Computers are everywhere and so much of our lives depend on our mastery of this machine and more specifically, mastery of the Internet. Both a blessing and a curse, the net can be our master or our slave to make our lives harder or easier depending on our computer self-confidence. So how can you safely encourage your child to develop this comfort? Here are a few tips to get them off on the right foot:
- Make using the computer a fun activity that you do together. Try asking some questions and then using a search engine to find the answers.
- Play simple, easy to win games together using sites such as Learning Games for Kids, Spelling City and Vocabulary Games.
- If your child gets stuck or makes a mistake, sandwich your correction between two thick slices of praise. For example, "Maya, you have done a great job to get this far, I'm amazed at how quickly you have picked this up. I see that you have reached a dead-end right now but I'm confident you have what it takes to get back on the right track as you have done so well up to this point."
- Augment their textbook lessons with online curriculum such as Time4Learning.
- Look into affordable online writing tutors offered by courses found at Time4Writing.com.
- Write emails together to family members and include photos or links to videos that the 2 of you select from YouTube.
- Allow supervised use of protected kids social media sites such as Club Penguin and WebKinz.