Should Homeschool Kids Learn to Code?

As technology becomes more and more prevalent in our daily lives, the need for experienced programmers will continue to grow at an exponential rate. 

There will likely come a point where you will need some level of experience with coding and programming in order to get a decent job at all unless you stick to the less techy trades like construction for instance. 

Even then, the logic and critical thinking that goes into understanding how computer programming works will add layers to one’s skill set that can set them apart from their co-workers in any field.

While I won’t cover all the perks of being a programmer in this article, I do intend to showcase how spending at least some amount of time with programming can help your kids succeed in both school and life in general. 

Should Your Homeschool Kids Learn to Code?

The short answer is a resounding YES!

While not every child will strive to become a successful programmer, there are a lot of skills and talents that can be unleashed while learning the logic, problem-solving, and creativity that is required to learn how to program.

Not only that but people that work in areas outside of the tech world can be given an automatic pay-raise simply for knowing how to code.

While there are much more practical uses for programming, like web development or software engineering, there is no limit to who can and cannot learn this future-proof skill!

Why Your Kids Should Learn Programming

This demand for effective coders is going to add so many jobs to the market in the next few years and that means an exploded potential for your kids. Especially if they start harnessing the necessary skills now!

This doesn’t have to be a difficult process, and I will get into some of the resources available for kids as young as 2 years old that can help them get the headstart they need to be a certifiable coding wizard!

But first, let’s look at some major reasons that coding is a great path for your homeschooled kids.

1. Boosted Problem Solving Abilities

This is a big one and is something that EVERYONE could benefit from in my opinion.

There is always more than one way to accomplish a task, but most people either give up as soon as something gets difficult, or they find the easiest way to accomplish the task with no concern for the long-term effects.

With programming, kids can learn how to test different outcomes and find the one that works best for delivering the results they want to see and know that there IS a way to overcome the obstacles in life even if you need to spend a little extra time and resources on completing the task.

They will also see that just because someone does it a certain way, doesn’t necessarily mean that is the absolute best way to get the job done and can make efforts to find an even more efficient way to deliver the same, or better, results!

This sort of ties us into the next section of creativity; sometimes the problems we face need a solution, and figuring out how to create something that alleviates those pains is a perfect blend of problem-solving, critical thinking, and creativity!

Absolutely nothing will build their confidence like taking a blank document and turning it into an amazing website or application that they can share with their families!

2. Coding Takes Creativity

Most people dont realize that coding can be an amazing creative outlet as well.

Think about it, someone has to make the program look great, and that is of course accomplished using code and requires a certain level of creativity and critical thinking to solve the issues at hand.

Not only does designing a fantastic website or interface spark creativity, but the purpose of the program is also a very critical part of the process because what’s the point in making something if it doesn’t solve a problem? 

After the problem solving is done, it needs to look great in order to catch the attention of the users and work effectively to guide them through the application, which definitely takes a certain level of attention to detail and understanding of the user experience, which is a career all in its own!

Not only that, but editing photos and creating logos is an essential part of a web designer’s tool kit, and still requires an understanding of code in order to add and execute the designs in the app properly. 

This will require some forward-thinking to make sure everything is designed in the right format and the right dimensions so it aligns with the rest of the site or applications design well and can effectively deliver the intended message or utility.

Of course, critical thinking is an important part of life in general, but it is of the utmost importance in the coding space.

3. Critical Thinking Skills Will Be Unparalleled

This is my favorite part of being a programmer!

Everything mentioned above depends on one’s ability to think critically and for the long term of a project.

This is an important skill to work on because thinking ahead will help you avoid issues later in life, and in your programs.

Finding the easiest solution might work for now, but if you just have to come back to it later, there was no point in moving past it in the first place. 

Taking the extra time to think about what problems you may run into if you leave something as is will change your entire outlook on life

Not only that, but sometimes you have to really break down an issue and solve it piece by piece instead of as a whole, and critical thinking will help your kids understand how to do this effectively. 

Learning to program for kids opens up an opportunity to take complex issues and break them down into manageable steps, and that alone can make a world of difference in every aspect of their lives.

Realizing that you can chop a major issue into bit-sized pieces will give them the ability to tackle any challenge in life, no matter how big or small!

4. Work on Communication and Team Building

Most big coding projects require a skilled team of workers to come together and put their best efforts together in order to solve the issues correctly.

This means that they need to express themselves fully and be confident in their abilities in order to contribute to the project and see that it reaches its full potential. 

This can be a bit of a barrier for some people, especially younger children, but it is an important skill nonetheless. 

It is also a great opportunity to learn how to accept criticism as well because those that want to see the project succeed are going to be picky about the little things.

Being able to take someone’s critique and turn it into motivation is a skill that I had a hard time developing myself, but now my work is a million times better, simply because someone wasn’t afraid to tell me they didn’t like something I did and the fact that they expect more from me just means they hold me to a higher esteem than I do myself. 

That alone is worth every second of hard work I could ever put into a project.

Final Thoughts

While a career in programming might not be everyone’s idea of a dream job, there are clearly benefits to understanding how it works, even if it’s just for fun!

Even a basic level of programming knowledge can help your kids jump ahead in life and possibly even find new interests that get them motivated to learn something new in areas like mathematics, graphic design, or another area of computer science!

However, showing them how much fun they can have and how much money they can make as a professional programmer, might just be what it takes to get your kids to learn code, and possibly all before they finish high school.

I personally have made sure to include coding lessons for my kids at least once a week, and they are making efforts to learn everything else they need to become more successful programmers. My oldest is starting to learn JavaScript very soon, and I couldn’t be happier!

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