A Short Guide on Picking a Coding Class for Your Kids

A Short Guide on Picking a Coding Class for Your Kids

Coding classes at a young age are a great way to prepare kids for a lifetime of success. However, this is true insofar as the quality of the classes goes. Curriculum, the platforms, quality, and medium of instruction, in addition to the level of interest and other factors, contribute to the number of transferable skills a kid can acquire. This is why we wanted to prepare a short guide on picking a coding class for your kids.

Pay Attention to the Underlying Framework of the Curriculum

Curriculum stands as one of the most important facets of a coding class. It forms the building blocks that define foundational knowledge that kids will need to develop their expertise. 

At STEM Genius, for example, we incorporate Stanford design thinking to equip young students with a framework to develop creative solutions through to implementation. This ensures that they can realise disparate ideas and inspirations into working prototypes. 

Beyond transferable skills, we’ve worked to ensure our classes align with prevailing technology standards such as Harvard Creative Computing, Google Computer Science (CS First), and MOE science syllabus.

Quality of Instructors Plays a Role in the Quality of Instruction

When choosing a coding class for your kids, another aspect that deserves due diligence is the quality of instruction. This ties strongly into the quality of the curriculum but differs particularly in how experienced and capable instructors are in their fields of instruction. 

Ideally, experienced coders with deep knowledge are preferable. However, that should not be the only factor in evaluating the quality of instruction: verify that educators have experience nurturing and teaching young children. Teaching young children is a highly specialised field with associated certificates or diplomas.

Learning Platforms are Necessary for Kids to Gain Transferable Skills

Today’s technology landscape is characterised by a wide range of hardware and software platforms. You’ve big companies like Microsoft and Google involved in hardware and software development spanning different product segments from mobile phones to gaming to augmented reality. You also have industry players in areas such as automotive and manufacturing. 

Coding within these different segments may require different tools or programming languages. As such, when kids begin their coding journey, their education needs to prepare them to adapt and thrive in a technology ecosystem that is, by nature, broad and varied. 

Account for Age When Picking a Coding Class

According to MIT, the best age for kids to begin learning about coding is the age of 5. It is also not uncommon to find kids starting as early as 4. You can find various coding classes for kids, but before you enrol your kid in one, be sure that they sit within the recommended age bracket for your kids. 

Generally, young learners between the ages of 5-7 begin with interactive stories and dynamic games to learn the basic concepts of coding before they are introduced to more demanding exercises. 

As such, we recommend speaking to school representatives to learn of the general makeup of the courses and whether it’s appropriate for your kids before enrolling. 

Prioritise Classes that are Fun and Interesting

Kids, by nature, are boisterous and playful. It is how they learn social skills and language and cope with stress. Sitting in front of a screen for long periods of time performing monotonous tasks is tedious and dull even for adults, let alone children. 

When learning is fun, it is more effective, leads to higher retention, and keeps kids more engaged. Classes that kids enjoy have a higher chance of developing into lifelong passions. Besides, what parent doesn’t like to see their child going to class with a smile? 

For example, at STEM Genius, we use a combination of fun activities such as dynamic games and mixed-reality technology to make learning fun and immersive.

Final Thoughts

By being mindful of curriculum, the quality of instructors, class engagement, age suitability, as well as breadth and depth of instruction, kids are in a much better position to derive benefits from a coding class. 

And as a matter of fact, all these are elements that we incorporate into our coding classes. For example, our curriculum is designed by the Creative Computing Lab at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. We have separate classes for kids aged 4 to 5, 6 to 11, and 12 to 16. To learn more about our weekly coding classes, click here

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