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You don’t have to have ambitions to be the next Steve Jobs learn computer programming.

In fact, it’s so simple, even kids can learn. Read on for some tips on teaching kids to program.

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What Is Computer Programming?

Computer programming is a sought after skill in today’s job market. Many of today’s secondary schools now recognize programming as a useful and necessary skill that should be taught prior to graduation. Parents and students are also getting caught up in the programming frenzy.

Enrollment in programming classes and camps is the rise.Computer programming is the process of writing a series of steps or commands to make a computer work in a specific way. Think of it like writing out a recipe. Without a recipe that explains what to do and when to do it, a cook wouldn’t know when to chop or stir or heat the ingredients. Computers are just like cooks; you must specify what you want the computer to do and explain how it should be done to get the desired result.

When to Start Teaching Computer Programming

Many people think that computer programming is complicated, but it really isn’t.

Even young children can learn computer programming. Parents and teachers often ask when they can begin teaching children to program. The answer is – today!Most kids are comfortable and confident around technology.

To them, it’s a natural part of their world. They’re also quick learners and tend to try new things eagerly. Although there’s certainly no rule of thumb concerning a good age to begin teaching computer programming to kids, a good rule of thumb is to consider reading readiness. Kids need a basic understanding of reading to be successful programmers. They also need to be able to follow a multi-step command.

Teaching Computer Programming

Teaching kids to program doesn’t have to be a complicated process. Parent and teachers can use tools like apps to introduce students to computer programming.

If a child is motivated to learn to program, their enthusiasm will guide the way. The following tips can also help:

  • Start with a game program. Children love games of any kind. To teach basic programming skills, look for apps that build games or apps that are set up in a game-like format. This will keep the child engaged and make the learning fun.
  • For less experienced children, begin with a partial project and let them fill in details, like adding a new step or level. This gives them the experience of programming and lets them feel like they’ve accomplished something without the frustration of missing an important step.

  • For those who learn quickly or have some previous experience, keep them interested by letting them add challenges into the game, such as different scoring or life options for game characters.

Keeping Kids Motivated

Parents and teachers know the best way to teach a child is to make learning interesting. Teaching computer programming is no exception.

How can we keep kids motivated to learn programming? Start with these tips:ApproachWe all know that sometimes it’s the delivery that makes the difference. A teacher can say ‘We’re going to spend an hour learning fractions’ or ‘Let’s play some games with numbers.’ Which would be more inviting? Use the same approach with kids and computer programming. Don’t come at them with language that sounds boring or difficult. Instead, say ‘Want to play a game?’ or ‘Let’s build something.’ That sounds like fun!Let Them FailFor many adults, letting children fail is a difficult concept.

But we all know that learning by doing is a powerful experience. After you’ve given instruction on a programming step, stand back and let the child explore with it for a bit. They may make a mistake along the way, but remember, that doesn’t freak kids out; they’ll just roll with it and in the end, the learning experience is richer. Stay close, but stay out of the way.Set the Bar HighMost kids catch on to new concepts in computer programming pretty quickly. Don’t be surprised if the lesson you have planned to last an hour is accomplished in ten minutes.

The trick to teaching kids to program computers is to keep the bar high and not underestimate how much they can learn in a short amount of time. It may be true that the height of technology was the blinking VCR in your day, but kids these days are born into a technological world; keep the expectations up.

Lesson Summary

Computer programming is the process of writing a series of steps or commands to make a computer work in a specific way. Teaching kids to program may seem like an impossible task, but talk to a few adults who have gone through this process and they’ll tell you it’s a blast. Kids are natural around technology and learn quickly.

Start kids out when they show a natural interest or when they’re able to read and follow multi-step commands. To be keep things fun, use apps that are game-oriented. Let the newer learners add a few basic components to existing games and offer experienced programmers a chance to add more complex tasks.Approach programming as a chance to play and build stuff. After teaching, let your students play around with the process, even if that means they mess up a little. Finally, don’t underestimate how fluent young children can be with technology. At the end of the day, it’s likely you’ll end up being the one who learns something.

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