At bitcubs, we believe that there are many ways to introduce coding concepts to children before they begin any type of formal instruction. We've seen children as young as 8 that have already decided that "coding isn't for them". Unfortunately, this idea often follows people into adulthood. We hope to change this perception that "coding is difficult" in children at a young age. We hope to do this by also incorporating parents into their education, and by starting at a young age. At bitcubs, we have many strong opinions on education. A few of our guiding principals and classroom rules of education are found here. As we are continually learning ourselves, this list will grow and change:
- Anyone can learn how to code with proper exposure and encouragement.
- Children need the emotional support of a teacher, that can never be replaced by a computer or software program. Read our blog on this topic, here.
Play-based learning never ends. Children learn best by playing, and even adults can benefit from a play-based approach. We lean on tools like music, movement, and block play to teach basic coding concepts. These tools provide a multi-sensory learning environment so that our curriculum can match different learning styles (ex: visual, auditory, and kinesthetic). Ironically, children often learn more about coding "off-screen" than they do "on-screen".
Children need to make mistakes. Sometimes our instincts tell us that errors are bad. The debugging process teaches us the opposite. It teaches us that there is much to be learned from our mistakes. It teaches us to evaluate what went wrong, which leads us to a solution.
- Never spoon feed the answer. When a child asks a question, we will encourage them to vocalize their thought process. This will help them to seek out answers for themselves. Our goal is to promote critical thinking.
- No homework. No tests. At bitcubs, we will never ask your child to do homework or take any tests. The bitcubs program is an enrichment program where children will learn by hands-on work. Our goal is to make coding fun so that children will look forward to doing it.
- When children are struggling with a concept, they should be gently encouraged to continue trying to learn. They will be rewarded if they are able to complete a task that was previously giving them trouble. Rewards will be given out sparingly and not in a consistent manner. We want to foster an intrinsic desire to learn.
- No cell phones during classroom time. Cell phones may be used occasionally to take photos/videos, but will not be used during class time by teachers or students. Children that bring cell phones to class will be asked to leave them with the teachers and turn all sounds off (ringer, notifications, etc).
- All of us are continually learning and improving ourselves. As educators, we are learning how children learn. At bitcubs, we will continually ask for feedback. We will ask parents for feedback on how to improve. We will ask for feedback from teachers to learn what's working and what's not.
- Learning to code is a marathon, not a sprint. At this early age, our goal is to introduce concepts so that they can build a good foundation before they take more advanced coding classes.