Why (and How) to Include Coding in Your Homeschool

The world today relies heavily on the use of computers. Preparing our kids to thrive in this digitally focused atmosphere requires more than just a basic understanding of how to use computers. By introducing coding in your homeschool during the developmental years, parents can place their children at an advantage to thrive in a world where computers and machine learning based technology are becoming the order of the day.

Why (& How) to Include Coding in Your Homeschool from Starts At Eight. Teaching kids coding at a young age has quickly become and important skill that ranks up there after reading, writing, and arithmetic. Let's explore why coding is so important and talk about how to include coding in your homeschool.

Why Include Coding in your Homeschool?

Homeschooling is a wonderful way for a child to learn in their own natural environment. For the homeschooling parent, it can be advantageous to explore different topics that can stretch your child’s learning capabilities and expose them to interesting subjects that are also important to the evolving world.

By introducing coding into the homeschool setting, parents are ensuring that their child stays abreast of the STEM learning and computer science based topics that children are being taught in a traditional school environment. This ensures that their child remains up to date with an area of study that is quickly becoming a normal part of everyday life.

The Benefits of Including Coding in your Homeschool

  1. Encourages problem solving skills – Coding is not only a computer science skill, but it also encourages problem solving. Through trial and error, the student learns what works and what doesn’t as well as how to make the end result turn out the way they have imagined using the tools and technology set before them.
  2. Developing project components – Coding is done in a sequence and children learning coding will be better equipped to break a large project down into smaller components to achieve the desired end result.
  3. Sparks creativity and empowers self confidence – In a digital age where kids are used to consuming digital information in the form of video games, YouTube videos, and other media, coding provides a creative platform for self expression. Children gain increased confidence and mastery of a complex skill while bringing their own digital creations out into the world.
  4. Prepares for a future in the digital age – More than ever computers and artificial intelligence are being introduced in many different areas of everyday life. By teaching kids to code in a homeschool environment, they will be well prepared for a future in which digital technology is even more all encompassing than it is today.
  5. Teaches analytical thinking – Although most kids consider coding to be fun due to the wonderful games and animations they can create, it is still a challenging skill to master. By teaching kids to code at home, homeschooling parents can encourage them to persevere even in the face of difficult challenges as well as strengthening the development of an analytical mind.

How to Include Coding in your Homeschool

Of course, if you’re not a coding expert then you will want additional help teaching your kids to code. If you fall under the category of parents who would like their kids to learn to code but don’t know how yourself, then check out a few of these options:

  1. Local After School Coding Programs – There is a very good chance you might find a great local option for teaching your kids to code. Consider locations like the library, community center, private technology centers and even local colleges. {Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Launch After School. I was compensated for my time in sharing this information. I only participate in sponsored posts that I would use myself. Please see my full Disclosure Policy for more details.}One example is Launch – an after-school coding program for kids ages 8-14. At Launch, students work at their own pace using a flipped learning model with one-on-one in person support with questions, checking their understanding, and projects. Their curriculum is aligned to standards identified by the Computer Science Teachers Association, designed to prepare students to excel in the digital age.
  2. Coding Games in Scratch – Scratch is a programming language and online community where you can create your own interactive stories, games, and animations.  It is geared toward kids ages 8-16.
  3. Simply Coding – Designed for kids ages 10+, this software program uses a combination of coding games, interactive lessons, written content and videos for in-depth learning.

Homeschooling provides both parents and children with the freedom to focus more on topics that interest them and allows the development of skills and talents related to a child’s interests. If your child has expressed an interest in coding, teaching them  this wonderful and vital skill, coding in your homeschool, can reap benefits and rewards for many years to come.

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