Education, STEM Learning

Top 8 Reasons Why Every Kid Should Learn to Code | Juni Learning

We all want our students to gain the life skills they need to achieve academic, personal, and eventually career success. But with so many important skills and extracurriculars available for them to learn, it can be hard to know what to prioritize.

Coding is one skill that stands out in the modern era. It offers kids a boost in important life skills, socialization, and schooling — as well as a headstart on their future careers.

Here are our top 8 reasons why every kid should learn to code.

1. Coding gives a new way to look at the world

Top 8 Reasons Why Every Kid Should Learn to Code | Juni Learning

Computer code is a way to describe reality — similar to English or any other language. A programming language, just like any natural language, has its own grammar and syntactic rules. Thus, learning to code is very much like learning a second language and provides many of the same advantages.

Each new language gives us a new perspective that is uniquely attuned to a certain environment. In the 21st century, fluency in coding languages like Javascript, Python, or Scratch gives kids an excellent vocabulary for interacting with the world around them. It’s no wonder that programming has been described as the new literacy!

2. Coding fosters creativity

Taking a mental image and giving it form in the real world is the very heart of creativity. Even at an early age, students can harness their creative abilities to make animated graphics, websites, and interactive video games with their coding skills.

Coding is one of the few creative venues that results in truly interactive works — and there is nothing more exciting for kids than interacting with your own creations. This serves as an excellent supplement to other creative venues, giving kids another way to bring their artistic ideas to life.

3. Coding improves math and logic skills

a section of code, showing how logical thinking is ingrained in computer science

Learning code teaches kids computational thinking — the process of breaking down complicated tasks into individual steps (like loops, conditionals, etc.) that a computer can understand. This is the same process used to break down complex arguments, and is a pillar of logical thinking. The more kids practice coding, the better their logic skills will become.

Math skills can often feel abstract and hard to grasp. This is particularly true as a student enters high school-level mathematics, a transition that many of us have struggled with. Coding projects can make math concepts feel more real. As students proceed to learn pre-algebra, algebra, and geometry, variables and other concepts that they have already garnered from computer science are sure to give them a headstart.

4. Coding helps children with problem-solving

Simple coding projects offer an excellent introduction to problem-solving skills at a young age. Coders learn how to break down complex problems into simpler ones. This is one of the most crucial and rewarding parts of problem-solving.

With coding, students can test solutions to make sure they work. Few other problem-solving experiences offer this benefit. When all else fails, they improve their Google research skills while seeking solutions, and who wouldn’t benefit from being better at independent research?

5. Coding projects help kids develop resilience

The ability to cope with failure is a vital life skill. Through coding, kids learn that failure is a stepping stone, not an ending. Recovering from a misstep happens quickly with coding. The process is less frustrating because students can try several solutions quickly. This makes it much easier to develop resilience without feeling overwhelmed.

Even just an hour of code a day through hands-on coding projects can teach kids the importance of persistence and resilience.

6. Coding makes learning fun

kids-learning-coding-and-having-fun

Computer programming projects give exciting results, that you can see right in front of your eyes. Your student can build stand-alone projects like Tic Tac Toe, an animated animal face drawing, or even their own video game design from their imagination.

They can also bring their coding skills into their current favorite toys and games. Minecraft add-ons are an amazing example. Kids can use code to enhance activities that they already know and love!

7. Coding is a social activity

Remember all those coding projects we already talked about? Your student can also show off what they built to their friends! Sharing how they built their favorite game reinforces what they have learned and improves their confidence. When your student shows off that new Minecraft add-on or video game they built, their friends are sure to be impressed.

And there’s another way to turn coding into a social activity: Hackathons for kids. These virtual competitions give kids a chance to work on collaborative problem-solving and building with a goal in mind. It’s hard to find better preparation for teamwork skills in school or work!

8. Coding prepares students for the careers of the future

An adult working on a holographic screen, showing how computer science helps kids in future careers

Finally, we can’t end this list without mentioning careers. Coding skills are indicators of digital literacy — a necessity in this digital age! Nearly 50% of all jobs require some coding skills.

Of course, these skills are especially crucial for coding and computer science careers. Further, coders are proven problem solvers and logical thinkers, skills that are valuable in any career field.

Ready to get started learning code?

Individually, each of these is a strong reason for your student to learn coding. When combined, they make coding one of the most valuable skills for young kids in the 21st century!

Finding resources to help kids become computer programmers used to be hard. Over the past several years, the advent of online courses and guided coding projects has made the process much easier.

