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5 Reasons Python Is Perfect for Kids to Learn

Jun-21, 2022

Boy using coding skills at the computer.

Kids love to learn. They have a natural curiosity to learn more about themselves and the world around them. Now that today's world is driven by technological marvels, many children are picking up a new skill in the form of Python - the world's most popular programming language. This helps the younger generation better understand the Digital Age they're living in. Their enthusiasm in our own Python classes further proves that kids aren't only interested in learning it — they're extremely capable of doing so.

You may know Python as one of the programming languages that form the foundation of many technologies we use today. It's commonly used in the following:
- web and software development;
- artificial intelligence (AI), or computer programs that can accomplish tasks on their own; and
- data science, which aims to generate useful knowledge from tons of information.

Naturally then, adults who familiarize themselves with Python gain multiple advantages, particularly when it comes to career development. However, it’s important to recognize that children can benefit from learning Python, too.

Let's look at some reasons why:

1. It's easy to learn

One great thing about Python is that it uses a straightforward syntax or language structure that's similar to English, making it easy for kids to learn. Consider the simplicity of these sample lines in Python:

if True:
print "Answer"
print "True"
else:
print "Answer"
print "False"

What's more, it's easy to start learning. Python is free to install on practically any computer and can be learned anywhere. In fact, you can start with our brand new coding program right here at Best Brains. This kid-friendly course covers writing and debugging code as well as creating interactive programs. And if your child gets stuck, Python's thriving online programming communities can answer all of their burning questions.

2. It makes math fun

Kid-oriented Python courses are usually taught through a series of games so your child is more likely to be entertained while learning. Among other things, they'll learn hard skills crucial to math. For example, children learn problem-solving as they write code to fix real-world problems. They'll also hone their logical thinking capabilities as they search for the most rational solutions. And even more importantly, math makes Python run — and your child will learn that. You may even find your child performing better in math class as they transfer their Python skills to their schoolwork.

3. It teaches important soft skills

In addition to teaching technical capabilities, the effort it takes to learn Python will instill handy “soft skills” and values that your child will find useful as they grow older. They learn to be more creative as they try to code new things, perseverance as they take the time it needs to perfect their code, and confidence every time they finish a task successfully. They'll also earn a sense of accomplishment for every job well done, encouraging them to develop both a strong work ethic and unwavering self-discipline.

4. It will open up future opportunities

In today's digital age, professionals who work with emerging technologies are in high demand. This is what makes coding such an important skill. With Python being high on the list of employers' priorities, your kid will have the option to become a software developer, creating computer programs, systems, and applications that run on an array of devices. They could also become a data scientist working to glean valuable information for both public and private organizations. They might even go the creative route by becoming a game developer. Ultimately, helping your child learn Python will help them pursue any of a number of stable, and in some cases lucrative, paths as an adult.

5. Kids will pick it up quickly

Most important perhaps is the fact that now is the best time to teach your child Python. You may have noticed that children have a tremendous capacity to learn languages, especially at an early age. This same phenomenon applies to teaching them coding languages -- like Python -- while they're young. At this stage in life, their brains are like sponges, as the cliché goes. In part, that's because their brains are better able to absorb new information at this stage in life.

In the end, there's no better time to teach kids Python than now, and no better place to start learning than here at Best Brains with our brand-new coding programs. You'll be doing more than just equipping your child for future success - you'll also be introducing them to a new interest that they may grow to love over time.

 

Article written by Riva Jamie

Exclusively submitted to bestbrains.com

Tags STEM

What Will the Fall 2021 School Semester Look Like?

Jul-28, 2021

An older sister with a laptop and a younger sister with a tablet sit on a bed wearing headphones and pajamas.

As back-to-school time approaches, schools around the country are finalizing what instruction will look like for students in Fall 2021. What can parents expect from this school year, and how will it differ from last year? Let's go over some certainties, some predictions and some best guesses.

Unlike previous semesters, school instruction in Fall 2021 will be the most varied state-to-state and district-to-district that it has ever been. Vaccination availability and incentives, mask mandates, social distancing and other policies are inconsistent across the country. Additionally, since children under 12 are not permitted to be vaccinated (as of this date) and school staff are under no obligation to disclose their vaccination status, administrators can make no assumptions about the safety from or communicability of the COVID virus in their schools. This will impact different school districts differently, depending on how they're managed.

While in-person classes will most likely happen almost unilaterally, the hybrid model of teaching, combining in-person with virtual teaching on different days of the week, will probably be the go-to method of instruction as well. School districts have invested millions of dollars in technology necessary for students and staff to take their learning online, with even more orders for laptops pending for the 2021-2022 school year. With so much money, time and effort devoted to teaching via computers, schools are highly incentivized to make the most out of this investment. And as we've discussed, using technology, when properly handled, can have a positive effect on kids' education.

