Coding is just another language, and children are known to learn new languages faster than older people. So starting young is a good idea. Children especially, but adults too, learn best when their interest is peaked, and when they are enjoying it. This is where coding can play a very important role in your child’s development. We will lay out some of the benefits of coding, and why this will help with your child’s concentration.
Throughout this article I will be talking a lot about how this applies to children, but many of these concepts apply to us as adults as well. We will simply focus on children and assist them to improve their key skills, including concentration and below you will find a few extra links form PiShop to help you with this journey.
Benefits of coding
Aside from giving them a them a head start for the future of work. Compared to other forms of numeric sciences, learning code can enhance children’s creativity.
For instance, much of teaching math in Africa is still done through rote learning, a pedagogical method that is outdated and discourages creativity in children. Rote learning is based on memorization of information and repetition, “parroting” so to speak. Research shows that rote learning isn’t effective because the learner rarely gets to understand the application of what they have learnt.
By comparison, coding builds logical thinking as it requires a focus on solving a specific challenge. This teaches children to evaluate situations from different angles and come up with creative solutions. They also get to test these ideas and, if they don’t work, figure out what went wrong.
Some studies have further suggested that coding enhances collaboration and communication, essential skills for future jobs.
Coding helps with writing skills & creativity.
When it comes to writing, computer programming can also let your child improve their written skills, developing a more concise and structured approach to storytelling and the English language. When coding, a child will often realise that there will be more than one way to resolve a problem. By analyzing their critical thinking and the solving of problems, it can lead to more meaningful application of written and spoken language.
Storytelling supports children in thinking procedurally, and these skills are very much a focus of the Scratch lessons.
When developing video games with Scratch, your child gets to code their own stories. By enriching their imagination by taking them off to far-flung places with strange characters, it can help them to deal with real-life situations.
Research shows that the type of brain activity that takes place during fictional moments is almost the same as the brain activity shown in real-life scenarios.
By reading, acting, or solving a problem in a fictional environment, your child can learn how to solve it in reality.
Crossing the boundaries
In the past four decades, several studies have assessed the effect of learning code on primary school children – usually between the ages of 6 &13. In each case, the findings show that it is beneficial to children, irrespective of their career path later on in life.
There are informal ways in which children can learn to code. These include boot camps, codelabs, holiday coding camps and after school coding groups. In Kenya, independent modular coding programmes exist for children.
The Raspberry Pi Foundation has been a very big supporter of this concept from the start. They have been a large influencer in the field by providing a large number of resources for learning in the comfort of your own home.
Learn. Make. Together. Anywhere.
Code Club World helps you make cool stuff while learning to code. For young people aged 9-13.
- Make things with code: Code your own character, design a T-shirt, and create some music. Learn to make games, art, websites, and more!
- Earn Badges: Earn a badge for each project completed, building up your collection and proving your coding skills!
- Share projects: Share your projects with our community of learners, and remix your friends’ projects!
Ready to start your journey? Let’s go! …. and here at PiShop you can find the most exciting range of kits, and beginner, intermediate and advance books to get your child started on their journey. You can also visit our online store or send us an email at [email protected] for any other information.
How do children learn?
All children learn in different ways. Some children process information easily when they see it, some when they hear it and some when they have practical knowledge of it and can touch it.
It is important to understand which category your child falls under, mostly because this will help them understand information better and the learning will be more long term than short term.
- Visual – Children who are visual understand information better when they are able to see it. In this case, the child will be able to concentrate better if she is allowed to read the information and write it down as well.
- Making flashcards – If your child is learning spellings or even concepts, writing them down on small cards and repeatedly showing them to her will help her understand and learn these concepts that much faster.
- How to increase focus: For some children, drawing may help visualize the material better.
- Drawing – Asking the child to draw what he is studying may also help him visualize the material better. A bonus is that this also helps his fine motor skills to develop.
- Doodling – Often, we see our children scribbling while studying and think that they’re distracted but what really happens is that the doodling helps them recall what they have been studying at that point and so remembering it at a later stage becomes easier.
- Auditory – Children who learn better when they hear information are auditory in nature.
- Reading aloud – Children who are auditory in nature learn better by reading the material aloud or listening to someone else reading. In this regard, they might find audio books more helpful than paperback books.
Music – Listening to music may also help children concentrate in studies.
Kinaesthetic – Children who are kinaesthetic need to be able to touch and feel their subject matter to understand and process it better. For these children, learning by practical applications may be more helpful than reading aloud or writing.“When my child was learning about planets, I took him to the planetarium and when we got back home, we sat together and made a model of the solar system and coloured it. Ever since then, he has never forgotten the order of the planets or which planets have rings etc,” says Nina, mother of 5-year-old Prakash.
Let’s improve our children’s chances for the future
There being real concerns that robots and artificial intelligence are set to phase out certain job roles over the next 10 years, there has never been a better time for your child to learn coding.
The digital jobs market is one that continues to show rapid growth, with an increased demand for computer programming skills unfortunately not being matched by suitable candidates.
Learning to code teaches children how to think. Computer programming isn’t just about teaching how to type lines of code. It is more about teaching children how to think differently. Being able to code effectively, a programmer needs to use logical thinking. They need to be able to see a large problem and break it down into smaller pieces in order to solve it in an effective manner. This is called decomposition and is one of the key features of computational thinking.
Children learning code will need to take a vague idea and use their creativity to turn it into something effective. If the first solution doesn’t work, they try another one. If that one doesn’t work, they try again until the problem is solved. Coding helps to develop this way of thinking and these types of thinking skills are highly sought after.
A child expands their creativity when they learn how to code
Coding is important to learn because computer programming teaches children to experiment and gives them the confidence to be creative. They will have the chance to design something that is entirely their own. Children thrive off of the feedback they get from creating something they love. Just like learning a language, or playing a musical instrument, children need motivation. Usually seeing results along the way is enough to cultivate this, and this is what happens when children learn to code.
Because coding is easy to pick up, for children especially, confidence comes easily. When children learn how to code it gives them the opportunity to be confident and create something in a fun and exciting way.
Improving your child’s concentration is easier than you think!
Getting this done is mainly related to their interests, goals, and greatest internal motivation. When you understand what your kid likes and how your children prefer learning, their concentration skills will increase considerably.
Allowing your kids to create their very own apps, games, and software, will enable them to experience education, STEM, and coding from a totally different perspective. They will want to be focused in order to turn their dreams and ideas into breathtaking (and very technological) realities.
Believe it or not. LEGO can help. Building exciting things with the amazing LEGO pieces, has proven itself to help kids increase their attention span, creativity, and concentration skills. And it goes even further! LEGOs are not only the tiny pieces all parents have stepped on during a Sunday morning, your children can learn how to program their own virtual robots using an online model of the LEGO Mindstorms EV3, can you imagine?! Your kid will concentrate while learning how to program robots or how to build breathtaking structures. Cool, isn’t it?
Coding can help. Give your kids the gift of coding!
At the very beginning of this article we mentioned coding, and we are here mentioning it again. Learning how to program will help your children gain several 21st-century skills, strengthen their creativity, work on their teamwork abilities, develop their critical & analytical thinking, and beyond all of these, increase their attention span and take their concentration skills to the next level.
By experimenting with computer code, they will learn to take a different approach to solving tasks in creative ways that they might not have thought of before. When a child learns a coding language, they can learn to create digital content, not just consume it.
Rather than using an app or playing a video game, your child could be the brains behind imagining, planning, and developing one instead. There’s no doubt that by problem solving with code, your child’s brain can get stronger and more adaptable.