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Internet access in Golden Time - am I over-reacting

(33 Posts)
opioneers Mon 30-Nov-15 09:53:48

DD is 9, and their current teacher is allowing them internet access during Golden Time.

I'm not wild about this anyway, because until now they've been doing drawing and board games, which is a bit more collaborative and social.

But she's also Googling unsupervised, which I am not very happy about at all. I know they will have all manner of safety measures on their internet, but it's still very possible for her to find stuff I wouldn't want her to be reading without there being an adult round to discuss it with, e.g. news reports and so on. She's a good reader and will tackle stuff that other children her age wouldn't.

However I know that we are very restrictive on screen time and so I'd really like to know what other people think before I talk to school.

Snowglobe18 Mon 30-Nov-15 10:07:38

Personally, I don't see a problem with it x

ElsaAintAsColdAsMe Mon 30-Nov-15 10:10:10

It wouldn't bother me.

She will also be hearing about all manner of things at school from other children with no adult to discuss it with. Whether children are good readers or not they hear about things from the news/their parents and talk.

If she is googling something then she clearly has an interest in it anyway so probably better to do it at school with the filters on than get a friends phone or whatever and do it on there with no filter.

If it bothers you then talk to the school, but I think it is better for them to explore the net in a safe manner at the school than do it elsewhere, which will happen eventually if you are very restrictive with screen time.

irvine101 Mon 30-Nov-15 10:18:29

My ds tried to access one of the maths game website on school computer, and denied by the filter. I think school's computers are a lot more safer than home one. I don't mind ds using internet at school at all.

opioneers Mon 30-Nov-15 10:27:49

We're not insanely restrictive with screen time but I tend to make sure she's in the same room as me when she's either Googling or on Youtube so that I can keep an eye on what she's up to.

And you'd all be OK with computer use on her own replacing what has been up until now a quite social time?

JasperDamerel Mon 30-Nov-15 10:35:01

Can they not also do reading, drawing and other solitary pursuits in golden time? And Internet use is often pretty collaborative and social - DD and her friends tend to all gather round a screen, discuss what to do and chat about what they see.

irvine101 Mon 30-Nov-15 10:36:34

At my ds's school, what they do during golden time is up to them. sometimes they play on computer, sometimes they play with lego, etc.

Doesn't she have a choice if she wants to draw or play board games?

strawberryandaflake Mon 30-Nov-15 10:39:44

What's wrong with a 9 yo reading the news?!

strawberryandaflake Mon 30-Nov-15 10:41:21

Also most schools have a system whereby the teachers can see all the students' screens from their PC now. She most likely was supervised, but at a distance.

LonnyVonnyWilsonFrickett Mon 30-Nov-15 10:45:24

The point of golden time is it's the children's choice. And it looks like your DD chooses to go on the internet. My DS doesn't at golden time, because he has fairly liberal access to screens at home. So that's not an attractive choice for him.

Assuming she does 'social' stuff the rest of the time and at home, I wouldn't be at all bothered by 20 minutes on the computer on a Friday at school.

AnchorDownDeepBreath Mon 30-Nov-15 10:52:08

Golden Time is a choice, so it defeats the point if the school make her do board games or something social, even if you'd prefer that she did. Perhaps talk to her and give her more screen time at home in exchange for doing something social in Golden Time?

The school internet will have high security settings that block access to most things, and the teacher and IT department will be able to review her screen from their own, as well as her browsing history, so they will absolutely be monitoring her even if they aren't stood over her.

Finally, while I understand that you want to limit her exposure to things so that you can introduce them in a way that seems appropriate, she is 9 years old and a good reader, and seemingly seeking out ways to get information on her own. It's probably time to shift techniques and instead encourage her to talk to you about things that she's found out about/wants to talk about, rather than trying to heavily censor her environment. She'll have friends whose parents let them watch the news or know about different things anyway.

PurpleDaisies Mon 30-Nov-15 10:59:26

I wouldn't have a problem with this. I'm not sure how drawing counts as collaborative or social unless they've been directed to draw together. Reading is another solo activity that kids often choose in golden time.

