Technology: Embrace it!

I remember growing up we didn’t have as a nice computer as we have now till a lot later in my life.  I recall vaguely a commodore 64 that my brother and I used to play games on when we were younger.  It was a slow beast, but we loved it!  And we would be on it as often as we could –until it died!  My parents never fixed it.  Perhaps it was too costly back then?  We didn’t have another computer till I entered college.

We then welcomed the modern version of a computer into our home and we got hooked up to the internet with the very loud and obnoxious dial-up modem!

Oh, how far we’ve come in technology!  The amazing advancements and such.

When I was in elementary school, I recall reading a short story (I so wish I could remember the name of it!!! maybe someone out there will and could let me know!).  It was about two kids talking about how school used to be.  The setting is in the future where they have robots that teach them at home.  One of the kids found a ‘book’.  The kids were so fascinated by it!  They couldn’t believe that you had to actually MANUALLY turn the page!!  Their books were on a screen.

I seriously never dreamed we’d live in the era where books were on a screen and with a swift flick of your finger, you could turn the page, adjust the brightness level, browse the internet (without an annoying dial-up modem!!!) and have it all conveniently in a compact and slim device!  AMAZING!

My hubby and I are firm believers that technology is the future of our kids and we should not shield them from it, but in fact educate them with it and on it!

All three of our girls absolutely love being on the computer.  They love doing school on the computer, especially our 3.5 year olds (they are currently doing Time4Learning and EzTales on the computer).  My oldest is doing several subjects on the computer (like ALEKS for math, Spanish, BrainPop) and her typing speed has improved significantly from using it for a variety of things!

My oldest has been using her (my old) tablet for BrainPop, reading, playing games, etc.  She loves it!  In fact, she prefers reading on the tablet as opposed to a paperback book.

My two youngest ones were gifted a (cheap) tablet each for Christmas (cheap so if it broke, I wouldn’t be terribly upset being that they are gifted to three and a half year olds!!).  We found an amazing deal and decided it would be a good idea after we noticed how well they could figure it out and play preschool games on our tablet.  They are pretty tech savvy and we’re teaching them to be responsible with the tablets.  (Like no leaving it on the floor when you’re done, to always return it to either myself or daddy, to never pull out the cord when it’s charging, etc.)  

Hubby and I feel it’s really important that our girls be familiar with technology.  Technology is their future!  Of course, we don’t allow them to stay on their devices all day long!  Teaching them that there’s a time and place for the use of devices is no different than our current use of the television, where we limit what they can watch and for how long.

We got the twins a Zoodles subscription.  We love Zoodles!!  It blocks ads, has only access to educational subjects, you can edit what they can access under the Parent Dashboard, you get emailed with what all they have accessed each week and also get to see what they drew in the paint program!   Based on what they access, it will automatically add those games, short videos, etc. to their “Favorites” for quick and easy access.  It has an app available for Mac, PC, iPhone, iPad, and Android.  It’s very affordable and makes us feel comfortable letting them explore the tablet on their own without worrying that they are accessing inappropriate stuff.

My oldest is all too familiar with our tech devices rules and she’s been great!  We never see her playing on her computer into the late hours of the night, she never gets up super early to sneak on the computer or anything like that.  She has a set bedtime but does not need to go to sleep right away.  When it’s bedtime, she can only use her tablet to read at night and she must turn off her cell at that time.  No texting with friends when it’s bedtime.  So far so good.  No problems at all!  I’m sure we’ll run into some head-butting as we reach the teen years, but I’m hoping we’re setting healthy boundaries and limitations and that we are encouraging good habits in the process.

Yes, my oldest has a cell phone.  For peace of mind, really!  I remember my mother would send me to school or to the store with quarters so I could use the payphone in an emergency if I needed to.  There are no payphones these days!  At least not in my part of the world.  My daughter is going out with friends, field trips, events, etc. and I’d like to know she can get a hold of me in a pinch if she needs to.  She knows that there are no ‘secrets’, nothing is private on that phone.  She can chat with her friends, but we have access to her phone.  Thing is, she actually currently views the phone as an annoyance so she doesn’t really use it much at all and sighs when I ask her if she packed it in her purse when she goes out.  Not a typical tween, I know!  lol  I realize this dislike of the cell phone won’t always be the case, but a mom can hope?  =)

So all use of such technology is tempered with healthy limits and boundaries all the while educating our girls on how to use it safely and properly.  That is our take on technology.  We are embracing it!