Another concern for schools is being called the "kindergarten bubble." As many parents have delayed enrolling their children in kindergarten during the pandemic, there may be a massive surge in enrollment for the 2021-2022 school year. Add to this the troubling number of children who have not been advancing through their school levels that may have been in normal circumstances, and you have enrollment numbers much higher than schools may be prepared for. This bubble, however large it is, will pass through the next 12 years of instruction and into college/university level. What will the college application process look like for this age group? Fortunately, we're over a decade away from this situation. The more pressing concern is finding enough support in an early childhood education landscape already marked by many problems like underfunding and understaffing.

Though there are many reasons to be concerned about the coming school year, there is also a lot of hope. Many parents and students are eager to go back to in-person instruction and regain the benefits of social interaction and human contact. What is clear is that, until we can welcome kids back to school face-to-face, we won't be able to accurately assess the full effects of the pandemic on our children and their education. Once we do, we'll be able to create a plan to truly move forward.

Tags COVID-19

Feed My Starving Children | Best Brains Volunteers

May-10, 2021

Best Brains' corporate staff recently participated in a Feed My Starving Children volunteer event in Schaumburg, Illinois by assembling and packaging much-needed food to be distributed to hungry children around the world.

"Feed My Starving Children provides an opportunity for us to bond as a team while we can contribute to the well-being of kids who need our help," explained Puja Chokshi, our Franchising Lead and coordinator of the event.

Feed My Starving Children is a nonprofit organization founded in 1987. Based in Minnesota, FMSC has several branches around the US. The goal of Feed My Starving Children is to combat world hunger by partnering with other non-profit organizations to provide balanced and nutritious meals called MannaPacks. Each MannaPacks is assembled by hand, combining dried vegetables, soy-based protein, rice, and a vitamin-rich flavoring powder together into a nutrient-dense and easy to prepare meal. Each MannaPack provides a meal for a family of 6 and is used by their partners to give out to families in need, to provide a healthy and tasty school lunch or however the aid organization sees fit.

Volunteers assemble MannaPacks by hand, observing strict sanitation guidelines. FMSC provides instructions on what to do, shares the impact volunteers have to combat world hunger and keeps a fun, competitive atmosphere during the packing session. Divided into teams, volunteers compete to see who can make the most MannaPacks in the allotted time while the staff plays upbeat music. Lots of organizations use FMSC volunteering sessions as a teambuilding event. Children are also allowed to participate, making it a popular and very thoughtful birthday party activity.

As we celebrate 10 years as a company, Vice President Hana Adas has prioritized finding opportunities to give back. "Best Brains has provided tens of thousands of kids with a quality education and there is so much more that we can do for kids not just here, but everywhere."

We are so proud to contribute to FMSC's mission to provide quality nutrition to kids around the world. Food insecurity is a major issue at home and abroad which impacts the quality of life of children who deserve to grow, learn and thrive.

For $88 you can feed a child in need for an entire year. Donate here to contribute.

Looking for artisan goods made locally to support their communities? Check out the FMSC MarketPlace!


This is Not the Summer for Fun

Apr-16, 2021

A girl holding a medical mask up to her face while on the beach.

Day by day, we have been transitioning back into our normal routines, eager to leave quarantine life in the dust. While it feels exciting, hopeful and liberating, we're also faced with the reality of what has been lost.

For our children, a year at home in front of the computer has left them lonely and unsupported. Although many dedicated educators have stepped up, to do their best to make distance learning work for all children, the truth is that even a superhero wouldn't have been able to help every child. Our children need help, and they need help NOW.

Unfortunately, this is not the summer for just fun. If you don't have a game plan for your child now, they will get left behind. In fact, children who aren't involved in some type of supplemental education in the summer regress in their education and, after this past year, losing more ground is the last thing your child needs.

It's time to FIGHT BACK against learning loss! Lucky for you we've been working hard since the initial COVID outbreak helping children not only stay on track, but also excel. According to a recent survey, 96% of parents reported that their children have been performing better academically during the pandemic, and we couldn't be prouder! As we open our centers to in-person classes once again, we welcome both old and new children back, so that they can experience the same success.

Everyone knows teachers don't stop working in the summer and Best Brains' teachers are no exception. School may be out for summer, but our state-certified teachers are still in our classrooms pushing our children to achieve their best potential. They have the necessary protective equipment, sanitizing wipes and a dedication to education unparalleled in our industry. They are ready to welcome your children back into our centers.

As much as we'd like to, we can't hide from what has happened. We have to face the future head-on. Best Brains provides a supportive, nurturing and safe environment for children. This gives them the confidence they need to go after their dreams, to ask questions and to make their voices heard. They're not giving up and we won't either! Every decision we make is designed to help them be their best because your child deserves the absolute best.

BE YOUR BEST WITH BEST BRAINS!

Tags COVID-19

Can You Afford to Sit Out the ACT/SAT?

Mar-22, 2021

A group of high school students sitting on the stairs and looking at their homework.

Sometimes it feels like a child's entire life is just one long build up to taking the ACT or the SAT test! And while attending a four-year American college or university is not the best lifepath for everyone, it's always important for our kids to have options, and scoring well on the ACT or SAT opens many paths to success, not the mention builds a strong academic foundation that kids can apply to any area of their life!

