Information for Parents
Your children can benefit greatly from their own computer or access to yours. It will help them to learn basic computer skills that will benefit them for the rest of their lives, teach them logic and problem solving skills while they are entertained, and help throughout their school years with research and academic learning.
And, despite what others may have you believe, the cost of such a computer is extremely low. Until your children become teenagers and/or power computer users, the vast majority of software for preschool through middle school children will run fantasically well on systems that are being thrown away by corporate America.
My daughter, Erin, uses a Pentium I 233MMX with 32 Megabytes of ram and a 3.5 Gigabyte Hard Disk drive. A computer with higher spec's was recently sold at a local auction for $90.00, including the monitor!
The key to success is in having the system cleaned of the clutter and junk from it's prior life and a little care in the software chosen.
Some of today's software titles will require more horsepower, many are just fluff with no substance; but hundreds, if not thousands of titles are available that are jewels and many are sold at outrageosly low prices.
The purpose of this website and ( I hope ) my future efforts is to provide the children of America with the very best possible from the miracle of modern computer systems.
For Children Three to Six Years Old
The starting place for children this young is a replacement for the Windows Desktop interface and the best program there is, is FREE!
The program is KidDesk Lite from Edmark Software and it provides children with their own customizable desk, including a clock, a calendar, painting, and drawing. An added benefit of this program is that it prevents children from accessing items which you have not set up for them, including the internet, and it protects you from their accidentally messing up your work. It can be downloaded from http://www.edmark.com/free/kiddesk.html
After download and installation (double click on the downloaded file), you can set this program to run automatically at boot up and it will also shut down the computer when the children exit by clicking on Stop.
To add programs and Icons to the desktop or to close the program, simply type Alt-Ctrl-A (for Adult), which will place the program in a window rather than full screen. You can then drag new icons into a child's desktop, create additional desktops for other children, or exit.
Great stuff, genuinely useful, free, and easy to use; what more could one want in a software package!
After the basic environment is established, all that needs to be added is some good "edutainment" software.
There is a company named Humoungous Entertainment, whose every product is golden. Putt-Putt, Freddie the Fish, Pajama Sam, and Sly Fox are but a few of the series names, with several titles in each series. A bright two year old can handle some of the Putt-Putt activities and most three year olds will love Freddie. Pajama Sam and Sly Fox require a higher degree of skill, but should definitely be tried after a child has mastered Freddie.
The beauty of the software produced by Humongous is that it is so entertaining children will literally devote days towards learning how to win the game and are taught in the process. Remembering where the items needed to win are located improves memory; problem solving and logic skills are required to folllow the correct path, and the presentation is excellent.
These titles can be bought at Toys-R-Us, KB Toys, and Office Depot, where they are often to be found in the closeout bins for as little as $4.00. Some of the older Putt-Putt's can only be found in the childrens CDRom collections, available for $10.00 and up.
Help is just a phone call away! (704) 882-7551
This website is a work in progress, for which I hope to have changes almost every day.
Please bear with me and check back soon.
If you have any questions or comments, please.