how should kids learn coding

Coding for Kids, apart from Scratch and Python

Coding and Algorithms is essentially about telling a computer what to do. Like most skills in life, programming involves:

  1. Imagining to solve a big problem
  2. How to break big problems into small step by step procedures and instructions
  3. Express these steps precisely in a particular language following syntax
  4. And learning the patience and mental agility to do the above two

So, what is really important for anyone learning programming is not the syntax of a language, but to learn the underlying algorithmic and logical thinking to solve problems. It is like learning to drive a car, the car doesn’t matter – it could be a Ford or a Toyota, what matters is: are you learning the basics of the use and control of clutch, brake, gear, steering, and acceleration or not?

So, pick your language – Basic Scratch, Advanced Scratch, Python, Java, Roblox, Unity, Minecraft, C#, C++, and many more.

Obviously, children won’t understand this easily. They are at the age of innocence and enthusiasm with a limitless energy to experience new things and do something exciting.  They want to engage visually and build and see what they’re building visually with immediate gratification. They don’t want to write boring extensive classes and interfaces and make packages that are released in one small service pack of a large software after one year. Working with children is far exciting as they will challenge you to show immediate output of what they’re doing in situations and tasks that need not necessarily have an immediate output. Children want to build everything that they see around them. So, we enable them to just do that, and we cleverly embed the most important logical thinking and algorithmic thinking part in the curriculum while they build exciting and engaging stuff.

And not all kids are the same! Some children are more into specific forms of thinking and creativity and while other kids are into different other forms of thinking and creativity in using their intelligence. For example, some kids we teach are into a lot of music and some kids are into a lot of environmental thinking and some are into games and puzzles. So, we induce that respective interest into our teaching and programming exercises accordingly. But, we don’t lose sight of the most important part that we’re here to teach kids – logical thinking, problem-solving and creative-building using programming. 

At UnicMinds, kids can start to learn coding from the below courses apart from Scratch and Python.

  1. Space Programming (15 classes)
  2. Learning to program and build games in Minecraft  (30 classes)
  3. Doodle Programming in JavaScript (15 classes)
  4. JavaScript App development course (30 classes)
  5. Roblox Game Development (30 classes)
  6. JavaScript/HTML/CSS Website Development (30 classes)
  7. Arduino Programming for Kids (using online simulator and also real breadboard and Arduino Uno)

The most important thing is to keep the child engaged in learning programming, the language doesn’t matter so much. The child should love what they’re doing and in that process they will learn the problem-solving skills necessary for overall development.

Yes, most kids might still start with Scratch and Python. But, if you are bored and want to do something exciting, while learning the problem-solving skills, logical thinking and creativity, then kids can take these courses apart from Scratch and Python. For example, it is a good choice for kids to learn Java because it is a widely used programming language in academia and industry. It is used to build a wide range of applications from desktop, mobile and web applications. It is used well to build both backend and frontend applications as it has a popular GUI and also strong support among the developer community. 

Kids should first develop understanding of the basic building blocks to work around in programming such as variables, data-types, loops, logical operators, making a block of logical related statements, composing a program, using arrays, using smaller files and data structures, objects, classes and methods. The trick is to teach them this while engaging them creatively and visually. Not everybody can do that!

We often see a lot of children do courses in major institutes for one year or two years and then they never understand what is a variable. The point is: we are not here to teach syntax or a particular programming language to children. It is like learning a car, which car you learn in doesn’t matter – do you learn the basics of clutch, brake, gear, steering, and acceleration or not matters more than whether you’re learning a Ford or a Toyota! So, focus more on continuity, because that continuity drives the fundamental learning of logical thinking, problem-solving by breaking a big problem into smaller pieces of logical statements.

At UnicMinds, in teaching coding to kids, we focus a lot on providing children the building blocks of programming and logical thinking. If you’re looking for coding courses for your child, then book a free trial with us and understand our curriculum and methodology. Our curriculum is designed by industry experts and smart folks from Ivy league colleges. So, we don’t fool around, we know what we’re doing.

Hope this is useful, thank you.