[Homestead] Fine tool for learning vocabulary, spelling

Tvoivozhd tvoivozd at infionline.net
Mon Sep 13 21:58:30 EDT 2004

A computer of course.  Kids three and up are rabid to learn to operate a 
computer, quickly find out they can't do what they want to do without 
using the right word and right spelling in a browser.  Nothing like a 
powerful learning incentive, works better than shouting at the kid.

The Straits Times Interactive - Print Friendly Pages 
SEPT 13, 2004
Get kids started early on computer

Early exposure to the computer can help build a child's confidence, 
vocabulary and IT skills

By Lynn Lee 

USING the computer from an early age can increase a child's confidence, 
improve his verbal skills and make him a better student as well as equip 
him with information technology skills for life.

This is because using different software and programs will motivate him 
to try new things, stimulate his imagination as well as expose him to a 
range of vocabulary, say authors Glenn and Catherine De Padua, who own a 
computer literacy centre for children in Malaysia.

The couple, who have a young son, say that children can be exposed to 
computers from as young as one-and-a-half years old.

The couple had worked for about 10 years in companies such as Citibank 
and 3Com Corporation.

In their book Teaching Children Computer Literacy, they offer parents 
some tips and tools they need to get their child started on the computer 
in the comfort of their home.


LEARNING how to use the computer can begin in the home if parents have 
the necessary knowledge and time to teach their children.

Parents can start by explaining the functions of the screen, the 
keyboard and the mouse simply to the child.

If he wishes to see how it works, let him touch the keyboard but advise 
him to treat it gently if he starts banging away.

If possible, buy him a toy computer, which should be available in toy 
stores. Let him practise 'using' it as it will prepare him for the real 
thing later on.


WHEN your child grows older and is ready to use the family computer, do 
try to monitor him when he is using it, just to make sure that he does 
not accidentally chance upon negative sites on the Internet.

To protect your own files, give him his own ID to log on to the system 
as it will have his personalised settings that will limit what he can 

Computer software such as KidDesk and search engines such as 
www.yahooligans.com can also can be useful in preventing children from 
viewing certain sites and programs.

In the computer area, ensure that there is enough elbow room, leg room 
and lighting so that your child can use it comfortably.

Do advise him to take breaks every 30 to 40 minutes to rest his eyes.

In addition, a height adjustable chair with a movable backrest and 
swivel base will help your child maintain a good posture.

Draw up a set of rules for using the computer. For example, ban food and 
drinks as the equipment can get spoilt or dirty if anything spills.

Also, set time limits for your child to use the computer.

This will encourage him to divide his time between playing outdoors, 
reading and picking up IT skills.


SHOULD you prefer to send your child to a computer centre to pick up 
skills, you can vet such centres by quizzing the operators and 
instructors on their background.

You might want to ensure that the centre is an established one, for 
example, or that the teachers have formal qualifications and the 
necessary experience.

Find out how classes are conducted and what the student-teacher ratio is 

A smaller ratio will mean that your child will be able to get more 
personalised attention.


HERE are some examples of software that will enhance your child's 
learning of basic reading and numerical skills.

# National Geographic Trivia Trek 2002
MAPS and photographs here allow players aged nine and above to learn 
about cultural, physical and political geography.
# Zoboomafoo Animal Alphabet
AN assortment of animal facts teaches children to read and recognise 
letters and words. They will also learn about the habits and 
characteristics of different creatures. For those aged three to seven
# Time, Money and Fractions Grades 1-2
IN this colourful electronic workbook, children aged six to eight can 
learn how to recognise coins, the time and values of fractions.
# Human Body Explorer Deluxe
TWO disks in this program give children an understanding of the inner 
workings of the human body, as well as electricity, light and sound and 
living things. For children aged six to nine.
# Stanley Tiger Tales (Playhouse Disney)
STANLEY Tiger's activities are meaningful lessons for children to learn. 
These include learning responsibility in the form of putting toys away 
and turning off dripping faucets, and safety tips such as staying away 
from the stove and picking up marbles from the floor. For children aged 
three to six.


THE websites listed here can help your child enjoy what the Internet has 
to offer

# NURSERY rhymes such as Baa Baa Black Sheep and Humpty Dumpty can be 
learnt at www.iyedo.com
# CHILDREN can try their hands at making lanterns, animal bookmarks and 
paper airplanes with how-to guides found on www.myweb3000.com
# STORIES on New York City, robots of the future and courageous children 
are available on www.zuzu.org. All are written by children.
# ONLINE lessons on webpage design for youngsters can be found at 
# VISIT www.amazing-kids.org/gallery.html where children can take part in 
poetry and plush toy design contests, learn how to draw comics and 
submit them for use on the site.

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