January 19, 2016

Why Kids Should Teach Their Parents How To Code


People are always talking about how kids and students should learn to code. I agree, because coding is interesting and fun.  It allows you to make anything you want such as videogames, websites, robots, and so much more.

I like making useful websites, applications, and games.  You can see most of my projects at gregorywickham.com. Two of my favorite programming languages to use are PHP and C++.

But here is what I think is the most important reason why kids should learn to code: So they can teach their parents to code.

Kids don’t have jobs. Parents have jobs. Parents need to look impressive and to have skills that get them better and higher-paying jobs. When parents have better and higher-paying jobs, they earn more money. And when they earn more money, they can buy kids more stuff. If you like getting stuff bought for you, learn to code so that you can teach your parents to code. (And even if you don’t like getting stuff bought for you, learn it anyway because, like I said, it’s interesting and fun, and one day you’ll be an adult who needs a better and higher-paying job so you can buy your own stuff.)

You may be wondering why this is Article Zero. It is Article Zero because in programming you start counting at zero. Computers start counting at zero because they use binary, which is base-2 counting, but they show you decimal numbers, which is base-10. In both base-2 and base-10, the first digit is zero. (As far as I know, there is no number system in which zero isn’t the first digit.)

It is hard to teach adults how to code because they are sooooooo slow.  They take forever to learn things because their brains have solidified into a bad learning mode. (I think that was a stupid evolution thing.) Adults will never understand easily or quickly what you try to teach them.

Because of that, here are some tips I have for teaching your parents to code:


  1. Be patient. They will try your patience, but be patient, anyway.  Try to explain everything to them slowly and clearly. The minds of adults aren’t nearly as versatile or teachable as children’s minds.
  2. Know the programming language you are teaching them. It is easier to teach something when you know what you are teaching. There are many good free online places where you can learn different programming languages. You can find a directory at my website, Coursacado (because it is part course, part avacado). You can also find a good infographic for deciding what programming language to learn here.  Try to think about what would be most useful to your parents when using this infographic.
  3. Start with Scratch.  You don’t have to, but in my opinion, Scratch is the best programing language to introduce to beginners.  It teaches you the basics of most programming concepts, and makes it one million times easier to pick up other programming languages (that was hyperbole, of course; it is probably more like 10 time easier.).

If you want more help deciding what programming language to teach your parents, then I’ll explain what languages I like to use and what I like to use each for.

I like to use Scratch for just making something easily and quickly.

I use Java to make stand alone exe applications, and console games.  I also like to use Processing for Java because it allows you to make stand alone apps easily. For example, I made trueDraw with Java and Processing.

I use C++ for making very simple things that do a specific task such as running multiple programs in a sequence.  I also use C++ for making console games.

I like to use PHP for everything server-side.  I made most of my websites such as Coursacado, Athenian Learning, and Crime Book with PHP.

Whenever I want to make an Android app I just use App Inventor.  I try to avoid using JavaScript because it behaves differently in different browsers, and some people disable it. However I have made multiple Google Chrome extensions.

So now depending what your parents want to do, you should have a decent idea of what each language can be used for.

So now that I’ve explained why (stuff), how (slowly) and what (languages) you should teach your parents, go out and learn how to code!

Article Tags : , ,
Gregory Wickham

Gregory Wickham is a 6th grader who loves to code. Check out his projects on http://gregorywickham.com/

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.