Our homeschool year started two weeks ago. This year will be a different homeschool year, as my oldest son is taking a writing class which involves research which he will do on-line. This is a big deal because until now our kids have not surfed the internet. They have tablets but when they want to downloaded a new app; they need my husband or my approval first.
I have always said that the internet can be good and bad, especially for children. Good because kids can learn about the subjects that are school related to enhance their education. The bad is that there are people just waiting to prey on children plus their little eyes and ears do not need to see and hear everything that is on the internet. The negative reasons are why our kids have had limited exposure to the internet, until now. Our oldest son will be using the internet; so it is time to go over ground rules and safety.
Set parental controls on tablets, computers and smartphones.
Make ground rules. For instance, make sure children do not give out passwords, their address, phone number and other private information, to anyone.
Set security settings by utilizing anti-virus software features.
Periodically check internet history.
Educate your children about the internet and how use it. The best resource is The Smart Talk which is a digital tool, created by LifeLock and National PTA. This new, free resource is for families to help parents have clear conversations with their children about using technology and agree on ground rules together.
Kids are on electronic devices more and more. I am amazed how young they start! Even my 2 year old has mastered my cell phone. The majority of children receiving their first smart phone between the ages of 8 and 12. While 79 percent of families have technology agreements with their children, with only 6 percent of those are written. The Smart Talk is designed to educate families to make smarter and safer choices online.
My son and I sat down and went through this program, step by step. We were asked a series of questions which lead to conversations about topics such as safety and privacy, screen time, social media, apps and downloads, texting and calling, reputation and respect, and online videos and cameras. After we agreed on ground rules we made a personalized, official family agreement that I have stored in our computer. If you did not want to store it on your computer you could print it off and post it to remember the agreement made.
How do you keep your children safe when they are using technology? Head over to The Smart Talk to help keep your kids safe while they are using electronic devices!