Learning to code is has become one of the most useful skills a person can have. And if you’ve thought about looking into coding for kids, you may be wondering, can you learn along with them?
The great thing about learning coding is that it’s something anyone of any age can do. So, why not start teaching your kid coding while learning how to code as well?
Can Parents and Kids Learn How to Code Together?
Yes, kids and parents can learn how to code together! There is a weird notion that games and lessons for teaching kids coding are somehow unsuitable for adults.
Sure, it may seem a little childish watching a cartoon monkey explain things to you, but the principles and the language you learn are the same.
All coding games for beginners should have a very slow start, in the same way that kid’s coding lessons and games start in a slow way.
The idea that adults should somehow understand coding more easily is like saying an adult should be able to learn swimming more quickly than a child if both are thrown in the deep end.
Are There Parent/Kid Coding Resources Resources Out There?
In a way, there are parent/child friendly coding resources. There are teaching programs that allow one person to teach a younger person, but kid-friendly coding lessons and games that parents can also take part in are likely a better choice.
If children and adults learn at the same time, then things like coding puzzles can be solved by both parent and child. It adds an extra layer of engagement for both parties concerned.
At What Age Can a Child Learn Coding?
While there’s no set age when it comes to teaching kids coding, the general rule of thumb is that the younger the kid is, then the more reaction and results-orientated coding sessions should be.
A younger child needs to see a quicker reaction or result to grasp what is going on, and to remain engaged with the project.
Older children (at the ages of 12 and upwards) can start being taught with simple “Hello World” examples, and then start finding more complex ways to integrate the programming code into their lives.
Creating Roblox or Minecraft mods, creating simple games with a free program like Unity, or building apps for a rooted phone are examples of ways older children may enjoy getting more in-depth with coding.
Making Coding a Pressure-Free Experience
It’s very important that kids are allowed to back out of coding sessions and even to abandon it (seemingly forever). Feeling pressured to take part in any learning activity can lead to children avoiding that activity for the rest of their lives.
However, if a child is allowed to back away from coding without consequence, then the door is still wide open for that child to take up coding when he or she is older.
Remember that coding is a very sedate activity that requires hours of concentration and focus. This is not something that will necessarily appeal to an energetic young child.
But when younger children are allowed to pick up a few basics at their own pace, they often may become more involved in the experience as teenagers.
What if Your Kid Jumps Ahead of You?
There is a point where your child may charge ahead of you, either by taking on personal programming projects or because they’ve received extra training at school.
If this is the case, then you have two choices. You can abandon the idea of shared learning and let your child forge his or her own path. Or, you can work to catch up to your child and perhaps have both of you start a project together.
Even if your child’s skills have moved beyond your own, planning a fun coding project that both of you can enjoy, like an app or gaming mod, may still be something your child enjoys doing with you.
Keep in mind that you may simply have to bow out if you still need to learn to code projects your child has mastered. Trying to tether them to a parent/child activity may start holding your kid back.
If things are turning in that direction, then let your kid have it as their own and start a new activity for you and your child to bond over.
And remember, the best thing about learning something together is the time you spend together! There’s no need to become an expert if you’re both having fun.