As adults, there is no such things as too much free time. In fact, there is barely such a thing as free time, period. For school age kids and teens though, summer break can often create idle hands…and you know what they say about those. I think the saying goes, “Idle hands will eat you out of the house and home and find whatever trouble to get into possible.” Yeah, that sounds about right.
Check out some stats from SummerLearning.org on knowledge retention over the summer months:
- All young people experience learning losses when they do not engage in educational activities during the summer. Research spanning 100 years shows that students typically score lower on standardized tests at the end of summer vacation than they do on the same tests at the beginning of the summer.
- Most students lose about two months of grade-level equivalency in mathematical computation skills over the summer months.
- Children lose more than academic knowledge over the summer. Most children—particularly children at high risk of obesity—gain weight more rapidly when they are out of school during summer break.
- Parents consistently cite summer as the most difficult time to ensure that their children have productive things to do.
This summer can be different, and we certainly hope it will be. Coding and design classes and online learning resources are sprouting up all over the nation, and we’re extremely excited! Instead of ingesting mass amounts of pizza and playing video games, your school age child can gain an extremely marketable skill, and have fun doing it.
Some parents don’t give coding classes a second thought because, for someone outside of the computer programming industry, coding can seem daunting and completely out their scope. However, a recent story of a local dad has changed many minds. Omaha resident, Burch Kealey opened some eyes when his small, home-based coding class made the news.
“To get him to jump into the homework assignments, there’s no resistance at all. As a 10-year-old … it looks like a spark has been ignited.” Read more here.
Kids as young as 8 are taking up coding classes, and we aren’t talking about “special” or “gifted” children. We’re talking about your developmentally average 8-year old child. They really can do it, we just have to give them the opportunity and empowerment to try.
CodeAcademy.com: Code Academy is free and interactive. This one is geared more toward older, maybe teenage students and above, but would still be ideal for younger children who have reached the end of their “kiddy” coding classed.
OmahaCodeSchool.com: This is a local, 12-week program that has made national news. The Omaha Code School has pumped out some great coders. It’s pricey, but it’s proven! This one is also geared toward high schoolers and above.
KidsCanCode.org: As the name would suggest, this one is geared toward the younger kiddos. You can sign up for classes, or just use the site for the great resources and educational videos.
CodingDojo.com: Coding Dojo offers on-site boot camps at their campus, or remote boot camps online. This one is geared more toward college age kids and adults. While they offer differing levels of code education, the programs are pretty rigorous.
You can also always do local searches that will sometimes pull up free, kid friendly coding classes near you. Computers are cheaper and more powerful than they’ve ever been, making a coding education accessible to nearly everyone. Consider taking advantage of this opportunity as a family, or for your kids. It’s a fun and productive way to spend some time over the summer. There are as many as 90 days in a summer break, how will you and your child use them?