At Create and Learn, we believe that your child can unlock their endless potential by learning computer science. We teach computer programming for kids so that your student may discover many new ways to be creative, innovative, and engaged with the world around them.
What is computer programming for kids?
Computer programming is the art and science of using computers to complete tasks. Programmers communicate with the computer using a coding language, and write programs, or sets of instructions for the computer. There are many languages, each with its own syntax and peculiarities, but all rely on similar, fundamental programming concepts. Understanding core coding principles and how to use different languages are the jobs of a computer scientist.
Kids can absolutely learn computer programming, even at a young age. There are many great visual and block-coding languages that younger kids love, while older kids may prefer written languages. Given the popularity and necessity of coding today, there are many live and virtual classes, code apps, and tutorials that can help kids learn.
Why should kids learn computer programming?
Practically, computer programming is one of the most sought after skills today. LinkedIn estimates that there are currently almost a quarter million open computer science jobs in the US, and that number is projected to grow. Even in non computer or information science jobs, having coding skills is incredibly useful. Learning the basics now sets your student up for success in the future, no matter the field they ultimately choose.
Beyond employment, computer science is one of the greatest tools we have for teaching students problem solving skills. Coding is known to:
- Teach students use internet resources
- Work out tough problems on their own
- Develop grit and perseverance through working through challenging situations
- Encourage independent learning
- Help understand the concept of developing multiple solutions for the same problem
- Allow students to pursue their interests in new ways, by creating coded games, animations, stories, and models
Even basic programming helps kids develop these critical skills.
How can my child learn computer programming?
There are multiple paths for getting your student to learn computer programming. Some may be more helpful or appropriate than others; you should consider your student’s previous experience and ability to self-direct when selecting a pathway.
One tempting choice for intro coders is to use free online videos through platforms such as YouTube or Khan Academy. You may also find coding resources through apps or coding websites for kids. While the material can be high quality, we often find that these videos are better as supplemental sources of information. Unless your child is exceptionally motivated, it can be hard to learn through videos alone.
Lots of students seem to learn well through project-based education. Websites such as Hour of Code offer a range of interesting coding challenges for students of all ages. These projects are a great way for your student to dip their toes in the coding pool. The disadvantage, again, is that students do not get any feedback on their work. We also find some students get frustrated with the lack of help.
A great option for helping students learn coding is live, online classes. This format combines the convenience of at home learning with the benefit of a real teacher. Coding students, especially newer ones, gain a lot from live feedback, help, and encouragement. At Create & Learn, we have instructors with lots of experience teaching coding who will keep your students on track and motivated. We teach both block coding and text-based languages, appealing to kids of all ages.
Create & Learn’s computer programming classes for kids
Create & Learn offers a variety of computer programming and information sciences classes for students. We get students coding from as early as age five. Our students learn core concepts from visual languages like Scratch, and move into text-based languages like Python later on.
We also believe that computer science is more than just coding, and offer classes on hot topics like artificial intelligence, design, and data science. Our instructors teach kids how to code using proven step-by-step methods that really make students think about how their programs work. We believe that the best way to teach programming is to encourage kids to create and explore.
Our methods pay off: currently, Create & Learn has a five-star rating on Facebook, and a high track record of success when it comes to teaching kids fundamental programming skills.
Create & Learn’s kids’ online programming classes
At Create & Learn, we offer over twenty classes in a wide variety of different computer science areas. All coding classes are taught live by experienced instructors, and classes are kept to no more than four students to ensure your child gets a lot of individualized attention.
- Scratch: Learn coding basics and design animations, games, and more with one of the best intro languages. Students work with blocks of code, and develop fundamental coding skills. Scratch is great for younger students, although it is still popular for middle schoolers.
- Minecraft: Minecraft is not only a popular game, but also a great vehicle for learning and teaching coding skills. Our Minecraft Code to Mod classes teach students how to program in Minecraft, utilizing code blocks but going even further into the underlying theory than in Scratch.
- Python: Students will further their coding skills by learning Python, a popular, human-friendly language used by novices and professionals alike.
- Java: Geared towards middle and high school students, our Java Primer course teaches students how to code in the advanced and highly useful language Java.
- Arduino: In our Arduino class, students will learn the underlying technology behind phones and other smart devices: electronic circuits! Using an online Arduino simulator (or an optional physical one), students learn how circuits work, basic electrical laws, and more. Your younger kids may like our Micro:bit class, which focuses on coding an electronic circuit board.
- Robotics: Students learn how to code web-based robots, designing, building, and programming them to complete tasks.
- Mobile Apps: Mobile apps teaches kids as young as nine how to build their own smartphone apps. Kids learn the fundamentals of coding while creating apps they can use and share with others.
Create & Learn also offers several classes that, while they don’t explicitly involve coding, are essential to becoming a well-rounded computer science thinker.
- Digital Design: Developing design thinking and creative, artistic skills is incredibly important for young computer scientists. Students learn how color, page layout, and other factors are influential in making great web pages, and get plenty of opportunities to practice their design skills.
- Data Science: Another extremely popular topic in computer science is data science. Students will learn how to interpret and manipulate data, and make compelling visuals with different datasets.
- Computational Biology: A great fit for older students who are interested in biology, our computational biology class mixes science and coding. Students learn how to use Python to understand genomics and other biological concepts.
- Artificial Intelligence: AI and machine learning is one of the biggest topics in computer science today. Students will discover how scientists are teaching computers to learn and solve problems on their own.
We are consistently launching new classes, and adding new time slots for existing classes. We’re excited to welcome your students into the wonderful world of computer science. Get started with a free intro coding class today or learn more about the best first coding language for kids.
Written by Sarah Rappaport, who graduated from Northwestern University with undergraduate and graduate degrees in engineering and music. She's now working on a masters in data with Georgia Institute of Technology. She taught math and computer science with Teach for America for two years, and now works as a Systems Engineer.