Category Archives: Skills

How Does Your Child Treat New Kids? 5 Tips That Can Help Them Be More Welcoming

In a perfect world, would you describe your child as welcoming to new kids or standoffish? Most parents want their child to be welcoming and warm, but at CodeREV Kids, we’ve learned over the years that kids often need to be told to reach out to the new kids. We’re proud that our coding classes are inclusive and that we help kids learn to work together, but we also want to offer some advice to parents who want to help their child take a step out of their comfort zone to welcome the new kids.

1. Just tell them the truth

The first tip is very simple: Just sit down with your child and tell them that you hope they’ll be welcoming, open, and accepting to any new kids. Tell them that you hope they’ll smile and say hello when they see a new kid.  

2. Ask them to consider how the new kid feels

It’s common for kids to not welcome the new kid because they don’t realize that it’s something they need to do. Ask them to pretend that they’re the new kid. Would they feel scared? What would they want another kid to say to them? How could your child use that information to help the new kid feel more comfortable? Come up with answers together.

3. Give your child a specific task to do

Give your child one specific goal. It may be to invite any new kids to join them for lunch, it may be to go up and ask them to play during recess, it may be to sit with them on the school bus, or it may be to talk to them before or after school. Giving your child a specific task helps make it easier for them to know how to take initiative.

4. Tell them to help lost kids get to where they need to go

If they see a kid that looks lost, encourage your child to stop and ask if they need help. Even if your child hasn’t mastered every classroom in school, your child will at least know who to ask for help.

5. Show them that asking questions is a good first move

If your child is shy themselves and nervous about approaching a child they don’t know, then simply ask them to walk up to the new kid, introduce themselves, and ask a few questions. This makes it easy for everyone to know what to say as they begin to build up a bond.

The Importance of Teaching Your Child to Take Risks

As a parent, you want to protect your child from as much as you possibly can. As a result, you may hesitate to allow them to take risks, or try to soften the blow if a risk they take doesn’t turn out in their favor. At CodeREV Kids, we actually think it’s important to let your kids take risks. Why? Read on to learn.

Teach kids to take risks while you’re still here to protect them

If you try to shield your child from ever having to take a risk, you’re taking a pretty big risk yourself – the risk that once they’re out of the house they’ll take those risks and you won’t be there to help them.

For example, let’s say your child wants to try out for a competitive singing group. You may worry that they don’t have the experience to go head to head with other students in their grade and you may not think their voice is quite as good as it needs to be. You don’t have to tell your child this – let them learn on their own. Will they be disappointed that they don’t make the singing group? Sure, but they’ll also learn that rejection isn’t as bad as they may have feared.

Have some control over the risks they take

In addition to the risk that your child will grow up afraid to take a risk, you also have the risk that your child will grow up and take severe risks because they’ve never learned the difference between a minor and major risk. For this reason, it makes sense to let your child take a risk today when you have some control over it.

A risk can be as simple as trying something new

Don’t think of a risk as something that could harm your child – just think of it as trying something new. For example, we offer a range of tech camps for kids of all ages. If your child has never taken part in something like this, then they may be afraid. They may be afraid to risk failing.

Teach them that it’s okay to fail. The important thing is to try it in the first place. Our tech camps are a great way to teach your kids problem solving skills, to help them make friends, and to build a strong technology background that can serve them for the rest of their lives.

6 Ways to Help Your Kids Stay Safe Online

Whether we like it or not, we live in an online world. Our kids will be introduced to technology at a very young age and though they may seem as though they’re much tech-savvier than their parents, it’s still up to you to make sure they’re staying safe online. CodeREV Kids believes that technology is an important subject for kids to understand but we also want to keep kid save. Here are six ways to do that.

  1. Make sure private info stays that way. Let your kids know what they can and can’t share online. Start out by asking them what they think it’s okay to share and you are likely to be surprised.
  2. Keep passwords protected. Remind kids not to share their passwords with anyone except their parents and give them some tips on how to choose a password people won’t guess.
  3. Have a download rule. Is it okay for your child to download things without your express permission? If it isn’t, make that clear to them. If it is, then let them know what the parameters are and what’s okay to download versus what isn’t.
  4. Find safe places for them to learn the internet. At CodeREV Kids, we offer a modded Minecraft server that lets kids work on their world while being generally supervised. This gives them a great opportunity to learn about safe online habits.
  5. Make sure the boundaries are clear. It’s important to make sure that your children are aware of what they can and can’t do. Don’t ever assume that they know the rules or that they know what’s dangerous. What seems obvious to an adult will be a mystery to a child who doesn’t have experience with the internet.
  6. Monitor online relationships. Make sure that your children understand that it’s never okay for them to meet, talk to, or accept gifts from someone they met online without your permission.

The above tips are great ideas if you want to let your kids get online but also want to feel confident that they’re being safe. However, remember that there’s no substitute for good old fashioned being involved. Ask your kids what they’re doing online, make sure they’re accessing the internet in a public space, and feel free to share stories with them about good and bad experiences online.

