Computer programming can be a great lifelong career, but it’s also a skill all children should learn. We all have special skills and gifts and not everyone has enough interest or desire to be a computer programmer as a career. But giving kids an introduction to computer programming is a great skill regardless of whether they will ever pursue it beyond the basic concepts. Here are a few reasons why programming for kids is super beneficial:
1. Gain a deeper understanding of computers and how they work
Our society is immersed in computers and they’re used in virtually all homes, schools, and businesses today. This isn’t going to change anytime soon. Giving children a deeper knowledge on how to use a computer and how they work will benefit them throughout their lives. Instead of having kids spend time learning to use a computer only through video games and other activities, learning basic computer programming concepts enables them to learn an important new skill.
2. Build knowledge of logic and cause and effect
Computer programs are all about cause and effect. “If a user does something in a program, then this should happen”. Learning this logic and how to think about it builds critical thinking skills. Understanding this kind of logic as a child brings benefits throughout academics, especially mathematics and science. Computer programs simply follow exactly the rules they are programmed to do. Learning to follow an app exactly as it is programmed is a great skill as it also helps teach how to break a problem up into smaller pieces.
3. Build mathematics skills through programming
Programs use mathematics heavily. Whether it is simple math like addition and subtraction, or the use of parentheses to prioritize what numbers should get processed first, these types of mathematics problems are commonly used in computer programs. Further, programs are full of basic problem solving scenarios where a number or value is entered by a user to be used in the program. These variables translate directly to basic algebra and problem solving. Learning these skills before taking algebra class can be a big boost.
Programming is a quite addictive. Once a child learns the basics, they often want to try to build upon this knowledge and try something new. It sparks a creativity that is not possible elsewhere. Teaching a child to program gives them the skills to write more advanced programs and lets their imagination run wild. It is neat site to see when the kids come up with new ideas for things they’d like to program.
5. It can be a great career
Last but not least, programming can be a great career. Programmers are in very high demand and will be for the next several decades. Learning this skill at a younger age simply gives the child a leg up as they get older and are ready to learn deeper skills and prepare for the marketplace.
Here’s a link to the Principles of Programming book on Amazon.com. It’s a great programming book on the basic concepts of programming.