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I'm wondering if computer usage is ok for a preschooler. She likes the phonics things at starfall.com .Or is computer usage harmful to the brain like TV?? If my dd doesn't watch Tv/videos, is 10min of computer really going to make a difference?<br><br>
Does anyone let the'r prek's use the comp?<br><br>
fyrfly
 

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I think there is a difference between tv (just using one sense, sight, no thought involved) and a pc game that requires thinking skills, kwim?<br><br>
My older two played on the pc when they were little, but then they watched some tv too. They're both "honor" students.<br><br>
Everything in moderation.
 

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My son was very into the PC from an early age. My Dd wasn't so interested until the age of 7 or 8. We don't have any problems with computer usage. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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You are probably going to get a wide spectrum of answers. I think it totally depends on the child and the family. Abi was interested in computers very early and started using a toddler computer program at age 2.<br><br><a href="http://members.cox.net/sukumaran/NaturalParenting/Diapering/snapdragon2.jpg" target="_blank">photo</a><br><br>
Abi has always been more interested in academic stuff so the computer was good for her. She learned her ABC's and many other things through computer and select preschool vidoes. Like anything else, computers can be a good tool for learning and fun, or they can be overused and misused.<br><br>
ETA: Abi was also developing earlier with her academic skills: she taught herself to read at age 3. She's homeschooled at age 4 at Kindergarten level and will be starting first grade in the fall. I don't push her. It's all her lead, she loves school. We do that for about 60 mins a day max (including art, music, and movement). She spends the rest of her day poking around the backyard or playing or helping me around the house. Her current favorite thing to do is tape things. She looooves tape! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/eyesroll.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="roll"> It's almost art, what she can do with tape.<br><br>
She spends an average of 30 mins at the computer 2-3 times a week. And yes, we have a flat screen.
 

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No, I don't think it's OK for a preschooler. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shrug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="shrug"><br><br>
Preschoolers need to be exploring the real 3 dimensional world.... using their bodies (climbing, crawling...) and minds (playing pretend, imagining, etc...) and hands (touching and exploring a variety of things.<br><br>
Why does anyone need to put their kid in front of a computer? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/headscratch.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="headscratch"><br>
I just don't get it.<br><br>
My kid also learned his ABCs and counting, but I didn't use the computer or TV to do it. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shrug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="shrug"> It's not a necessity.<br><br><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.html?ie=UTF8&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=9325&tag=motheringhud-20&location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2Fexec%2Fobidos%2Ftg%2Fdetail%2F-%2F0684855399%2Fqid%3D1117599048%2Fsr%3D8-1%2Fref%3Dpd_csp_1%2F104-2011214-1340761%3Fv%3Dglance%26s%3Dbooks%26n%3D507846" target="_blank">Failure to Connect: How Computer's Affect Our Children's Minds - and What We can Do About It</a> by Jane Healy.<br><br>
That book will give you a con argument.<br><br>
My preschool director could give you a list of con arguments (she's more read up on brain issues than I am.)<br><br>
I don't know if 10 minutes a day will affect the brain.<br><br>
But... I wouldn't put my kid in front of a regular monitor (flat screen only) if I can help it. Electromagnetic radiation & lead is emitted from regular monitors.
 

