5 Ways To Get Started With Coding For Homeschoolers

It is okay if your kids don’t learn coding, just like it is okay if they don’t like impressionist art or French. However, learning coding has its benefits and opens doors that your kids may otherwise miss. Here are five ways to get started with coding for homeschoolers. 

1. Use Online Courses and Games

Go online and Google learn programming for kids and you will find some reasonably good programming tutorials that come with companion games. At an early stage, you should work hard to find a diverse set of games and courses for your kids to try. Some are going to be effective and others won’t.

Have you ever had a concept, perhaps a math concept, and you don’t understand when your teacher explains it, or your friend, or your parents, then you see that video on YouTube and suddenly the concept understandable? Kids have the same issues when they are trying out new coding games. Some games seem stale and boring, and others are fun, and there is no way of predicting which your children will enjoy and which they won’t.

2. Be Careful of Popular Games

It is okay if you wish to teach your child coding with a popular game like Minecraft, but it isn’t as easy as it first seems. Your kid may enjoy coding for the game, but the lure of the game will be far more powerful than the desire to code for it. Over time, you may end up fighting a battle for attention as your child dreams about playing the game you are both coding for.

3. Teach The Basics With Very Easy Examples

Even if you have the most intelligent kid on the planet, you need to give examples with every single concept you teach. Kids are still at an age where the sky is blue because they see it is blue, and Santa Claus brings gifts at Christmas because there are gifts at Christmas. Loading your child with information may work for things like humanities, but the information won’t stick if your child has trouble linking what is being taught with some sort of example. Don’t just give answers, show results.

Coding For Homeschoolers

4. Recap Before Every Lesson

This is vitally important because coding is something you can easily forget between lessons. This is especially true when you are working on a big project. It is like when you are reading a very long book, you put it down for a week, and then you sort-of have to skim the previous pages for a while to catch up to where you were in the book.

Recapping the elements of the last lesson will help solidify the information in the child’s mind, and it stops them having to run to catch up as you continue your lessons. Try asking a few test questions after recapping so you know your kid was listening and not just nodding along.

5. Be Prepared To Let Your Kid Quit

This sounds like awful advice, but coding is a unique creature. Different people take to coding at different times in their life. Some kids are ready for coding at a very early age and are re-programming your smart home by the age of 14. Other kids do not take to coding until they are in their teens or twenties. 

The reason you should let your child quit coding is because trying to force them creates a deep disdain for coding that kids will never recover from. On the other hand, if kids are introduced to coding gently, if they play games and have a positive experience, then they are more than happy to retry coding later in life. In fact, if you did a good enough job, they will have nostalgic feelings for coding when they re-enter the world of programming, and that is never a bad thing.

Education born and bred. I have worked as a teacher for many private language schools, as a test centre administrator, as a teacher trainer, as an educational consultant, and as a publisher. I am an advocate for literacy and a huge proponent of using technology in the classroom. I mostly write about English Language Teaching. I live in Oxford.