What important life skills do kids learn from coding?
There are so many life skills as well as coding concepts and programming skills kids as young as 8 can pick up and learn at school holiday coding programs.
We enjoy running ‘coding bootcamps’ for the younger kids (aged 7 – 10) using Scratch, a fun block-based programming language that often guarantees smiles, confidence and heaps of ‘proud a-ha’ moments.
Learning coding strengthens academic performance
Writing: Learning to code means kids are enthralled with programming their own stories, and this means using Scratch ‘Say’ code blocks to write creative sentences to tell their story. The kids are digitally practising writing skills and coding animated stories that includes written text.
Keyboard Skills: Scratch coders range from 7 to 10, and they often use their laptop keyboard to either type ‘stories’ or programme instructions. The kids are very savvy with working their way around the keyboard.
Maths: When learning code, kids are naturally exposed to Maths concepts like directions (to turn right, you have state 90 degrees and to turn left, it’s negative 90 degrees) and positioning of characters using x and y co-ordinates. Maths is also used when setting scores, speeds and applying automation and repetition of certain actions.
Spelling: When programming animated stories or games, kids tell creative and descriptive stories, and often use high level words which require great spelling skills. Kids often ask each other or the facilitator how words are spelt.
Thinking Skills: Coding or programming is giving a computer a set of instructions to run, that is, telling the computer to do certain things. In order to talk to a computer, you need to be good at giving simple but a specific set of instructions in sequential order. Similar to writing a recipe for someone else to follow to bake a cake! This process enhances logical and sequential thinking skills.
Builds Other Soft Skills
Resilience: When coding, kids learn to become resilient as they come across ‘bugs’ or errors in their programme. We encourage and promote the positive factors of ‘making mistakes’ because we learn from mistakes just like kids do when they can correct programming errors or ‘debug’. This strengthens their confidence and resilience. Kids understand and know it’s OK to make mistakes, and that you don’t need to get frustrated and give up!
Leadership Skills: When kids are learning coding in a small group with others, the older and more proficient coders step it up, and help the younger coders with their programmes and become the ‘mentors’. They are happy to help and lead by great example.
Boost Confidence: Amazing to see shy and timid students blossom and bloom when they learn coding and just get it. They are happy typing and programming to build games or to create animated stories. Their shyness quickly fades and they shine with confidence and pride when they can code their own games or apps.
Programming Concepts: Even the younger coders like 7 years old grasp programming concepts without having to learn it, it just comes naturally when they have fun programming games they like to play and showcase to other coders in the Scratch community. They know when and why they need to use variables, operators, conditions and loops to build their games or stories. Learning programming concepts becomes natural and easy. This is why kids are so quick to learn and understand the power and fun of coding.
Related Article: Why is it important for kids to learn coding?
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