Our Computer Summer

| June 25, 2011 | Comments (5)

I was casually chatting with our girls’ first grade teacher about their assessment scores.  There seemed to be a discrepancy between the three different assessment tests they take each semester, with one test lower than the others.  It wasn’t terrible, but it was different enough that I wondered why she thought it happened.  She said, “Oh, they know their stuff.  It’s just hard for them to maneuver the mouse to answer within the test time.”

This is my fault.  I’m the mom who restricts her kids tv time and computer time so they would spend more time with imaginary play.  We’ve been happy with this decision until they started first grade.  It turns out that knowing the answers to the questions doesn’t mean anything if you cannot figure out how to work the computer.

It’s not that they have no computer experience.  It’s just that they aren’t quite as adept as other kids.  While other kids are playing Scrabble online, we’re playing the Scrabble board game. 

We’re taking steps this summer to reverse this.  The girls are spending more time playing on websites like Club Penguin and Webkins.  They are learning Spanish via an online program.  They are playing math games online.

Their teacher’s point is easily actionable, and we are taking action.  I realize we’re in the digital age where your ability to work a mouse is as important as your ability to complete double-digit addition and subtraction.  I just didn’t realize it would affect our girls’ classroom placement as early as first grade.

Shari writes about life with twin daughters at Two Times the Fun.  Photo courtesy of Stock Exchange.

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Category: girls, New Posts, School

About Shari: Shari is a mom, wife, marketing communications professional, gardener, Chicago Blackhawks fan, college sports fan, traveler, quilter, community volunteer, sister, daughter, aunt, friend, Siberian Husky owner, Girl Scout troop leader and book lover. You can find Shari blogging about life with twins at Two Times the Fun and tweeting @slcs48n1. View author profile.

Comments (5)

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  1. We are the same with computer time. And when they DO get on a computer its with a touchpad not a mouse. But they’ll pick it up soon enough. Especially if you take some time this summer. PBS.org has some great online games that are good for beginner mouse handlers

  2. mom-mom-mom says:

    They will be fine — they catch on this tech stuff a lot quicker than us! It is sad that many college kids can’t tell time on a regular clock or read cursive handwriting because their generation has been completely dependent on computers. I sound like a grumpy old woman…

  3. There is more to be learned from manually writing, playing board games instead of online games, and using their hands and bodies than using a mouse. They WILL learn the mouse control. It will come. I say that you were on the right course with how you were monitoring their computer time before. My kids are freaking addicted to anything digital and we are NOT super digitized over here!

    I also don’t hold very much value in the assessment tests. They truly only show how much they remembered on that very day, in that situation, and with the tools available. Do they influence where your girls get placed or are they just for the school’s records?

  4. i just think it is too bad that they can’t tell your kids know the stuff and place them where they need to be placed. doesn’t it seem weird that the teacher knew they were knowledgeable but let the fact that they can’t handle the mouse affect the outcome?

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