Tag Archives: education

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!


Is STEM Really Helping Kids Succeed in the Classroom?

There’s a lot of talk about hands-on STEM projects in classrooms and how they help kids, but do they really? At CodeREV Kids we’ve seen plenty of evidence that they do but we know that not everyone is convinced. Let’s cover some of the basics of STEM based learning and perhaps even those who are skeptical will have a better understanding.

Why a focus on STEM now?

Many parents wonder why all of a sudden they’re seeing a huge focus on STEM. The truth is that the U.S. Department of Labor statistics are a big part in why educational facilities are encouraging kids to get involved in STEM projects at an early age – because there are going to be an estimated 1.4 million new jobs in information technology by the time our kids are ready to start out in a career.

Not only are there are a lot of jobs in STEM fields, but these are jobs that pay higher than other jobs do. In fact, according to the most recent statistics, the most in-demand jobs in STEM fields include technology and engineering.

Jobs aren’t the only reason that parents are turning toward STEM though. STEM projects in schools can help kids prepare for the future in a number of ways, including giving kids the skills needed to tell the difference between a fact and an opinion.

Learning in a project-based atmosphere

Think about how you learn best. Is it by reading something in a book or by getting hands-on experience with it? If you’re like most people, you know that you learn best when you’re able to try something out for yourself. Do you think children are any different? Of course not. STEM topics are perfect for hands-on learning through robotics, Minecraft games, and much more.

Are you interested in getting your kids involved?

If you’re interested in getting your kids involved in coding, one of the most interesting STEM-based projects for kids, then CodeREV Kids welcomes the opportunity to work with you. We have classes after school throughout the year, camps available during school breaks, and we even offer programs at individual schools. If you have questions about your child’s options, or you want more information on why they should get involved, feel free to reach out to us. Our passion is helping your kids discover and build their own passion for technology.


4 Things Every Parent Should Know About Common Core Standards

There’s a lot of negative talk about common core standards and we understand why. It can be confusing for some and to many parents it feels like a new complicated system when the old system was working fine. At CodeREV Kids we understand these feelings but there are also a few things we want every parent to understand about common core standards.

1. Common core requires more critical thinking

We believe it’s important for kids to not just memorize facts but to use their critical thinking skills. The type of thinking kids learn doing common core are the same types of thinking skills they’ll need when they get a job, work toward college, or get into a trade. Yes, kids need to learn facts but they also need to learn how to think critically. In fact, that’s one of the reasons more kids are learning how to code.

2. Expectations should be high

In our experience, there’s no better way to predict how successful a child will be than to look at how much their parents expect from them. You should expect your children to do well with common core and in turn they will. However, if you give them the feeling that it’s something they’ll never learn, then chances are decent that they’ll never learn.

3. You’ll need to monitor their progress

Part of your job as a parent is to monitor your child’s educational process and this is true of common core as well. You’ll need to make sure they’re on track and that they are participating, taking active roles, and thinking creatively inside and outside of school.

4. It’s time to recognize that all kids can learn

It’s true that not every child learns in the same way. That’s why we offer flex coding courses for kids that allow your child to learn at their own pace. However, just because every kid may learn differently doesn’t mean that some kids can’t learn. Some kids may pick up info quickly while others need more time and patience. Some need more time with a class while others need more one-on-one time with a tutor.

No matter what your child’s learning type is, the reality is that you can provide them with the tools they need to succeed in their education and in their life. For many kids, learning to code is an important leg up that helps them for their entire academic career – and well beyond!

6 Ways to Help Kids Focus

At CodeREV Kids, we work with parents all the time who struggle to get their kids to focus. We understand that this is a real issue and we’ve come up with six of our favorite tips to help your kids get on board.

1. Make it clear that you expect them to take their time

Often times, kids don’t meet their parent’s expectations because they don’t understand those expectations. Make it clear that you don’t want them to race through everything. Encourage them to pause, take their time, and understand tasks in front of them.

2. Encourage plenty of breaks

When you give your kids plenty of brakes, they’re able to expend their energy and focus better. Work with them to come up with the right amount of time to work and how much of a break they’ll take. When they have a say in how the time is allotted, they’ll be more likely to be on board.

3. Show them how to do one thing at a time

We live in a world that values multi-tasking but kids must learn how to do one thing at a time before they can learn how to do several things at once.

4. Get rid of distractions

If kids have something else to focus on, it’s not surprise that they’re going to focus on. Don’t allow them to study with the TV on and don’t expect them to be able to concentrate if you’re in the same room talking to another family member. Give them private, distraction-free spots to work.

5. Come up with a plan

Teaching kids how to plan their day can help them focus but it can also help teach them general organizational skills. You don’t need to buy a day planner for them, but you can break down a large task and help them see how working towards it a little each day will result in a big pay off in the end.

