Parents want their children to have fun learning new, vital skills, and that’s why many sign up their kids for online coding classes. Learning how to program is a foundational skill in our digital world and tech-heavy economy. But aside from enrolling their kids in classes, how can parents help create a coding-friendly environment at home?
Even if they aren’t programmers themselves, every parent can help their children on their coding journey by doing the following things at home.
In what room is your child working? They’re going to be spending a decent chunk of time at their computer, focusing hard on their work. You want to make sure that they’re comfortable and that the ambiance helps rather than hinders.
An ergonomic desk and chair are excellent, as they give your child the physical support they need to work for extended periods of time without cramping up. An ergonomic desk, monitor stand, and even the keyboard tray can make a difference in the long run.
You may want to get a dual monitor so they can multitask without feeling like their screen is cluttered. Speaking of which, a minimalist, clutter-free desk setup also helps keep their mind limber and undistracted.
Lighting matters, too. If the light is too dim, programmers get tired sooner, leading to errors and reduced productivity. You don’t need to buy all this at once right after you begin to introduce coding to your kids, but as they progress, check in and run it by them.
Try to find a quiet, distraction-free place in your home where your child feels comfortable spending time. It should be away from the TV and anything else trying to elbow its way in and steal your kid’s attention.
RP4K always insists that kids learn to code at a manageable pace in small, orderly sessions. We make it a point to keep kids stimulated and engaged but never overwhelmed. It helps when parents encourage their children and give positive reinforcement at home.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re a programmer yourself or are totally perplexed by coding. Just ask about what they’ve done this week, check in with their excitement levels, and see the results of what they’ve learned. You can measure coding progress in a holistic way rather than gauging it in specific coding terms.
Our expert instructors will handle the technical side of things. All they need at home from their parents is to see some curiosity about their lesson and some positive reinforcement.
One of the reasons kids get so excited to learn coding is that we put video games at the heart of what we do. Kids learn to design and program their own video games, ones they can play with friends and family afterwards. That means you!
Even kids just starting out learn to make a Pac-Man-style game in Python, a coding language used by popular streaming apps, like Netflix. In their ordinary school sessions, parents peruse homework to see that it’s done. When it comes to coding, you get to play video games, too.
RP4K also harnesses the concept of gamification, leveraging the dynamics that make video games so engaging for learning purposes. Video game designers know how to get kids hooked on playing by doing things in their games like giving reward points, achievements, badges, and instilling a little friendly competition.
Our classes push the same type of buttons, so kids are motivated by both the goal of creating a real video game and the underlying design elements that make playing video games so compelling. You’ll see the result yourself when you explore what they’ve learned in their online coding course by playing their video games.
As kids progress in their coding skills, the video games they create get more sophisticated, intricate, and fun. In a way, learning to code is all about shortening the gap between a kid’s imagination and the product they create via coding.
Just like learning to code indirectly teaches many other vital but intangible underlying skills, engaging in different types of STEM activities can reinforce what they’re learning in class. There’s a wide selection of games and activities emphasizing STEM’s hard and soft skills. When kids have fun playing games, they may not even realize that they’re learning!
Indeed, that summarizes RP4K’s core approach. We embed fundamental math lessons in all our coding classes. Our founder, Elliott, is a mathematician with a B.Sc. (Mathematics) and an M.Sc. (Mathematics) and years of experience teaching math to children.
Young kids beginning to learn how to code also learn important math concepts like integers, vectors, and even trigonometry. As kids progress in coding, the math concepts they learn become considerably more advanced.
At the highest levels, we have special classes for teens that prepare them for math concepts they wouldn’t otherwise encounter until university. But even kids who don’t know the first thing about coding will learn math fundamentals that will serve them well in later grades.
We don’t want to overemphasize the practical gains from learning how to code; RP4K prioritizes fun for children above all! Kids love learning how to code and programming video games, but there are other STEM games they will also enjoy playing.
Even popular video games like Minecraft are an excellent way to give kids a STEM-based activity that won’t feel like they’re, in a phrase, eating their vegetables. In fact, we use custom modifications in Minecraft in our coding classes as fun, accessible tools to build on what students learn in class.
Signing up your child for online coding classes is the first step on your child’s coding journey, but it’s not the last. They’ll do the bulk of the work (and the play!), but following the above recommendations can only help nudge them along. If you have any other questions about how to support your child’s coding journey, don’t hesitate to contact RP4K today!