I talk to many parents of young coders through free avenues and events – mainly the Breakout Mentors 15 minute phone consultation and CoderDojo Silicon Valley. Everyone wants to support their kid’s interest in programming and give them the opportunity to have fun while learning to code. But are parents doing everything they can? Or are they trying to get by with the bare minimum?
Each parent faces different constraints – financial, other children with activities, living far away from the action, balancing the student’s activities with school work, and more. It’s certainly not easy being a parent in today’s world!
Some kids are telling their parents they want to learn how to code. They love it and want to do more. They want to be a video game designer someday or at least have their own app. Are these supportive parents doing everything they can given their constraints of time and money?
First let’s examine the consistency of your student’s coding opportunities. How often is your son or daughter coding? Are they sticking to what they are comfortable with or being pushed to learn new things and exposed to new ideas?
It’s easy to let this consistency slip. Parents are busy and aren’t constantly looking for kids coding opportunities. Many do the bare minimum and sign up for an iD Tech camp year after year, with diminishing results with each passing summer. There isn’t anything wrong with that approach, but parents can do more.
There are plenty of groups that operate throughout the school year – numerous after-school centers are opening up to teach kids how to code. Look for one near you. There are also free options like CoderDojo or organizing your own club that uses online tutorials. That is a great start for consistency.
Group opportunities and online resources for learning to code are one-size-fits-all. The personalized approach will cost more, but offer greater quality and flexibility. The schedule can fit almost any family – we have mentors available throughout the week and weekend. The learning experience is amplified by moving at each student’s own pace, adjusting to their individual needs, and working on things they are personally excited about.
Our 1-on-1 programming mentors at Stanford and UC Berkeley are not taking on any new students right now with Thanksgiving, finals, and winter break just around the corner. But we are lining up things now for January 2016! If you are interested in learning more, please schedule a phone call to discuss your son or daughter’s current level of experience.