When it comes to technology, one of the biggest advantages for homeschool families is the internet. Packed with resources and unlimited knowledge all within a few clicks. It can also be a dangerous place that brings children closer to less than savory information and people. As parents, it is our job to protect our children from the dangers of the world including other people on the internet. The best way to do this is to monitor your child’s internet usage.
Limit where devices can be used.
One of the best things you can do to protect your child is to limit device usage to areas where children can be watched by their parents. Keep devices in a central area where the family walks through regularly. Make a point of checking what your child is doing when you walk into the room. This will discourage your child from using the internet to do things they are not allowed to do.
Set clear rules such as not using chat to talk to strangers, visiting questionable sites, and set time limits on devices. With your child in the main area you can enforce these rules.
Install tracking and blocking software
Using a software or device to block websites you do not want your child on can help protect your child when you are not around to see what they are up to. Choose a software that gives you complete parental controls to pick and choose sites your child can not go onto or to choose sites your child is allowed to use. A popular choice now is Circle by Disney that allows you to control the entire wifi network by hooking it up to your router.
If you would prefer a tracking software to allow your child more freedom but to still monitor their useage you can take advantage of programs designed to monitor internet usage such as Covenant Eyes. These allow your child freedom while alerting you should your child go on a questionable site.
You can now get programs to run on your child’s devices such as cell phones. These parental control apps can help you monitor your child’s internet usage even when they are away from home and you can not watch them closely yourself.
Check history often
For younger kids that haven’t discovered the history or incognito features, you can use the browser history to track what your child has been doing online. Regularly check the history on your browser to see what your child has been doing online. This is a great way to know if you need to have a chat with your child about visiting sites like chat rooms.
Use your email address for all android devices. When connected to your email you can quickly see the search history from any device. Visit https://myactivity.google.com/myactivity to set controls and track activity on all of your devices including web browser, apps, and even location tracking. This tool can help you manage your entire families device usage in one convenient place.