While seven in 10 parents have heard their children saying words like ‘bug’, ‘cookie’ and ‘algorithm’. But while most parents have some knowledge of computers, a quarter admit they would be out of their depth when it comes to helping with homework related to computer coding they are now learning in school. More than half of parents polled admit that if their child did bring work home from school on coding they would just leave them to it, with 74 per cent wishing they understood more.
A spokesperson for Fisher-Price, launching its new pre-school learning toy Code-a-Pillar, said: “British children are among the most advanced when it comes to their knowledge of computing and coding. “The UK paves the way in terms of including coding on the curriculum – and parents certainly believe this is a positive step in education for their children.
!Mums and dads are quick to recognise the benefits of their children learning coding at such a young age. With a large majority of parents saying the new curriculum will encourage their children to think creatively, logically, and independently. Parents also believe that learning coding and programming will benefit children in later years when they start job hunting.”
“But this rapid rise of the digital revolution means that some parents who aren’t exposed to the same language on a daily basis could struggle to keep up with their little ones.”
A third of parents claim they don’t have any understanding of coding, and almost nine in 10 parents are completely baffled when their child talks about ‘programming’ at home – while a third are relying on their children to share their knowledge and skills.
Two thirds of mums and dads admit they lack awareness of modern technology and its elements, and 60 per cent believe it would be helpful if nurseries and schools held lessons for parents first, so they can assist their own children when they learn.
The study indicates 28 per cent of parents believe their child is already proficient at using websites and other internet services.
In addition, 16 per cent of children aged 3-8 can use child-friendly programming languages and 13 per cent can create a simple program of their own.
Sixteen per cent of young children can already use logical reasoning skills on the computer, while 13 per cent can organise digital content and 18 per cent know how to store digital content.
Dragging and dropping visual blocks of code, manipulating content and debugging simple programs are other skills frequently demonstrated by children under eight, but which most parents will be unfamiliar with.
As researchers discovered, 55 per cent of parents think education has changed so much since they went to school they find it harder to help their own children with their school work.
However, two thirds of parents say the new curriculum will encourage their children to think creatively and accurately, while 68 per cent say it helps children to be logical and independent.
Learning coding and programming will benefit children in later years when they start job hunting, according to 74 per cent of parents.
A spokesperson for Fisher-Price added: “The roles can be reversed when it comes to coding.
“Typically, mums and dads are the ones to help, educate and assist their little ones but in the case of coding, children are the ones in charge.
“Rather than turning to mum and dad to help with a simple programming issue, or to imbed a picture, children have to draw on their own experiences and teach their parents everything they have been taught at school.”