I do not think time spent on the computer replaces that focused on books or activity sheets but rather enhances it. I have found it hard to get eldest to read more than a book a day, but he will quite happily sit and fly through a few sections of Reading Eggspress in one session. Some of the sites on the Internet are very educational because they are interactive and pitched at the right level for your child, whereas as a parent its sometimes hard to know where to start with their learning.
I have just invested £100 in a yearly subscription to Reading Eggs for my pair and I hope to find it money well spent, initial progress is very favourable and the colourful site is very engaging! It has helped eldest catch up with his English reading, as primarily the focus in Wales understandably is Welsh. Ultimately I do think it’s important he could also read as well as a six year old in England and thankfully we have played catch up!
Having said that if you’re on a budget there are plenty of free educational resources to turn too, all of which give a welcome helping hand. School classes seem quite large these days and its difficult for a teacher to get around everyone, I think it helps for us parents to give our children that little bit of extra support and encouragement in their studies. To be honest I am just most pleased my boys have stopped trying to pick the keys off the laptop… (I remember those trying toddler days well!).
Even when writing up an assignment there is plenty of valuable information online, just make sure you always reference your sources! That has been drummed into me from my university study days… but I always found it far easier having a search online than having to head to the library!
Using the Internet seems more affordable these days, when hubbie and I first got together (back in those heady gaming days!) it was quite costly! But with the offers available from the likes of Virgin Media Broadband you can afford to splash out on some of the fabulous educational sites with your spare cash.
Whatever my two decide to do when they grow up I know being competent on a computer will only help them on that path!