The Arduino coding kit is extremely useful for educational purposes. It keeps my children engaged and interested and requires that they read in order to complete the project and inevitably, learn and play at the same time.
It is like a cool learning toy that kids can literally hold in their hands while developing valuable coding skills.
My 9 year old son has been learning with the Arduino kit ever since we got it for him. He has completed twelve the lessons so far and to date has not lost interest.
I have learned that there are a variety of different programs to teach my children coding. Sometimes my children immediately grasp on to the teaching methods, other times they do not.
Rather than push them to the point of disinterest, I find an app, program or website that has or expounds upon the fundamentals of coding and introduce it to them as something new.
The following is a list of websites and toys that I have tried with my children including pricing, whether free or paid.
At the moment, the Arduino kit is taking all of my sons attention. The good thing is all of the above listed resources we have tried have in one way or another complimented his learning experience with coding.
With the Arduino kit, I downloaded the software on a laptop, gave him the basic instructions and he could immediately started putting the project together and writing code.
The fact that he is learning computer coding, which is not an easy thing to do for most people, while completing these micro projects is amazing to me. Basically he reads the lesson, takes the parts that came with the kit and puts them together as instructed. Then writes and debugs the executable code that coincides with the project.
Once he is done with the project, the kit will produce an end result that is really exciting. He has accomplished or completed several projects almost entirely on his own. No paid tutoring. No assistance. This kit is basically just “read, try, do” for him.
Of the few projects where he got stump, we were able to find instructions online or on YouTube that I was able to screen before he watched them for guidance.
I don’t mind him watching video examples because he uses it as a gauge to see what the final outcome should look like. In the future I hope he will be able to build more complicated Arduino projects.
In particular he has been taking a strong liking to various types of drones. Flying drones, underwater drones, different types of drones. All very useful to learn about and hopefully nurture this interest.
Any tool or utility I can use to give any of my children more exposure to learning new things is a good thing to me. I will do whatever I have to do to help expound upon this inquisitive nature.
In the long run, it would be great if my children will be able to contribute to the science technology engineering and mechanics market of today society.
As a father I feel it is my duty to ensure that he has the opportunity to pursue his interest if need be. Rather than force him to do something that he does not want to or will only do reluctantly. That is just the philosophy I subscribe to.
With my strategy I can see him making progress and learning without feeling pressured to learn. I understand that people learn differently in general. When a person is actively engaged in something they find interesting, they are more likely to retain the information.
Removing the pressure to complete a lesson by a certain time, pass or fail grade just seems to compliment the learning experience overall. When I incorporate an element of fun into teaching my children, I notice all of enjoy the learning experience.
Sort of like the concept of playing a game that requires a lot of physical activity into your workout. If you are having fun, you wont see it as exercise and you end up reaping the benefit of the activity health wise.
I want my children to have fun while learning at the same time. For me, the lessons learning in those moments seem to have the greatest impact.
In my experience, this teaching method is more effective than trying to ram the lesson into their mind or a telling them that they must pass an exam or complete it by a certain time.
If your kids are similar to mine, distracted easily, super energetic, difficulty maintaining focus. Then this type of teach method is probably something and you could benefit from.
Utilize various resources of learning is critical when teaching my children.
Throughout each step of the Arduino lesson sometimes the information is absorbed and retained other times it must be repeated and re-entered. Understanding that this is how some children learn, it is just a process of adjusting to their learning habits and modifying as we go.
Even if your child is in school there are still ways you can teach them and help them with learning to code. Or just empowering them with the knowledge to be successful in whatever they choose to do in life.
For example with the Arduino I found the best possible source of information I could find, which is their website. I then downloaded and installed their software and try to ensure that my son always has access to it.
I also try to ensure that I stop what I am doing, and go over any projects my son needs help with or just wants to impress me with.
Here is there website: Arduino.cc
Additionally, I saved the Arduino website into his browser homepage so he can always have a baseline to go back to for reliable information. Just in case he gets distracted by another website during project research.
Every child’s learning path is child is different, I get that. This is just one method that has worked for me. I encourage you to try different techniques and mechanism and share what works for you and what does not work for you.
Break the Monotany
Trying not to get stuck in one mode of teaching and implementing the philosophy of keep what works for you and throw away the rest into my strategy is what works best for me.
My hope is that I will give my children as much information as I can. If they learn it great, if they do not then at least they will have fun during the process.
If one day they have an “A ha!” moment moment where they realize that they learned something I will take joy in that moment and watch them shine.
It can be difficult to find the absolute best ways to teach a child. I know for sure that my children learn by watching and doing. I can see that every day.
Yet. they also learn in other ways as well. The same as with adult learners who everyone learns differently so I have learned to adapt, introducing new teaching strategies with my children.
For example, my middle son is a builder learner. He loves to build and create. He learns best by hold things in his hands so I implement Legos into my lessons with him.
From the simplest lessons about shapes to more complex lessons about perimeters and circumference. I try to use Legos as much as possible to keep his interest. Incorporating legos into a coding curriculum takes the pressure out of it as well. Fortunately Arduino has Lego projects as well.
I know that I have wasted a lot of time in teaching the hard way investing into things that are not as important as my child. There are things that everyone regrets in life.
But rather than holding back based upon the regret I move forward and keep trying to find what works.
The key is to implement consistency into your lessons. It will not always be easy, but if you try to make it fun it will help with pushing through the difficult periods.
Whether you are home schooling emulating the daily class structure of school or just looking for an educational hobby to start with your child. The Arduino coding kit is a great weapon to implement in the FatherVerse.