Does your child fight you to use the iPad? Does your child resist reading at night? Does your child hate to practice their math facts with flash cards? Are you pulling your hair out over the fights about technology and unfinished homework?
You know where I am going with this, right? Tablets. One of the most beautiful inventions ever for the budding reader.
Bean is 27 months old, and I do use the tablet with her. She is allowed to play Peek a Boo Barn, Peek a Boo Sesame Street, and when she’s not constantly hitting the reset button, she is learning (oh, and letting Mom have an enjoyable doctor’s appointment or moment of calmness in a store that isn’t Bean-entertaining). And ok…I of course have an episode or two of Sesame Street and Curious George on there for emergencies. When she’s breaking down in a 4 hour drive to the mountains, that joyful cry, “George is so silly!” really does save the day.
When you have a child in grades K-4, a tablet has a gold mine of possibilities. Use tablets to your advantage. Kids want to use them and will do anything (including play games that are educational ) to get their little paws on them.
Some ideas on how to maximize learning from a tablet:
- If your child wants to play on the tablet, have them only be allowed to play with certain apps, apps that may be centered around reading or math or science or spelling. The apps out right now are unbelievable.
- Barter app time: 10 minutes of a game like app for 10 minutes of a reading (math, spelling science) app.
- Screen time is limited unless it is in one of the apps you have chosen. They will really go for this one.
While I don’t condone lots of screen time, I have seen skills deepen from the use of technology. I have seen students who can’t focus on a book in reading time suddenly engage in online books and apps. I have seen home reading become more interesting and easier to track, and I have seen parents go from fighting with their child about reading every night to gasping when they turn the corner and see their child fully engaged in reading on their Kindle.
Yes- I get that it costs money, and I get that this is something not everyone can have. But I have to believe that in this age of technology, with all that is coming up, the Kindle and iPad and other tablet readers will soon become the norm and a reasonably priced tool.
Relax about worrying about screen time and use it for what it does really really well- help your child engage and learn.