6. Find fun ways to teach them

The reality is that kids are going to have a harder time focusing when they’re learning via tasks that don’t hold their interest. With some subject matters, there’s likely no way around this. However, when it comes to STEM subjects, supplement their school learning with coding classes. Why coding? Because it teaches them a host of skills including focus, problem-solving, and much more. Let CodeREV Kids help you get your kids on track.

Is Your Child on the Road to Scholastic Success This Year? A Checklist to Find Out

The last thing any parent wants is to find out that their child is behind in school but it’s even worse when you find out when it’s too late to do anything about it. That’s why CodeREV Kids has come up with this simple checklist you can do. Now that it’s November, your child has likely been in school long enough to have a pretty good idea of how they’re doing. Use this handy guide to assess their progress.

Are you still moving towards the goal you set at the beginning of the school year?

We always recommend that parents start out every school year with specific goals for their child. Older kids can come up with their own goals, but they should be clearly defined with easy to follow steps to achieve those goals. For example, one goal might be to improve science scores and one of the steps to get there could be to engage with coding classes. Whatever their goals are, November is a good time to ensure that they’re still on track.

Is extra help needed?

Now is a good time to take a look at your child’s schoolwork and grades so far and decide if they need extra help. You never want your child to get so far behind that it feels impossible to catch up. If they need a tutor, to join a study group, or one-on-one time with you, now is a great time to assess how much help they need to move forward.

What are your attitudes like?

It’s important to remember that if your child has a positive attitude, that they’re more likely to do well in school. However, don’t forget that your attitude is important too! Even if your child has a teacher who’s unfair, remember that there are actions you can take to have behavior corrected but you must also ensure that you keep a positive attitude. Don’t kid yourself: Your children are watching.

These are just a few of the steps you can take at this point in the school year. Of course, at CodeREV Kids we have a lot of ideas for extracurricular activities your children can get involved in, from coding classes to Minecraft servers that allow their creative minds to shine. Get ahold of us today to learn more about how we can help your child build life-long skills.

Are Grade Trackers a Good Idea for Kids?

At CodeREV Kids, we’ve seen a lot of advice for parents to use grade trackers. In fact, we’ve seen this suggestion so much that we put on our thinking caps to try and decide if it makes sense or not. For those of you who don’t know, a grade tracker is exactly what you’d imagine: It’s a spot where you list and monitor the grades of your child. Your child’s school may have this available through their website or you can use an academic planner to create your own.

Are they good or bad?

As with virtually any other recommendation for kids, grade trackers have both positives and negatives and it’s important to know that your student will out get something out if it if it’s used consistently and in the right way. In fact, it’s similar to our coding classes in that if kids are open to them, they’re likely to do well. Here are some of the things we like about grade trackers for kids:

  • You get a real-time overview. Kids are growing up in a world where we all get instant updates on almost everything. Why not extend that to grades? Why wait until the end of the term to find out if your child is struggling? Grade trackers give you an update on a regular basis, which allows you to make adjustments when there’s still time to make a difference in their grade.
  • Your child will have a better idea of their teacher’s expectations. It’s no secret that different teachers expect different things from their students. A grade tracker makes it easy to see which classes your child needs to focus on and allows you and / or your child to discuss expectations directly with the teacher when necessary.
  • It has an effect on goal planning. More and more research is showing that it’s a good idea for kids to have both long-term and short-term goals and to learn early how important it is to meet them. Grade trackers allow them to follow up on their goals and see how they’re doing.
  • It can boost confidence and motivation. One of the things that parents love so much about the classes offered at CodeREV Kids is that they not only teach kids things, but they boost their confidence. Grade trackers have been shown to have the same effect.

Are grade trackers good for every kid? Probably not. But when used in conjunction with other measures, they’re a great way for kids and parents to stay up to date on education.

Out of the Box Ideas to Help Improve Your Child’s Writing

Regardless of your child’s future educational or career goals, there’s no question that being able to clearly, concisely, and compellingly write is a skill that will serve them well in school, work, and their entire life. Being able to write clearly reflects the fact that a child is able to think clearly. Many parents just have their kids write something every day, but at CodeREV Kids, we’re always looking for unique ways to get kids motivated. Here are some of the out of the box ideas we’ve come up with.

Visit the grandparents

Before teaching your child how to write things down on paper, they first must understand how a story is told well and organically. The stories older folks can tell are truly amazing! Take your child to an elder and prompt that elder to tell a unique story. Afterwards, sit down with your child and have them re-tell the story. Give them constructive ideas on what they could have left out or added in to make the story more compelling or clearer.

Get a pen pal

One of the things we’ve learned at CodeREV Kids is that kids will learn better and absorb more information when it’s not just told to them but when they’re learning it in a hand’s-on environment. If you want your kids to learn to write more clearly, then get them writing about something they’re interested in. There are all sorts of pen pal programs out there that can pair up your kids with a child down the street or across the world.