Students scheduled to sit their ACT or SAT exams faced a huge hurdle in 2020, with the pandemic and social distancing causing exams to be cancelled, postponed, or offering extremely limited seating. Colleges responded in turn, many, especially state colleges, waiving their ACT/SAT requirements, and even merit-based scholarship qualifications. People have been questioning for years whether the ACTs and SATs are a necessary component of the college application process. Will ACT and SAT requirements continue to drop off in a post-COVID future?

This simple answer is No. Even if some public universities drop the ACTs or SATs, they will still be a major determining factor in deciding which students can attend the more prestigious universities in the US, where competition for spots is fierce and every point matters. Secondly, many merit-based scholarships rely on these scores as an indication of who is deserving of funding. Sitting out these tests can cost a child thousands of dollars in the long run. Finally, many states have turned to the ACTs and SATs in recent years as part of their graduation requirements. Statewide testing can be expensive, both to develop and to proctor. Relying on the ACTs and SATs to measure students' success while continually working on improving the test itself take a huge burden off of their shoulders.

When we think of the ACTs or SATs, we tend to think of a number, but not about what that number represents. For a child to achieve a high test score, it represents so many things. It's a test of their patience and perseverance. It's a measure of their confidence, self-sufficiency, and determination. It represents the depth and breadth of knowledge that they have acquired up to that point. We have always believed that test scores are an indication of success, not the success in itself.

If your child needs help achieving success on their tests, our long-term test prep course can give them the tools they need, either in the classroom or online!


Best Brains' New Coding Program Makes STEM Fun!

Feb-22, 2021

A child working at a computer on a programming exercise

Best Brains Coding Program is here! Coding has been a highly requested and hotly anticipated addition to the Best Brains catalogue of outstanding programs. It's also the most requested alongside our Public Speaking and Creative Writing classes. We're so excited to share this program with you, and to grow and expand these programs in the coming months!

Coding programs have exploded in popularity over the last few years, and it's easy to see why! As our world becomes more and more automated, digital, and plugged in, more and more code is required to do the heavy lifting to keep this world running. A basic understanding of computer science will be essential for our kids as they grow up and enter the workforce, and more and more jobs will require computer literacy to stay relevant.

STEM education is vital for our kid's success, not only to challenge them academically but to impart valuable 21st century skills. Coding courses engage logical and creative thinking at once, making them the perfect choice for a growing mind. Plus, most kids love new media and are endlessly curious about how it works and how they can create content of their own!

Is my child old enough for Coding classes?

We've designed several levels of courses to provide content for kids across a wide spectrum of ages. Since coding requires a certain level of math literacy, we start beginner courses at 1st Grade. We offer classes for kids all the way up to 8th Grade, when they are ready to use the skills they've learned in the real world.

What types of Coding courses are available?

Currently, we are offering 3 types of Coding courses. Students can take all courses appropriate for their age level before graduating to the next step, or they can focus on a single platform. These are the platforms we currently offer:

  • Scratch – Fun, colorful, and user-friendly. Coding in Scratch is perfect for beginning learners of any age. Our Scratch courses incorporate animation and sound to teach students coding fundamentals, how computer logic functions, and how to create working code. Scratch is an excellent introduction to coding, full of engaging content kids love to interact with.
  • Python – A coding language used by many developers, Python class teaches students how to write and debug code as well as create their own interactive programs. Emphasizing logic, critical thinking, and creativity, Python courses challenge students to develop and execute programs similar to those used in the real world. These courses provide valuable skills for students with a casual interest in coding, as well as give a solid foundation for students who want to pursue developing and programing as a hobby or career.
  • Web Development – These days, everyone has a website. Websites are the digital storefronts through which we interact with the online world. Best Brains Web Development courses cover all aspects of web page creation, from user experience to interface design to coding functionality. Students also learn the components to make a compelling website people love to visit. Graduates of our web development courses will be able to build a professional looking website for their own use, whether to promote their creative endeavors, host their resume and accomplishments for college applications, or be the face of their start-up company selling goods or services.

Is it safe to let our kids online?

Internet safety is a huge concern for us, and teaching internet safety is an integral component of our Coding programs. Students are well informed about proper internet usage, potential dangers and hazards of being online, and how to protect themselves and their identities. Plus, they are under supervision from our instructors during class time to ensure proper conduct. Best Brains students who take our Coding courses are not just more computer literate than their peers, they're more computer savvy, too!

Will my Best Brains location offer Coding classes?

Coding is a brand-new class for us, and while we'd like every center to be involved, the program might not be available right away. Contact your local center to get more information about when Coding will be available in your area!

If you're ready to get started with Coding, you can enroll in our Online Coding courses now.

Can my child's friends also take Coding with Best Brains?

Does your child have friends that don't currently attend classes with Best Brains but might be interested in Coding? They're welcome to join! Just like any of our optional programs, Coding is available to anyone who meets the requirements. And remember, any child you refer to us earns you a $25 credit towards your next month's tuition.

Tags STEM