My son is low tech, has been since he was born. He’s not plugged into anything apart from an hour of computer games in the morning on his school holidays – which he uses to play Age of Empires or Minecraft.
Apart from that, he plays with his lego, army dudes, dinosaurs, toys or he reads books. Real books – ones that you lay on your bed, couch or in your beanbag to read. He’s a reader, because we’ve modeled reading to him. It’s not hard, ever since he was born, he’s been read to, and we’ve sat and read with him. In the early days it would be simple picture books, and he would sit cuddled up and watch as I read to him. His dad would sit and read to him, and we would discuss the books.
We didn’t set out to teach him his alphabet or his numbers before school, but when he started primary, he was equipped with a love of learning. His reading was helped by his decision to participate in the MS Readathon when he was aged six. He set his goal for 100 books in a month. He achieved that, by sitting and reading up to six picture books a night, and interspersing that with longer Geronimo Stilton books that took several nights to finish. But he did it, and it was amazing the leap forward that made across his subjects.
His ability to read has helped across all of his subjects. There is a direct link to literacy and learning in the research being published…. He’s the kid who gets excited when the teacher says it’s quiet reading time, and to get out your books. He carries books with him to read when he’s having to wait anywhere – and he’s not attached to a screen to be entertained. He’s following in my footsteps, I’m the person who you see on public transport happily reading a book, and not immersed in the digital world, but actually reading a hard copy book…..
It is possible to raise children who are literate and still able to navigate the future world. He’s having to use an ipad this year as part of the school program this year, and this I hope will not mean the end to hours spent reading his awesome collection of books. I don’t want to see him sucked into the empty vacuum that exists where there is an overwhelming urge to be connected to the net 24/7. Because there is life in the low tech world, and it’s one that values the communities we live in, where little children can help raise funds for charities through reading…..