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Wisdom Vine

Can Coding Unlock the Genius in Your Kid?

If you are worried about the increased screen time your kids are getting, especially over the global lockdown, then there’s good news for you. While we must all have some amount of digital literacy to lead a successful life, it turns out that there is more for kids to do than passive data consumption. Coding or learning a programming language can open up plenty of avenues for your child, and may even help in unleashing the hidden genius in them!

 Contrary to what many parents might believe, kids who begin to code at an early age often turn out to be quite the leaders in their own domains as they grow up.

In fact, there are coding systems that children as young as eight would be able to grasp; and it won’t be long before they are able to master the basic concepts.

Let’s take a look at where coding stands in today’s world.

How’s the current coding scene?

  • A World Economic Forum report on the future of work lists knowledge of programming languages or coding as one of the key employable skills for the future.
  • Coding might help bridge the gender gap in STEM studies with first-grade girls showing increased motivation through programming languages, a study from the Journal of Experimental Psychology reports.
  • Coding is fast becoming a new literacy, just as important as learning to read, write, and solve mathematical problems.
  • A study by Change the Equation shows that 54% of students enjoy computer science and programming, right after visual and performing arts and design subjects.

There’s more to coding than you may initially give it credit for.

Can coding make your kid a genius?

Coding brings out the best of academic, universal, and future-ready skills in your child. Put simply, it means that along with improving in STEM subjects in class, they will also be prepared for the future with tech-savvy skills as well universal skills like teamwork and patience. Read on for a further break down on this.

If your kid is learning to code, the chances are that they are honing the following kinds of skills from a young age.

Problem-solving skills

Chefs break down a complex recipe into stages, mechanics pull apart a car or appliance into parts and scientists divide the research into steps leading to empiricism. Coding follows a similar path. Coders get to break down a problem and look at it from various angles before arriving at a solution with necessary tweaking in their codes. Young minds can thus hone problem-solving skill through coding alright.

Computational skills

Along with cognitive skills, coding helps kids sharpen their computational skills as well. Through coding, kids learn to recognise patterns and present them logically as problems. Coding helps the young learners create the necessary steps to come up with solutions to those problems. And that, in turn, creates the trail of logic and rational thinking that leads to developing computational skills.

Creative skills

As kids grow up in a world of constant consumption of technology, it is important that they learn to take a step back and reflect on it as well. Scientists and psychologists all over the world agree that play is one of the best ways that kids can learn faster. And with programming languages like Scratch, kids can readily unleash their out-of-the-box thinking. Coding nurtures creativity in children, letting imagination run free.

Communication & collaborative skills

When you learn a new language, you can use it to express yourself. The same goes for coding. Programming languages can help kids learn to communicate. They begin by doing so for the easiest audience to please: the computers. Successfully establishing a two-way communication through code can provide the confidence boost kids so rightly deserve. On top of that, since coding provides opportunities for teamwork with peers, kids pick up collaborative skills along the way as well.

Patience and perseverance skills

Remember how many attempts it took for you to ride a bicycle, drive or swim? It’s the same with coding. Tackling complex coding problems and handling them along the way can be a challenge for kids. Creating the perfect code takes time, and it takes more than one attempt to get it right. If the code does not run, they must inspect why it is not working, what could have gone wrong, and how they can fix the issue. Kids who code thus also learn the importance of persistence and patience.

Is coding the key to the future?

Remember what the World Economic Forum had to say about computer programming emerging as the fastest-growing job sector of the future? Looks like other employment stats and trends also agree. What’s more, with around 70% jobs in the future from computing, only 8% schools are equipped to deal with the high demand of skilled coders. Top that with the various skills coding can hone in your child’s inner genius and you are one step into the future already!

There has been no better time to learn to code. Make that informed decision; help unlock a genius in your kid through coding!

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Wisdom Vine

Parents, Homework & The Fun Way Out

If you were asked about the first feeling that comes to your mind when you hear, “Homework”, what would you say?

