You may think that learning how to program a computer is not an important part of your child's education. They can learn when they are older if they decide to become a programmer. Did you know that learning how to program a computer can actually help boost your child's skill and performance in many other areas? Some of the less obvious benefits your child will receive from learning how to program are better math and writing skills, deductive reasoning, and persistence.
How Programming Boosts Writing Skills
Storytelling can be practiced directly when kids code for a story-based game. Even when working on other types of computer projects, there are a lot of overlapping skills between coding and writing. In both subjects, you have to start with a plan. You follow rules. You have plenty of room for creativity within the framework of those rules and the plan you make. When learning to code, your child will learn to pay careful attention to detail. If they forget a small detail, the program will not run. This skill carries over into writing, where they need to pay attention to details such as capitalization and punctuation. The precision needed for coding can help kids appreciate and pay attention to being precise in other subjects.
Math and Programming are Both Procedure-Based
Learning that details matter also carries over to strengthen math skills. Programming is full of multiple-step processes that must be carried out in a certain order. Math requires these same types of procedures. Although the procedures themselves may be different, the brain works from patterns, and the more times it sees that procedures must be carried out in a particular order, the faster it will learn to pay attention to what that order needs to be. Therefore, your child will be able to remember new procedural sequences from any subject they are studying more easily.
Deductive Reasoning is a Life Skill
Deductive reasoning is sometimes called top-down logic because it starts with a set of generalizations and ends with a specific case. Computer programmers often use deductive logic, starting with general rules and functions of code, to decide how each specific line of code in their program should be written. This is an important form of logic your child will be able to utilize in many areas of life.
Programming as a Path to Persistence
Because computer programs will not run correctly until the code is written perfectly, programming is a perfect opportunity for your child to practice the valuable skill of persistence. They will learn to keep editing and fixing until they get it right, which is a skill needed in every area of life.
Your child does not need to grow up to be a computer programmer in order to benefit from learning programming.1