Zoe took this picture, by the way... ignore my messy desk.
From reading The Unschool Manual I got the idea of letting the kids use MS Word to learn reading, phonics, whole words, spelling, etc. Zoe is on my computer a great deal and while she is on it she types her name and the word "up" in any text box she can find. So I thought I'd offer to sit with her and I could tell her how to spell different things and give her practice to try some on her own and find that letters on the keyboard. She loved it! Later Austyn tried it and did well. What a great tool!
I do however think that it's time to set up a computer just for the kids. I work on my computer for our business and have had issues with the kids messing around with files and settings that I don't want them to.
“It is as true now as it was then that no matter what tests show, very little of what is taught in school is learned, very little of what is learned is remembered, and very little of what is remembered is used. The things we learn, remember, and use are the things we seek out or meet in the daily, serious, nonschool parts of our lives.” ~John Holt~ How Children Fail