Originally posted here.
It sometimes seems that every time we turn around, kids are using technology at younger and younger ages. Some parents and caregivers try to minimize the amount of time little ones spend on devices, but technology is prevalent even when parameters are in place. Even though there’s no reason for children or teens to spend all day staring at a screen, there are definitely some benefits that can come from using the Internet in positive ways. Here are a few ideas to take advantage of the Web while simultaneously stimulating the kiddos’ brains.
Inspiration Through Lesson Plans
There may be times when you want to be hands-on and offer creative activities to the kids you watch. But what if the inspiration isn’t flowing? It can be tough to think up ideas that can work for a variety of ages and preferences. This is a perfect time to check out an online resource likeEducation.com. This website has a specific section for lesson plans, and they’re broken down by age group. Pull activities from this site to use with the little ones you watch. These idea will keep things fresh and exciting for the kids.
Developing a Tech-Savvy Child
Yes, it’s good to limit the screen time that children are exposed to — especially when they’re in their earliest, most formative years. But since technology is such a dominant force in society, kids would be well served by being comfortable with it from the start. If you care for children in any age bracket from two years up, you can help to impart the crucial life skill of computer aptitude. Look to a website like E-Learning for Kids, which boasts an entire section on computer skills. A nanny of a six-year-old girl used this site to help her little one learn how to type quickly — without even looking at the keys. What an valuable skill she can use the rest of her life!
Help in Difficult Subjects
Whether you’re a caregiver or a parent, you likely have no problem answering a child’s questions when they’re young. But as they start to mature and begin learning about more complex subjects, it can be hard to provide sufficient answers or adequately help them with homework. If you want to help a little boy with science, but are not very qualified to teach in the area, give Khan Academy a try. One mom went through the learning lessons offered through Khan with her son in this exact scenario, and both of them were able to understand his course material much more easily afterward. As long as there’s a will to master a subject, this sort of website can provide the way.
Gearing up to Hit the Road
Just when you were adjusting to the idea of the little one you used to dress in ribbons and bows having entered high school, you’re hit with the reality that she is also approaching the need for a driver’s permit. The good news is, although scary, this can be a fun time to be involved in this young adult’s life. Your greatest gift to someone at this age is to properly prepare her for being on the open road. Refer her to a site like Driving-Tests.org, and offer to sit with her as she peruses the subject matter in case she has additional questions. This type of preparation can really help in furthering a teen’s confidence and safety skills. And one young lady went through this website and mastered the material so well that she was able to pass her permit test in only 10 minutes!
As you care for children throughout every stage of their development, there are numerous ways you can strengthen your bond and be a support to them. Rather than looking at technology as a waste of time, seek out positive online resources that offer educational value. The kids who matter most to you will enjoy the experience and are sure to gain priceless skills in the process. And the best part? They’ll love that you’re a part of their quest for endless learning.