Can Learning to Code Improve Kids’ Reading Skills?

Did you know that coding can improve your child’s literacy skills? It’s true! Some of the skills your early reader is building with the help of Homer are the same computational thinking skills used by computer scientists. The most important of those skills is called sequencing.

Sequencing is the step-by-step order in which instructions should occur, and it is fundamental to both reading and coding:

“If you get better at sequencing, it has a measurable positive effect on reading comprehension. A parent can have their kid engage in coding with the knowledge that a lot of kids won’t become programmers, but there is this broad-based benefit.” – Marina Bers, Professor of Child and Human development and Computer Science at Tufts University

An example of a sequencing puzzle from codeSpark Academy.

Kids as young as 4 are learning the basics of coding in codeSpark Academy — and it’s proven effective in improving sequencing skills. After just three sessions of codeSpark Academy kids showed a 22% increase in moderate sequencing tasks, and just as important, a 56% increase in confidence in their ability to problem solve.

Want to improve your child’s sequencing skills offline?  Homer’s Director of Learning, Dr. Samantha Creighan, has a list of tips to do just that:

  1. Talk through something from your child’s daily routines, like getting dressed to go outside or brushing your teeth. Have your child describe each step in the routine.
  2. Have your child create his/her own comic strip. This will require your child to think through the steps in a story and how to express them visually.
  3. During story time, have your child retell the events from the story in his/her own words. Ask questions like, “What happened first?” “Then what happened, next?” “What happened in the end?”
  4. Cut up an old calendar and have your child put the months back in order.
  5. While waiting in line at the grocery store, use spatial terms (like behind and in front of) and ordinal numbers (like first, second, third) to identify people’s positions in the line. Ask your child “who is first?” “who is behind the woman in the red shirt?” when the line shifts, “who is first, now?” and “if we all turned to face the other direction, then who would be first?”

We love codeSpark Academy’s focus on creativity and storytelling as it makes the perfect complement to the reading skills kids learn with Homer.

Get access to codeSpark Academy’s 1000+ coding challenges, Game Maker and their special new Snoopy coding game for free. Visit