A boy and his computer

Is it ridiculous that my boys (ages six and seven) have their *own* computer? That’s right, they share a computer with Windows XP, internet access and a flat screen monitor. In our defense, the only reason they have this prized possession is because we upgraded our computer. It’s a hand-me-down, but still. We now have three computers in our four-person household.

The firSpeak & Spellst electronic device I had was a Speak & Spell, around 1980. That was HUGE. A hand-held educational game that was fun! And once you mastered the original spelling games, you could buy modules with different and more challenging games. Wow! The technology! I can still remember the sounds and robotic voice. (Click here to see a YouTube video demo. Or you can play the spelling game here, using your mouse.)

Speak & Spell’s claim to fame is its appearance in the 1982 flick E.T. Remember? E.T. used the device to “phone home.” Too bad E.T. didn’t have an iPhone, would have been a lot quicker.

Oh, but times have changed. According to this Media literacy research website, 29% of kids ages eight to 18 have their own computer (laptop). But just because my boys have a computer, don’t think they have free access to it whenever they want. We did implement some rules. Actually, there is only one rule:

A parent decides when and what you can do on your computer.

Sound fair? I think so. After all, they are only in primary school.

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