Modern children start using computers early. Watching cartoons, looking for information, chatting with friends. They also do homework and learn new stuff. Therefore, they must be taught to communicate with electronics. But just what exactly and when to start doing it?
In computer science lessons, millennials learned how to type, mastered Microsoft Windows (at best, Basic), and played Super Mario. Today computers for children are as natural as refrigerators. How to help your child get comfortable in the digital world and get the most out of his constant updates? Let’s get to it.
· 3-5 years
Suitable age to familiarize the child with the computer. By the age of three, children develop muscular control over the fine motor skills of their hands. In other words, they can already notice the connection between keyboard and mouse controls and changes on the screen. At this age, they can even learn simple programs.
· 5-7 years
Children of older preschool age can receive information only from their own experience, information from other people is not so significant for them and often is not considered as a source of truth. Besides, children still cannot perceive individual details, so they write and read very slowly (for example, the page of a book for them is an indivisible object). It is difficult for them to make judgments and conclusions. They would cope with using a computer to create a blog but if you ask them to write an article on how to avoid awkward first dates, they would, obviously, not get you.
If you ask the child what to sew the shirt from paper, fabric, birch bark, polystyrene foam, or rubber – it will choose the fabric, but it can hardly explain why it answered that way. At the age of 5–7 years, a child cannot even be taught the basics of algorithmization (for example, write an algorithm for calculating the expression y = 2a – (x + 6) or describe an algorithm for completing homework in mathematics). Therefore, it is better to start programming training from the age of eight and not earlier.
Enroll your child in courses on early speech development or mental arithmetic. An excellent solution would be to focus on soft skills and develop a creative direction: sports sections, art or music school.
· 8–9 years old
At this age, the degree of egocentrism falls, the child is ready to believe the teacher’s judgments and thus comprehend the information. Syncretism (the child’s desire to accept the connection of impressions as a connection of things, for example, the moon does not fall because it lies in the sky) also disappears, and we can already understand how the simplest mechanisms work.
Psychologists distinguish between areas of proximal and actual development – skills that are formed in joint activities with other people. What a child can do on its own (for example, wear simple clothes) is already in the zone of actual development. If it still does not know how to tie shoelaces without the prompts of an adult nearby, then this skill is still in the zone of proximal development. In the classroom, the teacher creates a zone of proximal development.
So the child develops visual-figurative and heuristic thinking (when it is possible to make discoveries), it learns to solve logic problems in graphical and block form. To successfully master programming at this age, you need the basic knowledge of school mathematics: addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division into single-digit and double-digit numbers within 10,000.
· 10-11 years old
In grades 4-5, in addition to performing elementary algorithms, the child learns the syntax rules of the programming language and also starts working with branching algorithms, nested loops, variables, and procedures.
To do this, you need to develop abstract-logical thinking: work with various performers, independently enter the program code and build causal relationships in solving mathematical and logical problems. So, as a performer, we can use a computer character that can perform various actions in the virtual world: jump, run, turn and so on.
In educational tasks, it is required, for example, that children move the box. To do this, the child needs to enter the necessary commands in the program in a certain order. This develops abstract logical thinking, the child visually sees how its character moves and understands when it makes a mistake when writing commands in the program.
Children themselves are drawn to technology and everything new, so parents need to direct this interest in a useful direction. If you carefully look at the interests of the child and properly develop his skills, it can become “thereby a computer genius.”