Increasingly, coding is becoming a useful skill to have for almost anyone, no matter their goals in life. And families around the world are taking notice. Coding classes, like our programs at CodewizardsHQ, are more popular today than they’ve ever been, and if your child is in one, you may be wondering how you can best support your student in their learning.
It turns out that supporting your child in their coding journey is much simpler than you might think! Even if you don’t know how to code yourself, there are plenty of easy ways you can support your student on their journey as they learn to code.
Show An Active Interest
One of the simplest and most effective ways to support your student is by just showing them that you’re interested in what they’re learning!
That doesn’t mean that you have to do your own deep dive into coding languages or understand much about it at all. What it does mean is asking them about their projects, or about what their code does. Find bits that seem fun or creative, and ask them how those parts work.
If you’re having trouble getting them to open up about their projects at first, you can check the emails that are sent after each lesson for things to ask about. You could ask your student how they decided to make a specific lesson their own, or how they solved a particular problem. Often, you’ll find that they’ve put a lot of their own personalities into their projects, and have made something that they should be proud of!
Taking an interest in what your student is doing might seem like a really small thing, but it can have a huge impact on their learning. That’s because when you show them that you care about what they’re doing, it gives them permission to care about it, too.
Be a Rubber Ducky
It is a basic fact of life that everyone makes mistakes. For coders, those mistakes may mean things don’t work exactly as intended, or they could even break the code altogether!
Sometimes, the fix is an easy one, and the problem can be straightened out in minutes. But sometimes, it’s not so simple. Maybe it’s a large change that needs to be worked through, Or maybe it’s a misplaced decimal that’s really simple to change, but fiendishly hard to find.
In these moments of stress, many developers turn to their trusty rubber ducky!
The rubber ducky might not sound like an important coding tool, but it plays an invaluable role for coders for one main reason. They need someone to listen to them think out loud.
The rubber ducky is literally just there to listen as they explain their code, step by step, until the problem is solved or a workaround is found. It works because it allows the coder to verbally process what they are doing. And while a yellow chunk of rubber does a pretty good job of listening, you can definitely do better.
Hands down, the best way you can support your student in their coding education is by sitting with them when they’re having a hard time with their code. Have them explain the tricky section to you, and if something doesn’t make sense, ask them about it.
Often, just explaining the problem out loud to someone else will be enough to help them discover a solution.
Remind Them of How Far They’ve Come
The coding journey can be a long one, filled with ups and downs. Nowhere is that more apparent than in the first few years of a student’s journey.
The ups can be great moments when your student is excited about what they’re learning in class, and the projects seem like great fun. But there are also downs on everyone’s learning path, too. They can be a hard part of the journey, even when they are helping to teach your student what they need to know to succeed.
That’s part of why reminding your student of the progress they’ve made on their coding journey can be such a great way to support them!
We all need to be reminded of the progress we’ve made from time to time. It’s a chance to reflect back not just on the easy successes we’ve had, but also on the struggles that we’ve conquered. This is important and can be the difference between a student deciding to push on and push through, or deciding to let coding fall to the side.
Really, when it comes down to it, supporting your child on their coding journey doesn’t look much different from doing so on any other kind of journey. And it’s not as difficult as it may seem.
It isn’t about having all the answers. And it’s not about knowing how to code things yourself. Instead, it comes down to just three main things: asking them about where they are, listening to their problems, and reminding them how far they’ve come.