Coding is not just a fad or frivolous game for kids to play around with. It is a serious skill that contributes to cognitive development and can provide access to meaningful career opportunities. Did you know that computer science jobs are projected to make up more than two-thirds of new jobs in STEM fields next year? In addition, about 2.4 million STEM jobs remain unfilled. Coding is considered an aspect of STEM learning and is garnering quite a bit of buzz in academic circles for the many benefits it provides to children of all ages and backgrounds. If you are on the fence about whether your young child could benefit significantly from learning how to code, these measurable advantages should encourage you to foster that skill early on.
1. Coding requires attention to detail and problem solving skills.
Kids learn to break problems into smaller, more manageable chunks at a young age through coding. This translates to better critical thinking skills and instills a discipline for trial and error in learning very early on. Children start learning how to think like an engineer. This improves logical reasoning and is useful even if your child never actually pursues a career in coding. Without practice tackling complex problems at a young age, children may grow up to be impatient and unwilling to spend mental energy figuring out important concepts. The sooner kids learn this skill, the more prepared they will be later on.
2. Learning how to code fosters collaboration.
It is a common misconception that coding is a solitary activity that requires no social interaction at all. To the contrary, coding has become a highly collaborative endeavor, and many companies hire teams of codes to work together to solve complex problems. The process of learning how to code now involves working with others in team exercises. If your child is not interested in playing team sports, coding can be a fun way to encourage group interaction. It also teaches kids to listen carefully and engage with instructors when they do not understand a concept.
3. Learning to code and applying those new skills can be incredibly rewarding for kids.
There is an obvious result when a code is written correctly, which gives kids a sense of satisfaction from working hard to think through a problem and devise the best solution. This encourages kids to explore other solutions and strive for the feeling of achievement when they know a job has been completed. From these early coding successes, kids develop their own drive and desire to figure out the right answers. This fosters independent learning in all aspects of their education.
4. Coding lays the groundwork for kids to start thinking about simple ways to convey complex messages.
Coding is a way to simply and quickly display information in an efficient way. When kids learn how to do this early on, they become consistently aware of ways to simplify the way they communicate all information. Kids also pick up how to be more precise with their word choice because coding seeks to get to the end goal in the most direct way possible. It is still compatible with children learning a large vocabulary, but they will be better equipped to choose better words to communicate their ideas.
5. Coding may help your child get admitted to a more prestigious school.
There is no shortage of applicants for the same spot at many colleges and universities. Coding can be the competitive edge that your child needs to boost his or her chances of getting more admissions offers. Even if your child does not plan to continue with coding activities in college, having this experience presents as a well-rounded extracurricular background that many schools screen for. This is especially true if your child is female because STEM activities have been traditionally more popular with boys.
6. Coding provides a more complete understanding of the world around your children.
Coding is part of so many of our daily activities. It is helpful for children to have a basic understanding of this so that they know how fundamental things work. Being more aware of their surroundings helps children to make better decisions and become more involved in daily activities.