TECHNOLOGY

The Perfect Age to Buy Your Child Their Own Computer

 

Age 5? Age 10? What is the best age for a child to have their own computer? The debate rages on, but we have the information you need to make the right decision. 

Does your child have their own computer? If not, I bet they are begging you for one, right?

 

It’s hard to know when you should buy a computer for your child. Technology has grown so much that parents sometimes feel lost. Should your child have their own computer now? Or should you wait? 🤔

 

Of course, the right answer depends very much on your own preferences - and budget. But there are some factors to consider for each age that will help you decide the right time to buy a computer for your child. 💻


computer-for-child

 

Ages 0-5

 

Spoiler alert: your 0-5 year old does not need their own computer! 😉 And actually, babies under 2 shouldn’t have screen time at all. By that I mean something like sitting and watching videos or other “passive” screen time. A FaceTime with grandma is perfectly fine.

 

Young children can and do use computers, but they should be supervised at all times. Some good uses for computer time are:

  • An educational video or game
  • A video chat with family
  • Looking up information and images about something they want to learn about

 

Don’t worry about a child this age having their own computer.

 

Ages 5-12

 

Once students begin primary school, they will use computers a lot more. Computers became even more necessary during Covid: the virtual classroom was the only classroom! But even with in-person classes, students use computers often.

 

Starting at age 5, students learn programming in school. They also learn to research topics, type, and interact with peers.

 

But it’s important to spend time off screen too! Kids need to read real books and get outside every day. 🌳 This will actually help them learn more when they are in school.

 

In early primary, your child should have access to a computer at home, but they don’t need their own. You’ll want to be able to keep an eye on their computer usage, and this is best accomplished on the family device.

 

The sweet spot: age 10

 

Did you know half of British 10 year olds have their own computer? (and the other half wish they did 😂)

 

But many still used a shared computer at home during remote or blended learning

 

If you can make it work, a shared computer can be a great compromise. But with the increasing use of computers for school (plus if your child does computer based activities in their free time), it can be hard to juggle a schedule with a shared device!

 

Around age 10 is a great time to buy a computer for your child. As they get older, they will definitely need one. But at age 10, they are young enough that you can still supervise and teach them how to stay safe online. 

 

Think about your child - are they responsible enough at this age to take care of a computer? If not, wait a few years. There’s no harm in using the family computer a while longer, even if your child would like you to believe otherwise. 

 

Ages 12-18

 

If your child doesn’t have their own computer yet by secondary, it is usually more necessary by this point. That is because of increased homework requirements. Older children usually like to use the computer for more than just school, too. 🎮

 

Make sure you set parental controls and monitor the sites your child accesses. 🔒 You’ll also need to make sure that they are acting responsibly and taking care of their device, especially if they are bringing it out of the house with them.

 

Most schools have computers available in the classroom, but students still need to use one outside of school too. And by the time they get to university, a computer is a definite necessity! 

 

GoStudent supports students 

 

Another great reason for your child to have a computer? Online tutoring. If your child needs extra help in school, a GoStudent tutor can work with them to get them where they need to be. Arrange a trial lesson to see for yourself! 🚀


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