How to Teach Homeschool Computer Science, Programming, and Coding for Kids

Computer science is one of those subjects like physics and communications where some people just don't get it. We all have our personal mental blindness to some things. There are people who struggle to visualize shapes and sizes, and some people who can type on a keyboard but simply cannot play the piano. You need to keep this in mind when teaching computer science. There are some kids who will linger on the basics and fundamental content for far longer, and that is okay. It is like learning to ride a bike. Some kids pick it up quickly and some kids take a very long time to learn.

Child Homeschooling with Mom Learning Computer Science

Teaching Programming and Coding

When it comes to coding and any sort of programming language, you need to play it very carefully. Coding is unlike any other subject on the planet, and it is very easy to scare children away from the subject forever. If you have tried various methods to teach your kids coding and they are still not getting it, you should consider cutting the lessons from your rota and approaching the subject again when your kid is a teen. If you sour your child on coding at a young age, then they will do all they can to avoid it when they are older. However, if you give them a gentle entry and then re- introduce it when they are older, they are far more likely to take to the subject with more vigor and enthusiasm.

Try Child-Friendly Online Courses

Be careful when picking the course because what appears to be suitable by your standards may be something your child abhors. This is especially true if you are using free YouTube tutorials and such. It puts your child in the position where if he or she loses the thread of the tutorial, then they are lost and unable to recover. You need something more interactive and something you can get involved with. This is even true if you are not a coder or computer science expert yourself. Try to pick a course that both you and your child can learn together if you are not already well versed in the subject.

The younger your kids are, then the easier the course should be. Seems simple, but do not misunderstand the learning curve. All kids start at the same level, no matter what their age, do try to remove any preconceived ideas that your older child can start with a slightly more advanced platform because it just isn't true. Think of it like swimming. No matter the age of your kid, you start them all in the kiddie pool. You don't throw your slightly older kid into the sea on his or her first try. Opt for a course that teaches computer basics for kids, and let your child pick their own pace based on their comprehension of the subject matter.

Re-Capping Previous Lessons

Here is the secret that separates great computer science and programming teachers from average teachers. You absolutely must get into the habit of recapping previous lessons and warming your kids up to the content of previous lessons before you fully begin your next session.

The reasons for this will be explained, but think of it like this, let’s assume you are reading the Lord of the Rings books for the very first time. You are on page 342, you put down the book, and you don't read it again for another week. When you pick up the book and start reading the relevant page, can you honestly say you remember where you were and what was happening without going back over a few pages to catch up? The same principles apply to teaching your kids coding.

You need to recap the lessons of last week. Start by recapping on a very basic level, and if your child seems comfortable, then throw in a few test questions or ask them to explain the concept in their own words. You then move on to recapping the activities of last week, especially if you are working on a project together in order to enhance learning. Even the best coders, when they come back off their vacations, need to refresh themselves on what they were doing before they can continue.

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