Coding is one of the skills that has become key to success in the high-tech world of the twenty-first century. From smart appliances to medical devices, software is driving more and more innovation, and if you want your children to have the widest range of opportunities, encouraging them to develop programming skills is essential. But what is the ideal age for children to start learning how to code? And are there benefits or potential downsides of starting early?
If you want your kids to experience the joys of coding — and have better odds in the job market of the future — here are the three main benefits of starting the process during their primary school years.
1. Kids Learn Faster When They’re Young
Learning to code is a lot like learning a new language, or learning to write. By the age of 6 or 7 most children will have the mental ability to understand the basic concepts behind coding and, with practice, can master the essential principles. And just as it’s easier to learn to write when you’re 7 rather than 20, learning to code comes faster during these critical years.
This is one of the reasons why many coding camps start offering classes specifically for students age 7 and up. These classes introduce children to the basics of programming, helping them grasp the essentials of languages like C++ while they’re learning to write and improve their reading comprehension.
2. There Are More Opportunities Available
Tech has become central to the economies of developed nations, and this has led to a huge investment both in the public and in the private sectors in education incentives to help children develop programming skills early.
For example, kids can enroll in online classes at Real Programming 4 Kids so they can study coding alongside their regular school curriculum during the regular school year or during the summer, and they can also explore opportunities like:
- Coding competitions
- Special coding programs at school
- National youth coding initiatives
After all, the earlier they start, the more of a chance a child has to establish gain important experience that will put them ahead as they enter their high school and college years.
3. They Can Graduate To Advanced Programming More Quickly
Children with a dream to play music professionally start young so that by the time they are in high school, they are already at a place where they have mastered their instrument and can start developing a unique style and voice.
Programming is similar. Teenagers are bursting with creativity, but for that creativity to be useful, they need to be more than proficient in the basics. When a child masters several programming languages before they finish middle school, they’ll be ready to start developing their own ideas much earlier than if they wait until high school to start coding.
It is ironic that in spite of the importance of tech in our day-to-day lives, the education system is still catching up to the importance of coding as a basic form of modern literacy. Due to this lag, the industry as a whole has long been experiencing a shortage of skilled programmers.
Kids with real coding experience have a lot more options when they graduate high school, so starting them off during their primary years will help them lock in these skills when they’re young, unlock more opportunities, and give them the freedom to start experimenting with their own software designs before they even reach college.
If you are interested in even more technology-related articles and information from us here at Bit Rebels, then we have a lot to choose from.