How to encourage your child to code

Liv Butler
Authored by Liv Butler
Posted Tuesday, April 26, 2022 - 10:08am

It’s safe to say that coding is something we’re all familiar with. As the instructions tell computers and electronic devices what to do, coding is intrinsic to life as we know it – one entwined with technology.

Although you may believe that coding is reserved for a select few technologically advanced individuals, that’s not necessarily the case. In fact, according to a recent study by Raspberry Pi and coding experts Okdo, the parents of children who have learnt coding ranked their children’s aptitude for maths, writing, creative thinking, communication and teamwork as ‘above average’.

If you’d like to give your children a head start, read on to find out how you can teach your child to code.

How to encourage children to code 

As academic performance is more likely to be ‘above expectation’ among children who have studied computer science, it’s no surprise if you’re keen to teach your children to code. If so, the good news is that it’s relatively simple to get started.

Firstly, you’ll need to discover accessible resources to help get your kids into coding, especially if you’re not a computer programmer yourself. As well as online resources, apps and television programs, you could also invest in something such as Raspberry Pi, which helps children and adults of all ages learn to code.

Once you’ve done that, you should try to link coding to your children’s passions. Coding can be tricky to get into at first, so by linking coding to your child’s interests, you can keep them engaged with the process. For example, there are plenty of apps on the market linking coding with everything from animation to storytelling and game design – so there’s bound to be something that piques the interest of your child.

The final step is learning with them. By acting as a role model and learning with them, you’ll not only learn some valuable skills, but you’ll strengthen your relationship too.

What are the benefits of coding?

If you’re still on the fence, learning some of the benefits of coding may persuade you to join the 408,000 coders in the UK!

Firstly, coding can have a huge benefit on academic performance. For example, in the recent study by Okdo, eight in ten (82%) teachers said that computer science helps children to problem-solve, two thirds (68%) say it develops math skills, and six in ten (60%) feel it improves a child’s ability to think creatively. Considering that many children are struggling to get back on track following Covid, this benefit is not to be understated!

Furthermore, by teaching all children from a young age, you can help the UK reach the target of 30% of women in STEM subjects.

Finally, as coding helps children develop core skills such as problem solving and teamwork, by teaching the skill from a young age, you’re also helping to develop their job prospects and set them up for success in later life.

Final thoughts… 

As a parent, you have enough to think about. But if you have to prioritise one thing, it should be teaching your children coding. Whether you start with fun learning resources or go all out with specialist tools, teaching your children to code is easier than you’d think.

Will you give it a go?

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