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I personally do think it's okay for a preschooler to be on the computer for limited times each day. My preschooler does it; she's four and is quite intelligent for her age. We make sure that she always has an adult with her when using the computer, and that everything she does is fun and educational. Now I do make sure that most of her time is spent exploring the three demensional world, but we do live in a world we computer knowledge is becoming increasingly mandatory for most jobs, and I'd like her to know her way around a PC so it won't be anything new to her. While I do not think kids should EVER spend extended periods of time sitting in front of a computer, a little time couldn't hurt and certainly can be beneficial.<br>
Oh, and a little note, my daughter attends a wonderful montessori school, and does use computers as part of their curriculum.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Tanibani</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Preschoolers need to be exploring the real 3 dimensional world.... using their bodies (climbing, crawling...) and minds (playing pretend, imagining, etc...) and hands (touching and exploring a variety of things.</div>
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<span>I agree, and I think many (most?) preschoolers love doing those things. Some also like computers. In my book it doesn't have to be either/or.</span><br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">Why does anyone need to put their kid in front of a computer? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/headscratch.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="headscratch"><br>
I just don't get it.</td>
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<span>I don't <i>need</i> to put my kid in front of a computer, but my <i>kid may desire</i> to use one.<br></span>
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>angelpie545</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">but we do live in a world we computer knowledge is becoming increasingly mandatory for most jobs, and I'd like her to know her way around a PC so it won't be anything new to her.</div>
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Nobody on this board was on a computer at age 3, 4, or 5, yet we are all managing just fine. It's not necessary for a child <i>this young</i> to be on <i>so early</i> to be computer literate. It's the old "your child will be left behind" argument, enticing us to <b>buy their products.</b> Sorry, I don't buy that argument. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shrug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="shrug"><br><br>
Which reminds me of a book I need to read:<br><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.html?ie=UTF8&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=9325&tag=motheringhud-20&location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2Fexec%2Fobidos%2Ftg%2Fdetail%2F-%2F068487055X%2Fref%3Dwl_it_dp%2F104-2011214-1340761%3F_encoding%3DUTF8%26coliid%3DI22ZK583HY2FMF%26v%3Dglance%26colid%3D32NWI15TB7V2M" target="_blank">Born to Buy: The Commercialized Child and the New Commercial Culture</a><br><br>
Computer use later? Sure, it can be a good tool. Now? In my house? No. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shrug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="shrug"><br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>angelpie545</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Oh, and a little note, my daughter attends a wonderful montessori school, and does use computers as part of their curriculum.</div>
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My first reaction was shock, but why should I be shocked? An AP mommy friend was recently also shocked to learn that on rainy days, her Montessori school let the kids watch movies. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/jaw.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="dropjaw"> "Oh no, it's raining, come inside everyone!" My <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love"> preschool co-op, gasp, let's the kids play outside if they wish when it rains. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up"> Most kids chose to stay inside and do other activities. A handful (my son included) choose to be outside <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/banana.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="banana"> playing in the puddles and sand. I'm grateful that he's had these experiences. But if he was at my friend's M, he'd be denied that, offered TV (or computers - whatever) and be thrilled to sit like a zombie (though a computer is more interactive.) The real life experience (playing in the rain) is far superior, <i>on a variety of levels</i>, to the 10 minutes (or whatever) "learning" in front of the computer.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>UnschoolnMa</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;"><span>I don't <i>need</i> to put my kid in front of a computer, but my <i>kid may desire</i> to use one.<br></span></div>
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My kid desires ice cream and candy every day too. Call me a meanie. Answer is no. Why? "Because it's not that good for you." That's how I feel about computers at this stage of the game.<br><br>
DS can choose other activities (or healthy snacks.)<br><br>
Lisa Murphy is an early childhood educator in San Diego. I heard her speak last year. She (and others) believe that <b>PLAY is the foundation for learning.</b> Computer use is not the foundation for learning.<br><br>
Gosh I have a lot to learn.... I want to read all the books on her bookshelf<br><a href="http://www.ooeygooey.com/mary/resources/booklists/ess_ooey_booklists_adults.cfm" target="_blank">Ooey Gooey Book List - Lisa Murphy</a><br><br>
Fyrflymommy - I bet the computer books on her list could answer you question - whether or not computers are bad for the brain, like TV. At this age, I think so.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Tanibani</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">My kid desires ice cream and candy every day too. Call me a meanie. Answer is no. Why? "Because it's not that good for you." That's how I feel about computers at this stage of the game.</div>
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A<span>h, there's the difference between us (or our philosophies or whatever we want to call it lol): My kids can have ice cream or candy when they want it. (provided we have it for them to have of course)<br><br>
Not picking on your opinion at all (just making sure you know my "tone" is friendly... <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin">). Just pointing out that it's clear now we come from opposite ends of the spectrum lol.</span><br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">DS can choose other activities (or healthy snacks.)</td>
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<span>Mine can/could too. They just weren't made to.<br></span><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">Computer use is not the foundation for learning.</td>
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<span>I would say that computer use is not the <i>only</i> foundation for learning...</span>
 

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Good grief maybe I shouldn't have posted. Did not mean to start a debate here!<br><br>
Tanya: My dd does exlpore the real world. She is very active! Thanks alot for scaring *me* about *my* computer usage now with the radiation <giggle giggle>. Hmm I think I have several books with chapters about kids and computers and their brains. But the thing is it is rarely that she sits at the comp with me and when she has it has been a very short period of time.<br><br>
I also noticed something. I must admit that last week....I let her watch a 30min video. No flames please. I learned my mistake when she was done watching. After it was over she screamed and cried to watch it again!! So no more videos. But she's never done such a thing after using the comp.<br><br>
It's nice to know that I'm not the only one here that has let their little kiddo at the comp <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
fyrfly
 

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Everyone here has their own opinion and I think it's great. One thing I love about MDC is there is so much opportunity to get opinions and resources to make educated decisions.<br><br>
When I chose to let my dd use the computer I knew both sides of the argument and decided to wait and see how it went. It's just like many other areas of her life: she has learned to self-regulate those activities. I never have to tell her to get off because she's playing on the computer too much. She will just say she's done now and will get her shoes on and go outside (she loves outside!).<br><br>
The other day I was starting to introduce phonics and said we would learn the short A sound. She started singing a song about short A that she learned from starfall.com. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up"> Now, she can learn about short A and other things without the computer but it makes it fun, and where would I ever learn a song like that to teach her?<br><br>
She also loves Mr. Rogers website. They have a whole page of "How People Make ___" videos with the factories and such. It's facinating to her. She will now see something in our home and ask, "Mommy, how do people make this?"<br><br>
So it can be good and bad. We will never have violent video games in the house. We well never have playstation type stuff. I will never (not for years and years) allow her free access to the internet.<br><br>
If anyone needs to limit their computer time in this house it's not Abi, it's me. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/bag.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Bag">:
 

