ABC of Programming for childrenby QArea Expert on April 30, 2012
In our century of computer technologies development and distribution it seems to be hardly possible to live without at least some knowledge about these clever iron machines and those who possess more knowledge are in more beneficial position concerning all life spheres. Taking this fact into consideration it is quite obvious that the thoughts about giving your kid at least basic computer knowledge appeared in your head. The problem is what things can be explained to a little human being who cannot even concentrate his attention on something more than half a minute? What to begin with and in what form should this knowledge be presented?
The first and the most important notion than should be always remembered by a tutor is that the topic must be interesting for a child otherwise it is absolutely useless to force him to accept this knowledge and invent some ways and methods of explanation. In other words if long time ago you dreamed about being a developer, it does not mean than your child would share your dream and ambitions. Still there are some useful points that will definitely help you to solve the problem of teaching your kid at least basic computer points.
For 6-9 years old
You can make use of a special product created by Lifelong Kindergarten Group at MIT, called Scratch, which was created precisely to provide children with basic knowledge about the computer and its applications and which completely overcame its competitors such as Alice, Logo, Squeak and Gamemaker. Scratch is focused on designing applications and using simple methodology, basic programming concepts which are applied in a pleasant environment where children can communicate with each other. However, it should be mentioned that this simplicity and game approach are sometimes deceptive as serious notions and schemes are illustrated. It is a good way of studying as your child can get a support from his mates and get accustomed to a group work.
For 10-14 years old
For the current age there also exists a special project called Phrogram that was created on the base of KPL (Kids Programming Language) and is focused on programming applications. Phrogram gives good opportunities for further programming learning and is designed in such a way that it successfully helps to keep the child’s interest and attention that is critically important. This method has only one drawback as it is not free. Although the price is not at all expensive and can be easily afforded to pay. If the cost still present a serious issue, one can use Greenfoot, a set of game-building tasks based on Java.
For 15 years old
This age gives a wide opportunity for studying software development because serious materials can be given to a student who is already motivated in obtaining knowledge. For instance, programming languages as C, C++, Python, Java and alike can be explained. It is recommendable to choose a language the tutor is the most familiar with to be able to explain everything thoroughly and be able to answer all the questions asked.
It is worth being reminded that the choice of a language or application to study should depend on student’s preferences mostly. Despite choosing the most popular at present notion, the time will be completely wasted unless the kid is engaged into the topic and likes the process of studying. Be creative, patient and understanding.