Simple Ways You Can Prepare Your Child to Start a New School

Starting a new school can be an extremely stressful situation for a child — and it can be just as hard for parents to feel powerless to help them. At CodeREV Kids, we know that most kids will eventually transition into a new school just fine, but we’ve found some direct actions you can take that will help them along the way.

Get your child as much first-hand knowledge as possible

Much of the anxiety that comes along with starting a new school is the fear of the unknown. The more information you can give them, the better — and if you can do it in person, that’s ideal. Ask the school if you can tour it with your child. See if you can visit the classroom before or after school before the official start date. Find out if your child can meet with the teacher. Something as simple as playing on the playground can make a child feel more comfortable. When they can picture their new school, they may feel less worried.

Find ways to find friends

Of course, many kids are most afraid that they won’t find new friends at their new school. As a parent, there’s a lot you can do about this too. For example, ask the school if there are any parents willing to arrange a play date. You can also sign them up for extracurricular activities, such as coding classes. Even if the new friends they make don’t go to the same school, it will boost your child’s confidence that they’re capable of making new friends.

Buy them some cool new school supplies

Head out to your local school supply store with a list in your hand and let your child pick out the colors and styles they want. Let them pick out some cool new pens and pencils, allow them their choice of notebooks. As you’re purchasing these items, talk about the types of things they’ll use these new tools to learn. And of course, don’t forget to buy them some cool clothes for their first day of school!

Most kids starting a new school would be anxious. As a parent, you likely can’t prevent this altogether but you can help ease their minds. Keep them involved in classroom activities even if you move during a break from school and before long they’ll have play dates all over town.

How to Reinforce What Your Child Learns in a Coding Class

At CodeREV Kids, it’s been our experience that most parents want to be involved in their child’s education and extracurricular activities but they often struggle when it comes to coding for one simple reason: Many parents don’t know how to code themselves. While it would likely be worth your while to learn to do so, we understand that not every parent has the interest or time to do that. That’s why we’ve provided several ways you can help reinforce what your child has learned in their coding class.

Check up with them regularly

The easiest way to ensure that your kids are progressing is to ask them. You may not understand everything that goes on in their coding classes, but that doesn’t mean you can’t ask how they’re going. If they’re having trouble, talk them through it — and then talk to us so we can adjust their coding plan accordingly.

Keep in touch with us

Our goals are simple: To educate and inspire your child. If we’re not doing so, we want to know about it. Likewise, if you want to know how your kid is doing, just reach out to us. We’re happy to provide progress reports and to give you tips on specific ways your child may need help at home.

Have rewards and consequences

We set up our classes so that they are a reward in themselves. That said, your child may come up against something that’s particularly challenging and they may have the urge to quit instead of working through it. These are the points at which it’s important to have a simple reward for their continuing progress, such as extra time on our Minecraft server, and a simple consequence if they skip classes, don’t prepare appropriately, etc.

Encourage them to make friends in their classes

We work hard to ensure that your kids are having fun in our coding classes but of course they’re going to have a better time if they make a buddy or two. Encourage them to hang out with their new coding friends outside of class. Be willing to drive across town to facilitate a play date. The more they look forward to going to class, the better they’re likely to do.

Do you have questions about the way our classes work or how your child could benefit from them? We welcome your feedback and are always happy to answer your questions. Reach out today!

Does Your School Need Help Setting Up Coding Classes for Kids?

At CodeREV Kids, our goal is to help kids learn coding. It’s as simple as that! In some cases, the best way to do that is to incorporate coding into the classroom. We offer several coding programs for schools that can help get these programs up and running.

In-school programs

With the in-school program, we offer a trained instructor who has both coding and teaching experience to your school. The instructor will be at your school for a full day, and it can be anywhere from just one day a week to five days a week. It’s all up to each school’s preferences. The curriculum we provide is designed to be fun and to cover every step kids need to learn robotics, game development, programming, and more. Kids have a great time but our programs also help boost confidence, problem-solving skills, creativity, and more!

After-school program

Our after-school program can stand alone as a new program at your school or it can be implemented within an existing after-school program you have. All we need is a computer lab and we’ll bring the rest! This creative programs we offer encourage collaboration and teach kids about coding through hands-on activities, brainstorming sessions, and group discussions.

For these after-school programs, we’ve partnered with schools all across the state of California for kids everywhere from kindergarten to 10th grade. If you school needs an additional technology curriculum then you should give us a call! We work to utilize common care standards in our classes and can even gear programs toward science and math goals.

