The advent of the Internet, in some respects, made the job of parenting a little harder. We want our children to experience the vast wealth of knowledge available on the Internet and communicate with their friends online (frees up the telephone). Unfortunately, it also potential exposes our children to inappropriate material, obscene pop-up ads, and even sexual predators. In fact, research indicates that 1 in 5 children aged 10 to 17 have received a sexual solicitation over the Internet. This is definitely not something any parent wants to hear, but is forced to face.
We need a little assurance that when our children access the web, they can do so safely. Internet filters are crucial to protect your children. However, in today’s world it is not just the internet that is of concern. If our children are not on the internet, they are still in front of their computers playing games of some description, not always educational in content either. One tool that can assist us in this goal is 123EducateMe software. This is a program you can download and install on your computer. It allows you to set an amount of time for recreational use of the computer. Once this time has expired, your children can only access software designated by you. This could include tutorial programs, MS Word or Excel, or perhaps no time at all. To quote from their site:
EducateMe operates as a countdown timer, showing the time until the child will be logged off. The time can be increased in the following ways with vouchers for doing chores, music practice and sport, or by completing educational challenges and puzzles. The clock will also be paused while the child is completely focussed on something chosen by the parent as educational.
123EducateMe is available in Australia with a free seven day functioning version. If you like what you see it can be purchased for an economical A$39.95 (credit cards and PayPal). This is a one time purchase price which will give you unlimited use of the service. You never have to renew a subscription or pay any additional membership fees for use of the program. It seems like a reasonable price for a little parental peace of mind.
The following is an excerpt from their press release:
Parents tired of nagging their kids to stop playing computer games and start doing homework are being thrown a lifeline with the launch of world-first software which puts parents firmly back in control of their child’s computer use.
Called EducateMe, the Queensland-developed software restores the balance in children’s computer use by letting parents set a defined amount of daily “play time” their child is allowed.
Here is what the software can do:
Parents can use “Play Time Vouchers” to reward children and as incentives to complete tasks off the computer and around the home. These vouchers contain codes which grant children more “play time”.
Using the program’s Content Creator, parents can set specific learning tasks and challenges for children to complete. Once done to an acceptable standard, children can automatically receive extra “play time” on the computer. EducateMe also provides a range of free and age-appropriate educational content for parents to use.
The program’s sophisticated security notifies parents if any attempts have been made to thwart the system and children will be penalised by having their “play time” reduced.
Teachers and schools can set homework online, and immediately see which students have completed the homework and how well they have performed.
(Disclosure: This is NOT a paid promotion and just4families.com is NOT affiliated with this software or the company selling the software nor do we gain any financial or otherwise benefit from this post.)
Although computer is the best way and easiest way to communicate our children’s friends and relatives we should also encourage our children to read books instead of playing computer games and chatting with friends. Try audio books, or books on tape as they were called when I was a kid, while many people think that this form of receiving information is inferior to reading, however to the contrary there are many benefits to using this kind of literature for kids. One good point is that audio books also provide excitement that helps to expand a child's imagination and enhance their listening skills something that television and video games simply cannot do, this does not mean reading should be substituted or replaced in any way. However, books on cd are some great resources for encouraging young kids to become avid readers. These motivating devices are wonderful vehicles for introducing kids to the world of action, adventure and learning. That’s why every time I’m planning to buy
baby gifts I prefer to buy Books or audio books.