👉Why fun is important in learning 👉How PLP helps your child get started with coding (project based approach) 👉Why it is better to solve problems by yourself rather than to be given a set of instructions👉 Resources to help coders at all levels 👉The comparison between public, private, and microschools. 👉 How to build up the foundations for your child up to their first competition 👉Kenji’s personalized teaching style that prompts the learner to be independent 👉 Kenji’s decade long projects 👉 Favorite books, etc.👉 perseverance

Meet Kenji The Hackathon Champion

Don’t let Kenji’s young age fool you into thinking that he is any less capable than a fully grown adult. Since the age of 12 he has been competing in hackathons – programming contests usually in a compressed time frame. And by the way, he’s also been winning many of them. 12 at the  time of this writing!

When Kenji is not coding his award winning projects , or doing his regular school work, he is tutoring online. Kenji has been a tutor on TutorOcean for 2 years and he has developed a love and passion for teaching. There is something alluring to him about tutoring. He loves to see his students gain skills and have personal growth. He challenges each of his students to take on a project and learn by doing.

Project Based Learning And Personal Learning Pathway

According to the young hacker, the two best ways to learn is by taking on exciting projects and having a personal learning pathway.

Kenji practices what he preaches, and he updates his website with every new project he builds or skill he develops.

Taking on projects is so effective, he says, because it gives one the motivation to get past obstacles. In everything you will face obstacles. When you have a clear reason to When the project is challenging yet still within the capabilities of the student, it becomes a rewarding experience. 

As a student of Kenji’s, I took on a project of making a Tutor Costing Calculator.

Doing projects that are within the capability of the student is key to avoid frustration.

 

Why Kenji Is Such A Great Teacher

Kenji doesn’t just lecture you, he ensures that you are engaged by asking you questions. When you get the answer right he praises you, or if you don’t know he supports you by giving a clear example.

He knows the latest and greatest ways to teach coding. These days, tutor and tutee can collaborate on a project using Visual Studio Code Live Share. Now, whenever you write some code, Kenji can instantly see what you are thinking. He can correct you more rapidly which means you will learn faster. 
At the end of the session, since the files are all stored on your computer, you get to keep the resulting product that you built. You can continue to work on your project until the next time you and your tutor meet.

 

How Parents Can Support Their Kid’s Coding Project

Parents can support their kids in their coding journey by signing them up to hackathon or coding summer camps. There the kids will make friends and develop a passion for their own projects. Kenji’s approach is called based on making fun projects. If the process is not fun, the results will not be good.

Good Study Habits To Get Ahead

Kenji is a big fan of books and he attributes most of his learning from reading. Encourage your kids to read by going book shopping with them. Make them a space where they can read their book comfortably. Eliminate distractions and let them get sucked into a story.

Also having a friend or sibling to work with can make the learning more fun. Kenji partners with his brother to make games and other projects a reality. When you want to make your game, you will figure out any obstacles along the way.

Get Involved With Fun Coding Activities

Try to integrate cdoing into your child’s life. Aim to work on a fun projects every day for a certain amount of time. Participate in hackathons or coding camps near you. For example, Kenji found joy in joining hackathons like Cruz Hacks 2020. In fact, these competitions were so engaging that Kenji actually stayed up all night to perfect his project and win the top prize.

 

A picture of a coding competition
A picture of a coding competition

“Reading books not only helped my literacy, but also my math and science.”

Watch the full interview:

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