Customized curriculum

When it comes to customized curriculum, you call the shots. We can do anything from turnkey customization to an as-needed curriculum. Our technology teachers will come to work onsite at your school weekly and act as the main instructor of a class, or they can work in conjunction with your computer lab instructor. It’s all up to you!

On the other hand, if you’d rather just teach the programs we’ve come up with, then we’ll work with your school to find a subscription basis that works for everyone. We’ll offer our curriculum and our program, along with training with your instructors, for whatever elements of our curriculum you decide to use in your school. This allows for total customization.

If you’re interested in getting your students more involved in technology and / or coding then your next phone call should be to CodeREV Kids.

Self-Learning Vs Guidance: Which is Best for Your Child?

At CodeREV Kids, we work tirelessly to stay up to date on the latest information on the science behind how children learn. In some circles, there’s quite a bit of debate about which is better — letting a child learn on their own or guiding their learning process. We actually believe that neither is. Instead, a combined approach is most likely to work in the long term.

Consider this example

One of the best ways we can make this point is by giving you an example. Imagine that a child who’s never played golf is handed a golf club. They’re then told to spend half an hour practicing their swing. Once the half hour is over, a professional comes over and tells them what they’ve been doing wrong. It may be great that they eventually got guidance, but you must also consider that they’ve just spent thirty minutes teaching themselves the wrong way to swing a club.

There are limitations to self-learning

At CodeREV Kids, we believe the right way to handle this issue is by finding a balance. That’s why we offer coding classes that have plenty of instruction, but also give kids a chance to explore on their own. Our teachers are there not just to tell children what to do, but to inspire and challenge them. Your child will learn exactly how coding is done and will do it themselves.

Balance is easier in small groups

One of the reasons we’re able to find a balance that works for our kids is that we don’t have huge classes. With a small class size, we can instruct on the basics, go through an example together, and then give kids free reign to practice on their own. When they encounter a problem, they can let us know right away. In some cases we’ll give them instructions on how to get past their obstacle, while in other situations we’ll encourage them to learn the right way through trial and error.

There is no one-size-fits-all coding class

In addition to offer small class sizes, we also offer an alternative schedule of classes that works at your child’s pace. Whether your child takes a little longer to grasp concepts, or they race right through them, these classes give them the opportunity to find the right pace. At CodeREV Kids, we believe strongly that teaching kids to code is teaching them to be ready for their future.

4 Reasons Coding Will Pay Off for Your Kids

There’s no question that kids today are busier than ever and it can be difficult to fit it all in. However, there’s one thing that we at CodeREV Kids think every parent needs to make time for: Kids learning to code. It’s not because we think every child should be a programmer when they grow up, but because technology is rapidly changing the world we live in and learning to code better prepares our kids for that. Here are four reasons that coding is likely to pay off for your kids.

1. They’ll be ready for the technology of the future

Today, our world is becoming more and more reliant on technology. This is only going to increase as time goes on. From hardware to code to programs, we are a society that’s very reliant on technology. No matter what career path your child eventually choses, there’s a good chance it will be affected in some way by technology and learning to code can help prepare them for it.

2. Coding teaches kids to be makers

When kids learn how to code, they’re empowered. They gain confidence, they learn to be innovative, and they take on skills likely leadership and ingenuity. Coding is all about finding new solutions and teaching new concepts. If you want your child to be creative and to be able to solve problems than teaching them to code is a great way to get there.

3. Kids gain important logic and critical thinking skills

There are so many skills a kid learn when they learn to code. They discover how to solve problems on their own, the best way to tell a story, how to communicate effectively with others and with an audience, how to think methodically and creatively. In fact, learning to guide while also building a video game can be extra powerful because they’ll need to use both technical and artistic skills.

4. Kids love to code!

Most importantly, kids have a great time learning to code. They get to meet new friends, they’re motivated, and they learn a genuine desire to be creative in their world. At CodeREV Kids we’re so glad that kids gain valuable skills but the fact that our students have a great time is enough of a reason for us to show up to work every day.

Making the Most of Winter Break: Check-In Tips for Parents

Most California schools are halfway through the school year and that means it’s time to consider what your child has accomplished this year and what they have left to do. At CodeREV Kids, we encourage parents to talk over the following check-in topics with their kids. Winter break is the perfect time to get caught up — or get out and learn some new skills.

