When people think of fun, traditional activities for kids, “coding” may not be the first thing to come to mind. Historically, kids did low-tech activities like running around in nature and playing with sticks.
Today, we live in an era dominated by technology, from smartphones, e-learning, streaming movies, and more. Ultimately, there’s a huge difference between knowing how to navigate a smartphone versus writing the underlying code.
As technology increasingly becomes the fabric of daily life, kids need to learn how it really works. It’s better for kids to learn how to shape technology rather than have it shape them. Luckily, coding can also be hugely fun for kids!
RP4K has run summer classes teaching online coding for kids for over two decades, long before the pandemic and even the rise of pocket-size supercomputers. We know how to impart coding knowledge in a fun way.
Let’s check out a few ways that RP4K keeps coding classes enjoyable.
Especially with young kids, the last thing you want to do is alienate them from a given subject before they’ve had a chance to genuinely feel and explore it. Topics like coding may have a reputation for being perhaps somewhat dense or complicated, and we proactively prevent this potential baggage from discouraging students.
Coding needs to be fun for kids, or they won’t learn it, so we prioritize fun above everything else. We understand the best ways to help your kids learn to code after many years of operation.
RP4K is serious about giving your kids advanced STEM skills, but the lessons never come at the expense of fun.
Framing the programming lessons around creating video games helps kids associate coding with video games rather than “school” or “math class.” Even our beginner coding class for seven-year-olds revolves around how to create a Pizza Bandit video game using a real coding language, Java.
Kids get engaged in lessons when they work towards something they’re eager to complete. Kids can play the games they design and program at RP4K by themselves or with friends and family, creating a two-fold accomplishment: the game itself is its own fun, but it’s also a type of achievement or trophy they can display.
Plus, the lessons themselves use gamification concepts, providing a pedagogical boost by harnessing what makes playing video games so addictive and engaging. RP4K teaches mathematical concepts like integers, functions, vectors, and even trigonometry.
We play up the video games more than the math, so kids absorb all this important knowledge during summer without even realizing they’re learning. Not every kid will rush to sign up for “summer school,” but tell them that they’re learning how to create video games, and they’ll have an entirely different attitude.
Nobody enjoys competing with others for attention or feeling overlooked, and these things do not help anybody learn. RP4K caps class sizes at 4, so there will only be a maximum of three other students per class. Teachers perform better in orderly environments, and so do students.
We also make it a point to hire younger teachers for a few reasons. It’s crucial that kids learn how to program and design video games from people who also grew up playing them when they were young. Unsurprisingly, passionate teachers pass their enthusiasm along.
The hype today over early video game nostalgia is a testament to how much video games mean to children. Adults today look back joyfully to their early days of gaming, while kids today love being in the thrall of it. Together, nostalgic teachers and passionate students create a vibrant energy that transcends the sum of its parts.
Our teachers tend to be computer science and computer engineering undergrads, many of whom were RP4K students once. They can relate to students both as coders and gamers.
Older students may have practical questions about what kind of jobs people with coding skills apply for or what it’s like to study computers beyond high school. Young teachers with recent experience are the perfect resource.
Finally, students need to be properly challenged and stimulated. If the course material is too hard, students may feel overwhelmed and discouraged. If it’s too easy, they’re liable to get bored.
If you’re looking to enroll your kids in a summer coding camp and they have never written a line of code, you can safely sign them up for the introductory or beginner course, especially if they’re young. However, if your kids have some experience coding and you don’t, you may struggle to identify the most suitable course.
Our courses are designed to build on the ones preceding them, so it’s vital to get children on the right track, so they don’t get lost. Each level lets them code new customizations, to make their games more sophisticated. Early RP4K classes teach concepts like IF statements, variables, arrays, parameters, objects, functions, and loops.
Students may struggle if they’re taking the wrong course. Don’t take chances! If you have any doubts about which course to select, we’re happy to help you out.
Call (877) 307-3456 or email firstname.lastname@example.org, and we’ll talk you through it. You can also access a free trial lesson to gauge how the program works and ensure your child is in the class that’s right for them. The trial lesson lets parents observe how a session works, so they can better understand and appreciate what RP4K is all about.
Screens are virtually omnipresent in modern life. While parents are right to limit the amount of screen-time children get, kids and adults use devices to stay connected and entertained, get news and new information, and more. Kids should participate in traditional outdoor activities during summer, but online coding classes are a great activity for summer break because they’re fun and acquaint children with the tech that surrounds them everywhere.