Saturday, August 4, 2012

Internet Safety for Kids

We now live in such a world that information can be ours with the click of a search engine. In homeschooling this can mean a wealth of opportunities to teach our child about every subject imaginable. It really is possible to find the resources you need to home-school your children for free or for a minimal amount of money. Nothing like this was available when I was a child. Along with this open access to information though there is danger that lurks almost everywhere you go. Child internet safety is a must! Here is a list of ideas to make the web a safer place for your children.

  1. Place your computer in a central location where you can monitor what your children are doing on the computer. My son who has special needs has to have me directly by him as he will click on ANYTHING he sees that looks interesting. He also has an ipod but we do not have it hooked up to our wireless as he would end up buying games. LOL
  2. YouTube can be a whole lot of fun for a child and educational too but I know when I have been on there (with or without kids) a lot of other videos will pop on the side and more likely than not there will be some NOT intended for children's eyes. I haven't tried this yet but there is a safety filter for YouTube. This blog tells you how to make YouTube safe for children.
  3. Install web filtering software. The software filters out objectionable material before your child has the chance to see it. This is a good thing as I know a seemingly innocent search misspelled can turn up things not intended.
  4. There are websites with invaluable information on keeping your child safe. GetNetWise is a good one that also has an online safety guide.
  5. Just like you give your child guidelines on the type of behavior you expect of them in places like the library, church, playground, and the grocery store, you should also let them know their boundaries when they are on the internet. 
  6. Let them know they are not allowed to chat online with people they do not know. It is so easy for someone to pretend to be someone they are not. Along that same subject children should know that they cannot share personal information online like their address or phone number.
  7. Know the websites they frequent. Part of my children's "school work" is an online curriculum. Make sure that these places of education and fun are safe from objectionable material or interactions.
I could go on and on but I will stop there. The internet is an invaluable place to enrich your child's education and with a parent's (or teacher's) supervision it can also be a safe place.


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