Commissioned Post

super nerdSince Sausage has been back at school, there’s no doubt that she’s 100% happier in her new class. The work seems to be engaging her on a whole new level, she’s powering through the reading books and I think is probably almost ready to move up to Level 5 of the Oxford Reading Tree, which shows that she’s made great progress since moving up to Level 4 at the end of the last school year. She had her first spellings test last week and got 10 out of 10, which made her Dad and I unbelievably proud! We love the fact that she’s achieving at such a high level and are very happy to welcome another nerd into the family, a label which her Dad and I have been given on more than one occasion!

Sausage seems to have a real thirst for knowledge – I’ve never known a kid to be so keen to do homework every night! Her school provides her with a subscription to EducationCity, which is a site that she can log on to, learn at her curriculum level and then complete tests on the subjects. The site monitors her individual progress and reports back to her teacher so that the school can see how she’s getting on. I think it’s a brilliant idea and anything which keeps her engaged in that way can only be positive.

However, Sausage is really lucky that not only does she have her own laptop, but we have a high-speed broadband connection at home. I can imagine that it would be really tricky for anyone who doesn’t have those resources and I feel really sorry for the kids who aren’t able to get involved with extra-curricular learning because their parents aren’t in a position to provide them with such things.

These days, we tend to view the internet as an ‘essential’, in the way that landlines were when I was a kid. Many of my generation didn’t get PCs until they were much older and having the internet at home usually meant dragging a phone cable across the house and waiting an eternity for dial-up. There’s no denying that the internet has made things a whole lot easier, as has the advancement of technology. Being a blogger and all-round information junkie, I’ve likened being without the internet to feeling like my arm has been cut off – it’s obviously a rather extreme analogy, but knowing that I can look up just about anything that I ever need to know is a great feeling.

It’s not just homework either – Sausage now has her own Nook, which means we can buy and download books from the ‘net. When I was a kid, if you wanted a book, you had to go to the shop and buy it, whereas now if Sausage has a hankering for a new Roald Dahl at bedtime, we can have in in our hands in under 5 minutes, all thanks to the internet.

So, what are your feelings towards kids and the internet? Do you think it benefits children and their education in the long term or do you keep your kids away from the world wide web and wish things were still like they were when you were little? I’d love to know.