Before we delve into the topic, let me ask you something.
Have you heard about an app that serves as a virtual parent for kids when parents are away? Or, an app that saves people from standing in line by hiring others to stand in their place?
Kids under 15 years of age have designed these apps.
Do you know only 0.5% of the world’s population knows how to code, reports Healthy Journal. And here we are, still contemplating whether our kids should be exposed to this “complex” skill.
According to Zippia, Computer programmers make $70,979 per year on average, or $34.12 per hour, in the United States. Computer programmers on the lower end of that spectrum, the bottom 10% to be exact, make roughly $55,000 a year, while the top 10% make $90,000.
Learning to code sparks curiosity and exploration in kids. They enter a world of binaries and syntaxes that pull at their imagination to create innovative solutions.
Do you know what the best part is?
Kids often see coding as an avenue to express themselves through play that ultimately contributes to their psychosocial growth. But like every new skill, coding for kids, too, comes with its share of challenges that both kids and parents must overcome.
Recommended Reading: Coding for Kids: Why Should Every Child Learn to Code?
What are they, and how can you resolve them with your kids without disrupting their growth? Let’s discuss them in detail
3 Top Challenges Kids Face When Learning to Code
1. Tendency to Forget
A study published in the Journal of Experimental Child Psychology in 2010 found that children aged 6 to 8 have a significantly lower working memory capacity than adults, which means they may struggle to remember and process complex information.
Another study published five years later in the Journal of Educational Psychology attributed that children under the age of 10 are more likely to forget what they have learned during a lesson if they do not receive reinforcement or practice of the information within a day or two.
Both studies pointed out that kids tend to forget. They have shorter attention spans and may struggle to retain information for extended periods. This can lead to difficulty in understanding the fundamental concepts necessary for coding, which often require an understanding of logic and sequential thinking.
How to overcome this problem?
To mitigate this challenge, educators may need to implement teaching strategies that focus on building and reinforcing knowledge in small, manageable chunks, allowing children to build a solid foundation of understanding over time.
Recommended Reading: Top Programming Languages for Kids to Learn in 2023
2. Overwhelmed by Expectations
Expectations are not bad, but rising expectations can overwhelm a child, which can be harmful. Learning to code often involves a lot of trial and error, problem-solving, and persistence, which can be emotionally taxing for some children. Additionally, frustration and stress can arise if the child struggles to understand a particular concept or if they make mistakes or encounter errors in their code.
How to overcome this problem?
We can introduce children to age-appropriate games to teach the fundamentals of coding. The fun learning activities will not only pique their interest but also motivate them to do better in advanced learning.
Short breaks during learning can mitigate pressure. Incorporating fun activities can help in building resilience and problem-solving skills.
The goal should be to create a positive and supportive learning environment that encourages children to persevere and develop a growth mindset toward learning. Both parents and educators can work in tandem to provide children with emotional support and strategies to cope with the overwhelm.
3. Collaboration Challenge
We must teach children to collaborate and develop skills for group problem-solving if they want to master the world of coding. But it’s not something that can be accomplished easily.
A 2017 the Association of American Colleges and Universities survey found that 40 percent of graduates aren’t prepared to work in teams. The downturn trend in this skill continues even today as fewer Americans join the workforce.
To simplify this further, humans are programmed to work independently. Working in collaboration is a learned skill that people master as they become adults and enter the workspace.
Even then, the feeling of accomplishing better and greater than other team members always lingers on. Moreover, collaborative projects can sometimes lead to conflicts, particularly if the children have different ideas or opinions on how to approach a particular coding challenge.
But in the real world, coding requires teamwork. It brings together people with different skill sets to plan and execute projects.
How to overcome this problem?
To address this challenge, educators can create a supportive and inclusive learning environment that encourages open communication. This might involve setting clear expectations for behavior and communication during coding projects.
Educators can also encourage students to discuss ideas with each other and seek help from those who have successfully created projects.
They can also set a time every week to provide opportunities for individual work and collaboration and encourage children to listen to each other and respect different perspectives. By doing so, children can develop both coding and social skills that will serve them well throughout their lives.
Coding is considered fundamental learning in the digital age. As Jan Cuny
Program Director, National Science Foundation, puts it, “All of today’s kids will need—along with reading, writing, and arithmetic—a basic understanding of computation and the role that it plays across a wide range of disciplines. Coding is engaging and empowering. It’s a necessary 21st-century skill”
Starting coding classes at an early age can be incredibly beneficial for children. Not only does it provide them with a valuable skillset that is becoming increasingly important in today’s digital age, but also helps to develop problem-solving and critical thinking skills that can be applied in many different areas of life.
Moreover, learning to code can be a fun and engaging way to promote creativity and imagination, which can help to inspire a lifelong love for innovation.
By providing a supportive and inclusive learning environment that values diversity, promotes collaboration, and encourages persistence, children can overcome the challenges that they may encounter and develop both coding and social skills that will serve them well throughout their lives.
Overall, starting coding classes in children can be a powerful way to help prepare them for success in the digital age.
Moonpreneur understands the needs and demands this rapidly changing technological world is bringing with it for our kids. Thus we are on a mission to educate and ignite the flames of entrepreneurship through our holistically created online STEM programs, which will help kids master the futuristic sciences such as Robotics, Game Development, App Development, Advanced Math, and much more!
Register for a free 60-minute Robotics class today!