Learning programming and coding skills at the age of thirteen provides an opportunity for kids to grow their ability to critically think when their learning potential is at their highest. At 13 years old, kids are generally in 6th or 7th grade within middle school. Generally, there are coding clubs and even electives for computer programming that they can choose in order to pursue the subject more formally.
Ensuring that kids have an opportunity in STEM to learn coding skills will allow them to explore whether coding and programming is something they would be interested in. Computer science allows kids to explore the complexity of solving higher level issues while also providing creative solutions that they can develop on their own.
If you are looking for a way to explore how coding and programming can help challenge your thirteen year old, I’m going to share with you some helpful tips on teaching your thirteen year old how they can start learning how to code and program.
Computer science is a subject area that continues to grow in the age of the modern era. With new apps that continue to change how we think about the economy, from Uber, Door Dash, Fortnite, Minecraft, and Roblox, flipping to conversation to becoming a creator instead of a consumer of these apps will provide another perspective for kids who are learning about technology and the innovation behind it.
At thirteen, if you can get kids to think about how something was made rather than falling into the trap of consuming, this will unlock an limitless potential of forever teaching them how to critically think about how technology can be used in both people’s personal lives as well as ecommerce.
Early exposure to computer programming can help children and teens develop critical thinking and problem-solving abilities and understand the trial-and-error process. As soon as your child starts learning how to code, they will find it much easier to master this talent and all other coding-related skills. Teaching your child to code can set them up for a lifetime of achievement at a young age.
At thirteen, kids can problem solve and critically think about complex issues. Coding will provide an educational challenge balanced with the excitement of being able to foster their creativity for solutioning.
Coding for Teens
In today's computer-driven society, teenagers can learn how to code, just like they were able to adapt to using devices and apps.
Learning how to code can benefit your kids, not only to grow their minds and skills, and long-term, create an opportunity to think about potential careers. Smart devices and cutting-edge algorithms make coding one of the most in-demand skills, so this can help guide them in choosing courses when they head off to college in a few years. By providing them an opportunity to explore computer science and coding at an early age, you provide teenagers the ability to explore whether they desire to specialize in learning this in college and thereby as a career or side hobby in the future.
Moreover, college applications can stand out if you include the ability for teenagers that can already code. Coding skills are an excellent example of extracurricular activities that can help a student's college application as it is proof that they are excited about the topic, especially if it is a technology school. Discipline, organization, and perseverance are all qualities that learning coding can provide.
Programming Languages for Teenagers
For teenagers who have not been introduced to coding yet, there are various platforms and languages that can help them understand the fundamentals of coding. Programming languages are developed with a set of syntaxes that allow humans to communicate and tell what a computer should be doing.
I’ve listed some block coding and script coding that teenagers at 13 years old can learn, from easiest to hardest. In general, when starting out with coding, I would recommend choosing a platform/language and then advancing once you’ve been able to master it.
Scratch is a free online community and programming language that lets anyone make their games, stories, and animations. Using Scratch, coders do not need to write code to accomplish anything on this platform. Everything is done with simple drag-and-drop operations. It was developed by MIT specifically to get kids engaged in coding.
Python is a powerful and one of the top programming languages that can be used for a wide variety of tasks and applications. Among its many applications are web development, data science, and the creation of software prototypes.
Python is a popular programming language for middle school and high school kids to use once they’ve mastered the fundamentals of drag and drop block coding. Python's syntax is basic and easy to understand for beginners. As a result, Python is an ideal programming language for novices.
Java is an object-oriented programming language and develops software for numerous platforms. Java can be found on various platforms such as Android Applications and Science and Research.
Although Python is easier to learn than Java, students will have an easier time picking up other programming languages if they start with Java. However, it has more complex syntax, and I would not recommend this for someone learning coding for the first time.
Best Tips to Teach Your 13 Year Old How to Code
Learning to code will seem different for every child because of the variety of personalities and learning styles. Here are some of the best tips and tricks to teaching teenagers how to code.
Learn the Fundamentals First
If your 13 year old does not know about coding, it will be ideal for reviewing a few essential coding words and how they are used. You and your student will be able to learn more quickly and successfully if you have a working knowledge of coding terminology.
Solid knowledge of the fundamentals is essential to long-term success in any field. To understand the rationale of more advanced topics later in their programming school or coding Bootcamp, your 13-year-old need to learn the basics first, which you can find around the beginner’s guide for coding terminology and programming vocabulary.
Check Out Online Coding Courses
Coding and computer science courses are more likely to be electives that middle school kids can choose. However, if it is not part of the curriculum at their school, they can learn about potential coding clubs available fore and after school or enroll in one of the many online coding classes that are available.
Free online courses and videos are readily available, including those on YouTube. Some paid courses are accessible online if you are prepared to spend money on your teenager's learning.
If you prefer your child to learn face to face, there may be coding classes available in your community like Code Ninja.
Invest in Coding Books
There are a variety of coding books available that thirteen year old teenagers can follow along with. They include learning Scratch as well as Python programming.
Follow Along By Creating Coding Projects
Letting students learn by through developing their first coding project will be great to exercise and develop their newly learned skill more!
Beginner students sometimes work on coding projects, like this countdown timer using Python, because they are smaller, more straightforward programs. For example, a to do list app or a random number generator app are examples of these types of apps. These projects are simple for a single developer to conceptualize and build from beginning to end.
When working on a coding project, you must figure out what programming language to use, how to structure the project, and how to implement the app's features. The best way to learn programming is to actually do it (not just read about it).
Becoming a great coder and programmer can be done through connecting with likeminded kids. Each coding platform generally has communities that are available with parental supervision to foster a community of learning how to code. Beginner coders may find like-minded peers to bounce ideas from and learn from one other's mistakes and triumphs.
Let Them Play
If your 13 year old is fascinated by games, and you want them to get interested in coding – let them be! Games can teach a lot, especially if it’s all about computers.
Letting them use a coding toy will be perfect if you want an unplugged yet entertaining approach. For teenagers, there are various coding toys they can play with including board games and robots.
Frequently Asked Questions
Kids at thirteen are adept at solving complex problems as well as the ability to provide creative solutions to issues. Coding can help foster these skillsets for kids that are in middle school. Thirteen year olds can learn how to code by using various methods including learning through in person instruction, online courses, coding and robotics toys, as well as educational coding clubs that allow other kids their age to connect.
Teaching teenagers at thirteen years old how to code doesn’t have to be hard. With a little guidance, some online resources to support their desire to learn how to solve complex problems through coding, and a little bit of motivation can help go a long way in fostering their desire to explore this specialization in STEM. Coding has so many benefits, including challenging them academically while also allowing them to think outside of the box. Thirteen year old students in middle school can certainly learn a lot from having parents and teachers show them how to code, while guiding them on the best resources they can use to flex their skills even further.
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