Do they understand backward mapping?

Many adults don’t fully understand backward mapping so it’s no surprise that their kids don’t either. Essentially, backward mapping is looking at the due date for something and then setting dates for progress. For example, if a project is due on the 30th of a month, backward mapping might include setting the 5th as the due date for an outline, with a draft by the 15th and a second draft by the 25th.

Let your kids tell you when things are due

When you check-in with your kids, don’t sit down and go over everything that they should have done or should be doing. Instead, get them to tell you. Ask them to go over milestones that are coming up. This might be challenging at first but it’s important for them to learn these skills. Don’t interrupt them or correct, give them time to find the right answer on their own.

Talk about progress daily

As a parent you do want to be actively involved in your child’s academic success but you also don’t want to do everything for them. This can be a difficult balance to achieve. One way you can do so is by encouraging progress and asking them every day how they’re coming on their projects.

Remember they likely have more than one project

Backward mapping is very important but don’t stop after you’ve had them do it on a single project. The reality is that, depending on their school and their age, they likely have a number of projects. Encourage them to map them one at a time so they won’t get overwhelmed.

Give them breaks and appreciate the results

It’s hard to stay on task and it’s even harder for kids. Don’t expect them to sit down and study for four hours without a break. Encourage them to build in break time. They might take a walk around the neighborhood, get a healthy snack, or even get on their devices for a few minutes. Once their break time is up, it’s back to work. And of course, encourage them with fun rewards like Minecraft classes.

How Important is it for Your Child to Be Organized?

At CodeREV Kids, we’re interested in ways to get kids excited about learning. We offer a wide range of coding classes that are truly unique in their attempt to teach kids not through lecture but through hands-on lessons with technology that they won’t even realize are lessons. However, we’re also looking for other ways to help parents in their quest to ensure their child’s success.

One of the recent tips we’ve been considering is a long-time teacher who offered a suggestion to help boost a child’s grades that you may not have thought of: Encouraging and teaching neatness. Yes, neatness! That may seem quaint and old-fashioned but the point is to teach kids to take pride in the work they do, to take their time, and to get organized.

Of course, being neat won’t take the place of learning material. It won’t give them the answers to their history class but it can help prepare kids for success. If your kids could use a lesson or two on neatness and organization, consider these simple ways to boost them:

  • Encourage your kid to always use their best handwriting. It’ll be easier to read, which could lead to a more favorable grade.
  • Teach your kids to proofread their work. There’s no question that a savvy teacher can see a rush job in a second and they’re likely to grade accordingly.
  • After your child finishes their work, have them read it out loud slowly. Does it still sound good? Can they find ways to improve it?
  • Show your kids that slowing down can actually result in a good job done more quickly.
  • Provide organization for your kids. Make sure there’s a place for everything and teach them how to declutter their room and study area.
  • Follow through with your kids. If you could use some help in the neatness and organization department, then set goal together and come up with ways to monitor and reward good behavior.
  • Remember that your child isn’t going to become neat and organized overnight. It takes time. Support their progress and don’t expect perfection out of the gate.

These are a few ideas to help improve neatness and organization. The things your child learns now will affect them for the rest of their life. For more ideas on how to teach problem-solving and other essential skills, learn more about CodeREV Kids and the classes we offer.

Math is All Around You: Unique Ways to Find Mathematics in Nature

There’s plenty a child can learn from a textbook, but at CodeREV Kids we’re big believers that hands-on lessons are the best way to get kids excited about learning. Here are some cool ideas for connecting nature to math.

Teaching addition and subtraction

There are butterfly gardens all around California and if you’re lucky enough to live near one, take a trip there with the kids. You likely can’t count every butterfly in the room but you can pick a flower and count the butterflies that land on it. If you’re not near a butterfly garden, go outside and sort rocks you find by their size and color. Add each group together to come up with a total. How many rocks are there in total and how many more are there in one group than another.

Another idea to teach addition and subtraction is to count how many birds you see on a specific tree. Count it at two different times of day and compare how many birds were in at either time. Then subtract to find the difference and talk about why the time of day matters.

Teaching kids how to measure

It’s a good idea to teach kids how to measure with standard tools and with non-standard tools. Start out by measuring vegetables in your garden or that you have in your kitchen. Use a ruler to get a real measurement or guess first. Take a walk outside and look at the rocks. Are there more that are shorter than three inches or longer than three inches? Bring a ruler to verify.

