These days there is little else to do except look at a screen for information. It’s a common sight to see your homeschooler sitting and staring hard, barely blinking at the screen. This could be related to homework and research for a topic that they need to do. Or more likely they have fallen down the rabbit hole which is called the internet and are surfing website after website watching videos or reading status updates of various online friends.
Teach the Difference between Useful and Useless
Unfortunately everyone is online these days, and there is no way for your homeschool students to completely avoid the internet. It is vitally important to train them in using the power of the internet for their own benefit, rather than succumbing to the lures of short clips of unwanted but entertaining videos. There are enough edutainment sites availble which would help them in the long run. The challenge in the short run is to get them hooked to these websites.
Set Time Limits
Self regulation is the best policy. However getting them to understand the limited time frame that they should stay online, will require some help initially. Just like kids get addicted to sugar rich candy, they can get addicted to the quick fix of the internet to relative boredom sitting around at home. Just as they have a schedule for everything else, they should have a limited number of hours that they can surf the interent each day. Having a daily limit data plan for the wifi is a good start.
Keep them Safe
Give them a list of approved sites which they can dive into. Also give them a list of malacious sites that they should avoid. Show them what exactly can go wrong using videos on the topic. Teach them about viruses which can affect their computers or tablets rendering them useless. Also have them made aware of issues such as identity theft, cyber bullying and other online crimes. Just as you warn them of stranger danger, they should know what to do and what to avoid if they are going to be online on their own.