An iPad Through the Eyes of a Nine Year Old

A few months back, I wrote a post on the Covenant Eyes blog about how much my wife Priscilla liked her iPad 2 Christmas present. Perhaps you’re wondering, is her iPad still “feeling the love.” Or, what about the kids using her iPad?

Well, we’ve reached Spring, and I’m happy to report, that not much has changed on the iPad front. Priscilla still really likes (and always uses) her iPad. She’s discovering new “opportunities” (helpful software downloads) all the time. In fact, when we went out for a “date night” last night, one of the first things she said to me after we ordered our meal was: “I still can’t get over how much I love my iPad.” (Note to self: this deserves another blog story.)

So I thought I’d write a short piece about how the iPad has affected our younger children. Do we let them use it (when available)? Assuming yes, how much? I also thought you might be interested to hear about the iPad directly from my son Paul, who is nine years old. I’ve included a brief video of Paul using the iPad, allowing him to describe what he likes to do with his precious moments using Mom’s cool device.

First some background. We are a not a family who is fond of video games. Yes, we have a few hand-held “educational” toys, like Leapster. But even the use of those fun (and educational) programs is rationed in our household. We homeschool our children, and for the most part, watching TV is very limited (and closely monitored by “the management.”)

Nevertheless, when the iPad showed up, the kids started getting as excited as their mother. Questions like: “what can we do?” were rampant. Over time, and with the advice and guidance of other homeschool moms who had gone before us, Priscilla started letting Paul and Lydia (ages nine and seven) use the iPad to play educational games that helped with math, geography and spelling.

Wow! What a difference. We noticed that Lydia, who never liked math and was not doing very well, started to improve very quickly. Paul was equally enthralled with the iPad – taking every possible opportunity to learn facts about geography and history around the world. He’s even challenging our 21-year-old geography-wiz Grace to games of “Stack the Country.” Remarkably, the competition can become a problem with heated arguing over who is doing best.

But as I mentioned last time, I am not a commercial message for Apple. The iPad is just another tool – albeit a very successful one. Still, we are seeing huge benefits to using the educational games on the iPad, and our kids our getting smarter thanks to the energy and “buzz” created by having the opportunity to use Priscilla’s iPad.

Yes, Priscilla limits their time online. No, we don’t allow them to download their own items. Yes, we use the single device as an opportunity for them to learn how to take turns and appreciate what valuable time they are given on the device. No, our children are not exceptionally talented to use the iPad. Yes, we make mistakes. No, we haven’t figured this all out yet. Yes, we monitor them closely.

But my point is that this iPad craze can be used to your advantage in teaching your children. Talk it over with your family members, but don’t be afraid to engage your children with new technology. The benefits can be huge.

So here’s Paul:

  • Posted on: April 4th, 2012
  • By: Dan Lohrmann
  • Under: Video Blog

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