Self-teaching is a route that many choose to go when it comes to learning programming. It’s often the cheapest, and there is an insurmountable amount of resources for learning programming for free online, even for kids! However, children aren’t always the best at staying disciplined, and so, it might be more helpful for them that they participate in a more structured way of learning — computer coding classes for kids.That’s just where they might thrive more. A good course will be able to teach them the theory behind programming, and provide deadlines for assignments to be in.
Not sure what the best computer coding classes for kids are? Here are some of our favorites.
Code.org is a non-profit foundation that partners with local schools to teach coding. One of Code.org’s primary goals is to get kids involved in programming, and as such, they have their own independent online learning system that kids can take part in. Code.org actually has a number of different curriculum available, making it versatile for all age groups. There’s curriculum for K-5, Grades 6-12, and even University-level courses.
Code.org can serve as a source of inspiration as well, with videos on the home page showcasing some of the biggest names in the tech industry, speaking on how they originally got started in coding.
Coming in number two place on our list, CodeAcademy is another excellent place that offers courses for learning all sorts of programming language. It’s nice because you don’t have to download anything to start programming, and the lessons are written in easy to understand ways that even kids and early teens will understand. With CodeAcademy, head to the website, sign-up for an account, and start programming immediately.
It actually has a pretty unique setup — the curriculum in the left window pane, which is where all the reading will happen. After you comprehend that, the child can look at the right pane and write their code. It is free to a point, but eventually, CodeAcademy does ask for a subscription to continue your learning. This is recommended for kids 10 years or older.
Coming in third on our countdown, we have Code Combat. Code Combat was designed for older kids, but still has an interactive way of going about teaching them how to code. They’ve designed their curriculum in a way that allows students to play a game while learning Computer Science fundamentals. Code Combat is completely free to use, and there is a ton of curriculum to wade through online. You won’t ever have to pay a dime for Code Combat; however, Code Combat does have plans for schools available, where they can easily put Code Combat in the classroom and teach their students Computer Science in the local schools.
Code Avengers, like Code.org, has curriculum for all types of kids. There’s Foundational, which was designed for ages 5-11, Intermediate for ages 10-15, and Advanced, which are for ages 13-16. Kids can learn how to program with Code Avengers right on the tablet.
Scratch might comes down as last on our countdown; however, that’s because it’s more of a language than an actual course. Developed by MIT, Scratch was designed to be a young learners programming language. Scratch uses blocks to help kids learn the theory and critical thinking skills that comes with programming. Scratch can be used either on the computer or tablet.
As far as actual coding curriculum goes, MIT includes a handful of awesome getting-started tutorials for kids. If you buy into it, it comes with a bunch of Scratch flash cards so kids can learn during offline hours as well.
As you can see, there are a lot of excellent options for kids to learn programming through an online coding class. Many of these are self-paced, but many also have options for participating in class in real-time, where you’ll actually have assignment deadlines and projects to submit. We particularly like Scratch for the younger kids, as it’s done at a slower pace. CodeAcademy and Code.org are great options for the older ones, and have more developed curriculum.
Do you have a favorite coding class for kids?