Whether we try to deny it, the internet is not going anywhere. If anything, I find more and more things being moved to an online environment. Communication with friends and family has mostly left the old fashioned practice of letter writing and turned towards email.
My 6 year old loves to chat with family members, especially his grandparents. Getting his own email account is not something I wanted to do via the main service providers. I get a LOT of spam that filters do not always catch. Spam that I definitely do not want my child to see.
Then there is the concern of predators reaching out to the kids. I really do not want my boys having someone communicating with them that shouldn’t be.
Yet, I want to give them the ability to stay in touch with family and friends.
Teaching Responsible Email Usage: What Does KidsEmail.org offer?
KidsEmail.org is a service that allows parents to give their kids and email account while removing many of the concerns that normally come with it.
When you set up an account, the following services are provided:
Contact Manager (approved list of emails that can enter your child’s inbox.)
Mail Monitoring (see what’s coming into your child’s inbox)
The Mail Queue (set it up for you to manually approve messages from anyone not on the trusted email list)
Time Restrictions (keep your child’s time limited or even ground them if needed)
Block Senders (like the contact manager, only this one keeps emails from ever getting through.)
No Ads! (free email providers always have ads included, some inappropriate for kids.)
GPS Tracker (for kids with a smartphone)
Custom Mailbox Folders (help them learn to sort by person or topic.)
The kids can pick from a variety of options to customize the look of their inbox. And, if your child is on the younger side, they can select the option to have the email read TO them.
KidsEmail.org offers a second option for slightly older kids. Teens have a separate log in page and parents can opt to have their email be on the kmail.org server. Parents can still adjust settings to remove foul language or block images from incoming emails.
In the settings, there is one option that can be activated and is highly suggested. It will tag the emails sent from your child with a tagline letting the recipients know the email has originated from a child.
Teaching Responsible Email Usage: Our Thoughts about KidsEmail.org
J has been over the moon about having his own email. As I shared, he loves to stay in touch with family members.
When I set up his contact list, I added both grandmothers, a brother, and his dad.
The timing for this review was perfect as summer is historically my husband’s busy time for work with back to back trips out of town. J went to town emailing his dad during each of those business trips.
I did the typing as he dictated (as spelling the words himself is something he has yet to really figure out.) Reading the responses was done by him, though, as his reading ability is blossoming.
One thing we have been working on is patience. This digital world has people expecting things instantaneously. So, he would hover and keep asking me to check his inbox in case someone had written back.
Overall, this is a phenomenal resource for families. I far prefer teaching how to use something in a safe manner than having to ban it for fear of negative consequences.
Do you allow your kids to use email on a regular basis?
Would this service for a safe email environment appeal to you and your family?
Don’t just take my word for how we found this to be. Visit the KidsEmail.org post on the Homeschool Review Crew website to see what other homeschooling parents thought about this title and other grade level ones.