As you plan for the start of another school year, consider the chair your child will be using at the computer. If your middle-schooler sits down in the family computer chair and his feet dangle at the lowest chair setting, you should consider investing in a smaller-scaled chair. Many full-size chairs can not adjust low enough for children or shorter adults to use comfortably, which can cause posture problems and strain on arms, legs or backs. It would be nice to get a chair that is completely adjustable for all family members, but that isn't always possible.
Note: A compromise might be to get a foot stool for your child.
Physical Therapists recommend that there be an inch or two of space between the end of the chair and the back of the knee. Make sure your child can bend his knee. The angle of the back of the chair should open to 90 degrees or more. Your child should sit so the back of the chair is on his back, because they need that extra support just as you do.
Stretch Breaks for Kids has a free download for computers that periodically pops up to remind children to take a break from technology by doing a series of simple stretches or making ergonomic adjustments to their workstations.
How do you create a space for your child to do his homework?
As you 'create a space' for homework, parents should keep in mind that computer supervision is a must, especially at the middle school level. Encourage discussion with your child regarding what sites they use often and stress that if they see or read anything that makes them uncomfortable they need to tell an adult. This is true in the school setting as well.
So very true, Jeanne. Computer supervision at home means locating the computer in a common area where the parent(s) can see the screen even from afar, not placing the computer in their child's bedroom behind closed doors.
Thank you for posting your tips here for parents who want to stay up on what their child is viewing online. If friends come to visit and they are gathered around the computer snickering...it is time to check in with them. :-)
Hey. Thought I'd jump in on this discussion. Although my 3 children are now adults, they grew up with technology and I totally agree about not having computers in isolated areas of the home, such as a child's bedroom. We always kept the computer in the kitchen--in fact, I still have one there. Now, it's convenient for looking up recipes, playing games, checking emails, etc. while preparing meals. When my kids were home, it was perfect for supervising and providing homework assistance...yes, while preparing meals. The kitchen has always been a hub for our family and this just worked well. I could make sure the TV and MP3 player were both off, monitor the phone, and nudge my kids to stay on task.