Computer Basics for Kids | Everything Parents Need to Know

Kids are growing up with technology. Computers and other gadgets are playing a huge role in their everyday lives. Therefore, it’s important to teach them the basics of using a computer and staying safe online.

In this blog post, we’ll go over everything you need to know about introducing your child to the extensive world of computers. Keep reading for more helpful tips, guidelines, and suggestions regarding computer basics for kids.

INDEX

What are Computer Basics?
When Should You Introduce Computers to Your Kids?
What Computer Skills do Kids Need?
Typing
Using a mouse
Coding
Emailing
Online research
Computer Maintenance
How Should You Teach the Basics of Computers?
Encourage communication
Be patient
Make practice their habit
Enrol them in computer classes for kids
Takeaways

What are Computer Basics?

Computer basics refer to the foundation of computer literacy. They are the essential elements necessary to interact with or operate a computer. This can range from being aware of the different computer parts to understanding how to use each component to reach a certain outcome. An in-depth understanding of the computer basics plus the correct application will result in more extensive processes and uses later.

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When Should You Introduce Computers to Your Kids?

How old a child should be introduced to computers may vary from one family to another, depending on exposure to technology and lifestyle. Some kids might become familiar with computers as young as one year old because their parents use them, while others might not see computers until they become older.

But generally, here are several guidelines as to when you should introduce computers to your little ones:

  • When they are old enough to use computers in school.
  • When they can already understand what computers are.
  • When you are there to supervise them.

With that said, computers must be introduced to children aged 3 to 6 years old. You may begin enrolling your child in educational programs or introduce cooperative family games. Remember to always supervise your kids when using computers or learning online.

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What Computer Skills do Kids Need?

All kids will need similar computer skills to succeed at school. Besides, most homework and schoolwork might need to be completed on a computer. And when they grow older, they might need to create their social media accounts and email address.

Typing

Introducing your child early to typing makes sense. Younger people can pick up skills faster than adults, so the sooner your kids develop typing skills, the better.

Many kids can learn the basics of the keyboard through exposure. But learning how to type properly will make sure that they can easily navigate the keyboard and perform basic keyboarding functions quickly. Also, studies have shown that touch typing boosts the speed and accuracy with which a child can type.

Though you can teach your kids how to type by yourself, learning programs and playing games can hasten the learning process. A course in typing can teach both proper stroking techniques and hand placement. On the other hand, playing games help learners resist the urge to look towards the keyboard as they type because they need to watch the computer screen when they are playing typing games.

Using a mouse

Teaching kids how to use a computer mouse is also important. Like typing, operating the mouse tells the computer what to do. 

Kids might find it challenging to control it at first, but with practice, they can perform mouse clicks around the screen with ease in no time.

Coding

Learning to code is another essential computer skill kids must learn for various reasons. For one thing, coding is a language – and learning programming languages can stimulate brain development.

Moreover, coding skills will help your kids understand the technology that penetrates their worlds. Coding also teaches kids to become both consumers and creators of technology.

Most importantly, coding teaches kids critical thinking and patience as they dive into programming courses like robotics. When they start creating apps, prioritising user experience teaches them empathy.

Most kids begin with Scratch and other simple programs and then move to more complicated programming languages as they gain more experience. Allowing your kids to play coding games also makes learning more fun.

Emailing

An email is a common form of communication used today. It can be used for personal and business purposes.

As your children get older, they might need an email address for school or keep in touch with their loved ones. Teaching kids how to use email is essential, but it is also crucial to teach them proper email etiquette. Also, teach them about email types that can hurt their computer’s health and how to identify them to ensure their safety.

Online research

Kids will most likely use the Internet to search for information for their homework and school projects. Even when your children are old enough to use computers independently when they are assigned reports requiring extensive research, you still need to help them. For instance, teach them how to use search engines.

Online research is more than just typing words and phrases into the search bar. Teach them basic search skills, including how to identify trustworthy websites. Monitor them so you can keep them off track whenever they end up in the wrong corner of the online world. Even when your kids can already work independently, stay close to them so you can answer any questions they may have.

While you are teaching kids how to do online research, don’t forget to tackle internet safety and set rules on what they can and cannot do online. For example:

  • never share personal information, such as your address, phone number or anything that is too specific about themselves
  • don’t post personal photos
  • don’t meet the person you met online
  • never bully anyone or post threats
  • don’t respond to threats
  • inform a guardian, parent or adult immediately whenever you receive or see anything that worries, scares or make you uncomfortable

Kids must learn how they can be safe online. They must also understand that there are some bad people online that can use their personal details to hurt them.

Computer Maintenance

Basic knowledge of how computers work and an understanding of the common fixes will come in handy for anyone using a computer. Kids must learn the basic computer parts and ways of fixing each when something goes wrong.

Teaching kids to become proactive in fixing common computer issues can go a long way in making their lives easier, especially if they decide to pursue a career in computer science and programming.

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How to Teach the Basics of Computers

The most efficient way of teaching computer basics to your kids is to start them on a family desktop or laptop instead of a smartphone or tablet. This way, they will have limited access to computers so you can teach them the basics more efficiently – including how to turn on and off the computer and how to open and close computer software.

You must also introduce computers with keyboards to your kids because they will most likely use them at school. Also, consider showing them a website or video regarding the history of computers so they will know about how computers have evolved over the years.

Let them learn on actual computers as this will help them better understand the basics of software and hardware. Also, this will help boost their mouse and typing skills in ways touchscreens cannot.

Here are other helpful tips for teaching computer basics to your kids so they can learn fast and efficiently:

Encourage communication

It is best if you and your kids are vocal. Reassure your children that it is okay to raise questions. Try to have honest and open conversations before and after each learning session.

Be patient

Computer interaction, programming, and input require fine motor skills, excellent hand-eye coordination, great memory, and high-level comprehension. When your child can’t understand certain concepts, don’t yell or voice your frustration because this won’t help them. Like teaching kids anything, you need to be kind and patient.

Make practice their habit

Without regular practice, your kids may forget what they have learned. As parents, make sure they practice typing lessons for at least 15-20 minutes daily. Also, encourage them to create something new from their classes through graphics designing tools or computer applications like MS Office. The more practice they do, the higher their skills and confidence will move.

Enrol them in computer classes for kids

To ensure that your child can master all the essential computer skills they need to succeed in school and life, consider enrolling them in computer classes for kids.

Software Academy’s online computer courses for kids, for instance, will teach your little ones the fundamentals of creative technology. They will learn coding and computer basics. They will also learn basic tech skills to create simple games and 3D designs using industry-level tools. Upon completing the online course, your child will receive an accredited qualification that you won’t find anywhere.

Other programs to consider are coding classes for kids, game design lessons, and even digital media design courses. All these courses will give your kids a head start in this highly competitive industry.

Takeaways

Kids can greatly benefit from developing computer skills at an early age. Skills like typing, coding, emailing, and smart Internet usage are crucial because technology is embedded in different aspects of modern life. Teaching kids these skills will allow them to effectively and safely use computers and other smart devices.

Though you can let the professional educators and experts teach your kids about how computers work, along with the essential skills they need to develop, you have a crucial job as parents. And that is to elaborate, supervise, and clarify as needed.

While teaching them, don’t forget to inform them about basic computer hygiene. These include washing and drying their hands before and after using the computers, having gentle hands, and keeping drinks and foods away from the desktop. These practices will help your kids develop good habits whenever they deal with computers later in life.