Parents everywhere want their children to learn STEM skills, not just because it’s a trendy educational concept in a tech-forward world. STEM skills help improve the foundations of how kids think and feel.

They also give children directly transferrable skills that they’ll need one day at work. However, you can’t just search coding for kids near me and sign them up blindly, thinking any program that teaches STEM skills are equal.

Here are a few signs to look for to help inform your selection.

Video Games Are Everything

Children love to play video games, and they’ll love learning to code them even more. The best online coding classes put video games at the centre of what they do in two ways.

First, they frame the coding lessons around how to design and code a video game that kids can really play with friends and family. Children need a carrot to help them learn and producing a video game genuinely motivates them.

The best programming courses also use gamification concepts in their lessons, leveraging the dynamics that make playing video games so rewarding and addictive for educational purposes.

Small Groups, Reliable Sessions

One of the signatures of private schools is small classrooms. Everybody knows that learning is harder when students are in large groups.

The best online coding classes cap classroom size at four students, so sessions are always orderly. Ideally, there should be no minimum student requirement, so classes run even if your child is the only one enrolled in the program.

Helpful Coding Courses

Some online coding programs try to convey what coding is like to kids by showing them how to use drag-and-drop programs, like Scratch. The problem is that nobody uses Scratch to code video games, apps, or websites.

Showing kids as young as seven how to program using languages like Python is best. Look for a course that teaches the latest and most important coding languages, such as:

  • Python
  • Java
  • JavaScript
  • C#
  • C++

Learning STEM skills can help change and improve how children approach problem-solving and give them a wealth of secondary computer skills they can use in other fields. However, there’s no substitute for learning the specific coding languages that power the most popular video games, apps, and websites.

Young Teachers

Finally, kids should learn from somebody with recent coding experience in high school, post-secondary, and the workforce. Adolescents and even children may have questions about what coding is like later in school or about the job market.

If your child learns how to code from a master programmer who doesn’t have relevant experience, the answers they get from these questions won’t be as valuable. Younger teachers also grew up playing video games, and there’s a lot to be said for kids having passionate and relatable teachers.

The urge to enroll your child in coding classes and sharpen their computer skills is perfectly understandable. Keep these tips in mind, and don’t make the mistake of assuming all online coding classes are of equal quality.

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