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In response to TaniBani: My daughter's Montessori does not let them watch movies. And the computer time isn't for play; it's programs that teach children phonics, math, english, and other essential skills the WILL need. Computer time is monitored, and is only allowed during cetain times of the day, never for indiscriminate use. And yes, I wasn't on a PC at three or four, but we do have one in the house, for my and my fiance's personal/business use. Although I do understand you strong feelings on the issue, a little computer time for a kid is not going to harm them at all. Certainly you can argue that no child "needs" a computer, and you are correct, no child does. However, when I have the tool in my house anyway, and have no choice but to use it(for business purposes) then to me it alright to allow my child limited access to a personal PC for educational purposes.<br>
Let me make it VERY clear that I do not think any child should be on a computer for an extened period of time, unsupervised. But please, for those mothers who allow their children limited access to a PC for education and even for fun purposes for a small amount of time, that is certainly not damaging. To suggest, not that you were, but just in general, that it is damaging, is proposterous. My child is a very healthy, active four-year-old who may be gifted. She has been using a PC for small amounts of time for while now. I think it's really okay for the right reasons.<br>
FWI: You were "shocked" the computer at the Montessori school: might I add that this montessori school is one of the most highly rated around, with kids learning things in this school that they learn in Kindergarten. Children graduating from preschool in from this school are often very ahead of those who just went to a preschool with a discovery-based program. My daughter is more than ready for kindergarten. Sometimes computers can be a good thing when used properly.
 

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FWIW, I didn't see a debate here. Just a discussion...something that makes MDC great IMO <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1">
 

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After the age of six, my kids did have some computer time. It is always in the range of educational games type of thing.<br><br>
I keep a tight time limit on the computer and the Tv.<br>
My kids listen to music, draw, build eleborate Lego and Playmobile "worlds". At a age when most of their buddies have gameboys and cellphones, mine are still running aroung playing pirates with each other. I think that rocks.
 

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My very very right-brained ds1 showed an interest in the computer at around age 18 months.<br><br>
We used to have a Winnie the Pooh cd-rom that he liked, but when my computer broke, the disc was inside of it when we disposed of it, so we don't have that anymore.<br><br>
Now, at age 3.25, he spends about 1 hr per week using the computer. He is free to use it when he wants, with supervision of course. Mainly he visits the websites of car companies (Ford.com, Mini.com, Toyota.com) and typing out words on Microsoft Word. He loves to spell words, but he is unable to use pen and paper to do so--his hands aren't that coordinated yet.<br><br>
I have absolutely no qualms or reservations about his computer usage. None whatsoever.<br><br>
I could only imagine the power struggles that would have ensued if I had tried to make the computer (that he sees his father and I use daily) an off-limits thing. I follow his lead on most things. If he had never shown an interest, I doubt I would have introduced it, but he has always been VERY interested in electronics so I have let him experiment with all of our 'toys' (stereo, remote controls, security system).
 

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In our house computers are difficult to avoid. There are two laptops and three desktops that work, and carcasses of computers that once were.<br><br>
I do not think it is harmful for preschoolers to use the computer. I find the use of the computer to be beneficial. Our son has many games that all have an educational benefit, but they are fun. We have a game of logic and math called "The Magical Journey of the Zoombini." We all love it. It is challenging and he really does get a brain workout playing it. He has games were he is required to match, identify colors, letters, and learn things in a fun environment.<br><br>
Personally, I would rather he play a computer game than watch tv.
 

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I permit my DSs to play on the computer a little each week. They like the PBSkids.org website and also we have the Jumpstart Spanish CD-Rom. They have learned a little Spanish from the Jumpstart game, which is nice, though certainly not necessary.<br><br>
I don't think it hurts them to play on the computer a bit. Gosh - they are awake over 80 hours per week - they could play outside for 20 hours, do arts & crafts for 15 hours, listen to books for 10 hours, play with toys and games for 30 hours, and still have time left to play on the computer. Not a bad life for a preschooler.<br><br>
I benefit from it because it is a contained activity that gives me a few minutes to clean up the house (or to cook dinner or do laundry) without having my very active boys make yet-another mess.
 

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I don't think it is necessary for a young child to use a computer, and that learning any necessary computer skills can certainly wait until they are older. Children who will be attending school will probably start using computers in kindergarten anyway - my DD's class has computer once a week.<br><br>
That said, I also do not think that moderate computer use is any more harmful than moderate television watching, and since computer use is more interactive (usually), it's probably just a tad better than tv, too. My daughter has a handful of educational software programs such as I Spy, MathQuest, Phonics Quest, and then some plain old fun and frivolous ones we got for free through dh's work, such as Crayola's Paint and Play Pony. She probably only uses the computer once or twice a month, though, because she just doesn't think to ask for it and I rarely offer. I think that's due to the fact that i hardly ever use the computer when she is home, and it's in an extra bedroom upstairs, out of sight.
 
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