My DH and I searched for a school that wouldn't push computers use. The one we picked is a home school/private school hybrid (she's there 3 days per week) and we love it so far, as well as our DD. We picked this school based on many things but one was that the school director reassured us that computer use would not happen in the 4-7 year-old age groups, and very minimally in the 7-9 year-old age groups. Our DD is in the 4-6 yo class and they decided to bring in the laptops for each child for 10 minutes each day to learn reading with Tumblebooks. The program is not animated, it is actually just the text of the story and as they listen to the audio of the story being told, each sentence highlights red while it is spoken. Each child has their own laptop and earpieces to listen.
At first I was upset because I thought there would be no computers for these little ones. Then, after gently voicing my feelings and questions, a meeting was called for me and DH to view the software with the director. I'm sure it's fine for most people, but I still feel like it's time wasted in school when they should be learning interactively with the class and teacher. My eyes even feel weird reading red highlighted words on the computer. My DD had a neurological tic early this year right after x-mas and we knew it was due to stress (in-laws, crumbling marriage, holidays, mom at work full time) but it also started around the same time that she was using an iPad when she joined dad at his office meetings. I made sure the iPad use stopped because I've read so many articles on the eye movement and brain development of young ones. The tic slowly went away and I still don't know if it had anything to do with the iPad use.
Anyway, I still have this gut reaction to their computer use that won't leave me and it's haunting me, I've even accepted the opportunity to record my voice telling a story so they can do the same thing with real books (like books-on-tape), although they would still need to use the computers for the audio, there would just not be anything on the screen to look at).
This is a democratic school so I know I'm able to voice my opinions, but I feel like I'm being looked at as a high-maintenance parent now. I also don't want my child told she's not going to use the computers while every other kid is. I guess this is a part of a 5 part reading curriculum, and reading while listening is one of the 5 parts. I feel like there could be better ways of doing this without computers. It's all a part of getting creative with these little ones. They will have plenty of time later to be on computers.
Am I overreacting?
Thanks for listening, and thanks for your feedback.
~ Austin Mama