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This post is sponsored by KidsEmail.org. All opinions are my own.
Little man is about to finish second grade. Word on the street is that third grade is when things start to get real. There is a big jump for the kids in terms of academics, standardized testing and homework. I’ve also heard that third grade is when it is common for kids to start communicating electronically. Sending emails and texts, using iMessenger, stuff like that.
I’m not sure I’m ready for all of this!
My kids currently have wi-fi connected iPads, which they use to play games, watch pre-downloaded movies, and to watch videos on YouTube. We do not allow games that offer the option to play against real people, or communicate with others out in cyberspace. We carefully monitor what they watch on YouTube.
Each night, the devices charge in our room. This was an awesome piece of advice my social worker friend, Ro gives to her teenage students’ parents.
Take away the devices away at night.
We are trying to instill age-appropriate independence, within limits, with electronics. So when Brittany Oler, the co-founder of KidsEmail.org asked my family to try out KidsEmail, I was very interested in checking out this service.
KidsEmail.org is a site that allows parents or guardians to set up an email account for their kids and teens. Unlike just creating an AOL or GMAIL name, KidsEmail.org allows the parent to oversee the account in an easy way.
I was super impressed with how easy the account was to set up. I went to this link, made a registration and login for myself, and then confirmed it through my personal email. Parents use their existing email address!
Once you are logged in, you add each child. You create a unique handle. I used a combo of my kids’ initials and birthdays. Their email address is then firstname.lastname@example.org and you can send and receive messages by logging into the site, or on the Android/iOs/Kindle Fire app.
Next you control the settings. It prompts you to decide whom you want the child to have access to (inbound and outgoing messages), if they can receive links and attachments, and if you as the guardian want copies of incoming/outgoing messages. It also gives a detailed description of each choice!
I like that KidsEmail.org can grow with my kids. I set it so right now only mom/dad, and grandma/grandpa can email with the children, but I can easily add other family and friends later on. I can change the settings to allow the child to become increasingly independent online.
My son loved coming home to his first ever email message! Plus how cute is this interface!
In addition to the email settings, you can manage the amount of time, and time of day your child can access the site. There are also never any ads displayed, so unlike with our free email accounts (AOL, I’m looking at you) you can rest assured that they will never see anything inappropriate.
Now my kids are 8 and 5, and loved getting started with their KidsEmail.org accounts!
For slightly younger kids:
- KidsEmail.org has a READ IT feature, that will read the email out loud to the children (while they practice their reading skills by following along).
- KidsEmail.org has a DRAW IT feature, where kids can draw pictures and send them to family & friends!
For older kids: Their email address can change from @kidsemail.org to @kmail.org. Their interface (see cute puppy pic above) can be modified as well!
Right now you can get started with your free 30 day trial HERE. No credit card needed, and no obligation after the 30 days are up! If you want to view their pricing packages, click here. It’s very affordable! Seriously you probably spend more on your monthly coffee than KidsEmail costs for a whole year!
Let’s face it, raising digitally savvy and cyber-safe children is not going to be easy. It is an issue EVERY parent needs to mindful of. Embracing platforms that help us do so are such a gift. I am so thankful to KidsEmail.org for introducing me to this site, for sponsoring this post and for getting my kids excited (and not scared) of their first forays into electronic communication!
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