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Ask Slashdot - Linux for a 3.5yr old

RevMike (632002) writes | more than 7 years ago

User Journal 7

I'm admittedly biased, but my son Joe is really bright. He is currently three and a half. A few weeks ago he asked if he could make letters on the computer. I opened up a word processing program and let him pound on the keyboard a bit. He's been doing this regularly.

About a week ago, I walked in and found this on the screen...

IBM

I'm admittedly biased, but my son Joe is really bright. He is currently three and a half. A few weeks ago he asked if he could make letters on the computer. I opened up a word processing program and let him pound on the keyboard a bit. He's been doing this regularly.

About a week ago, I walked in and found this on the screen...

IBM

I asked him about it, and he said that he copied the letters from the label. (This is an old IBM ThinkPad) A few days later my wife walked in a found this...

Google

When asked, he said he saw it written on mommy's laptop screen and typed it in from memory. Today, he typed in "Milk Duds" by copying the box from some Halloween candy. And right now he is going around the house finding objects with writing on them and typing in the writing.

My wife and I decided that Santa is going to bring him his own laptop. I have an old ThinkPad 600 that should be perfect, especially if I get a new battery for it.

He's currently playing on a laptop with CentOS running (a free derivative of RedHat Enterprise Linux). Is there any distribution particularly appropriate for young kids or should I build his machine with CentOS as well? Does anyone want to recommend a word processor for him? OpenOffice is a little heavy weight, and while he has been using vim successfully, that might not work well when he gets a little more independent.

Also, any recommendations for puzzle games? He likes playing snood, so similar games might be fun for him.

cancel ×

7 comments

I have no idea. (1)

Talinom (243100) | more than 7 years ago | (#16899136)

He's currently playing on a laptop with CentOS running (a free derivative of RedHat Enterprise Linux). Is there any distribution particularly appropriate for young kids or should I build his machine with CentOS as well? Does anyone want to recommend a word processor for him? OpenOffice is a little heavy weight, and while he has been using vim successfully, that might not work well when he gets a little more independent.

Wow. No thoughts on a word processor, but if you modified his .cshrc file to automatically take him into either games or a word processor depending on login (more typing) that might be cool. You could also teach him touch typing, as in which finger hits which key and why. He'll be typing 80wpm before he hits kindergarten. I don't know of any typing games for Linux, but I'm sure there are some out there.

Do your Google! (1)

SamTheButcher (574069) | more than 7 years ago | (#16899612)

http://www.linuxjournal.com/article/8288 [linuxjournal.com]

From last year.

There's also this:

http://www.debian.org/devel/debian-jr/ [debian.org]

But it doesn't look like much has been done for a couple years.

This looks like a good page, too:

http://www.fraw.org.uk/download/cltc/cltc_pb-02.ht ml [fraw.org.uk]

I found the articles. You go read them. :)

Edubuntu (1)

Randle_Revar (229304) | more than 7 years ago | (#16899644)

Edubuntu.org [edubuntu.org]
Screenshots [edubuntu.org]

Edubuntu uses Gnome, with a look and feel customized for kids.
By default it comes with a bunch of programs for kids including:

GCompris: I Have Understood (collection of activities kids age 2 to 10)
Tux4Kids (TuxPaint, TuxMaths and TuxTyping)
The KDE Edutainment Suite
        - Lots of excellent programs for math, language, science, programming, etc: http://edu.kde.org/ [kde.org]
        - Good for a wide range of ages. I have used the kdeedu programs for Latin, Japanese and Typing. Very fun!

Re:Edubuntu (1)

jawtheshark (198669) | more than 7 years ago | (#16899770)

My first thought... But frankly, the kid seems bright. Give him what you use. Kids want to be like grownups. They actually don't like it when you give them special stuff especially for them.

pfft.... (1)

ellem (147712) | more than 7 years ago | (#16900068)

Give him a MacBook Pro and get his Big Brain Academy for his Nintendo DS

thank evolution for your wife! :) (1)

btlzu2 (99039) | more than 7 years ago | (#16902180)

;) you my dawg?

teach joe assembly now. he'll write a better OS than Windows 2008 by the time he's 5. :D

you know k @ w? she has disgusting BO. that's what really pisses me off! i kid you not. ask k or c.

Re:thank evolution for your wife! :) (1)

RevMike (632002) | more than 7 years ago | (#16904336)

you know k @ w? she has disgusting BO. that's what really pisses me off! i kid you not. ask k or c.

Yes, I am aware. It is one on a long list of her "charms".

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