Be a pal at the keyboard COMPUTER TIME

August 30, 1998|By Susan Rapp | Susan Rapp,Village Reading Center

Here are some ways you can help your child learn and have fun with educational software.

* Read the instructions and begin by explaining to your child what the symbols mean and what the commands are able to do. This allows you to take advantage of the extended skills and hidden "surprises" built into most programs.

* Check for parent controls in the user's guide so that you can help your child move through the program at the best pace and with the highest interest level.

* Use words of encouragement that relate to your child's performance, such as, "Nice going!" or "Good for you! You really understood that." This will bolster your child to attempt the more difficult levels.

* Sit with your child when doing educational activities to reinforce the idea that learning is an important and shared experience, rather than simply a passive, entertaining activity.

* Keep computer time reasonable and fun, about 20 to 30 minutes. Stop playing before your child becomes bored or frustrated. End a session with your child wanting to play again.

Pub Date: 8/30/98

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