Tuesday, 22 July 2014

How to Teach Computer Basics for Your Child

Teaching your child computer skills is essential.

Child With Laptop 

      Computers are a part of everyday life. How is it a part of a kid's life?Computer Fundamentals begins orienting kids to everyday technology items, their proper use and care.

         Computers are being used more and more for a variety of tasks. If your child grows up without knowing how to use a computer, it could cause her to miss out on a lot of job opportunities. Your child can start using a computer at an early age. By age three, most kids have the motor skills necessary to do some basic computer functions.

 Teaching basic computer skills can seem like an easy task.

Before you start the teaching process, make sure your computer is ready for little hands.

It is best to wait until a child is at least three years old to begin teaching computer skills.  Before age three, child probably won’t be able to grasp and understand the concepts because they are still developing their visual, language, and speaking skills.

Install kid-friendly input devices.  Purchase a mouse that will fit comfortably in your youngster’s hand.  Also, look for a mouse that only has one click (instead of the normal mouse with double-side clicks).  There are various keyboards on the market that are specially designed with children in mind.  Look for one that contains large key labels and has fewer keys.  There are also some that are color-coded to enhance a child’s learning experience.

  Start shopping around for computer software or learning games that are appropriate for your child’s age group.  Make sure the learning materials are engaging and fun; this will increase their desire to learn. 
Begin with the Basics

       However, if your child has never even seen a keyboard, the task suddenly becomes much harder. Teaching the basics of computers is everything from the keyboard to how to use the applications on the computer. You will need to set up the lessons in periodic stages. It could take a lot of time for your child to learn the skills. Remain patient and helpful, and your child will eventually master computer basics.

       Introduce the child to the keyboard. Show the child the board and name the basic keys: letters, numbers, enter button, space bar, escape and back space. Use a color-coded keyboard, which shows how certain parts of the keyboard are grouped together. Consider using a smaller sized mouse. The mouse fits a child's hands perfectly, while the brightly colored keyboard groups together the vowels, the consonants, numbers and other function keys of the keyboard.

      Show your child how the arrow glides across the computer screen when you move the mouse around. Let your child move the mouse to get a feel for it. Invest in a smaller sized mouse like a mouse intended for laptop use. It will fit in your child's hand better than the standard-sized mouse. Install software that allows your child to practice using the mouse and keyboard. The website Edutainment Kids can suggest some practical software games that will help kids develop computer skills. Look for games that are "click less," which allow your child to hover over a button for a few seconds to select it. This teaches children that the mouse creates an action on the computer screen.

      Create shortcuts for her by adding the folders to her desktop so all she has to do is click on the folder to open it. You can create a shortcuts to applications, websites, saved folders, software programs and installed programs to make it easier for your child to find and open by themselves. This is a good method to take with children under the age of 12.

      Don’t expect your child to be a computer genius right out of the gate.  Begin with computer basics and etiquette, building a good foundation for future computer use. 

      Sit your child down in front of a computer. Show him the monitor, the keyboard, the mouse and mouse pad, and the computer box itself. Provide him with a picture with labels. This will help him remember the terms and give him something to study.

     Describe what each feature does. The computer monitor displays the picture, the keyboard is used for typing, the mouse is used to move the cursor on the monitor, the pad aides the mouse in movement and the computer box is how everything is powered. It is not necessary to go into detail just yet.

       Show your child how to turn on the computer and monitor screen. Once the operating system has loaded, allow the child to practice moving the mouse to click on various icons on the screen. Allow him to practice this for several minutes before moving on. Use this time to discuss the term "Icon," and double-click the icons to pull up and close some of the applications. Explain what the applications can be used for and that by double-clicking on the desktop icon, it immediately opens that particular application.

       Allow your child to practice on the application. He will need to practice at each teaching session. A good application to start with is a simple office document such as Microsoft Word. The child can practice using the cursor and keyboard. You can use this time to teach parts of the application as well. Teach your child features such as how to open up a blank document, how to save work, how to change font size and style, and how to zoom in and out.

       Teach your child how to open his web browser

      If he have Internet access on his computer. Internet Explorer is the most common web browser. Show your children how to double-click on the icon or go through the "Start" menu to open up the Internet. Show him how to go to a search engine such as Yahoo! and Google and do a random search. This will simply give the child an example of what the Internet can be used for. Allow him to practice opening and closing the web browser.

      Assess the child by giving him a short quiz at the end. This quiz should include the terms, how to turn on and off his computer, the ways to open and close applications, basic terms and ways to use the applications, how to open and close his web browser, and basic ways to use the Internet.


      Let him practice his typing skills using games. The Learning Games for Kids website has free typing games for kids. You can also buy affordable software for your child to practice his typing skills.

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