Staples.com recently surprised me with an email offering to send an HP Pavilion 14 Chromebook , backpack, My Net 750 Router and an Easy button for our family to review. It was early in the morning (when I received the email) so I had to wipe away the sleep from my eyes. I called my husband, asked his opinion and then began asking myself: ’do we need these for our home and our children?”
My answer: Yes
This year, our oldest is using an online math class for Algebra. In addition, all of our children are required to spend 15 minutes per day on a typing program and they will be researching information for projects this year.
I was already familiar with the Chromebook. If you aren’t, you’ll want to know that it is a laptop that works on apps. It is not loaded with windows or other programs that you are used to. However, it provides the nuts and bolts that a young individual needs (not necessarily wants, but definitely what they need).
That to me is important. We don’t need to give children what they want, only what they need.
How have we been using it?
First, I set up an account for the children to use that would provide an anonymous log in and pass word for them to use.
Then, I showed them how to email me, create documents and save them in the Google documents section. Once each of the children practiced creating documents, we began loading their Google play with books I want them to read this year that are free on the public domain. Once everyone had a good understanding of the various functions within Google and a keen understanding that they are NOT allowed in the Google store without me, I began adding a few apps to the Chromebook.
Next, I found a nice app for typing. It actually ‘times’ the user in a typing contest. It identifies the letters/words to type and the mistakes the user makes. My oldest enjoyed challenging me to a typing contest. When he did this, I was secretly giving myself a high five. My Motto with boys – if you challenge them to a contest, they’ll take it. The ones they ‘come up with on their own’ (hahaha – yes, Moms, we know how to get them to do something and think it was their idea) are the best for the ultimate way to ensure success.
After I added a few apps, I searched for a movie I wanted to watch to back up some of what we have been learning in school. We were all pleased with the audio and the visual of the movie.
While we are all happy with the Chromebook, my youngest was excited to receive his first backpack. He has been borrowing his brother’s backpack for the past two years when he went on outings and now, the tables are turned. His big brother is BEGGING to borrow his. He’s used to hand me downs and honestly loves digging through his big brother’s clothes, but to have his very own backpack – that his brother would LOVE to have – well, that’s just the best.
You may be wondering: has the little guy let his big brother borrow the backpack? Well, yes, he has. This weekend, big brother is off for a ‘guy’s weekend’ and little guy let his big brother use it.
The My Net N750 Router has been a nice add to our home and necessary, as we are generally running our devices through the home.
My favorite – the “Easy” button. I have to admit, I love playing with the Easy Buttons at Staples, but have never purchased one. Can I just give you permission to go ahead and purchase one? Yes, just do it. When you are in the middle of ‘one of those moments’ – pressing the EASY button will bring you down from the roof and back to reality with a little giggle.
I already loved Staples before I received my email and these sweet devices landed in my home. And now, I can truly recommend these products for your home. Your children don’t need bells and whistles. They can research, read books, write and print papers on a platform you can trust.
Of course, I recommend you oversee all use of the computer. Teach your children to stay safe, keep their information private and stay away from places their eyes should not be privy’d to.
Staples.com contacted me and offered these products in exchange for my honest review. No compensation has been or will be received.