Step Away From the Keyboard!

– Why You Don’t Want to Allow Your Alphabet Learner Near the Keyboard

You probably noticed that when I talked about the different ways to help your new writer to develop his writing skills in Easy Alphabet Learning I didn’t mention ‘keyboard’ in the list.  There’s a reason for that, and it’s not that your little person won’t be interested in your computer keyboard, because he will.

In fact, you might find that your young writer is so fascinated by your computer keyboard that he will try to persuade you to let him type.  He might search for the initial of his name or a letter that he knows and woo you with his knowledge; trying to persuade you to let him press that single key.

When he has achieved this he will wriggle his way onto your lap (if he isn’t there already) and implore you to let him do some more ‘typing’.  At this point, you might be so happy that your little person is showing such remarkable interest in ‘technical things’ and is so eager to ‘learn’ that you succumb to pressure and start teaching him the keyboard and allowing him to hop onto your lap each day for some keyboard practice.

Don’t fall for this.  Your little child does NOT need to learn keyboard skills or mouse control or any screen-related skills YET.  He’s too young.  Far too young.

Actually, if you take the time to look at any research you will see that it’s actually unwise to allow any screen time over a few minutes a day for young children, and you will be doubly convinced about the wisdom of protecting your child from the screen and being very firm about rationed and monitored screen time for children of all ages.

For example, in his book, Brain Power by Dr. Karl Albrecht, I read:

“A number of investigations have shown that, after spending about 30 minutes or more staring into a television screen at typical programming material, a viewer’s brain is in a condition qualitatively similar to hypnosis… respiration and heart rate may decline…shifting attention to other events in the room requires an unwanted mental effort… [The author says this pleasantly detached condition – sort of like getting laughing gas – is why remote controls are so popular, not laziness, but addiction to the mind-altering effects of television] From the point of view of brain activity, passivity is self-reinforcing. The longer one remains fixated on a sensory process that requires little or no active thought, the more fixated one is likely to come.”

For more reading on this subject I recommend:

In the meantime, leave the keyboard skills until your child is older and he can write easily and comfortably.  And give your child the opportunity to write with a pencil on paper every day. Every scribble counts.  He is learning to write.

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