Internet start pages are a great idea for kids. They put everything in one spot that they need to safely surf the net. You can put their favorite websites, as well as photostreams, games, more.
I suggest using one of the free start pages. Mine (see the image) is for my grade K-5 classes and includes the day’s websites, oft-used sites for fun and research, a To Do list, search tools, a calculator, a calendar of events, pictures of interest, rss feeds of weather, news, a graffiti wall and more. Click on the pictureto go to it and see what I’ve included.
Where mine is for a classroom, yours could have each of your child’s names on the tabs instead of the grade level and then age-appropriate activities for their needs. When you set this up, ask your child what s/he’d like to include.
I used protopage.com (Protopage can be accessed from any computer or mobile phone), but you can use another. Start pages are an outreach of the ever-more-popular social networking. Most search engines offer them also. They all have a huge library of custom fields (called ‘flakes’ on Pageflakes) to individualize any home page. And, they’re all simple. Don’t be intimidated.
When you get yours set up, on the To Do list, put what the child should do to start each computer time. This gives them a sense of independence, adultness, as they get started while you’re wrapping something else up.
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Jacqui Murray has been teaching K-18 technology for 30 years. She is the editor/author of over a hundred tech ed resources including a K-12 technology curriculum, K-8 keyboard curriculum, K-8 Digital Citizenship curriculum. She is an adjunct professor in tech ed, Master Teacher, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice, CSTA presentation reviewer, freelance journalist on tech ed topics, contributor to NEA Today, and author of the tech thrillers, To Hunt a Sub and Twenty-four Days. You can find her resources at Structured Learning.