More and more parents are choosing Python coding courses for their kids as an after-school or holiday activity. Why are coding courses becoming such a popular choice with parents? Let's find out...
Top 5 Reasons Why Parents Choose Coding Courses for Kids
Just like every other parent, as the holidays appoach, my wife and I are looking at what activites our kids can do over the holidays. There are many options for after-school and holiday activites for kids. From sport to art & drama and other STEM activities.
As parents, we're looking for a variety of activities to help our children learn and develop further, but also keeping in mind that these are school holidays, so we want our kids to have a break from the rigours of term time, too.
In this blog post, I'll discuss the top 5 reasons why more and more parents are choosing coding courses for their kids as after-school and holiday activities.
#1 Children Enjoy Coding
Although sometimes we ask our kids to do something because they have to, we also want to make sure they can do something enjoyable over the holidays. Coding fits this requirement perfectly.
Kids love coding. They love the projects they can do with coding and they love the challenge that coding presents them. Let's look at both of these aspects.
Not all computer programs are fun. But when teaching kids coding, we want to make sure that all the projects are enjoyable and exciting. Projects include animations and games as well as other text-based projects. Students engage really well with these type of projects.
Students can also be creative when working on coding projects, and this adds to their sense of achievement. They're not just doing what they're told, they also have the chance to make their project their own and then proudly show off their work to their parents after the session!
Coding presents a challenge to students. In some ways, coding is like a puzzle that students need to solve in which they need to achieve a certain outcome using the right tools and following the right rules. This aspect of coding gives students a greater sense of satisfaction once they complete their projects. They've had to think and solve the puzzle and that makes the success sweeter!
#2 Coding Teaches Children How To Think
Don't take my word for it. Here's what Apple's iconic co-founder Steve Jobs said about coding: "Everybody should learn to program a computer, because it teaches you how to think."
Every computer program is an exercise in problem-solving: You want to achieve something; you have the Python coding tools and rules that you've learnt about; how do you use the tools you have to achieve your desired outcome?
This requires thinking. No matter how many Python commands you know and how well you know the coding language rules, each program poses a different challenge which requires you to think of all the possible options you have to achieve the result you want and find the best solution.
Before you can write a computer program, you need to break down the task into short, logical steps. This process trains the mind to pay attention to detail and to make sure no step is overlooked.
Fixing errors and bugs in a computer program is also an exercise in critical thinking. The process of finding and fixing bugs in a computer program is similar to solving a mystery. You have clues from the error messages you get, and you need to use these clues to investigate further until you find where the problem is. This process is so central to coding that it has its own name: debugging.
#3 Coding Will Be a Must-Have Skill In The Near Future
We don't teach kids coding so that they can become software developers in the future. Some of them will, yes, but most won't. However, coding is a required skill in many more jobs, not just software development. Scientists, engineers, financial analysts, data scientists are among some professions that rely on coding. But the list of professions that require coding either as a required skill or as a desireable one is growing longer every day.
Our kids are a decade or so away from entering a profession. And it's very likely that later on in their lives, their jobs will change again. Having a solid foundation in coding is likely to be very relevant for most of the jobs of the future. Yes, they can learn coding as and when they need it as adults, but having a good knowledge of the subject now will make sure kids are well-placed for the future workplace.
#4 Coding Helps Students With Other Subjects
Coding is not a subject that exists in its own bubble. Often, coding is used in conjunction with other subjects.
Let me illustrate this point with an example. A project we use at codetoday as part of our Coding in Python courses is the Bouncing Ball project. In this project, students write a Python program that simulates a ball bouncing up and down. We use the laws of physics to help decide how the ball needs to move in every frame of the simulation.
Writing this program helps students learn and consolidate several coding techniques. However, it also helps them understand the science behind a ball falling down to the ground and bouncing when it hits the ground.
Here's the output from the Bouncing Ball Python program:
You can read more about this project in this blog post on our sister site: The Real World in Python: Coding A Bouncing Ball (Bouncing Ball Series #1).
Another subject that works well with coding is Maths. Even animations and games will require some mathematical manipulation which students will need to code. And some Maths topics can be investigated further using a Python program!
# 5 Coding Teaches Resilience
When you write a computer program, it will never work the first time round. This is true whether you're a beginner or whether you have decades of programming experience.
Learning to write computer code involves learning how to review and revise your program, find errors and figure out how to fix them. Students quickly learn how to persevere and not let their initial failure get in the way of success. Coding teaches students that failure is an important part of the process and helps students realise how they can learn from each failure.
The resilience built through learning to code is indeed very useful in other aspects of children's lives, now and as they grow into adults.
These are the top 5 reasons why parents are choosing Python coding courses for their kids as after-school and holiday activities. And it's not just the children that have all the fun. When adults choose to learn how to code, they often do so for many of the same reasons!