Computers are becoming increasingly ubiquitous. More people than ever own computers and the numbers continue to rise. Children are learning how to use computers at a much earlier age than their parents did. In my own life, my family did not own a computer till I was six while my daughter will be born in a house with three computers.
While their teachers will do everything they can to educate your child, your child is one of twenty or thirty kids in the classroom. Ultimately, the burden of educating your child rests on your shoulders. Your home is a great environment to direct your child’s learning in fun and creative ways. There are many opportunities to learn in your home.
Educational software on the computer is a valuable tool that will have an enormous impact on your child’s learning skills. Beginning reading programs covering phonics will build a solid foundation for the further development of your child’s reading skills. Also, its never too early to start with math skills and there are many programs, such as Reader Rabbit’s math, that will encourage a thorough knowledge of addition and subtraction.
You child needs any educational advantage you can give them. The best advantage you can give them, according to the prevailing research, is to find a way to engage their interest. Children who are interested in the material learn at a faster rate than a child that is unentertained by the learning process. Kids love video games and cartoons, so computer software that combines the two with a positive learning experience can be a tremendous advantage for your child’s education. Studies have shown that educational software is very effective at enhancing the quality of teaching and helping students comprehend on a higher level.
There are some things to remember when choosing software. First, it has to be easy for your child to operate, especially if you have a small child. When I was six, I hated the keyboard and we didn’t have a mouse yet, so I remember how hard it was to use any software that was more complicated than hitting the arrow keys. Luckily, software and computers have evolved but it is still a consideration. Second, make sure it is software that will accommodate the attention span of a five or six year old. They don’t have much of an attention span at that age so make sure the software dishes out the education in small doses. If your child gets bored then it doesn’t serve much purpose, does it.
You should also find software that fits with your child’s interests. This shouldn’t be a problem, nobody knows your kid as well as you do. As much as I dislike the media tie in programs, Sponge Bob and Spiderman may be the best teachers for the job at hand. It’s easier to introduce new ideas and pique their interest if there is something familiar about it. It’s sneaky, but it gets the job done.