In this day and age, parents are understandably concerned about the amount of screen time in their kid’s lives. It does seem like teenagers (and adults) are buried in their cell phones and aren’t even aware of the world around them.W hether we like it or not, we are now entering a time where technology is now becoming an important part of how kids learn. In Luke’s classroom, there are 5 ipads at least and a laptop or two. (This is not every classroom situation, but I can only speak for our situation.) The most striking piece of technology I’ve seen in his school is the Promethean White Board. Before the kids even start their activities for the day, Luke’s kindergarten teacher turns on a Go Noodle, a website with music videos geared towards children. The kiddos are jumping and dancing, getting some energy out before they sit down to their work. It’s so encouraging that schools are seeing the value of movement and how important it is to learning. Personally, I started doing better in my studies when I was able to control when I got up and moved around and didn’t have to be chained to a desk all day, but that’s a topic for another blog.
At home, Luke is given lots of time with electronic devices. We do take it away if he’s had a behavior note come home from school. I have to take the conversation back to the iPad though. He’s had access to one since he was 3 years old. He stopped napping when he was 2 and we were desperate for him to have “quiet time” so we could get a break in the middle of the day. We started off with Sesame Street letter games and Dr. Seuss e-books. The e-books were fantastic. They offer a “read to me” mode where an actor reads the story, and the words of said story change color when they are being read.
I don’t mean to say park your kid in front of an iPad or any other tablet and have that be their “babysitter.” I would encourage the exploration of technology in learning at home, because I can say without a doubt that it has helped Luke tremendously.
Also, I have to put a plug in for educational websites:
ABCMouse for early childhood learning. They don’t take their curriculum beyond kindergarten, but there are many parents who could tell you the success of this program. This is available for a monthly fee.
Starfall is also a great resource for early childhood learning. We didn’t get too much into this website, but it’s been recommended to me by many other parents. Best of all, this is a FREE service!
Fun Brain is a great website for kids from preschool to 8th grade! We’ll be checking this site out soon!
Of course, you can always google educational websites for kids and come up with a wealth of resources. These are just the ones we’ve used ourselves!