38

Let me expand on my pithy comment above. It sounds like your son has taken an active interest in programming. I too spent "hours and hours" doing exactly the same sorts of things that it sounds like your son is doing (though I didn't have the luxury of the internet back then!). Rather than this work being a waste of time, it's actually building the ...


25

This is very dependent on the child, as are all questions of this sort, but 5-6 is certainly possible. My children, now eight and nine, were first exposed to programming in a meaningful way at around the age of 4-5. We started with simple games that are "programming lite", which basically involve the child creating a "program" either to ...


22

I'm a fan of building up a programming mindset without even needing to use a computer. One good example is the peanut-butter sandwich game. You pretend to be a robot, while the child gives you instructions which you execute with painstakingly literal precision. Child: Put the peanut butter on the bread. Parent: [puts the unopened peanut butter jar onto ...


20

The more people know about computers the later they appear to let their kids near them. This Business Insider article has a few observations and quotes: Gates, for example, didn't let his kids use cellphones until they were 14. Jobs, the inventor of the iPad, prohibited his own kids from using the tech. To safeguard their kids, tech worker parents often ...


10

"Code" is not the same as "programming". For example, my daughter played an app called Coding Safari (https://www.hopster.tv/coding-safari/) when she was about 3-4yo. That app is based around dragging and dropping instructions that a "robot" can follow. She did similar things at nursery and early years school at the same age ...


5

Part 1: let's talk about the decision process for this type of thing First you need to figure out what is your goal as a parent and what is your role in this? Who is making this decision and why? Personally we always defined our role as parents as "we want to help our children to become self-reliant and responsible adults" . That means that ...


5

My son took part in the MIT BatttleCode competition for two years in Years 10 and 12, which were the years that avoided the big exams in the UK. It was a very positive experience. Most learning problems at school or University are small and closed. This was bigger and open-ended. It was also structured to encourage teamwork, including remote collaboration. ...


5

One angle you could go for is to point out that his passion and talent for programming opens him a lot of doors for a future career in software development, and that this is a very good opportunity for him. But that his chances to make it in that field also require good grades, so all the work he puts into furthering his programming skills will be useless if ...


4

This answer doesn't have much to do with programming, but... When my daughter started learning non-trivial word problems in arithmetic (around second grade (in the US)), I started to encourage her to do them symbolically. She initially pushed back. But, by the end of that school year, she had a reasonable grasp of elementary algebra (and a confused teacher)...


4

At age 4 I was given a ZX Spectrum 48k computer and a book published by Usborne called BASIC for Beginners. From that moment on I was hooked. The next year I was given Practice Your BASIC. By age 8 we had a PC in the house, and I started trying to teach myself C using the book The C Primer. Pointers really confused me back then, and I gave up after a while ...


2

Traditional Halloween and harvest games Bobbing for apples Donut on a string eating contest. Pumpkin carving ( here is a template https://www.zombiepumpkins.com/dr-frank-n-furter-pumpkin-pattern/254/) Halloween Craft Project Activities related to the movie Rocky Horror Picture Show Trivia Costume Contest (could be a bad idea depending on the group) Pause ...


2

I was taught programming from about age 4, in my mom's lap. I learned in GW-BASIC. She did it for her job, and she worked from home, so initially it mostly entailed her thinking and writing out loud as she did her work. Apparently, it took about four months until I had my first "But why don't you -" moment, after which she gave me the (extremely ...


1

Firstly and most importantly I must agree with some of the posts below that when to begin is dependent on the child. I have done some research on "Technische Frühförderung", which somewhat insufficiently translates as early support or intervention in tech, and gave a talk on it in a kindergarden. I also did a class on Computer Science for 7, 8 year ...


1

When they show a clear interest in a deeper understanding of computers. And yes, that can very easily happen at pretty much any age. For some, it may take 3 years. For some, it may take 6 years. For many, it takes 12 years. For most, it never happens. And you should be able to accept that. Computers are really not very interesting to anyone who is not ...


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