I wanted to point out that most people that I know who would not want their young teen to have a smartphone, still have their child on the internet at some point. Most homeschoolers I know use the internet all the time. I know (On homeschooling forums and in real life) hundreds of homeschoolers and have never met anyone who does not let their child use the internet at all or teach them about it. Perhaps RG meant (Just guessing), that her boys do not use the internet without her there or do not know how to log into it without her present.
I do think it would be a huge handicap to grow up not knowing how to use a computer or the internet. Almost all jobs would require at least a basic knowledge of computers. That does not mean they need to be let loose with no restrictions. ( I know that is not what people are saying)
Increase in computer access doesn't equal increase in test scores, nor LOVE of education.. nor increase in ability to LEARN.. all of which are indicators of a GOOD education. If a child has the basics down and loves to learn they can learn ANYTHING..
The Failure of One Laptop Per Child
DH-Aug 30th 1997 Josiah - 6/3/02 Isaac 7/31/03
A few things.
1. Lots of people use social media to stay in touch and converse with their real life friends
2. Some of us met our husbands online
3. Do you NEED the internet to love learning? Of course not. I loved learning as a kid and there was no internet until after I graduated from college. (Yes I am old.)
But I think there is a wonderful world of exploration and learning out there on the web and like any technology, it can be controlled. My personal anecdotal experience with friends who were completely denied certain things (junk food, dating, whatever) is that they went completely haywire once they were on their own because they had no previous experience with those things, no idea how to explore them in moderation, and had years of pent-up desires to fulfill.
I guess I just don't see the PLUS in denying kids the beauty of information and opportunity that's out there on the world wide web. Yes people overdo it, but with young kids, you are still in the driver's seat and can absolutely control what they are (and aren't) seeing.
I would also think that as a homeschooler it would allow your kids to connect with other homeschooled kids across the country or even the globe and that would expand their world in a positive light and give them that social connection that other kids are getting at school, in the most positive way.
I guess I just don't see any down side to it unless you're talking about kids going on the web by themselves without supervision and then being on it all day. It seems restrictive without purpose, to me. (Just my opinion.)
And back to the original topic, of course teens hide their online activity. Before the web, teens hid their offline activity. They had secret diaries, they slipped letters and notes to friends, teens have secrets and private lives. They always have. They always will.
Its a simple fact that the internet is a part of life today. Just like I would not handicap my kids by not teaching them to drive, I would not handicap them by not allowing guided, age appropriate internet access. I totally agree with Laurie or Kim or whoever said that kids who are irrationally kept from things go hog wild when later given access to them. There is a degree of moderation necessary in things that keep a balanced perspective and healthy attitude towards them. We don't have video games as I am very against them, but I happily sign my kids up every Thursday for "gameroom" at my gym where they can play video games. They can play them at friends houses. They understand that someday we will own some sort of gaming system. That works for us, at their ages, and given our feelings.
I'm still so curious how you explain your own heavy internet presence with their complete ban from it. Do you just tell them that you don't trust them with it? Or do you tell them that at a certain age you will allow them to use it? Do they wonder why every one of their friends uses the internet to research or to learn? Heck, isn't it even a boy scout badge now? I guess they can't get that one, eh. Scout Internet Patch Award
ETA: I'm really confused about how your link pertains to either the debate or our children. The link provided talks about the inefficiencies of dropping sub standard equipment to untrained teachers in third world countries where they oftentimes lack even basic internet access. I'm pretty certain that those of us on these boards are fairly proficient at accessing the internet and have access to the internet and probably even good computers, as we are, after all, accessing one another via the internet. I also think that most of us on this board are in some degree of agreement that standardized testing is not a great way of measuring actual learning. Maybe you could explain how the link is supposed to support your argument that allowing tweens any internet access at all is a wise parenting or educational practice?
Last edited by Potter75; 06-18-2013 at 02:28 PM.