Technology is Important for Kids but Make Sure You’re Aware of the Risks

At CodeREV Kids, we certainly that technology is not only a necessary part of any child’s future but that it’s a good thing that can help them develop into critical thinking, problem solving citizens of the world. That said, there are some limits. We have developed this list of the three main things to ensure your kids are aware of as they branch out into the world of collaborative technology.

Make sure they know what to do if they see or experience cyberbullying

The most recent Pew Report shows that more than 85% of teenagers say they’ve seen people being cruel on social media. Remember that though cyberbullying may be most often done online, it can also happen via text and utilizing other types of technology. Teach your child to come talk to you or another adult if it’s happening to them, and teach them to stand up for other students if they see them being cyberbullied.

Your child’s identity needs to be safe

Most people likely think of identity theft as an issue that only affects adults. The truth is that children can also get their identities stolen – most specifically their social security numbers. In fact, it can be to a thief’s benefit to steal a child’s social security number over that of an adult because a child likely won’t find out for many years – and by that time the proof will be long gone.

Your child should know who they’re talking to

The fact that the internet, and other forms of technology, can be so anonymous means that people who have less-than-good intentions. You don’t need to go into all the different ways a person could be up to no good, but you can prepare your kids for how they must verify who someone is. Make sure your child knows why they shouldn’t have secret phone calls or secret meetings.

CodeREV Kids offers a safe place for your kids to learn technology

One of the reasons that CodeREV Kids is involved in this field is because we do want kids to learn the latest technology, including coding, and we want kids to have a safe space to do that. If you have questions about the many classes we offer, or how those classes can benefit your child, then we welcome you to reach out via telephone, email, or even stop by one of our locations.

4 Ways to Nurture a Growth Mindset in Your Children

There’s been a lot of press recently about supporting a child’s growth mindset. But what does this mean? In short, the growth mindset is one in which failure doesn’t define you, but is rather an opportunity to learn something new. For kids with a growth mindset, effort is the reward, whether they fail or succeed. Here are four ways you can help encourage this attitude in your child.

1. Be the change you want to see

First and foremost, model the growth mindset yourself. For example, talk to your kids every day about what you learned, what mistakes you made, and what you learned from those mistakes. Then talk to them about everything you put effort into, whether you completed it or not. Before long, your kids will be joining in with their own answers and will unknowingly be using a growth mindset themselves.

2. Praise your child’s effort – not their ability

You should praise your child but if you praise them for being talented or intelligent, then you’re putting them into a fixed mindset in which those factors can be changed, whether they make good or bad choices. Instead, focus on how much effort they’ve put into things, and complement the strategies they use.

3. Work with your children to reframe their thinking

A person who’s truly adopted a growth mindset never asks, “Is it possible to do this?” they ask “How can I do this?” Encourage your kids to work on processes that test their abilities. Some of the coding classes at CodeREV Kids are especially good for helping kids learn how to think critically and solve problems.

4. Don’t sugar coat failure

If your child fails, praise their effort and move on to helping them find ways they can improve the next time they’re in that situation. If you don’t acknowledge the failure at all, then you’re going to take a mistake and turn it into a way of life.

Most people have mixed feelings about following a growth mindset and in encouraging their children to do so. The bottom line is that of course it’s up to you how you encourage your child. At CodeREV Kids, we just think it’s smart to learn from mistakes and find other ways to move forward. To learn more about the many classes we offer for kids, reach out to us or stop by one of our classrooms today!

5 Simple Tips to Help Your Kids Ace Their Next Test

Every parent wants their child to do well in school but not all of us know the best way to help them accomplish that goal. At CodeREV Kids, we’ve compiled five simple tips you can follow to help your kids be prepared for their next test.

1. Make a plan for studying well in advance

Deadlines have a way of sneaking up on all of us, regardless of age. Teach your children to make a study plan as soon as they know the date of their test. Then check with them daily or weekly to see that they’re on track. There’s simply no substitute for studying over time versus cramming in the day or two before the test.

2. Be ready for the format of the test

Many students concentrate so hard on learning the material on a test that they forget to work on the format of the test. For example, if your child isn’t used to essay tests, then you may need to help them learn how to organize them. If they don’t know the best strategies for multiple choice tests, then you may need to help them.

3. Remember that it’s not all about school

You do want to help them focus but you don’t want them so stressed about their tests that they end up worrying themselves out of a good grade. We recommend fun activities that help improve their critical thinking skills overall, like coding classes.

4. Attitude matters

A single test isn’t going to make or break your child’s entire educational career. You do want them to do well, but if they don’t, let them know that you can learn from that experience. You don’t want to pressure your child so much that they aren’t able to do their best on a test.

5. Overall health is important

Make sure your child gets a good breakfast the day of their test, and plenty of sleep the night before. Regular experience can help boost brain activity too. There are of course many reasons to try and ensure your child is healthy but improving their test scores should be one of them.

At CodeREV Kids we are in the business of helping kids succeed. As their parent, there are many things you can do to help them learn to excel, including the tips above. Feel free to reach out if you’d like to know more about how coding can be a part of this strategy.

Are Electronic Devices Good or Bad for Your Kids?

