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3 ways coding teaches problem-solving to kids

Parents across the world are keen on enrolling their children in online coding classes. ‘Coding for kids’ gained momentum during the global COVID-19 lockdown when most of the parents wanted to ensure their child doesn’t miss out on any learning. 

Given the increasing dependency of our daily lives on technology, the growing trend of ‘coding for kids’ is not surprising. Coding is no longer a skill that only those interested should learn. People who know to code definitely have an edge in this technology-driven world. Also, even if your child is not keen on having a technology-based career, they will gain some important life skills such as problem-solving if they start learning to code as kids 

So what is problem-solving and why is it important?

Problem-solving is the act of defining a problem; determining the cause of the problem; identifying, prioritizing, and selecting alternatives for a solution; and implementing a solution. One of the simplest and enduring definitions of problem-solving was given by the Hungarian mathematician, George Pólya, in his acclaimed work “How to Solve It”.

Pólya suggests the following steps when solving a mathematical problem:

  1. First, understand the problem
  2. After understanding, make a plan
  3. Carry out the plan
  4. Look back on your work. Think how could it be better?

If this technique doesn’t work out, Pólya advises:

“If you can’t solve a problem, then there is an easier problem you can solve: find it.” 

This classical definition of problem-solving is the soul of coding practice. Problem-solving is important in the development of a child because it gives them confidence in their ability to handle complex tasks. Confident and capable children usually grow into confident and capable adults ready to tackle any challenge life may throw at them!

Let’s take a look at how coding enhances children’s problem-solving skills:

1. Coding teaches a structured way of looking at problems

The key to solving any problem is to break it down into smaller manageable parts and to deal with each part one at a time. This is the classic ‘divide and conquer’ strategy which can be harnessed successfully to solve any problem at hand.

Today many online coding classes offer a free trial to prospective customers. You can also find multiple free resources on the internet that focus on coding for kids. Exploring these options can be a good starting point for your child. However, if your child is studying in a LEAD Powered School, they can benefit from the Coding and Computational Skills program (CCS) by LEAD. Students enrolled in the LEAD CCS programming class learn coding by working on small coding tasks and these small tasks then are consolidated into a larger project. For example, in their programming class, they create 5 to 6 coding blocks which when combined create a fully functional website. This gives students hands-on practice into tackling one problem after the other to arrive at the end result.

 Coding encourages children to think out of the box

Thinking out of the box is the most important trait required for solving real-world problems. And who can think more out of the box than kids? Kids naturally have creative and fluid minds that allow them to think unconventionally. The practice of coding reinforces this trait in kids. The numerous ways in which a code can be written to solve the same problem inspire kids to think unconventionally from a very young age.

Unfortunately, the majority of the online coding classes, focus on either teaching multiple coding languages to students or simply teaching a block-based approach without focussing on the core logical part of coding. The CCS programming class at LEAD, however, actively encourages such out-of-the-box problem-solving strategies by purposeful activities that enhance children’s creativity.

Building resilience

Problem-solving is not a one-shot affair. Solving real-world problems requires consistent engagement and effort. Coding teaches patience to kids as nothing else does. Most real-world problems require multiple attempts to get even close to a solution. This requires one to have a very resilient character that can help one move forward every day, no matter how small the progress may be.

The CCS programming class at LEAD actively encourages students to revisit their work over and over till they make a breakthrough in solving the problem. Unlike most online coding classes, the program at LEAD gives children an ample amount of time to strengthen their coding foundation. This teaches them the value of patience in problem-solving and helps them become more resilient and determined.

There are many coding apps and resources available for free on the internet. Most of these resources have a lot of coding exercises that kids can start attempting on their own. For a more structured approach to learning coding and helping your child fall in love with the subject, find a LEAD Powered School near you!

LEAD is helping children become future-ready. To enrol your child in a LEAD Powered School: Partner with us today

About the author

Sai Teja is the Team Lead for Inside Sales at LEAD. As a LEAD Consultant, he guides schools to run their operations seamlessly, implement best practices that make a school 100% Complete and ensure uninterrupted learning for every child. Sai comes with diversified experience in Retail, Recruitment & SaaS Industries. He has an MBA Degree in Marketing & International Business from IFIM Business School, Bangalore.

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