A Guide To Teaching Microsoft Excel To Children

Data is the new oil and devices are its pipeline. Along with accelerating technology development, future careers will be different. Artificial intelligence (AI) is either being augmented or replacing humans in the workplace. We now have self-driven cars, robotic chefs, chatbots, etc.  

teaching children Microsoft excel

But, these accelerated technologies like AI consistently learn from available data to be effective as humans. That means your kid’s learning data and its associated technologies make them have the best foot forward towards securing their future careers. 

So, instead of complaining about the dangerous screen time, you can turn part of it to make them ready for the future by learning data. However, grasping data basics can be a challenging part of the journey. And Microsoft Excel is a simplified foundation to build on and get moving.

Microsoft Excel enjoys global approval with over 750 million users worldwide due to its ability to organize data. It is as intuitive as Microsoft Word or Google Docs making it easy for learners to grasp the basics and level up to more advanced concepts. It helps the kids plan their shopping list, holiday, school work and home projects. 

Your kid will be able to manipulate, sort, and visualize data. But, how do you achieve that and ensure that they effectively learn Microsoft Excel? In this guide, we highlight how to teach your children the wonders of Microsoft Excel. 

1. Start With The Basics

First, let the kid know what data is and its importance. Data is any vital information, primarily facts, that is helpful in reasoning, calculation and planning. For example, they can document the candies they eat daily or the shopping list. The trick is to use a data set on something that appeals to them. 

Secondly, introduce Microsoft Excel as a simple tool that can help them work with the data to understand it better. Open the program and introduce them to Microsoft Excel features (stick to the simple ones at the beginning). 

2. Emphasize What They Can Do With Excel

 

Source: Pixabay

The next step is emphasizing the value of Microsoft Excel. Kids can use Excel to:

  • Store data
  • Sort data
  • Analyse data 
  • Visualise the data 

So, pick up a data set that appeals to your kid and run it through Excel to demonstrate these functions. Whether it is the grocery list or a school project, your kid can use Excel to handle it. 

However, the beauty of the data, especially to kids, is its visualisation. So, you can go for charts for data like shopping lists, and a Gantt chart Excel for project planning and scheduling. It is better to use Excel templates to make the process simpler. 

3. How To Enter Data

Once your child has learned what data is, you can teach him to enter simple data. First, show your child how to enter the title for their spreadsheet, then show him how to enter data into the first column. He can then continue inputting all the data in the shopping list he wrote earlier.

Then, guide him to input additional data in the rows, such as the quantity of each item and how much they cost.

4. Create A Chart

First, your child will have to select the data to create a chart. You can then guide him to click “insert” on the recommended charts and scroll down to choose which one is the most appropriate. You can also click on “all chart” to see all the chart types available. For example, you can click on “insert bar chart.”Guide him that the long bars represent the items with the highest quantities on his shopping list. You can also print the chart for him to have a visual reminder of it.

5. Teach Your Child About Shortcuts

Upon learning the basics of Microsoft Excel, you can then start teaching him a bit about complex features. This includes using Excel shortcuts. Learning shortcuts is advantageous as it will enable him to complete tasks in a shorter time.

Some of the useful Excel shortcuts include:

  • CTRL + C  Copy
  • CTRL +V  Paste
  •  CTRL +D Fill down
  • ALT + = Auto sum
  •   ALT, I, R Insert row
  •   ALT,I,C Insert column
  • CTRL + I Format cells

6. Important Excel Functions

Once your child has mastered the shortcuts, teach him about the various Excel functions. Excel has many formulas in the spreadsheet, but you can guide a child on some essential functions, considering that you are teaching a child. They include:

  •  =SUM() – Adds a series of cells
  •  =MAX() – Maximum values in a series
  •  =MIN() – Minimum values in a series
  •  =AVERAGE() – Finds the average
  •  =COUNT () – Counts the number of cells

7. Teaching Your Child The Important Parts Of The Screen

create a chart with excel

Because Excel has many features and buttons, it can be very easy for a child to get lost navigating the screen. To quickly access the features of the spreadsheet, your child must understand the essential areas on the screen. They include.

  • Quick access toolbar. This is the command that appears below the main ribbon tabs. It is where all the crucial tools are and has three icons (undo, save, redo) when you open excel for the first time.
  • Formula Bar. This is where the data you enter appears on the worksheet
  • Ribbon. This is the row of tabs at the top of the excel sheet. It shows all the features in an easy way to understand
  • Status bar. This displays information about the worksheet and usually is at the bottom. It tells you what is going on with excel
  • Spreadsheet Grid. This is where all the data goes, including numbers, charts, drawings etc.
except spreadsheet tutorial

8. Navigating Cells

learning about cells in Microsoft excel

Source: Flickr

Teaching your child how to move from cell to cell is vital in understanding certain functions in the spreadsheet. Teach him that the arrow keys can be used to navigate right, left, up and down. The following are the ways one can select cells in a spreadsheet.

  • By clicking the column letters, you will be selecting a column 
  • You need to click on a cell if you want to choose one
  • Clicking on the row numbers is a sure way of selecting rows of cells
  • To select all cells in the worksheet, click the upper right corner of the worksheet.

9. Teach Your Child How To Use Fonts And Colours

Learning how to use fonts, colors, and borders in Excel can be fun for the children. This is because they enhance the visibility of your document and can increase understanding by highlighting important information.

Show your child the default settings, ARIAL 10 POINT, which they can change easily. Take him through the other font types to easily understand formatting with fonts.

You can also show your child how to change the font size. The most exciting part is deciding on a font style. Show your child the various attributes such as bold, italics, and underline. Lastly, you can teach your child the shortcuts to select font style, such as:

  •  Bold CTRL+B
  •  Italics CTRL+I
  •  Underline CTRL+U

Don’t forget to teach your child to emphasize data by adding borders and colors.

Take Away

Teaching children Excel is a critical way to help them develop and analyze data as it makes them understand content with a graphic and visual presentation of information. This goes a long way in enhancing the learning environment and preparing them for a future in a world dominated by technology.

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