Going Beyond Hour of Code: A Non-Coding Parent’s Guide

(c) Copyright Jules Sherred
(c) Copyright Jules Sherred

If your kids were like many others last week, they took part in Hour of Code. They got a taste for what it is like to program. If you are lucky, they want more. If you don’t program, or even if you do, you might not know where to start. I have good news for you. You can expand your child’s programming education, and even learn it yourself, with a little help from code.org.

Code.org does Hour of Code each year, which have reached 321,310,736 students as of this writing. Not only do they create new content for Hour of Code each year, but they have also gathered options across the web for you to use. This is a great introduction, which I referenced when bringing Hour of Code into my daughter’s class last year.

If you were like me, after doing an hour of code, you wanted to do more. This year, I am using code.org to bring more to my daughter, and to her class. You can do this as well, here is how:

Learn to code with your kids with these easy steps.
(c) Copyright Jules Sherred

Step 1: Become a Code.org Teacher

Sign up for Code Studio as a teacher, and get access to the lessons for your child or children. This is great if they are home schooled, or if they do not have a good computer program in their school. If you are in the United States, you can attend a teacher workshop. If you do not have a local workshop, code.org has an online workshop as well.

Step 2: Learn to Code With Your Kids

Once you are a teacher, you can add your child and yourself to a class to learn right along with your child. The wonderful thing about code.org’s code studio is that it is designed to have the teacher learn right along with the student. It also covers something called pair programming early, which will allow you to be a student along with your child. From here, you can start with Course 1 for prereaders or Course 2 for readers with your child. Alternatively, you can do the do the unplugged lessons without a computer.

Step 3: Connect To and Get Help From Others

Once you are teaching your children, connect with other teachers on twitter by following @TeachCode, #CSforAll, and #HourofCode. From there, you will be able to find and follow many others who are making programming accessible to the masses. For Code.org specific issues, go to their forums and their support page.


Want to do even more?

Bring programming to your student’s class. Code.org provides a sample letter that you can bring to help teach. Additionally, I will be doing a write-up on bringing code to my daughter’s kindergarten class, so check back here, or follow me on Twitter to see that when I post it.

Expand to content outside of code.org. Code.org has a good list to start exploring your options. Additionally, GeekMom and GeekDad have lists of options you can review here, here, and here.

What do you say, are you ready to teach your kids code, and learn along with them? It is as easy as 1, 2, 3. Let us know what you are doing to teach your kids in the comments below.

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