For more advanced students, pick a tree and measure the diameter and how close it is to other trees. You can figure out how tall it is by using the Pythagorean theory.

Comparing attributes

Pick two different leaves. Make a crayon rubbing of each and then label all its attributes, including its length, width, color, shape, number of points, etc. Or find two rose bushes and compare the roses colors, size of blossom, length of leaves, thorn size, and how many blooms are on each.

These are just a few ideas of using nature to teach math. For more fun, sneaky ways to get kids excited about math, check out the Minecraft options available at CodeREV Kids. We pride ourselves on our ability to get kids truly excited about learning!

Is Your Child Following These 10 Good Study Habits?

Every parent wants their child to succeed but it’s not always easy to know how to do that. If your child is struggling to keep up in school, or if they’re doing well in their current grade but you worry that they don’t have the study habits down to succeed as they progress in their education, then these ten good study habits may help. At CodeREV Kids, we believe that learning can be fun but setting the right study habits is the foundation that helps kids achieve.

    1. Encourage organization. Your kids have a lot going on and they need to stay organized. A planner is a great option. Ask your child to use it to track homework, activities, and tests, and then review it in the morning and at night.
    2. Make sure your kids know what’s expected. Your child doesn’t need surprises. If your child’s school syllabus doesn’t make expectations clear, have your child approach their teacher to ensure they know what’s expected of them.
    3. Create a designated study area. Studying in front of the TV is not the best option. Instead, provide a quiet, well-lit place they can study.
    4. Have a plan. Cramming the night before an exam is not the best plan. Have your child set out study goals in the days or weeks leading up to major tests.
    5. Keep a positive attitude. Encourage your child to turn negative statements into positive ones.
    6. Encourage study groups. Working in groups is important for kids and is a great way for them to understand tough material.
    7. Teach active listening. Some students simply don’t know how to pick out the important parts of a teacher’s lecture. Encourage your child to understand active listening and show them how to note key points a teacher makes.
  • Have a test-taking strategy. Most kids are going to be stressed out before a test. Teach your kids relaxation techniques that can help them excel. Also show them how to pace themselves during the test.
  • Read actively. Read textbooks with your kids and ask them what the main points or concepts are after each section. Teach them to look up words or concepts they don’t understand.
  • Teach them that learning can be fun. Many kids are under the mistaken impression that learning is boring. At CodeREV Kids, we’re firm believers that learning can be fun! Prove to your kids this is true by enrolling in our fall coding classes.

We’re always looking for new ways to get kids started off in the right direction. For more information, contact CodeREV Kids today!

A Fun STEM Project to Complete Over Winter Break

At CodeREV Kids we see it all the time: A kid who once didn’t care at all about school can get so excited about science and technology classes that they’re actually sad to take a break over the holidays. The good news is that we’re here to help! We offer awesome winter camps but we’re also here to offer advice on a cool science project that can be completed over winter break.

Science that doubles as a snack

Do you remember rock candy from when you were a kid? It’s actually fairly easy to make, but it does take some planning and a lot of patience. To get a completed product, you’ll have to wait a week to ten days but it’ll be well worth it.

Your end goal is large crystals but you’ll need to start with small ones. Begin by dissolving two cups of sugar into a cup of boiling hot water. This is very hot so be sure you’re supervising or taking the lead on this part.

Then let it cool for ten minutes. Pour it into a clear glass, such as a mason jar. Take a pipe cleaner (which you may see marketed at a chenille stem) around the middle of any pencil. Leave a tail at the end that’s about four to six inches. Put the pencil on the rim of the glass to let the tail hang down into the solution. As you’re waiting for your crystals to form, keep the glass out of direct sun and away from doors or vents. The purpose is to keep the temperature constant.

Every day, take a few minutes to check the progress and track the growth. After about a week to ten days, take the pencil out of the jar. Don’t worry if there’s a layer of sugar that tries to keep it stuck, just break it off with a spoon. Then rinse your candy and put it on waxed paper to dry.

Make sure your kids write down what they believe is happening

This is a cool experiment that results in a tasty treat. Be sure to teach kids the science behind the crystals and why they’re «growing.» As with coding classes, this is a lesson taught that won’t even feel like a lesson!

If you want to learn more about winter coding classes for kids, why coding is great for them, or different ways you can get kids excited about science, CodeREV Kids is here to help.