These days, parents are highly encouraged to provide their children with opportunities to learn how to code as early as possible. That’s because coding has a slew of advantages. From fun things like building their own robot to more advanced things like designing their own apps, coding is not only beneficial for your child’s future, but it can also provide fun educational experiences for them in the present.
You can introduce your children to coding through many different languages like Scratch, Java, Python, C++, Lua, and so many more. But the first language your child learns will be special as it will likely stick with them for the longest time. While teaching children different coding languages will enhance their skills and career prospects, choosing the right coding language as their first step may be important to the overall success and learning process.
Choosing which language to start with depends on your child’s age and interests, and it can be a little daunting. Don’t worry! We’ll go over how you can choose the appropriate first coding language for your child based on their age and abilities.
How to Choose the First Coding Language for Your Child?
There are multiple benefits for children who learn to code at a young age. This can set your child up for a lifetime of success and accomplishments. Regardless of when they start learning to code, there are always age-appropriate coding languages to introduce your child to. Here are some key points you may want to consider when choosing your child’s first coding language.
Firstly, you need to understand that, like most other spoken languages, coding is a language used to interact with computers. While this is true, there are also several differences between coding and other human languages. For example, there are no alphabets, no vocabulary, no dialects, and so on. However, every language has its own unique characteristics as well as special commands and abbreviations in order to work correctly. Furthermore, some child-friendly languages, such as Scratch, Java, Python, and Lua, are popular among children and can be used to teach children how to code.
Factors to Keep in Mind When Choosing the First Coding Language
- Accessibility: Select a language that does not require complex assembly or memory management at the lower levels. Apart from their complexity, coding languages come with a lot of historical data, are tightly tied to specific models, and necessitate registration and deployment steps. So, steer clear of these types of coding languages and opt for/select those that are more user-friendly, such as Python, Ruby, C++, and others.
- Practicality: What your child learns and applies at a young age will have a long-term impact on their learning and development. The first language should be something that children can create with, something that friends and family can appreciate. Teaching children something they won’t use in their daily lives can be counterproductive. In addition, it is also crucial to pick a programming language that doesn’t stifle creativity and innovation while still allowing your child to create something unique and fun.
To dive deeper into the subject, you can also refer to the blog, Top 3 Easiest Coding Languages for Children to Learn, which speaks of the three most simple yet popular languages along with their differences, similarities, and key features. Depending on how you choose and what factors you take into account, you either succeed or fail when selecting a coding language. The bottom line is that your children should be taught the fundamentals of coding, such as the logic behind writing code, how to use constructs, and concepts. Ultimately, there are numerous advantages to learning to code, and selecting the right first language can make a significant difference in their coding journey. Today’s choices are far superior to those previously available. At the end of the day, what matters most is that your child has a good coding experience, engages their creativity and critical thinking, and ultimately develops real skills.
- Choosing a First Programming Language for Kids and Beginners | by Matthew MacDonald | Young Coder | Medium. (n.d.). Retrieved June 6, 2022, from https://medium.com/young-coder/choosing-a-first-programming-language-for-kids-and-beginners-faf7059bbd93
- Top 3 Easiest Coding Languages for Children to Learn. (n.d.). Retrieved June 21, 2022, from https://www.byjusfutureschool.com/blog/top-3-easiest-coding-languages-for-children-to-learn/