Monday, July 6, 2009

Screen Time and Kids

Many moons ago, before my son was born, I decided that it was best that our children have very little/no screen time. There have been numerous studies saying that screen time for young children can cause a host of problems (especially when it comes to school). Well, we were going along nice and fine with no TV (and of course no computer) until we were given a Baby Einstein movie for Liam. I am pretty sure that at the time I was pregnant with Morgaine, and sick as a dog. It was a welcomed few minutes of peace. It was still a very occasional thing.

Then, while watching a show on CBC, Liam decided that he wanted to learn to read so not really know where to beginning I looked on the computer for something to help out and stumbled upon Starfall. It was a wonderful tool for teaching Liam and it started his regular use of the computer. We do not have television here but I am almost sad to say that the computer gets a lot of use and is pretty much Liam's favorite activity at the moment and his little sister is following right along in his foot steps. As I don't think there is any turning back now, and they mostly only play educational material, I figured I might as well share their favorite links. I have come to see that the computer can be a valuable tool when used with moderation.

Liam's Favorites

Poptropica (TIme Tangled Island is a favorite of ours. It has a links to sites to learn more about the different periods of history and places in the world. When used as an educational tool it is great. It can also be used purely to play).
Discovery Kids (especially WhizBall)

Morgaine's Favorites

Starfall (I credit this site with teaching Liam to read...or at least really helping in along. Morgaine is more interested in the artsy activities, games, and music but I have hope!)
Wordgirl (I am shocked at the words that my kids use from visiting this site. FLABBERGASTED and EXASPERATED are just a couple of their favorites (and yes, they use them in the right context!))

Mama's Favorites

The Homeschool Lounge
Just an all around great site for homeschoolers to get encouragment, ideas, and meet other homeschooling families.
Soule Mama A blog I've fallen in love with. Such good ideas for living a simple life and enjoying the moment.
BBC Education Lots of great ideas for unit studies and an valuable source of information written in a way that is easy to understand. Many links to renown universities and the such for more information.

Of course, we also use the computer just for fun. The kids wanted me to share the pictures of the aliens that they built online over the weekend. They laughed a lot while they made these with their Daddy (and I may actually have them craft their own aliens out of recyclables as they had such a good time!

Here's Morgaine's alien and it's little pets.

Picture 1

Liam's alien.

Picture 2

I'd love to hear what your favorite internet sites are! How do you feel about screen time for kids? What are your experiences? Let me know!

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