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Computer Coding for Homeschool: Boost Cognitive Development

Teaching kids coding languages is a nice way to boost cognitive development, but with that said, any form of teaching and/or learning is good for a kid’s cognitive development. Are there specific benefits to learning computer coding? Here are a few thoughts on the subject.

Computer Coding For Homeschool: Boost Cognitive Development. Photo by stem.T4L on Unsplash

Does Coding Help Make Kids More Creative?

Creativity and coding go hand in hand, but it is only later when people are very good and very experienced with computer coding that they are able to be creative. This means that in the short and middle term, your child’s creativity will not benefit from learning to code. However, if your child takes up coding and does it throughout his or her life, then coding offers a nice creative outlet, which will develop his or her creativity at varied rates throughout his or her life.

This is similar to learning a new language. At the early stages of language learning, children are just working on grasping the words and grammar and structure of the new language. Computer coding is like learning a second language. Once the child has mastered a good vocabulary and a sense of the structure, then the child can begin to be creative with the new language. Whether that’s writing a story in their second language or coding something on the computer, the child has moved from learning to creativity.

Does It Help Children with Problem Solving?

Again, this is the sort of thing that occurs when a coder has become very good at coding. Programming and coding is mostly about problem solving, and if a child is to become good at coding, then a child needs to learn how to solve problems.

However, even beginning coders will encounter problems in their code, and will have to figure out why their attempted code didn’t have the results they expected. Computer coding can thus help children to be patient, to look at their work, and to feel a sense of achievement when they find and fix the problem.

Does Computer Coding Help Children With Math?

Yes and no. It is quite possible to be terrible at math and still do well as a coder. However, it is fair to say that people who are good at math will find coding a lot easier. Even simple programs are going to have elements of math, and a child who is bad at math may have to put more work into a project.

Does computer coding actually help improve math skills? It is possible since the prevailing theory is that the more somebody is exposed to math, then the better they become at it. Coding exposes children to math, so it could make them better at it. Coding and math also both involve problem solving, attention to detail, and other skills that overlap, thus enabling a child who is good at one to be good at the other.

Coding can give kids a real-world application of their math skills. Both math and coding require a logical way of thinking, with one side of the equation affecting the other side. There’s a clear right-and-wrong that makes it easy to check for mistakes. As kids learn to check their answers in coding, they can also learn to check their answers in math.

Does Coding Help Develop Logic Skills?

This is almost a certain yes, computer coding does help kids develop their logic skills. The downside is that this isn’t as great as it first seems. It only helps kids develop logic skills within the worlds and boundaries of the coding language they are learning.

It is difficult to explain, but let’s say there is a new coding language for drawing pictures. Let’s say the coding language is called “Buggle.” and that the new coding language allows you to create pictures however you like, but none of them can have the color yellow in them. With an understanding of that logic, your kid will create great images and great programs but will avoid using the color yellow.

That is a logical decision, but it only exists within the boundaries of that coding language. The same logic skills are not going to help your kid solve murders when he or she is older, unless he learns to apply the logical skills he’s learned from coding to solving mysteries. As a parent, we can work to help our children learn skills in one area and then apply those skills to other areas of life.

Does Coding Make Kids More Computer Literate?

At first it doesn’t, and then it doesn’t even more, and then it does. The reason it does is that children start to think of solutions to their problems as they are coding, and as they learn new solutions, it opens up their minds to how technology works on a very basic level. This understanding may be primitive, but it filters its way into every part of technology, from the reason their phone’s processor cannot handle an app, to the reason why their drier’s motherboard is causing an error message. Over time, learning to code can make your child more computer literate and more tech savvy.

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