Computers are a huge part of our lives; we use them to research, communicate, bank, shop and do about everything else in between. Websites like Dell Financial Services and eCost.com have made it easy to invest online. So, with computers being so important to our everyday lives, when do we introduce children to them?
Computers and Your Toddler
Most likely, your toddler has already been introduced to computers in one way or another. There are many interactive toys that are created for toddlers that use computers to encourage development and creativity. As your child grows, so does the technology in his toys. He may begin with a simple toy that allows him to match shapes, colors, sounds and words and as his learning ability increases, he can move on to video games that teach coordination, quick thinking and creativity.
Computers in School
Children are being introduced to computers in school as early as pre-school age. The use is limited, but they are given activities that teach them the basic motor skills needed to use an actual computer. Introducing children to computers at this early age increases their ability to learn with the use of age appropriate software.
Children and Personal Computers
Once your children are in grade school, they will have most likely mastered basic use of the computer. They will understand the use of the mouse or touchpad, know how to open software and be able to navigate through certain areas of the Internet. This is the time when your children may begin to ask to use your home computer or even to have one of their own.
While your children may seem computer savvy at this point, they still need severe monitoring when operating the computer or using the Internet. The Internet is a great way for them to learn about topics they are studying in school or even to find other areas of interest.
Your children may be using the Internet to play games, study or even to communicate with friends, and this is fine as long as they have supervision when using it and there are filters in place to prevent them from stumbling onto something they should not see (and to prevent others from contacting them). Always be sure to watch what your children do when they are online, know who they are speaking to and what they are looking at.
Computers and College
By this age, your child has already become dependent on computers for his entertainment, socializing, research, study and even banking. When he enters college, most classes will require he has his own personal computer or laptop, and he should be extremely familiar with how it works and how to use it. The sooner your child is introduced to computers, the sooner he will learn how to use them. It may not seem important that your child learn how to use the mouse, right click or how to save a file at the age of 5, but if he has that head start, it will make learning easier as he grows.