Boost their confidence

In many cases, the issues with writing come from a child lacking confidence. They don’t think they’re a good writer and so they’re afraid to try, or they don’t think they have anything unique or interesting to say and so they’re afraid to pick up a pen. When you change the focus to something like coding classes, your child will experience a boost in confidence. They’ll also get a better understanding of the many different types of creativity out there.

Are you ready to get your kid ready for the rest of their life? If so, CodeREV Kids is just the partner you need. Check out our classes online, sign up for options at your own pace, or give us a call for advice on what will work best for your kid.

The Fun Way to Keep Kids Learning Over the Summer

There isn’t always agreement over how much sense it makes in today’s world to have a summer break from school and more and more schools are turning to a year-round model with shorter breaks throughout the year. Whether you support summer vacations or not, there’s plenty of evidence that kids can lose valuable skills when not challenged over the summer months.

That’s where incredible STEM-based programs come in. We ran across a very inspiring article in The River City News titled Summer of STEM Aims to Keep Kids Learning Over School Break that could inspire anyone.

The author writes, “This summer’s 17-year cicada hum will be drowned out by the shrieks of discovery, the pure delight and joy as children of all ages and walks of life from the Cincinnati region participate in summer camps, activities and classes during the Summer of STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) that combats brain drain with active, engaged learning.

While many offerings are highly developed by longtime STEM-focused organizations, the collaboration and network Summer of STEM (SOS) ties together is new.

ArtsWave’s Kintner was grateful her organization, the nation’s largest and oldest community arts campaign, had the technology to enable a joint listing of arts and STEM activities. “The efficiency of that platform,” according to Kintner, “enabled cincyartsandstem.org and a richer, more comprehensive tool.” The unusual pairing of art and STEM “gives kids new access points and the chance for STEM educators and parents to see arts opportunities at the same time,” Kintner said.

“As Cincinnati becomes a hotbed for the maker movement, start-ups, entrepreneurial culture and tech support, it’s really important that our century-old arts institutions are not relegated to or stuck in the past in actuality or public perception. One way to ensure the cutting edge is to be closely aligned with the new future and the new economy. Cincyartsandstem.org is one manifestation of that vision.”

“Because there’s so much design work in engineering and everything has a creative bent, we don’t want to limit these kids,” Kelley said. “Whether it’s ballet or biology camp, they can find resources in the same place.”

“Our highest order for Summer of STEM is to keep kids engaged in a natural asset: a giant, outdoor science lab,” said Mary Adams, GCSC program manager and former Procter & Gamble (P&G) executive. Uniting education and business partners, non-profit organizer GCSC opens STEM educational and career possibilities to meet the accelerating regional demand.”

At CodeREV we’ve been well aware for years that STEM-based summer camps can have a huge and lasting impact. We’re always glad to see other areas of the country embracing the evidence. Are you curious about after-school or summer camp options in the Los Angeles area and beyond? Contact us today!

There Are Many Ways to Teach Kids Problem-Solving Skills

At CodeREV, we believe it’s important to teach kids how to solve problems. While sometimes it’s important to give them the right answer, most of the time they’re going to learn a lot more if they discover how to actually solve the problem on their own. There are a lot of ways to give them these valuable skills, as evidenced in a recent article in Teacher Magazine titled Developing problem-solving skills.

Jo Earp writes, “When Teacher shares examples of how evidence is being used to inform future action it’s usually educators who are doing the analysis and reflection, but in this case it’s students who’ve been digging into school data while developing their problem-solving skills. The Year 5 and 6 students at Sydney’s Curran Public School have been taking part in the Future Problem Solving Program. ‘Originally, when we started, it was just an idea of trying to build some social conscience and some commitment to the community within my kids,’ Principal Michael Strahan explains. They ended up representing Australia at the international finals in the US, placing third.

Under the guidance of ‘team coach’ Kylie Ring, the youngsters competed in the community problem-solving category and narrowed down their focus to education. Their project was called Kids Helping Kids and aimed to support early years transition. Strahan takes up the story again: ‘It was all about giving kids who are going to come to the school the fundamentals and the foundations to succeed and put them on a pathway to success. The [team of students] sat down with teachers and analysed the entry data that kids were coming into school with. … They did some research and [thought about] the best possible way of making an impact, then developed a plan and put that plan into action.’

Part of the plan was to create care packages that were distributed to pre-Kindergarten students and their families that contained resources to support early learning. The first care package included resources like pencils, pens and tracing cards. Strahan says the new starters and their parents loved the fact they were getting a box from Curran Public School to help them prepare, but adds the real strength of the project for the 12 members of the competition team was what happened next.

‘They then did a comparison analysis against what the kids came into school with this year after distributing the first package, celebrated some successes in the kids’ improvement but also found where there were areas of need and then plugged those up, so it was really evidence-based.’”

This is truly an innovative way to get kids excited about problem solving. At CodeREV we have a series of classes and camps that are designed specifically to show kids that they already have the skills they need, they just need to learn to hone them.