In the great tradition of “list-cicle” articles, here are our top resources to learn how to code
Like tennis, swimming or soccer, coding is a journey that starts with the first step.
Our journey into programming started with Philip Bierhoff’s classes at the Blue Ash Rec Center here in Cincinnati. His company, Junior Tech Academy, introduced us to Scratch Programming, and Minecraft modding. This was a ten week, one hour per week class. If you ask your parents, for sure they will find something similar in your city.
Our parents also signed us up for a Udemy course that teaches how to create a game in Java Script (the course was ten dollars), and from there we started exploring on our own.
This website was created with WordPress, which was another good skill to learn. We learned WordPress with the help from our father, and also through trial and error.
Below are resources we used. Keep in mind that we are in the second and third grade. Most of these sites have a “beginner” part, and then resources pointing to where to take your coding skills.
- 1. Code.org is a great place to start learning. This is quality site, supported by generous donors including Microsoft, Facebook, the Infosys Foundation, Google, Omidyar Network (the founder of eBay) and some others. There are four 20 hour courses.Code.org was launched in 2013 to advocate for wider access to computer science learning in schools. In addition to their advocacy efforts, Code.org has posted several useful lessons that are great.Aside from popular lessons like K-8 Introduction to Computer Science, there are links to informative tutorials from a variety of sources.
- Computing Lessons on Khan Academy: We use Khan Academy’s courses for math, geography and history. Khan has also several coding classes for kids. From learning the basics of computer programming and animation, to more complex computer science subjects, these lessons are good intros for curious kids. When you’re ready to get started, check out: Teaching Kids Programming with Khan Academy by Patrick Reagan.
- Programming Tutorials From Made With Code by Google: Google’s Made With Code project has a mission of encouraging girls to pursue careers in computer science. Now, we are not girld, but the site is good, and we decided to check it out even if we are not the intended audience. Hope the Google folks did not mind. The Made With Code projects are easy to follow, even for us, in second and third grade. There’s something for both intermediate and beginning coders. Plus, there are even more tutorials in the Resources section with new pages being added frequently.
- Resources for Parents From MIT Media Lab’s Scratch Team: Scratch is one of the most popular coding tools for kids like us, and it’s designed to help students with little to no coding experience experience programming. The software lets kids create animations and stories with building blocks that mimic the structure of computer code. Luckily, the team behind the software has made it easy for beginners like us. There’s a good web-based beginners’ guide that will help you get started, or you can download a PDF version.
- Tynker’s Hour of Code Free Activities: Tynker is a fun, intuitive suite of games that make it easy to learn basic “computational thinking and programming skills.” Their Hour of Code feature is a great starting point for jumping into all that the site has to offer. Plus, be sure to point your parents to the Parents section for ideas and tips to get started.
Other resources and Coding Organizations for Kids like us
We are fortunate to be surrounded by “coding parents”, however if your parent is not one of these, it can be difficult to know where to begin. Fortunately, there are a variety of organizations committed to teaching us programming skills. These organizations offer opportunities and resources for getting your children involved:
Hope you found this helpful.
Christopher and Alexander