*Typed this up earlier today…just now having time to post it, just in time for Secular Thursday!…Well a very early Secular Thursday post anyways.*

While the boys enjoy some quiet time I have a moment to reflect/blog on our morning.-as well as rant- Our morning went well, despite the fact that I wasn’t able to drag myself out of bed as early as I had planned too, *I’ll just blame the educational centers I’ve been working on for the late night I had*.

Anyways, The Spouse *who is wonderful beyond words and always up before the sun on the weekdays* got Child #1 feed and started on his morning routine. Which allowed me time to wipe sleep from my eyes, collect Child #2 from his comfortable position in the middle of our bed, and helped put our morning on the path to productive! *Thank you honey!*

After getting through our morning lessons the boys got to enjoy a nice long break. For their break activities Child #2 opted for our Pencil Pal Preschool game and some both of which involve our classroom computer. While Child #1 relaxed with my DS and a couple of educational games. It was in that weird silence of clicks and “You did it”-s that I realized just how fortune we are to be able to make the most of these items.

Yes, I know many people have these items now-a-days. In fact it’s hard to find someone who doesn’t at least own a personal computer, but many schools go without modern update technology *I‘m not including the few “test“ classrooms or private schools that offer each child a laptop*. Even those that have a computer lab or the funds for computers in some (or all) of their classrooms have to deal with outdated technology.

Nor do they have the time in schools with the most recent technology to allow each child the opportunity to take full advantage of all the programs. In fact when I shadowed an elementary class *1st grade* I don’t recall a computer even being in the classroom, aside from the laptop sitting snuggly on the teacher’s desk. Now while that would fill the “computer in every classroom” statistic, and it was “accessible” to the children, they didn’t have ACCESS to it. It was strictly for the teachers use only, even though every one of those kids could probably work the thing just fine *we are talking about a generation born and breed in the technological age*, they weren’t allowed to.

I only recall one time in my public school education where we were taught about the wonderful gadget known as the computer. It was in 8th grade I believe, possibly 7th and it was strictly so each of us would pass some state mandated technology test. By this point though all of us *for the most part* were aware of how to work and type on a computer even if we didn’t have one at home. So we sat there for roughly 30minutes once *possibly twice* a week listening to some lady yammer on, while we typed silliness on the computer for those sitting next to us to see. Our school offered a technology class, but it was a mesh of shop/technology/and who knows what else. All I remember from when I took it was using CAD, making a CO2 car, and learning Parliamentary Procedure.

Now I realize with the average school size, being well…ridiculous, it takes a lot of money to get these things to students. I also know a lot of schools blow their money on frivols items like redoing the gym floor every other year or so *when it is clearly not needed*, while their teachers teach in busted trailers or lug around carts with all their supplies from one classroom to another on them, because they don’t have a room of their own to teach in.

Just because it cost money and may mean you don’t have the shiniest ball court, doesn’t mean an effort shouldn’t be made to embrace the beauty that is technology *or heck just give your teachers a room to teach in*. In the nearly two hours the boys were on break Child #1 reviewed math problems and played spelling games featuring his weekly spelling list *and enjoyed it!*, while Child #2 worked on his letters, numbers, and “painted”-(working with colors). They were both having fun and learning. All I had to do was not only make the item accessible to them but allow them to actually use it.

That is the thing I keep coming back to when I view the few stats available on the subject, there are plenty of “accessible computers and handheld devices”, but nothing on how many are actually being USED by the students and for how long.

Allowing a teacher to bring his/her personal laptop to school and have it in the classroom would mean the class had an “accessible” computer device (read as the students can see it and could easily reach it), but that doesn’t mean that they can actually USE it. In most cases just getting too close to it would land them in hot water. Which is upsetting considering the amount of potential these devices hold.

While I generally don’t want to rag on public schools *although the district I attended could use a rag, steam mop, and some heavy duty cleanser*, the issues of technology and science are big ones for me. Science and Technology will shape our world, they already have shaped it, honestly! They are allowing our world to constantly change, but if we don’t take advantage of what they have to offer how can we possibly move forward and change as well?

So I ask homeschool and public school parents alike are you embracing the technology around you? It may be another decade before educational institutions completely come into the 21st Century, even though the students are already here and wanting what it has to offer. So I implore parents take advantage of it, embrace it. Yes I know we all live on budgets but think about what is already sitting in your home…that game system *or two* that you have to fight them off of every night, the laptop you are reading this on, the old desktop you tucked away when you upgraded…are you getting the most out of these items?

Now I know someone is going to pipe up and say “But we are suppose to limit screen time!”…yeah I know. I get the little sheets of paper from our pediatrician too about the recommended hours of screen time every age group should get tops. And I’m not telling you to increase screen time, just make the MOST of what you give. Have a trade off, instead of just an hour of COD, WOW, The Sims, various Lego video games, and well…the list goes on, split it up. For every 30minutes they want to play a pointless game they have to play something with some educational value. Which will either result in them playing something that either reinforces what they know or teaches them something new, or has them choosing to do something else *playing outside or reading a book*. So either way they are getting something of value.

If you are going to spend your hard earned money on these items they might as well be used in a useful manner, right? Other than showing you creative ways to use duct tape, a drill, and a bucket *Dead Rising 2 reference*.

Ok the nerd is getting down off her soapbox now. LOL. ;)

For those wandering what we have and use:

DS: Art Academy
My Virtual Reading Tutor
Scripps Spelling Bee
Personal Trainer: Math
Sesame Street: Cookie’s Counting Carnival
My Japanese Coach

PC: School Zone Software

PS2: DDR *physical fitness! ;)*

Wii: Wii Fit
Wii Sports *seriously good workout on a rainy day.*

Copyright(c)2011 Rayven Holmes


  1. We use technology for school room occasionally. We have the DS, Wii (we just got out door challenge and it is excellant for getting the blood moving) and the desk top. I even let them watch TV:) We are hooked on the science, nature and history channel. But like everything moderation is the key! My kids even have a few DS games just for fun for those long car rides.

  1. As we've discussed personally in the past, technology is a big draw for Chatty, who has actually had to deal with the addiction cycle with her DS in the past. She's not *as* bad with it now, but she was so hooked a couple of years ago that Manly banned Bubby from having ANY technology/video games.
    He has since agreed that things like the iPod Touch are acceptable because I'm not a "gamer" myself and use such items for education when it comes to Bub. So when my folks upgraded their DS this Christmas and asked if Bub could have the "old" one, he agreed to it with the stipulation that the games sent must be educational. Which they were anticipating.... the first game they bought to send with it is the Cookie Monster one you mentioned above! (Which is great to me, since now I know it's a decent game because I know you and Husband's judgement of such items is like mine and his. LOL)
    That said, I'm really enjoying the Montessori apps I downloaded to the Touch for him. Some time we'll peruse what I've got...there's a few things I plan to delete because I didn't care for them (as we already discussed privately as well haha) but there's some that are really cool that I'll show you.

  1. We have a very low-tech household, but I like your take on trading off "junk" screen time with "educational" screen-time. If we are going to watch a DVD, we will alternate between an informative one on something we've been working on, a kids' choice and a kids' choice in French. I'd rather they were outside or reading a book, but we can negotiate some days, otherwise, why even homeschool?

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