Why Kids Need To Code
Everyone’s talking about kids coding. And how important it supposedly is.
But do our children really need to learn to code?
Shouldn’t they be running around outside? Or be busy making stuff – real stuff – with their hands, cutting and sticking and painting? Or immersed in make believe? Or just hanging out with their friends telling jokes, singing songs, talking with real people they actually care about?
Shouldn’t we encourage them at every opportunity to get out and explore the real world?
Rather than sit nose glued to the screen, unable to break away from their mind-numbingly repetitive games, deaf to the calls of the life around them and absorbed ever further by an artificial but dangerous world, in which we mums struggle to protect them?
Heck yes! And yes! And yes again!
And yet, our kids will have to make their way in a digital world.
A world created with computer code and more and more – which is scary! – controlled by it.
None of us have a crystal ball view of that digital future. But there are big things we do know for sure already, about what the spread of technology will mean for us and for our families.
Jobs of the Future
And first up has to be jobs. I mean what work will there be for our kids to do?
So many jobs our parents did, just don’t exist any longer. In finance, retail, manufacture, in the creative industries, jobs have vanished and continue to vanish, replaced by computers.
But all these computers need to be coded – by human hands – to do this work. Learning to code, might just be what helps our kids get and hold onto a job they can raise their own family on.
And the earlier they start learning, the easier they’ll find it, because you see computer code is just a language and young children are hard-wired to learn languages lightning fast.
Citizens of Tomorrow
But, winning a secure job is by no means the only reason kids need to code.
At the risk of getting super heavy about this, big companies and big government bodies hold more and more information about us and our families, and our every day lives.
Now big ain’t all bad! But the ordinary mum on the street should be able to hold it to account.
And our kids should have the power to ask awkward questions about schools and medicine and policing and pollution and all the things done in our names. And to challenge the answers.
They’ll need to find out stuff companies don’t want them to know. And to crunch up a big old blob of government data and make sense of it, to show things aren’t how we were told they are.
And to do that, what do they need? Yep, you guessed it – coding skills!
Creating Not Consuming
Now, you’ve got to agree, that’s two pretty massive reasons to get our kids coding! But there is an even bigger reason, and it’s very, very simple … learning to code lets our kids make stuff.
And once they can make stuff with technology – their own stuff – our kids stop being passive consumers and they start to shape and create – actively and purposefully – their digital world.
Learning to code transforms screen time into an endlessly, rich, opportunity for our children to explore and enjoy the real world and express themselves thoughtfully and creatively within it.
We’ve been coding with our kids now for two years and are in awe of what they’ve made.
There’s been … jokes a million … old scout songs … new Harry Potter adventures … secret maps of London … bug diaries … holiday journals … family trees … recipes for the best ever chocolate oatie bars … flower spotters & fungi finders … fashion shows … football games … witches’ spells … Shakespeare … an adorable little fairy … and a game about the evil chick-gobbling heron in our local pond!!
And more … much, much more!
Coding is helping our kids learn to control technology rather than be controlled by it. But more than anything, it’s fun, great fun and it lets them experience the pure joy of being a maker.
If you enjoyed this post and it got you thinking, do share it with your friends … and if you’re all raring to go and want to code with your kids, you can get started right here …