9 Ways To Reinforce What Your Kid Learns In Coding Class

Coding classes aimed at kids is an excellent gift for your child. Parents can play a big role by getting involved in your child’s programming progress. However,this can prove a daunting task as many parents are not very tech savvy. In light of becoming an even more technologically advanced nation, MOE has actually started sending some children to coding classes in school. Here’s how to keep up with the times.

Keep a Close Watch on their Progress 

Keeping an eye on your child’s programming progress will enable you to build rapport with them and help them understand their difficulties and challenges.Some things to discuss are the topics and languages learned in class, and what they find interesting and engaging. This will help you comprehend them better and advise or offer them advice to do better or maintain their interest in their programming classes

Hence, keep in touch with their teachers.

There are a number of programming schools in Singapore offering programming classes for kids. When you send your child off to these programming schools, it might be difficult at first to tell if the program is working out for your kids, as there is often a steep difficulty curve when it comes to just starting out. Hence, you should let your child’s teacher know that you are available to contact if any difficulty arises. Also, it is often a good idea to build a working relationship with your child’s teacher, anyway, so that they will give your child special attention if needed.

Regularly reward your child.

When your child is faced with a challenging coding task, and is able to successfully solve or complete it with their own ability and hard work, it is a great idea to reward them. Rewarding your child is scientifically proven to boost their motivation to study the subject, and aids your relationship with them.

Encourage them to make friends in their classes

Kids will have a better time if they make like-minded code-loving friends. It is important you encourage them to hang out with their new coding friends outside of classes. Be willing to drive across town to facilitate a play date. The more they look forward to going to class, the better they’re likely to do, and the more willing they will be to go to their coding class.

Learn some basic code yourself.

Getting some programming knowledge may seem a bit difficult, but it sure is the smartest thing to do. As a parent yourself, you should be leading by example. You can lead by example yourself by taking up a basic coding class meant for adults, so that you won’t be completely lost when your kids come home talking about coding class.

If you’re an IT savvy parent yourself,…

Keep your hands off the keyboard and mouse.

If you’re IT savvy or work in IT yourself, you might have the urge to share your knowledge with the kids. Showing your kids what you know about programming is great. However, coding is a practical oriented skill, so let the kids do the work. Resist the urge to type on the keyboard when working with kids, even temporarily. If they have to click on a menu or button, point to the screen with your finger instead of taking the mouse and clicking it yourself. Whenever there is code to be typed, have them type it. It may be faster if you do it yourself, but your pupil needs the practice more than you do.

Be practical and show your kids actual program source code.

As we’ve stated earlier, programming is a skill that requires practice, more than just reading books. When tutoring your kids directly, writing code goes a long way compared to just talking concepts at them. Even after learning about variables, loops, and functions, sitting in front of a blank editor and starting a new program is intimidating. Sit with them and describe the code they should write line by line. When you are using online resources to share with your child, look for the source code to small games. Programs with less than a couple hundred lines of code work best. The Scratch website automatically shares the source for all projects on its website. Encourage your kid to make modifications to the code and see how they change the final program.

Skip the computer science

A parent with a career in software development might be eager to share your technical wealth of knowledge. Explaining recursive flood fill algorithms or practicing problems from Project Euler (a great practice problem site for those who want to sharpen their coding skills) is a lot of fun. Being dumped in the deep end is not so fun on the learner’s end. Some harder topics you’ll want to hold off on at the start are:

  •    Object-oriented programming
  •    Recursion
  •    Design patterns
  •    Data structures besides lists/arrays and dictionaries/hash maps (linked-lists, binary trees, etc)
  •    Networking protocols (beyond simple HTTP requests)
  •    SQL databases, or other Domain-Specific Languages

Skipping irrelevant information is obviously helpful and cuts down information overload on the kids. When starting, covering a wide range of topics is better than going deep into technical details. Let your kids find their own passion. Once your child samples what the programming world has to offer, they’ll be excited to explore the parts they love most.