With much software out there these days determing the best games, learning activities, as well as other computer materials for your children can be difficult. Sure you would like young kids to get fun. But the best software should do much more than just entertain. And you also certainly don't wish to waste your dollars by ordering something isn't developmentally suitable for your kids.
Just how how can you tell you are making wise choices when it comes to software?
To begin with, read reviews of the software you're interested in buying. You'll find reviews in a number of places. Many computer and parenting magazines feature new reviews in each issue, and internet-based software companies usually provide reviews of any products they carry. But in addition to that, buying a five elements in choosing software for your children:
1) Educational Value - Most good programs explain the abilities this program teaches or reinforces. You need to make sure many different skills are taught with any program you purchase. Also make certain the training activities are age and developmentally befitting your kids. If you aren't sure what this signifies, this is how reviews can help, to check out software applications which contain a user's manual which gives basic information about child development because it refers to the software. And, of course you need to choose programs that encourage creativity, imagination, and exploration.
2) Design Features - First, you'll want an application that is simple to install and has several playing options. For example, a SAVE option and so the game or activity could be saved whenever the child plays it, and even perhaps a PRINT option and so the child can listing parts of his work. Next, confirm how the program supplies the learner (your kids) clear directions and on- screen help. If your little child is really a pre-reader you'll want the application to include icons or audio directions, at the same time. Finally, seek out outstanding graphics and a program which offers animation and sound. In fact, computer software are competing with television on your child's attention and interest every single day, so that they must look and sound as appealing as you can.
3) Fun Appeal - If kids do not like an application it doesn't matter how educational it really is. Again, read reviews to determine any alternative kids and oldsters say over it. Also, verify how the program offers positive feedback and methods for teaching children that may not proficient in another media (through books or from the teacher in school, by way of example).
4) Value vs. Cost - Some programs can appear pricey, yet they're really a value since they can be utilized continuously (without a child losing interest), plus they teach or reinforce a number of skills. Also, most high quality games and actitivites offer a variety of levels appropriate and interesting for children of several different ages.
5) Scary Images and/or Violence - Emily J. Johnson, Ph.D, assistant professor of psychology with the University of Wisconsin in La Crosse, advises parents to "avoid scary images and violent themes seen in some software. Some children have particularly difficult times with scary images - even if you can't locate them as scary. And regarding violence - it is not the child will necessarily turn around and become violent, too, but he/she learns that violence is often a strategy to solve problems. Plus, do you really would like your children 'killing off bad guys' just to learn a math concept, for example?'"
On-line computer games and activities are quickly becoming area of the educational experiences at childcare centers and schools in the united states. Talk to your children's teachers to find out which programs they recommend, as well as cost programs your young ones are choosing in class. There may be other individuals you can aquire that would coordinate well using these.
Donna Nelson, M.Ed., preschool teacher at the Francis Institute Child Development Center in Overland park, says, "the best kind of applications for young kids are those that offer a young child many choices and many techniques for getting to the right answer." And Linda Bell, M.S., Coordinator with the Francis Institute, reminds us that "wise teachers and parents will view computer software as another tool to use to help you children learn - rather than use them as a substitute for other developmentally appropriate activities."
When you are the hang of it, discovering the right software for your kids shouldn't be that difficult. It simply requires a little time and research.
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