Summer break is ending and the dreaded moment kids have been fearing all summer is finally approaching. Parents, on the other hand, must be excited to finally get their kids back to school. But, with so many extra-curricular activities for kids to choose from, what is the best option for kids or should they take a long break after school to relax and play?
Studies have shown that “on average, students lose 2 months of reading skills over the summer.” This can be troublesome as students begin school again and have to spend more time getting caught up on the education that they have forgotten. Come fall, school begins once again and “9 in 10 teachers spend at least three weeks re-teaching lessons at the start of the school year.” Due to this, it is important that students use their free time during the summer wisely.
For the second year in a row, we had two teams qualify for the semi-finals of the competition. First Place: Helping Hands and 2nd Place: Far Away Stories. The team, Rot No More, won an award for best team spirit. The two winning teams were nominated for nationals and have the chance to compete in San Francisco this summer. We are very proud of these girls and their accomplishments
With growth comes change and here at Coder Kids we have been going through some exciting transitions. Recently, Cecilia Ramirez, one of our founders has moved into an advisory role. Cecilia assisted in creating Coder Kids to address the growing need for children to learn the key 21st-century skills of coding and creative problem solving with technology.
Let me preface this blog with the following: I am an engineer. I love observing and detecting patterns. In the couple of weeks that I have been spreading the word about Coder Kids, there were three observations that really caught my attention and I am excited to share with you.
1. Parents ask their children if they want to code.
My mom grew up in a household where her mom chose her extracurricular activities. Piano, check. Ballet, check. Grammar, check. She never had the opportunity to say, "yes, I want to learn piano."
Imagine my surprise when parent after parent would ask me to engage their kids about Coder Kids instead of them! If the kids were excited about coding, the parents would jump in to ask more questions (e.g. how much is it after the trial offer? How does scheduling look?).
Way to put me on the spot mom and dad! Honestly, I love it. At Coder Kids, we design our curriculum to spark and retain kids’ interest so they continue to love coding through adolescence and adulthood. What better way to confirm that we are doing something right by giving the first 30-second pitch to the kids themselves!
Playing devil’s advocate, let me close with the following fact: in England, coding has been mandatory for children ages 5-16 since 2014. Talk about global competition.
2. Minecraft is revolutionizing how our kids interact with technology.
The best part of my day is seeing kids’ eyes light up and their smiles widen as I tell them writing code creates potions, tools, and animals in their Minecraft world. Way to go, Minecraft!
The icing on top? Noticing that almost all the girls under 10 I share this with are as equally excited about it as the boys. Yes, yes, yes! Oh, and by the way, our first CoderKid (outside of my daughter, of course!) is an 8-year old girl so excited to start our Minecraft Mod in Java course!
Adapting and creating games, applications, and software that engage children of all interests is one of our core goals at Coder Kids. We strongly believe that if kids are coding something they care about, then they will be much more likely to continue coding and love doing it! Our Minecraft Mod in Java course is a great place to start and provides a lot of flexibility in terms of what the children are creating.
3. Children ages 10 and younger seem to be the most excited about coding.
My sample size is much too small so I am weary of making any conclusions but here are observations I’ve made thus far and thought you might be excited to read:
Most of the kids interested in Coder Kids are children ages 10 and younger.
Several children ages 6 or 7 have already started coding and want to learn more. A side note: to the parents who ask if their kids can sign up even though they are not 8, the answer is yes! If you feel your child is ready to code, sign them up!
The only kids that I have so far encountered who are not interested in coding are kids ages 12 and 13! I hear “Ummm, I don’t think I could do that” or “That’s not really my thing”.
All of these small observations strengthen my confidence that kids should learn to code at an early age. If they love creating stories in Scratch at age 8, are empowered in learning Java for Minecraft at age 10, and inspired by creating their own website to show family and friends at age 12, where will those skills and experiences take them when they are teenagers deciding to take the AP Computer Science course or as young adults deciding on what to do in their careers?