A popular question is: when should my child start to learn to code? The answer is, as soon as possible and here’s why.

Schools around the world are beginning to implement computer and tablet programs. Instead of hand writing homework, students are solving math problems on tablet applications, collaborating with their peers on projects through Google Drive, and studying using videos on YouTube.

The majority of these students, however competent in their typing and stylus usage, do not understand the technology behind the screen. Think of programming technology like a car’s engine: everyone knows how to drive their vehicle, but as soon as something breaks down, the vast majority seek professional services to fix their problems. What if students knew how to fix it on their own – evading the costly repair jobs and possibly leading to future success in the field? With the right tools, your student can learn not only how to navigate programs, but how to debug and build them. These students have an opportunity to learn more about computer science at a younger age than any generation before them.

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More than ever the tools young learners need to become successful developers are just a few clicks away. In learning not only how to drive their success, but how to build the vehicle itself, some students are getting ahead of their peers.

Programming also serves as a supplement to a student’s general mathematics understanding. Students learning variables in algebra can see its application as they define variables and use them in their code. JavaScript can’t help kids learn coordinate geometry, which is a confusing subject. But programming can help kids understand geometry in a hands-on, interactive, and visual way. Even the most basic addition and multiplication is used in development. From algebra to geometry to basic operations, students are growing more excited about coding and less frustrated with math.

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If you’re wondering whether your little Einstein is ready? Start by asking them what their favorite game on the App Store or Google Play is? What are the best parts of the game? What makes it fun? Are there any things they wish they could change? Once your child is excited about one of their favorite activities, give them the computer, logged onto a track, and tell them ‘We can make that game, this is the first step!’

Programming is a major part of our children’s future. It’s not just something that will help them get a job in a Silicon Valley start-up it’s the essential ingredient that will open up doors for them in every single profession you can think of.

In September, Treehouse will be launching a set of courses aimed at getting kids 11-15 excited about coding. Why? Because we think it’s as important as learning to read and write.