A Juni Instructor teaching Scratch.

A Juni Instructor teaches Scratch to a student.

Juni Learning is here to help as well. We offer a range of private and group online coding courses for kids ages 8-18 that gives students solid foundations in computer science, logical thinking, and even creative subjects like website design. Every student is matched with an expert instructor who’ll be their personal guide into the world of coding.

Check out our coding curriculum or contact our admissions team to jump-start your student’s future today!

This article originally appeared on junilearning.com.

2020 Holidays, Children's Books, Education

A List of Children Books that Start Honest Conversations about Life Topics

A List of Children Books that Start Honest Conversations about Life Topics

Parenting is hard…like we are winging things quite a bit, hard. Then we not only just need to keep the kids fed and alive we have to act like we know how to navigate tough topics. If you are to have a conversation with your children tonight about their self image, about a recent death of a loved one or even about racism would you know how to have that discussion?

Lost? Let me help, you can start to have honest conversations about life topics with one of the 27 titles from A Kids Book About.

Take these 2 topics above, Optimism and Mindfulness. The are tough topics to discuss and to make sure you don’t confuse them or send a wrong message. You want your child to be happy and choose optimism, but what if you leave them feeling like they should never feel a negative emotion?

You want your child to be confident and know who they are, but what if your word choices leave them feeling inadequate if they don’t become a perfect person. A Kids Book About will be your ‘bible’ to the healthy conversation in the next stages of their lives with some books for ages as young as 5.

They are brilliant! I first read Mindfulness and fell in love with this book a few times from start to finish. I first melted when I read, “…You are Not Your Thoughts…You are not he things you worry about…” then I kept reading and melted again when I read, “…the only thing that is actually real is NOW (as he talks about living in the now)”. But when I thought this book was about to end he introduced my favorite word of all and how to embrace it and that word is: Breath. He reminds your child how and why to breath. I love it!

Let me list the 27 Book titles you can order from A Kids Book About:

  1. Racism (the very first book)
  2. Optimism
  3. Mindfulness
  4. Systemic Racism
  5. White Privilege
  6. Empathy
  7. Anxiety
  8. Bullying
  9. Change
  10. Money
  11. Failure
  12. Emotions
  13. Gratitude
  14. Shame
  15. Feminism
  16. Disabilities
  17. Belonging
  18. Voting
  19. Cancer
  20. Creativity
  21. Death
  22. Adventure
  23. Divorce
  24. Body Image
  25. God
  26. Depression
  27. COVID-19

To get to know these titles better, visit A Kids Book About. You can also find these titles on Amazon. These books are fantastic gift items this season.

2020 Holidays, Education, STEM Learning, Toy Reviews

Smarty JOJO Toy teaches directions, shapes, colors and opposites with Play

Smarty JOJO Toy teaches directions, shapes, colors and opposites with Play

Smarty JOJO!™ is not just smart, he is interactive. Smarty JOJO toy teaches directions, shapes, colors and opposites with play. Flycatcher is an early UK company that offers innovative tech toys that are brilliant. Available in the US on Amazon is this genius toy plane with personality (if there is a toy out there that has its own personality, JOJO is it)! He retails for under $25 and I still can hardly believe its price point is that low for what he offers in play.

The question I had after learning about Smarty JOJO is how well he actually performs in person so I was able to give him a try. I do not have any preschoolers at home. I do watch my 12 month old nephew – too young for this but he was highly intrigued by his voice and fun design. He carried it all around with him. But I was the one who played with Smarty JOJO for his features and any child from 3-5 will have instant friend with JOJO.

Let me list his awesome features for you

  • Identifies colors
  • Speaks English and Spanish
  • Encourages physical play with its motion sensors. The more your child moves with JOJO the more fun he offers
  • Fun missions teach directions, shapes, opposites, and emotional intelligence: Right & Left, Up & Down, Fast & Slow to name a few
  • Follow a task correctly and JOJO’s lights flash as he states you are correct

Kids learn as they play. For instance, when JOJO is asking your child to “go left” or “go right” there is a small light on each wing that will light up so they know which direction is right/left. When asked to go “land on a color” he will flash lights and give a congratulatory command to indicate you are correct.

He will surely be a hit over the Holidays. Smarty JOJO is likely to remain my favorite recommendation for ages 3-5 for the 2020 Holidays! Find Smarty JOJO and other Flycatcher products on Amazon. Another Flycatcher hit in our home for the older sibling (ages 5-99) is the smART Sketcher! Learn more at Flycatcher Toys!

Smarty JOJO Pin