Proud or Concerned?
Ian loves playing on the computer and he can navigate it pretty damn well. Awhile ago, Jesse set up one of the spare laptops as Ian’s own computer, and while he does get a lot of use out of it, nothing compares to using mama’s laptop. I have a folder in Firefox with his name right on it that contains all of the sites he can go to and he knows where it is. He really only goes to three main sites – PBS, Disney Playhouse and Sprout Jr – but he doesn’t need any help finding them. He knows to click on the folder and somehow he knows which is which. Once he gets onto those sites, watch out, he navigates around like a veteran and he’ll spend a good hour on it before he gets bored.
I know I shouldn’t be letting him spend a lot of time on the computer, but it’s great for when I’m trying to take a shower or making dinner. I know he’s being occupied and I trust the sites he is at to be more than just “playing”. Disney Playhouse may be stretching it a bit, but when he’s on PBS’s site – mainly Super Why, Curious George and Word World – everything is educational and he’s learning while he’s on it. The Super Why and Word World sites are not only enforcing the letter recognition, but he’s starting to associate letters with words. Heck, he knows how to spell his own name because he’s seen me type it in these sites so much, plus it’s the name of his folder.
Ian hasn’t explored Sprout Jr too much yet, but there is one thing we found that is actually kind of cool. Anyone with an account at Sprout Jr gets their own email address, so Ian now has email. The beautiful part, he can only send and receive email from people who are in his contact lists. Right now, that’s only three people, but he loves typing on the computer and if this gets him spelling faster, even better. It’s a stretch, I know, but it’s a real-world application that he sees Jesse and I using every day and sometimes that’s all it takes.
So yeah, call me a bad parent if you want for letting my kid play on the computer, but when its another way for him to practice his letters and maybe gets him to read and write, I’ll take it. I know I”ll have to start worrying about him exploring other areas of the Internet, but right now, I don’t have to and I’m going to enjoy it while it lasts.