There has been some controversy about children and the use of computers. While some believe that it is important to teach young children how to use a computer, others feel that computer skills should not be taught until children are older.
There are some things that you should consider before teaching your child how to use a computer. Not all children are ready for sit down activities that require longer attention spans. Before you get started, think about some of the following:
How ready is your child to use a computer? Is your child interested when you are using the computer? Does your child want to watch and touch the keyboard as you are working? If you answered “yes”, your child may be ready for basic computing skills.
Make sure that you are computer knowledgeable before you try to teach your child. If you are not confident in operating a computer, do not try to teach your child computer skills. Many junior colleges and libraries offer classes. Only take over if you feel that you are capable.
Be patient. It can be very hard to wait on a child to maneuver the mouse to the right location or to find the right letter on the keyboard. However, let your child set the pace. There is no need for you to take over or yell out the answer before your child has had time to work.
Remind your child that a computer is a helper. We still must do all of the thinking and feeling. The machine is only as accurate as the person operating it.
Go slow. Do not expect your child to accomplish multi tasks at one sitting. Check for understanding and make eye and physical contact with your child. Make the experience fun. If your child is not enjoying it, then you are wasting your time.