Every generation of parent has a unique issue to worry about. Today’s generation often wonders: is technology, and the resulting electronics, good or bad for my kid? In a world where tablets are made for children of all ages, this isn’t an unreasonable question. At CodeREV Kids we have a strong opinion on this.

First of all, we believe that every parent is the best judge of what can help their child. That said, we also believe that technology can be incredibly helpful to children. Remember that your job as a parent is to prepare your child for the world. That world you’re preparing them for is filled with technology. If you want them to be ready for it, then they must be comfortable with technology.

Not only will a familiarity with technology help your kid be comfortable in the world, but it can help them thrive and stay a step ahead of their competition. You’d be amazed by the things kid can create today! All they need is to know some basic coding. The best way for them to get this knowledge is through hands-on coding classes that help them learn through games, apps, and even robots.

If you’re still not sure why this is a good thing for kids, take a moment to learn why coding can be so helpful for kids. We love the fact that they can both build cool things, but they can also learn skills that are important in the larger world. Some of the traits that learning coding can help kids build include:

  • Having an active mind that’s ready to learn anything.
  • Learning how to form strategies and follow-through on tasks they begin.
  • Practical STEM skills that help in a variety of subjects.
  • Problem-solving skills.
  • Hands-on skills.

Now, does this mean that it’s a good idea to plop your child down in front of a computer and let them play without supervision for ten hours a time? Probably not. Again, it’s up to each parent to set limits. Some parents allow their kids an hour of screen time a day, in addition to the time they need for their coding classes and school classes. Other parents allow their children more flexibility.

If you have questions about how to best prepare your child for tomorrow’s technology, feel free to reach out to CodeREV Kids. We are here to spark a passion and drive in your children and we look forward to speaking with you.

Have You Made New Years’ Resolutions with Your Kids?

You may think that since we’re already a few weeks into January, it’s too late to make a New Year’s resolution with your kids. Or you may think that resolutions aren’t really that helpful. At CodeREV Kids, we think it’s never too late and we think there’s nothing wrong with setting a few goals. Here are some tips we have to help you create resolutions that work.

Set resolutions for both school and home

It’s understandable that parents want to pair up home and school but the truth is that the work done at either one is different and should be rewarded differently. Children should have a resolution to get their daily chores completed but also to do well over an entire semester. The goals necessary to reach these very different objectives aren’t identical, so don’t choose a single resolution to cover both of them.

Create resolutions for extracurricular activities

Extracurricular activities are fun and kids don’t need to set goals with them, right? Well, you’re partially right. What we’ve found is that any kid who wants to sign up for our coding classes can increase their self-esteem, their problem-solving skills, and their overall STEM skills. However, if you set goals these results can be even more significant. For example, consider setting goals to get your kid from our simple Minecraft server to our modded server.

A great goal for every child: Learn how to ask for help when you need it

Resolutions and goals can help kids learn how to problem solve. They can teach them how to take a big goal and break it down into smaller, more easily completed goals. However, if you’re not careful, you may end up trying so hard to show your kid they can do it all on their own that you discourage them from asking for help.

You do want your children to be self-sufficient and to work to solve problems on their own. However, once they hit a wall, you want them to feel comfortable asking for help. One great resolution is to have your kids identify situations in which they may need to ask for help. Whether they need a math tutor, assistance with chores around the house, or have a problem with friends that they need support with, teaching your kids how to ask for help is a great lesson.

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.

STEM Can Be a Part of Your Holiday Celebrations

At CodeREV Kids, we’re always looking for kids to get involved with STEM related activities and as the holidays creep up on us, we’ve been thinking about ways to keep kids excited. We came up with a way for kids to get into the spirit of Thanksgiving while becoming involved in STEM activities – and all it takes is toothpicks and cranberries.

The easiest way to get started is to divide up your cranberries and toothpicks and give each child their own baking sheet with their own supplies. This helps to ensure you don’t have to deal with crushing cranberries under your feet while you’re preparing your Thanksgiving feast! Begin by making a structure so they’ll know how it works. Essentially, you take a toothpick and put a cranberry on each end of it. Then add more toothpicks to each cranberry and before you know it, you have a structure that can be built upon.

Depending on how old your children are, this is a good time to talk to them about STEM issues like what the center of gravity is, and why a structure that has a larger base can be stable at a much higher height than a base that’s smaller.

Once they have the basic idea down, you can get creative and ask them for some interesting projects. For example, you might ask them to build a Christmas Village, or a rocket to the moon. Ask them to build something that’s even taller than the table, or even something taller than they are! If you have several kids working, you can also ask them to work collaboratively.

Remember that this project isn’t about your kids creating a perfect result. Instead, it’s a way for them to learn. If their structure breaks apart, help them figure out why. This is a great hands-on way for kids to begin to understand some of the basic principles of gravity.

At CodeREV Kids, we think projects like this are very interesting but of course we encourage kids to get involved in our comprehensive coding classes too. Like the above project, they give kids the chance to learn STEM concepts in a hands-on environment. In fact, our students wouldn’t know they were actually learning new things if we didn’t tell them – they just think they’re having fun, gaining confidence, and making new friends! The fact that they’re actually increasing a host of other skills is just an added bonus for them.