One of the questions we get asked most frequently is about course progression. What coding course should you register your child for? What concepts are appropriate for them to be exposed to at their age? And subsequently, where can they go from here?
At Saturday Kids, we believe that there isn’t just one path towards helping kids stay curious, inventive and resourceful – so you might have noticed that we haven’t designed our courses based on a linear progression – check out our Course Progression Map below!
Navigating this landscape may not be all that straightforward, so we’ve created a little guide to help you choose a coding course your kid will love.
To start, here are a couple of factors to consider in choosing the right coding course for your child:
1. Breadth vs. Depth
With breadth, kids gain exposure to different fields and learn a little bit of everything. With depth, they gain mastery and subject expertise. So is one really better than the other?
There’s no right answer! It helps to clarify your kid’s learning objectives – are you looking to introduce your child to coding and its possibilities, or does your kid want to pursue a single language or interest area in depth? The choice is yours – or rather, their’s!
2. Theory vs. Application
Our courses are designed as a combination of concept and application. Whether it’s through the design thinking process in our new App Architects course, or through something as simple as debugging a Scratch project or a mobile app, the emphasis is always applying the concepts learnt in class. The sweet spot in learning is where theory and application meet – kids generally learn better when they can visualise what they’re trying to create. Theory is one part of it but the application is often just as important. After all, what’s the point of knowledge if you’re not going to apply it?
3. Putting This In Context
Coding is relevant and useful to the extent that it can be applied across multiple areas. Therefore, learning takes place both by learning additional concepts (depth) and applying them in different fields (breadth). Examples of concepts could include variable assignment, conditionals, iteration. Examples of different fields could include robotics & hardware, creative computing, animation, and game design.
At Saturday Kids, once kids complete the beginner courses and have the necessary pre-requisites, the possibilities open up for kids to follow their curiosity to explore different paths based on their interests. By applying foundational coding concepts in complex ways, creative application helps kids reinforce and deepen their learning.
So, what should my kid be learning at this age?
For Preschoolers (5-6 Year Olds)
Curious Cubs is a great course to introduce kids to the world of tech and how it’s present around them through creative and fun projects that aren’t just screen-based. Kids can then progress on to Tiny Techies 1 followed by Tiny Techies 2, to learn more about programming concepts.
For the 7-10 Year Olds
We recommend that kids start their journey with Start with Scratch, our most popular foundation course for beginners. With a good grasp of programming concepts, they get to choose from a variety of courses depending on their interests – ranging from robotics & hardware, creative computing, and game design.
For the 11-14 Year Olds
For the older kids, there’s Back to Basics: From Zeroes to Python Heroes, a Python foundation course with a combination of hardware & software. With basic Python knowledge, they can progress to Puzzle out with Python Programming if they have an interest in cryptography, or gets hands-on at our newest micropython course, Make with Micro:bit and Python. And finally, Python Pros!
If Python or text-based languages aren’t really your kid’s thing, there are lots of block-based options for older kids as well. Choose from our newly-revamped mobile app development course App Architects, robotics and coding with Marvelous Machines & Mechanisms, or delve into game design with Mod and Hack 3D Games with Minecraft & Kodu.
Beyond Holiday Camps
Like any other skill, coding takes practice to perfect. So while holiday camps are a great place to start, keep your kid’s enthusiasm going through our Explorer Pass drop-in sessions.
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There’s plenty for your kids to discover at Saturday Kids, and there’s no absolutely no reason why kids can’t learn and have fun at the same time. Every kid is unique and has different interests, so feel free to email us at [email protected] to have a chat about what a progression path might look like for your kid!