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Tutorial Doctor

How were you learning programming at the age of 5?

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I have heard a lot of stories that this programmer and that programmer started programming in fortran or some other language at the age of 5-7. How?

 

I told a three year old that I would teach her programming when she is 5. She says, "I am five." So I let her type her name on my laptop (Input and Output). 

 

Were you hacking calculators at that age?

 

I am way behind myself. I started this venture 2 years ago. 

 

There are even programmers that are teaching their children programming. How? 

 

This is for my learning as well as my teaching. 

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That is great advice. That immediate results thing is ideal even for me. Not long ago I found out what a REPL was. A basic language that is easy to understand with a REPL for immediate response sounds good. But I wonder if there is such a thing. 

 

Or maybe that is a venture I will take myself. 

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Old command line driven basic interpreters work this way, you can either issue a command and the system executes it immediately:

> PRINT "HELLO"
HELLO

Or you can put a line number on the start, and it stores it until it is told to run it:
> 10 PRINT “HELLO"
> 20 GOTO 10
> RUN

HELLO
...

This is pretty much how I started learning programming on an Apple 2E at around age 10. It's not hard for a kid to understand that anything between the quotation marks will be displayed on the screen.

For someone learning at 5 years old though, that's around grade 1 where I live. Me, I was still learning addition and subtraction at the time and multiplication was at least another grade away and took quite awhile to get the hang of. And though somewhere in there I understood that the "hungry alligator's mouth" always opened towards the larger number, I remember it took awhile to connect that thought to the words "greater than" or "less than". Though a 5 year old kid could probably pick up this stuff, I think the thing to remember is that there's the fundamental fundamentals that he's still going to be in the process of learning.

My 8 year old nephew expressed an interest in learning programming and I'm kicking myself for not buying this book I found in a grocery store a few months ago. I didn't have a chance to look at it carefully but it reminded me of the things I started learning on. I've ordered it last week and I'm hoping that it'll turn out to be a good start for him.
 

Edited by kseh

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