Coding is an extension of STEM. STEM is now becoming the core of our society, and kids need to stay updated on these innovations to prepare them duly for the future.
Have you ever considered if there are any disadvantages of teaching coding and programming to kids? There are a lot of considerations when exposing kids to the world of coding and technology. In this article, you will learn all about coding and why not to teach coding to kids.
Overview of Coding for Kids
Coding for kids is fun and engaging! There are numerous paid and free opportunities for kids to learn how to code. Unlike the regular type of coding, coding for kids involves a series of games, activities, exercises, kits, etc., that teaches them the rudiments of coding in an interesting and child-like manner.
Many programming platforms have also made provisions for all kinds of coding to accommodate kids of all ages. There are various kinds of programming languages with different difficulty levels. To ensure that every child benefits, these languages are sifted and grouped into different age groups and styles.
This means that younger children between the ages of four and seven can use block coding, while older kids who know how to read can focus on text-based programming languages.
Reasons To Not Teach Your Kids Coding
Coding is beneficial, yes. But to every benefit, there is always a disadvantage. Here are five reasons why to not teach kids coding.
Attention Span Needed for Coding with Kids
Elementary institutions already have enough academic and extracurricular activities to keep kids busy. Making them learn programming and other STEM skills might be overwhelming for them.
Kids just want to have fun, and programming is a technical subject that should be left to the grown-ups. Parents, let toddlers be toddlers; allow them to play basic games without incorporating coding into it.
If at all, you want to introduce kids to coding, then you should wait until they are at least 13 years old and above before introducing them to it. That way, they would have acquired basic computation, gaming, problem-solving, critical thinking, and in-depth comprehension skills that would aid them in learning how to code.
It is Not Entirely Necessary
Most parents have been pressured into teaching coding to kids because they think it is a “do” or “die” affair.
The truth, however, is that coding is not necessary. Programming is trending and no one wants to miss out. However, that does not degrade other skills. If everyone becomes a programmer, then what will happen to other fields?
There are tons of other emerging non-coding skills that kids can learn today. Graphics Design, Animation, Product Design, Product Management, and Illustration, among others, are great relevant skills kids can learn.
It Can Be Detrimental to Their Health at a Young Age
This is another cogent reason as to why to not teach programming to kids. Too much exposure to gadgets and computers can result in serious eye problems and migraines.
Kids might get too engrossed in coding games and trying out new codes that they forget to take breaks. Without proper screen management, kids might become obsessed. This can result in eye defects and other health issues later.
Most professional programmers complain of insomnia, eye problems, and headaches from too much coding. Kids might not be able to handle the mental stress that comes with coding, so it is best that they get older before you introduce them to coding.
Programming Needs Might Decline in the Future
As a matter of fact, coding will not be as necessary as it is today. With the rapid increase in no-code software, the demand for coders could dramatically reduce.
Before coding became popular, there were other “hot” skills. Coding is currently the real deal, but soon, other skills might spring up, which might render coding less relevant.
This does not mean coders will be out of fashion- they will always be in demand. However, if you are teaching your kids how to code simply because you think it is the real deal, then you might be in for a shock!
Coding Complexity Requires Deep Knowledge
Imagine completing a code and then experiencing a bug hours later? How do you expect little kids to understand how to solve it? Even experienced programmers get stuck sometimes.
Coding is not all about learning how to code, it also requires a great deal of expertise and patience, something kids do not possess. Kids programming only scratches the surface; it does not prepare kids for actual real coding and the technicalities that come with it.
It is therefore advisable that you allow your kids to attain some level of maturity before you introduce them to coding concepts.
Learning a New Language Takes Time
Coding is equivalent to learning a new language. Before introducing coding to your kids, you must make them know that coding is not rocket science. It is equivalent to learning a new subject at school.
How to Choose Whether to Teach Your Kids Coding
Now that you understand the pros of teaching coding to kids, and why you should not teach to code, you can now decide if you still want your kids to learn how to code.
Here are some tips on how to decide whether to teach your kids how to code.
- Teach your kids how to code not because that is what everybody is doing, but because you want to.
- You can consult your kids to know their opinion. Kids above 5 years know what they want. You can show them the curriculum and introduce them to the concepts. See if they like it and are willing to learn, then you can continue from there.
- You should also understand that coding takes time. Kids cannot start coding real apps and games just like that. It might take years before they fully grasp the concepts and that’s okay. All you need to do is support and believe in them!
Benefits of Coding
Coding for kids has several benefits. It enhances critical thinking, improves problem-solving and sequential thinking, builds stronger communication, improves academic performance, increases chances of getting a job, etc. The list of why you should teach coding to kids is endless.
There are numerous coding languages out there for kids. Some of these languages are suitable for kids of all ages, while others are designed for kids of specific ages.
It is essential that as a parent, you should do heavy research on these programming languages to find the most suitable one for your kids.
Frequently Asked Questions
Deciding on whether to teach coding to kids is personal. Teaching coding to kids has its advantages, as well as its disadvantages. It is up to parents to understand both sides and decide if they want to teach coding to their kids.
Summary of Why to Not Teach Coding to Kids
Teaching kids how to code is great! There are numerous benefits attached to it. But, the perks cannot be ignored.
Parents should not be swayed by popular opinion. Deciding whether or to not teach coding to kids is a matter of choice, and it should be done with the best interests of your kids at heart!
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