Technology has changed a lot since I was a kid. My computer use prior to college mainly consisted of typing reports, writing stories, and excel sheets. I didn’t have an e-mail account until undergrad, when the internet still seemed rather new (at least to me). It definitey wasn’t like it is now.
Computers are a part of our daily lives. We use them to look up recipes, store our photos, stay connected with friends and family, and so much more. It only stands to reason that in a world which utilizes computers so much, our children would be computer literate. While our children are off playing, reading, or interacting with us a lot, they also like to play computer games or type their own stories at times.
Last year we began to discuss the possibility of getting a computer for our children some day. There were no concrete plans. It was all theoretical.
I had an old Dell laptop. It was a good computer that was falling apart. Apparently, unbeknownst to us when we originally purchased it, the model was destined to have hinge issues. The hinges broke, leaving only the wires to hold the screen to the computer. Searching for new hinges left us with websites written half-way in English with questionable policies. Dell wanted $160 just to look at the computer and no local companies would touch it. My normally decluttering self refused to let go of it, though. After all, it was a good computer; it just needed a little work. It sat on top of a bookcase in our office for a couple of years, waiting for the day it would have life again.
This year I suggested to my husband that we pay the money to Dell to have the laptop fixed as a Yule gift for our children. While he originally agreed, he balked at paying Dell more money to fix a problem that was their fault to begin with and pointed out that they would most likely find other issues they deemed needed fixed and which would require more money. I hit the internet again and this time I got lucky.
Whitewater PC, a new company started by former employees of MPC/Gateway, had the hinges we needed. For under $20, including shipping, we had new hinges at our house in less than a week. My husband spent some time and had the computer put back together in under an hour. We ended up giving it to the kids. Our Yule this year will be all handmade and inexpensive. The computer, however, will be an added homeschooling/unschooling resource for our children for some time to come – well worth $20.
My eldest is nearly six, and she sits (in the same chair – its adorable) with our 3-year old & they learn together on the computer. Our 3-yo is learning the mouse with simple point & click games online – you can find things like matching the shape, or jigsaw puzzles.
Any time they ask a question to which I don’t know the answer, we go to google & look up the info. It’s a fnatastic resource!
Our children are part of an electronic generation – and the more they know the better.
Good for you for finding a frugal way to make a computer a reality for your kids!! 🙂