Discover how you can help your 12 year old child with how to code. These are curated educational tips on how a parent can teach tweens how to grow a passion for computer programming and computer science. At twelve, most kids have a great grasp at their primary language and ability to communicate effectively. Challenging subjects should not be a deterrent to learning at this age.
With the modern world, kids are introduced earlier to technology which can be balanced by teaching them how things like apps and programs are made. Twelve year old middle school aged kids are also often introduced to computer science classes, labs, and clubs at this age.
In this post, I’m sharing with you tips and tricks on how to get your 12 year old student excited about coding and how you can help share this skillset.
While coding resources are available to no end, like YouTube videos and online courses, there are often topics that may require structured approaches to learning. For example, in videos taught by other students and new educators, coding terms may be used for a twelve year old learning, may be hard to understand. Coding terms and ideas like loops, conditionals, and arrays may be difficult for students to fully understand via a one way structured learning program without a feedback loop.
When learning to code at twelve years old, it is important to start learning a program that may be easier to learn. By removing barriers to the commitment required to learning a new language, this allows kids to continue their enthusiasm and curiosity for learning how to code and program.
At twelve, if kids are new to programming, using platforms like Scratch to learn block coding or starting with an easier, natural language scripting language like Python, will allow kids to easily learn the fundamentals without getting stuck too soon in their coding journey.
For parents wanting to teach their twelve year old how to code, you don’t have to know code yourself! You can learn with your student in parallel. It’s a great way to pick up a skillset as an adult while also pair programming with your student learner.
I’m going to share some of the best ways for 12 years old to learn to code. Every level of coding experience is considered from screen-free activities to the best coding website that teaches kids how to code.
Learning Coding and Programming at 12 Years Old
There are numerous reasons why kids should learn how to code. Coding and programming extends their knowledge in learning all about algorithms and recognizing patterns. As digital literacy becomes a critical part of modern education, kids can get a head start if they develop a passion for the skill early in school.
Problem Solving Skills
Elementary and middle schools are teaching coding as a common part of their curriculum. Aside from academics, learning how to code can also increase a 12 years old’s problem-solving skills. Learning how to code is one of the simplest ways for kids to improve their problem-solving abilities as coders are continually pushed and asked to solve problems in a programming context.
Learning how to code can also push your 12 years old persistence. Computer science is one of the few professional fields where it is okay to fail almost regularly. Success in coding and programming an app cannot be accomplished until all errors have been addressed, and failure is readily apparent when a program "breaks" and fails to perform as planned. Failures can often result in large amounts of frustration, but coding and programming teaches the ability to break down the errors into small chunks to troubleshoot and work through the problem. Learning to code teaches children that barriers can be temporary and teaches resiliency in working through the process.
Computer programming and coding is a way to boost creativity. While many children begin their coding education by creating video games or animations, coding generally teaches them how to solve problems be developing distinctive solutions.
Below are some of the best methods for motivating 12 year old kids how to learn to code and program. Using this methods will allow you to get kids to better understand the fundamentals while also working through problems.
Discuss Coding Terms
If you and your child are unfamiliar with coding, it is best to discuss some basic coding terms and how it works. Having a working knowledge of the terminology in the coding field will help you and your child learn more quickly and effectively.
Coding is supplying instructions to a computer to carry out a particular activity. But aside from coding, it is best to know more about a subject and its term so that it is easier to comprehend. Below are some of the list of commonly used coding terminology for 12 years old:
In coding, algorithm is a set of instructions for addressing a specific problem in computer science. There are many different algorithms, but they all have the same goal: to find a solution to some problem. The challenge can be as easy as adding two numbers or as tricky as converting a video file between formats.
If a mistake or defect in hardware or software causes the system to malfunction, it is known as a "bug." Incorrect communication regarding the project and its requirements can result in bugs. It can also be caused by a lack of communication between team members, resulting in issues when they try to integrate their code.
One of the most fundamental programming concepts is a loop. A loop is a recurring sequence of instructions in computer programming.
During a loop, the program repeatedly asks a question to see if it needs to do something, and then if the answer indicates that it should, the program does something. The code will continue for as long as it takes to get the answer.
A variable is a numeric number that the program can alter in response to external conditions or input. Instructions inform the computer what to do, and data is what the program utilizes when running, which are the two main components of a program.
There are plenty of learning tools available that gamify the learning how to code for 12 year olds. There are coding toys and projects where kids can learn all about how to modify robots, make crafts that respond to coded programs, and more. There are also affordable robotics that teach kids how to code while also making it fun, easy, and intuitive to learn.
To keep children's minds engaged and active, the most effective learning resources include elements of fun and gaming. Therefore, a coding toy is an excellent instrument that can help your child of 12 years old learn how to code. I’ve listed out some of the best coding toys for 12 year old kids that will help them stay engaged in learning skills that will allow them to master the field of computer science at a young age.
Structured Learning Via In Person or Online Courses
If your child's school does not incorporate learning to code into their curriculum, then enrolling them in coding schools or courses will be a fantastic option for you (here’s our review of Code Ninja).
These days, there are a lot of coding classes geared toward children and people just starting. Some of them are conducted entirely online, while others are also run in person.
As you choose a course that you plan on investing time in, please know that a majority of coding classes and courses do not simply cover the available languages. Instead, they cover the techniques that children can use to learn these languages, such as through games like Minecraft and Roblox.
Interaction with Coding Community or Coding Buddy
Finding mentors and friends that have the same interest could also help 12 year olds flourish with learning coding and programming. Two minds are often better than one, so finding a friend or classmate who is interested in coding would allow them to flourish. Often, there are coding communities available (with parental supervision) with some of the big tech platforms that are available for kids that are learning how to code.
Does your 12-year-old have a friend that is also interested in coding? If so, it would be a great time for your kind to develop more closeness with them!
Your 12-year-old and their coding buddy will not only learn this new programming language together, but they will also create a friendship as they go along. Your kid may be able to use the same method to solve any problem: two minds are better than one. Gaining a competitive edge in the computer science field will be easier thanks to the combined wisdom of their friendship.
Frequently Asked Questions
Kids that are twelve years old can learn how to code because, at this age, they are comprehending complex problems and are generally able to apply problem solving skills. Computer programming and computer science allows twelve year olds to also learn how to creatively problem solve, create unique solutions for challenges, and allows them to further their critical thinking skills. They can learn how to code through online and in person courses, watching YouTube videos and following along, as well as using coding toys that gamify the learning experience.
Summary About 12 Year Old to Learn How to Code
Learning to code may seem daunting since you might assume it involves only arithmetic and analytical thinking. However, it also has other benefits and skills that your 12 year old can develop, such as creativity and persistence.
If you want your 12 year old to get these benefits of learning coding skills, take this tips to heart as you start their journey into the world of coding where they’ll be able to quickly grow their critical thinking skills and allow their creativity to flourish.
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