Dread? Fear? Panic? Unsettling worry? Anxiety?

Kids (and parents alike) from all over the world don’t want to do anything with homework. In fact, making your kid eat up leafy greens at mealtimes is often easier than getting them to finish their homework.

And not surprisingly, studies reveal there’s no love lost between students and homework worldwide.

How Bad Is It Actually?

Homework and lack of sleep:

A study by Better Sleep Council, among others, reports drastic influences of pending homework assignments on the sleep schedules of students. It also states that those who maintain a proper sleep schedule are more likely to do well in studies than those who stay up late, even to finish homework.

Question to think over: Is your kid clocking in enough hours of sleep?

Homework as a primary stressor in students:

Some of the biggest factors inducing early onset of stress in kids is homework and deadlines, as studies reveal. Psychologists from all over the globe report homework and grades among the two leading causes of stress in students.

Question to think over: Does your kid stress over homework?

Homework and the alarming rise in student suicides:

The National Crime Records Bureau reports that every hour, a student passes away to suicide in the country. While this may be an uncomfortable conversation, it is becoming increasingly important to gradually open up about the all-around mental wellness of your kids.

Question to think over: Are grades and homework really worth ruining your kids’ mental health?

Is Homework Evolving?

But homework does not have to make you feel that way. The times, they are a’changing. And slowly but surely, the homework scene from around the world is evolving alright.

Homework in post-Covid world:

Schools all over the globe are looking to decrease homework burden on kids in the post-pandemic world. Sure, the education sector stumbled a little at the beginning of lockdown impositions, but new-age technology and remote learning has picked up the pieces alright. In the light of these hands-on learning approaches, homework is all set to be quite different from as we know it.

When homework made dreams come true:

In this heart-warming true story, it was a normal evening for Victor Cordoba. Coming from the poorest areas in the Moche district in Peru, Victor usually completed his homework sitting on the kerb under the streetlamp as his home did not have electricity. Yaqoob Mubarak, a businessman travelling to Peru, spotted the boy and was moved by his dedication for studies. Mubarak, one who had a similar childhood, has built a two-storey house for Victor and his family so that he can continue his studies uninterrupted.

High-tech learning curve for low-tech schools:

Closer home, our country is gradually waking up to the idea of technology and its multifaceted implications on education. From learning apps to online tutor helplines, edtech is making a splash to revive future-ready education in India. Kids are expected to be more involved in immersive technology both inside and outside of classrooms. And that means more good news for homework!

So, How Can You Help?

Check out this video for quick tips to make homework fun for your kids!

Setting unusual tasks for homework:

Take a page out of this Irish school’s book that assigned random acts of kindness as homework. Encourage your kid to learn beyond the textbooks. Let them help you with household chores, reach out to the elderly people in your neighbourhood, take care of plants at home, go on a quick cleaning drive in the locality and so on.

Making the most of homework:

A Stanford study reveals strategic use of resources may help in doing well in homework assignments. All you have to do is find out what works best for your kid. Are they more attentive in after-school hours or do they like to focus on their homework in the mornings? Instil a habit of keeping a checklist or quick notes handy. Help them make the most of their homework assignments.

Improvising homework for enhanced engagement:

Tap in to the innate imaginative side of your kid. Help make homework fun by coming up with quirky ideas for homework. For example, penning a DIY sonnet for English, going for a walk in the park for science and helping you measure ingredients in the kitchen for mathematics can be a few fun ways to help them enjoy doing homework.

Embracing the holistic homework experience:

Finally, treat homework as a part of life that needs to be embraced. Set aside specific tutoring time, reach out to experts or peer groups online, and sign up for interactive lessons and homework coaching. If you are working from home, create a dedicated study space close to your workstation to set the right mood and help them feel like they’re doing something worthwhile.

These are just a few ways that you can try to diminish some of the dread associated with homework. Let us know how you help in making homework fun for your kid in the comments. Watch this space for more resources and fun facts about making learning fun!