How long is golden time? Surely breaks and lunchtime every day vastly exceed the time she spends on the computer? I'm sure she has plenty of social time at school, and I think you're overthinking this a bit.

opioneers Mon 30-Nov-15 11:23:08

Fine, I thought I might be out of step here and it looks like I am. Which is why I wanted to ask.

To be clear, though, I'm not censoring her environment that heavily - she hears the news at home and we don't hide the newspapers. But between Paris and Syria and shootings at birth control clinics, there is a lot of grim stuff going on at the moment, and I would like to know how much she is taking in about it (she's more than capable of reading adult news sources and will) so that I can discuss it with her. She's quite an internalising child and will often brood on something for ages before I know what's wrong.

WowOoo Mon 30-Nov-15 11:29:04

I don't know if this will put your mind at rest, but my son told me there are far too many filters on his school computer. He can't even watch YouTube, the poor, deprived child.hmm

I feel your worry though. My son will often read news articles at home. I just want to protect him as much as I want to educate him. It's tricky finding the right balance and a suitable source.

Thecatisatwat Mon 30-Nov-15 14:12:25

OP, if it's any comfort I feel exactly the same as you. I'm constantly reading stuff saying that children should have limited screentime and then I hear that my dd (Y4) has spent hours on a computer at school so I don't know what to think anymore.

As for what they view at school, I wouldn't completely trust the school computer filters. DD's class were recently allowed to google Andy Warhol for an art project and dd told me her and her partner read about him on Wiki. When we looked up the same page at home I saw references to his film 'Blow Job', a description of said film, a section on how he was treated for syphilis and a section on his sexuality and virginity claims. Dh told the TA who was shocked and the school have agreed to monitor which pages the children can view a lot more carefully in future.

strawberryandaflake Mon 30-Nov-15 14:20:07

That's the individual school's fault. Their filter may have been down for maintenance ( or they may not have paid on time more likely) but they should have informed staff to avoid internet access during that period.

mrtwitsglasseye Mon 30-Nov-15 18:41:23

I'd be pleased it was free choice. And googling etc is a pretty good skill. At dd's school they just all watch a film.

Thecatisatwat Mon 30-Nov-15 19:17:45

Strawberry, would you normally expect Wikipedia to be blocked by a school's filters then? (I can understand a school deliberately blocking Youtube in the same way that secondary schools have started blocking Facebook etc. because of the trouble it can cause but I thought schools regarded Wiki as a legitimate source of info.)

Fairenuff Mon 30-Nov-15 19:50:23

OP can't you just tell your dd that you don't want her using computers during golden time and to pick another activity instead?

opioneers Mon 30-Nov-15 20:19:09

That's interesting about Wikipedia thecat. That's exactly the kind of thing I can see DD getting into - nothing deliberately transgressive just wandering off into odd bits of Wikipedia or whatever while researching something apparently 'approved'.

Fairenuff Yes that is a possibility, but I didn't want to be too hard on her, which is why I was asking. And I suspect the answer is that I go and double check with school about how strict their filters and/or oversight is and then leave her to it.

Vietnammark Mon 30-Nov-15 22:28:26

I wouldn't be worried about this at all.

Using the Internet is usually a lot more collaborative than things like reading a book, which I regard as being pretty antisocial.

LonnyVonnyWilsonFrickett Mon 30-Nov-15 22:49:55

But all those things about Andy Warhol are true Thecat If very young people are going to be sent off to research him independently then they are going to come across content like that. That's a badly-thought through task, rather than an Internet failure.

My DCs school gives a very hard stare to Wiki too, but that's because it's not that great a source.

sharoncarol43 Tue 01-Dec-15 00:18:30

she lives in the internet age! The earlier children become familiar with it the better.

MMmomKK Tue 01-Dec-15 00:19:37

OP - I feel exactly the same. I'd much prefer my kids to just play during Golden time. As it is they spend too much time at school/doing homework. And I do too try to limit my kids screen time at home.

mrz Tue 01-Dec-15 06:56:29

School filters work on content and key words to restrict access.

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