Questions like this one have me wondering if introducing kids to programming isn't a good candidate for doing a "one post to rule them all" that gathers all of the good ideas we've accumulated on the subject and curates them in one place rather than it coming up again and again and different recommendations being made?

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    How about the far more useful, "Programming kids" canonical post? I could use that one.. Jul 12, 2013 at 15:45
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    So long as it's not a canonical "Kids' programming" post. Sesame Street would be off topic.
    – Bobson
    Jul 12, 2013 at 17:09
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    I think the question to ask first is, are professional programmers qualified to answer questions like this? I think they are not; at least my personal experience of teaching my own kids has been that there's more (much more) than programming experience involved in this
    – gnat
    Jul 14, 2013 at 22:39
  • @gnat proper yelling stance for instance? (Left foot back, right foot pointing north for enhanced power) Jul 15, 2013 at 21:55
  • @JimmyHoffa :) I wish I knew... but I don't. You know, some of the guys who teach my kids are pretty good, and they seem to do that with ease, and they explain their stuff to me, and I can easily understand every bit of what they say, and follow their reasoning while they explain it. But trying to reason and do like them myself turns out incredibly difficult. I guess this is because they've got these friggin' "10,000-Hour" practice of teaching while I don't
    – gnat
    Jul 15, 2013 at 22:15
  • @gnat Don't ruin the dream, in my head I'm going to be able to teach mine with absolute ease, I get to enjoy that dream for another couple years before mine's old enough for me to actually /*fail*/ succeed. Jul 15, 2013 at 22:17
  • @JimmyHoffa don't give up so fast, it won't necessarily be failed try; I for one succeeded twice - it's just you probably won't be able to understand and even more, explain how and why it happened (at least it was so to me). And it's going to be more like, you know, subconscious / spontaneous / accidental... fun! activity, as opposed to what good teachers do professionally and efficiently. When dealing with your own kid, love and care serves as a pretty good "substitute" for professionalism; unfortunately it doesn't work well when you try to teach others how to do these things ;)
    – gnat
    Jul 15, 2013 at 22:33
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    note also that askers concerned about teaching their kids (as opposed to eg teaching in school), would better be pointed that some issues specific to that could be better addressed by posting questions at Parenting.SE, "site for parents, grandparents, nannies and others with a parenting role...."
    – gnat
    Jul 16, 2013 at 8:46

1 Answer 1


Kids are people too. IMO, it's like asking whether it's okay to just have one massive canonical question about adults who know nothing about programming. Well, which adults? It gets a lot more specific from there.

Teaching smart kids about programming? That's easy. Give 'em a little power and let the little terrors cut loose from there. All done.

What about the kid who's smart but has decided they are dumb? What about the kid who seems smart but doesn't know English? What about the kid who seems smart but can't seem to focus? What about the girl who is really smart but wants to hide it? What about the kid who has the work ethic to build 9 pyramids tomorrow and is smart or perhaps dumb but doesn't have one ounce of the craft of programming built into their natural instincts regarding how to actually do it?

  • Also, Shazam. Because I'm just barely old enough to make or perhaps misrepresent the reference. (but I think I'm good) Jul 17, 2013 at 3:04

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