Coding is a skill our kids will all need in the future, but the thought of it can be terrifying for parents! It’s a skill set a lot of us have never learnt, and the prospect of having to help our kids with it is daunting.
Hayley Markham is a mum of three and Chief Of Operations at Code Camp, a company that holds educational workshops throughout the school holidays around the country for kids up to 12.
Listen to Hayley’s interview on Kinderling Conversation:
Remember, coding can be fun
Believe it or not, kids love code! For them, it’s learning a skill like any other. At Little League, the Code Camp for kids in kindergarten and year one, it’s just like going to normal school.
“For the Little League kids, it’s set up like a school day,” she says. “There’s a lot of songs, a lot of games, we’ve got actual board games, it’s on iPads, so not as daunting as a computer. The kids really find it fun.”
And really, that’s the most important thing, “For us, it’s about getting them to be excited about coming,” says Hayley.
Know that it's essential for the future
Hayley says that starting early will help set children up for when they’re older, “They’re learning concepts that will really help them understand what coding is.”
Hayley says Code Camp’s aim is to reach as many kids in Australia as possible.
“Jobs of the future are going to be in the tech and STEM [Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics] industries. Even if you are a schoolteacher, you’ll be teaching coding. If you’re a designer, you’ll have some background in program design. So it doesn’t matter what industry you’re in, coding will come into it at some point and it’s really just a great foundation for kids to start now because it gives them confidence to take those subjects on in the future.”
Encouraging confidence with code
For Code Camp, it’s just as important for them to encourage the parents, so they encourage their kids.
“The kids want to do it, the kids don’t find it hard, because they don’t understand that it was once hard. So they don’t have the fear that we have,” says Hayley.
As parents, we often fear the unknown and if we don’t understand it we often put it into the ‘too hard’ basket.
For younger children in Little League, they learn the very simple basics of coding – loops, sequences and ‘if’ statements – which are understandable for kids to pick it up. Parents can learn this way too, taking it right back to the beginning with no assumed knowledge.
“I think that’s the most important thing for kids, not to put the pressure on them, that this is a scary thing, because it’s really not,” says Hayley. “It’s just like learning anything else at school. You start at the very beginning and take it slowly."
Code Camp caters for kids 5-12. Their camps run from April 3 to 29.
To find a Code Camp near you and to make bookings, head to their website.
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