It’s All for the Children

Adriana overcame agoraphobia and joined Computers in Homes for the benefit of her children.
Adriana overcame her fears and joined Computers in Homes for the benefit of her children.

Adriana joined Computers in Homes training at Stoke School in Nelson, with 26 other families. Coming into her group of 9 was difficult for her, as she has agoraphobia, but her commitment to her two children – aged 7 and 14, helped her to overcome her fears. She shares this about her Computers in Homes experience.

Nervousness became friendship

My children were my total motivation for signing up for Computers in Homes Training. I was very nervous at the start and it probably took 2-3 weeks to feel comfortable in the group. By the end a lot of friendships had been made between us and also between our kids.

School training location helped

Being held at our local school made it very easy – no bus or petrol costs and I was already dropping off the children anyway. I couldn’t have guaranteed I would have made every session if it was further away. During coffee breaks the kids would ask “What are you doing today?” They wanted to come in and see what we were doing, they were intrigued. It’s good for the kids to see all of us parents learning, doing something good for them, it’s really good.

Internet helped learning

My children were excited to take the computer home after graduation and we had to set it up straight away. My son is curious and asks so many questions that I don’t have answers to. Now when he asks something I say “Actually I don’t know but we will go and google it and find out”. It’s good and my son is thriving a lot more, learning to make a lot of different things from You Tube – not stupid stuff, actually looking at how to make boats, for example. He is having to sound words out when he is googling things.

Seeing son’s schoolwork

At school the kids have their own website with their own password and we can see what the school has put up there of what he has done. They have had the website for two years and I haven’t been able to access it until now. My son is really excited to show me what he does, and we can add comments and stuff and the teacher will look at it.

Parent/teacher sharing

My daughter is busy showing me things she did at school each day. All her reports are shared by email and in the past, were sent to one of my mates who would show me. Now I can receive them myself and I can also make bookings for parent teacher interviews. You can’t ring up and make bookings because it has to be done on the internet and I had missed out on two interviews.

Education is important and I need to know what is going on, how to help and now I can do that so much easier. I can follow my son’s progress on his website and help him and my daughter with their homework, research and assignments. It’s just amazing.

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Principal Pete Mitchener with Adriana as she receives a copy of the CiH Report (where her story is also published) and a webcab to say thank you.

Stepping UP gave me extra skills and confidence

After the Computers in Homes course, I decided to carry on with Stepping UP – that was just great to have the opportunity. I like practicing and going over things that are new. All my notes sit beside my computer at home and when something goes wrong I go back to them. I am learning things my daughter actually needs like bullet points, digital entertainment stuff and how to do slide shows. Now I have done it I can help, it is so much easier for her because now when she comes home and says “Mum I need to do this” I can go “Right, this is how you do it”. It has given me more confidence and I have learnt quite a bit more. I’m really grateful that we had a chance to do the Stepping UP part.
(Editor’s note: Free Stepping UP training is widely available to all adults.)  

Despite agoraphobia, career training became possible

Having a computer and the internet at home is going to help me because with my agoraphobia, I can now do courses on line. I want to be an early childhood teacher or teacher aide but no course will accept me with absolutely no qualifications. I need to go back and get my English and Maths from High School first. So while I am getting help with my agoraphobia I can do the courses I need to so they are under my belt for when I am ready to start childhood teacher training in a few years.

Affordable internet

Now I have the internet and a computer it is going to make it easier. I’d never have had a computer and the internet as I never could afford it. So to receive one and it to be affordable was just awesome. It is just great for our families, to be given the opportunity to help our children.

More about Computers in Homes in Nelson/Marlborough/Buller

More about Stepping Up – free community-based computer skills training for adults, on the Stepping Up website