How to Improve Kids Soft Skills with Coding
It’s no longer a surprise for parents to hear that computer science courses are beneficial for their kids. In fact, it is well established that computer science skills are necessary for this generation to succeed in the future. Much has already been said about the academic benefits; however, computer science classes will be beneficial to your child’s future for other reasons.
In today’s workplace, your soft skills matter just as much as your academic skills. Think of it this way – just because you have a perfect academic record does not mean you know how to relate to others. And, when it comes to job interviews or career progression, people skills are a must.
Steve Jobs famously said, “Everyone should learn how to program a computer because it teaches you how to think.” This is why computer science courses and coding classes are important for kids. While everyone immediately jumps to the academic benefits of such classes, we often overlook the myriad of soft skills these types of classes teach our kids.
What are Soft Skills?
Essentially, soft skills are the skills we develop to help us interact with others. ChildTrends defines soft skills as “a broad set of skills, competencies, behaviors, attitudes, and personal qualities that enable people to effectively navigate their environment, work well with others, perform well, and achieve their goals.” For example, the following are considered soft skills:
- Content mastery (how one finds and interprets information)
- Critical thinking
- Higher order thinking (logic, sequencing, critical thinking, problem-solving, etc.)
- Positive self-image
Most often, soft skill development begins at home and is reinforced in the preschool years when children learn to play with one another. However, as their age progresses, more emphasis in the classroom is placed on academic skills rather than these soft skills.
But, as the world of academics and technology changes, the need for soft skills training is back on the rise. In Ready to soar: The six soft skills your child needs to succeed in life, the author explains, “Instead of training children to spit out facts, […] we should leave that to the computers. They are better at it than we could ever be. As parents and educators, we should focus on teaching children soft skills […].”
The Good News – your kids can develop these soft skills necessary for the real world in code camps where they imagine and create games or animations, connect circuits, or program robots. When students learn how to program games or robots or animations, they are also programming their brains to think differently – and for the better.
How Computer Coding Teaches Kids Higher Order Thinking Skills
Computer coding classes teach kids problem-solving skills. Coding is not a one-step and done assignment. It involves multiple steps, and there will be many problems along the way. During the problem-solving process, kids will use higher order thinking skills to find a solution. For instance, kids will learn the importance of breaking down a problem into steps. Understanding the importance of seeing the problem from a logical sequence will benefit them throughout their lives in many other areas. Additionally, they will build decision-making skills as they work their way through various problems.
How Computer Coding Teaches Kids to Collaborate
Unfortunately, many people think coding is a solo activity. This is untrue! Coding classes involve a significant amount of collaboration with fellow students. Students work together on projects and learn to work as a team. This type of collaborative problem solving is a skill that they will need as they enter the workforce.
How Computer Coding Teaches Kids to Communicate
In addition to communicating with their peers and developing social skills in the process, computer coding also teaches kids how to communicate ideas. Kids will learn how to communicate processes and present their findings. Plus, coding involves logic and order, which are both necessary for organizing one’s thoughts clearly.
How Computer Coding Helps Kids Build Confidence
This may be surprising to you, but computer coding helps kids build confidence and develop a positive self-image. The challenges kids face in coding courses will not weaken their belief in themselves. Instead, they will help them learn to persevere and take pride in themselves when they overcome. As The Inquirer describes, “Positive self-concept, we know, does not come from repeated unconditional positive praise. It comes from struggling with something the child finds difficult and then eventually succeeding.”
When kids enroll in computer coding classes or camps at places like TechVenture Kids, they will have a safe place to face these challenges. Their instructors give them room for creativity while guiding them on the side, give them the instruction they need to learn and grow.
Even if kids do not grow up to be computer programmers, computer science skills are a must to navigate the future, and the soft skills learned along the way will give them that extra support to for success in their future relationships and careers.