The Parent's Guide to Coding

The world is advancing seemingly at the speed of light, and it is our responsibility to help our children be as prepared as possible for future demands. As many areas of life are becoming digital, new skills are required in order to navigate this emerging way of life. Schools, luckily, are introducing coding classes to teach students this logical reasoning activity, yet many parents don’t know where to begin when trying to understand this foreign language. Below are some commonly asked questions regarding coding, and how you can support your child learn this vital life skill.

Why Code?
Learning to code is simply learning a new way to think. Although it seems complicated, coding is simply its own language for humans to tell computers what we want them to do. As students learn the different algorithms and language of coding, they learn to apply logical reasoning and critical thinking skills to the problems they face. These skills can be applied to the vast array of problems they face in everyday life.

Do I Need Coding Experience to Help My Child Learn?
Programming smart phone apps or designing video games are generally not in the realm of careers typically held by parents today. Although parents may recognize the need for their child to learn coding, they fear they won’t be able to support them because of lack of knowledge about the subject. However, parents have a unique opportunity to learn this skill together with their child! Spending time learning a new “language” while watching your child tackle difficult problems by employing their critical thinking skills is a priceless experience for parents to enjoy. Plus, at 98th Percentile, we offer coding classes to teach your child to start from scratch. Maybe they will become the ones to teach you!

coding classes for kids

How Can I Get My Child Interested in Coding?
To some children, the look of written code may be daunting and incite fear at learning something that appears so complex. However, easing children into it gently can help to spark that interest and send them spiraling into the exciting world of coding. Emphasize that coding is equivalent to creativity. The art of coding is about bringing things to life- art, music, games, robots and so much more. Take what your child is interested in and show them how they can code with it. Encourage them to play around with coding independently. It’s not like a traditional subject; coding is about looking at a problem and finding several ways to solve it. There are countless websites and apps that help students learn the basics of coding in fun game-like ways. Additionally, CAT Fest (Coding Aptitude Tournament) is a new, exciting competition hosted by 98th Percentile to encourage the emergence of new coders.


What is the Best Approach to Learning Code?
Coding is a vast field with hundreds of programming languages and endless opportunities to create. If your child is the creative type, start with the idea for an end product, and work backwards in developing the code. If your child is more the step-by-step rule follower type, show them the blocks of code that build upon each other to create something new. No matter the type of learner your child is, there is a way for them to learn coding and LOVE it!

How do I Choose the Right Coding Classes?
Today, there are virtually hundreds of platforms that offer coding classes. It’s overwhelming to try to choose one that will best fit the learning style of your child. What are your child’s long-term goals with coding? How does the program align with that? What platform is used, and what programming languages do they teach? Does my child need prior experience? Undeniably, live classrooms are the most effective way children learn. A live, online coding class taken from the comfort of home makes for an ideal experience for children to learn a complex skill. At 98th Percentile, we offer our live classes with a maximum of 4 students to ensure that each student receives individual, guided instruction. No prior experience is needed; students will learn from the basics all the way up to advanced code. Head over to our website to register your child for a free trial! www.98thPercentile.com.
Coding is not going anywhere, and it is a skill that eventually all 21st century learners will need to have. All children are different, learn differently, understand and analyze differently. Use their specific traits to lead them towards coding, and make sure they have fun while learning it!

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