Which Language Should My Child Learn First?
When it comes to coding, knowing what it actually entails and where to start can be challenging. At CodeBrave Tutors, we demystify coding, the language of the future, and help you navigate different options. That way, you can spark the love of tech for your child in a way that suits them best! So which language should your child learn first?
What is coding?
When you learn to code, you are learning to give a computer instructions in a language it understands so it can create websites, apps, and programs. Almost every electronic device you use relies on code. Learning to code is often likened to learning a new language, but it’s actually learning the key to write a whole family of languages. Young learners shouldn’t be wedded to one particular language. It’s important that they understand how to learn a programming language, rather than learn a specific one.
Learning to code is also proven to develop children’s logic, problem-solving and teamwork abilities. According to this study, one month of coding and tech activities equates to seven months of standard activities for the development of executive functioning in children’s brains.
It’s important to know that it’s a journey. There’s no need to worry about finding the perfect fit or language immediately. Young coders often adjust and tweak their learning process along the way and we’re here to help you make sure that your child starts off on the right foot!
Why is learning to code so important?
1- Coding expands learners’ options
Tech surrounds us. Centuries ago, those who could read and write were in power. Today, coding is the new literacy. Children who are tech-savvy will be better prepared to become leaders in virtually any sphere, whether entertainment, manufacturing or agriculture. Everything involves technology these days!
2- Coding develops cognitive abilities
Learning to think logically via coding exercises is helpful for young people’s development in so many ways. It teaches them to solve problems creatively, think critically, and reason systematically. In the age of information, these are the skills young people need for a successful career, not the ability to memorize information. As Steven Jobs famously said, “Everyone should learn how to program a computer, because it teaches you how to think.”
3- Coding helps us understand the world around us
Everyone should have an understanding of how the technologies and algorithms that increasingly control our lives and minds function. If we don’t, we risk not sufficiently challenging the tech giants about their activities, or not involving diverse voices in decisions around technology, which affect everyone.
Now that we’ve discussed the definition of coding and why learning to code is so important comes the big question. What language should my child learn first?
1- Scratch: A visual language to get children excited about coding
Scratch is a simplified visual coding language that provides a solid foundation of programming principles. It may not have the capabilities or reach of other coding languages but it fills an important gap. Its simplicity gets children as young as five excited about coding as it allows them to easily animate characters, create games, and build apps.
How does it work? With Scratch, children create code in a fun way by dragging and dropping different blocks onto a canvas. All ingredients familiar to coding are there: variables, conditions, loops, etc. However, there’s no need to worry about typing every statement perfectly. Scratch provides a frustration-free way to learn basic coding concepts like problem-solving and ‘if-then’ thinking for younger children.
2- Python: the language of AI – best for beginners!
Named after Monty Python, Python could be considered the easiest coding language to learn because of its clean, uncomplicated syntax. So even if a beginner is intimidated by semicolons and brackets, a few lines of code can get them started relatively quickly. Python is set to be one of the most important coding languages of the next decade. It is also a great skill for young people to understand technologies like AI. Python can be used to develop video games, web frameworks, and scientific and numeric computing projects.
How does it work? By writing easy-to-read code that looks a lot like regular English, Python allows coders to create anything from a text-based or two-dimensional game to a cybersecurity program! It is syntax-friendly, has a thriving child-focused community any teen would love to join, and doesn’t require an immediate deep dive into coding to write simple programs. As the fastest growing language of the past two years, Python is a particularly good first language for children and teens.
So which language should your child learn first? Here are our recommendations:
Still unsure about which language your child should learn first? Book a free consultation call with our Director or Tech Lead. Let us advise you today about which language to choose for your child!