Andrew is a solo parent of three children ranging from 6 to 15 years, most attending Victory Primary School in Nelson, and was hosted by Auckland Point School for his Computers in Homes training. I interviewed him recently about his "Computers in Homes experience" and here are some of his thoughts.
“I got on board the CIH course because once I heard there was a course for parents to possibly get a computer in their house, I didn’t have to think twice about it, I wanted to be on that course and since having the computer in the house it has benefited the kids something, leaps and bounds they have gone in just their learning alone.”
He has noticed benefits for all of his family. He is able to connect with his children’s school daily through their website. “I just didn’t realise, there were lots of things I was missing out on.” His children’s teachers email if there are any issues at school and a lot of times the children arrive home and he says “well what have you been up to today” and they say “how do you know?” So he is able to address situations early on. The school is starting to ask what is happening at home because they have noted positive changes to one child’s behaviour. Andrew puts it down to the computer – “if you don’t understand it you feel like an idiot in class, it is easier for you to get kicked out of class…. But since the computer has been at home my son says what he is having trouble with and we look it up and go right back at the start level and by the time he goes back to school he has got the gist of what to do. He’s gone ahead in the last 6-7 weeks. It’s like fuel on the fire, they all want to learn more. I really went to school to eat my lunch, but I want my kids to love school, so anything they have got qualms about we just go and check it out together.”
Andrew has found this course has also benefited himself. He says he now walks taller, with confidence, and where he would shy away when ‘pen and paper’ were put in front of him he will now give it a go. He is finding that being able to write something and push a button which will correct all mistakes is encouraging . He is noticing if he spells a word wrong he makes an effort to see how it looks and believes his reading has improved “big time”.
As a coach of a rugby league team, Andrew has used his new gmail account to send bulk emails to his team, saving time and reducing phone costs. He also googles well known league coaches to get ideas about drills to use and to understand what their purpose is “The training has gone from being boring and now is exciting because I have more understanding to break down everything I am doing and can explain what the benefit for the team are. It has made me a better coach, a better person.”
“It has really opened my horizons. It allows me to interact with my children and you don’t have to be the smartest person to use the computer. It’s great to be able to support my kids.”
When asked about the training itself he said “I would push for anybody to get on there and do the course. Heather, the tutor, was awesome. She had a way of putting into the words for anybody, she’s really good like that. You just ask anything, and she will show you the little secrets if you have gone in too far and you’re not sure what to do. Which is just awesome!! I really loved it.” He acknowledged how welcoming the host school had been and how comfortable he felt entering the school and training there. “I felt they were really really cool people.”
Andrew expressed his thanks to everyone involved, for giving him this opportunity which he sees has been a blessing for himself and his kids. He sees they have changed and he also feels more confident in the things he does. He says “As parents we have got obligations and we’ve got to step up to the plate for our children – so seize this opportunity. It is awesome!”
|Andrew with his son - receiving a webcam from Computers in Homes|