding, independent of the programming language and technology.

Simply put, at the end of your kid’s coding classes, they should acquire knowledge and skills which they can use even if new programming languages emerge.

While hands-on training is invaluable, learning and mastering essentials like algorithm development and logic can go a long way in keeping your child engaged with coding in the years to come.

2. Check out the class schedule

In between your child’s schoolwork and other extracurricular activities, how will their coding classes fit in with their schedule?

Ideally, the coding course you select for your kid should provide the right balance between structure and flexibility.

On the one hand, the coding course and school should provide a schedule that fits your child’s other activities, including schoolwork.

And on the other hand, the coding course should have a robust structure that facilitates learning and acquiring relevant skills.

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3. Look into the class size

Ideally, the student-to-teacher ratio for the coding courses should be small, ensuring that your child gets the attention and guidance he needs as they immerse themselves into the world of coding.

4. Accessibility

If your child wants to take coding classes in a camp or classroom setting, you need to find a course provider near your home or school.

This will ensure that his time is spent learning, not playing catch up with the topics they missed.

Alternatively, you might want to consider taking kids’ online coding classes to help you and your child save time and energy while they learn from the comforts of your home.

5. Reviews from parents and other students

The great thing about buying products or services today is that you can check what other consumers have to say even before you actually make a purchase.

The same thing applies when you are choosing a course provider for coding classes.

Once you have a shortlist of potential schools, check and evaluate the reviews given by parents and former students.

These reviews will give you a firm idea of what to expect from each school and their programs for kids.

6. Roster of instructors

Who’s going to teach coding and essential programming concepts to your kid?

Ideally, the course instructors should have a combination of both knowledge and experience in coding.

It is also helpful if the teachers have gone through a stringent DBS check to ensure your kid’s safety, especially if he is enrolling in a face-to-face class.

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Still unsure which course to enrol your child in? Book a taster session with us to learn what’s in store in our coding classes.

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About the author

Ana Moniz

Ana lectures for computer games design at higher education. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Games Design and a  Master’s degree in Digital Media Design from the University of Edinburgh