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Saturday, May 13, 2017

Why Does My Kid Need To Use Tablets In Class?

I remember the day that my very first child was born. He was born on a Wednesday and he was just perfect. My family came to visit us and surrounded us with love. The youth group that I volunteered with made a card for me, my husband, and the new baby and made the trip to come see us in the hospital. A few days later, my family on my husband's side came to meet our new joy for the first time. The world was just perfect.
Our little boy was the best of both my husband and me. He was kind and funny, gentle to his baby sister. When I went to work full time, he was always a hit with the kids in day care and a favorite of the day care workers. His memory is out of this world and his imagination will get him famous one day.

Technology had Caused Tantrums

When my son turned three years old, he was unfortunately kicked out of day care for biting. It was ok for a two year old to bite because two year olds don't know how to communicate their feelings with words. It didn't matter that he was only two the week before, biting wasn't tolerated.

Since both my husband and I worked, we enrolled our son into day care for part of the day. The other part of the day, my son was watched by my grandma.
So... Something happened. Apps and devices were encouraged by the preschool to help my son learn. We tried out ABC Mouse and were encouraged to download other learning apps. Unfortunate for us, my son began to have melt-downs.

They weren't small melt downs, either. They were big tantrums. We noticed that they would start whenever we turned the app off. My husband and I had a conversation and decided that our son was not to play on the computer or any other devices anymore because it was easier not to.
We kept that rule for a long time and wouldn't let him play on our cell phones or on our tablets. We were thankful that our parents respected our wishes by not getting him electronics for Christmas or birthdays and it had been wonderful.

Tablets as a Learning Tool in School

Zoom forward to kindergarten... Guess what!?!?!? As a learning tool, schools use tablets. Guess who's attitude began to change? My son started getting into trouble in school because he would throw tantrums and have epic meltdowns. He knew that tablet time was coming and if he heard that word- even if it as just announcing that they would use it after a different activity was finished, he wanted it NOW!
We had an IEP put into place for him when he was in preschool for speech and some occupational therapy. When he started kindergarten, we had to have a meeting to get a behavior plan put in place. We had to have a system so our child wouldn't get into trouble.
It was entirely frustrating because it didn't seem to matter what our opinions of tablets in school were. All the classes used them and even though we could refuse to let our child use them, all the other kids were and that wasn't fair.

When did schools stop teaching from actual books?

Did you know that when a child uses the computer or a tablet at school that the program actually reads the story to them? Did you know that the program also reads the answers to them and lets them choose the correct answer? I don't know how a child is going to learn to read when a machine is doing it all for them. I found that the same was true for ABC Mouse. We tried it for a month. Instead of my child actually reading anything, he would listen to what it would say and then click around until the computer told him he was correct.
School already has it's distractions. Back in my day, I played house with my pencils. When I would do math, my numbers were assigned genders and I would imagine that 4 was a girl who would date 8. 2 was an ugly girl and 5 and 6 liked 4. I was already distracted enough in class. I didn't need a tablet to distract me further.  When my son was is in first grade, his buddies would download Sonic the Hedgehog onto his tablet. Guess what he's doing instead of studying?

I'm not a doctor, but...   

Something chemical happens with our brains when we sit in front of a computer, tablet, our phones, or even the TV. It happens to adults the same as it does children. I know that I'm not immune from the effects of looking at my phone too much. I actually feel moodier and even more tired. There are so many articles about how it gives us instant gratification, the same that a drug would do if we were to do drugs. It's no wonder that children throw tantrums when they don't get their way. Imagine what it would be like if someone grabbed the coffee you were drinking from your hand and told you couldn't drink it. I imagine that there would be more black eyes in the world.

Am I overreacting? What do you think about using technology in school?

Edit: Since writing this post, I found out that my son has ADHD so his brain was in overhall. Technology has been easier for him to use, but he's also aged a couple of years and now I have to deal with an almost pre-teen.


  1. I agree. Our schools have "Chromebooks" basically a name brand tablet. There is no paperwork or handwriting sheets. everything is done on a tablet or computer. it is so sad. My daughter is 15 and can barely write her own name in cursive and when asked to put her signature on an athletic form, she had to bring it home to ask us what it meant. I was devastated! Have I really failed my child by sending her to public schools?!?!? Teach, teach, teach at home. as much and as often as you can! If you believe they are learning it at school, you're probably wrong! I learned the hard way.

  2. WI learned after this that he was behind, but none ever told me. We discovered that he has ADHD and has since done better and has caught up, but I'm sure the tablets haven't helped with his learning at all.

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Hello! My name is Brittany and I'm a writer, obviously. As a stay-at-home mom, there are many things that I have to figure out in order to run a house that appears to be more sane than insane. It's not easy to be a parent and I hope that this blog is able to encourage other moms out there to live life happily and to understand that there can be mishaps along the way, but those mishaps don't define you and anything can be overcome with perseverance and will.

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