You don't need to be a programmer or "techie" to engage your child in rich computer science learning experiences. In fact, many of the teachers who use our curriculum for the first time have never studied computer science before! Just as we encourage teachers to become "lead learners" for their students, we encourage you to do the same for your child.
While working with your child, here are some tips for how you can effectively take on the role of "lead learner" (adapted from our Computer Science Fundamentals Curriculum Guide):
Lead Learner Tips
- Allow your child time and space to figure things out on their own first.
- Don’t give the answer right away, even if you know it.
- It’s OK to not have all the answers! Feel open to making mistakes in front of your child so that they see it is part of the learning process.
- Ask your child questions that direct their attention toward the issue to investigate without giving away what they need to change.
- Model the steps you would go through as a learner of a new subject. Explain the different questions you ask yourself along the way and the ways you go about finding answers.
- If you get completely stuck, rather than allow your child to get too discouraged, try a different activity. Perhaps return to the activity that they couldn't accomplish later, once they've learned more elsewhere.
- Try out our Express course yourself, to get a feel for how Code.org courses work and learn the basics of computer science. If you get stuck, you can look up solutions to puzzles (guide here)
Looking for activities to engage your child while they are at home? Check out https://code.org/athome to browse a wide variety of beginner-friendly computer science activities.