There are many ways to foster independence and we were happy to be a part of this review of a subscription to Kids Email Safe Email for Kids. This program has allowed each of the girls to have their own email address while At Home Dad and I have control over the safety features of the system. A win-win for all of us.
Kids Email is a company that has been around since 2009 and provides a safe email system for kids. Through their system, parents can monitor the incoming and outgoing messages but the child still has their own email. There are tons of safety features which the parent can turn on or off.
The safe email for kids has been a wonderful tool for our family but I really want to share the highlights of the program.
- Parents choose which email addresses the child can send to and receive from. No spam or unsolicited emails can get through.
- If an email is received from an unapproved address, it goes directly to the parent account and must be approved. A response is also returned to the sender, telling them that they have emailed a child and that the parent must approve their email before the child will see it. I really appreciate that it specifies that it is an account held by a minor and that it is being monitored. That potentially wards off a lot of unwanted things.
- In setting up each email account, there are a number of settings. These include things like – can this email receive links for other places on the internet? Can this email receive videos? Can this email receive images? Can this email receive from anyone not on the contact list? Do you want to limit messages that have bad words in them? Can the child edit their approved contact list or who they can send to?
- There are controls for time restrictions that include days of the week or hours of the day.
- You can ground your child and they cannot use their email if the account has been “grounded.”
- There is an activity log. This lists the date, time of login, and the emails that were sent. This could be helpful if you are using sending emails as a typing practice that you need to document.
- If your teen wants a bit more of a grown-up feel and address, the kmail version will be right up their alley. The system maintains the same safety features yet their email address is a bit more grown-up.
There are a few other features but these are the highlights. The girls will share some of their favorite “features” in their section of the review. This includes tools that they discovered in using the program.
Many Homeschool Review Crew families thought it would be neat for our kids to get a chance to “meet” each other so we set up some pen-pals. My three giggly girls chose some pen-pals based on age and common interests. It has been lots of fun for them to communicate with and get to know some of the other Crew kids. Communicating with kids from across the US and even around the globe (one of the girls they email with most frequently is in the Philippines) has been fun for them and they seem to be enjoying it.
Another great thing we have enjoyed about Kids Email is that the girls can communicate with family on their own. They pop on and write an email about their day or something they thought their aunt, uncle, cousin, or grandparent might want to know or be interested in. It has been fun to see them exchange emails, read articles sent to them by their aunt and discuss the article with her, or find out about places family has visited through pictures they share.
Miss E’s thoughts:
Email. I like that every message goes through my parents. I don’t know exactly why but this is a feature I really like about the program. It is fun to pick your own background and there are some really pretty ones. I chose the wolf and it is really pretty and awesome and cool. You get to change the font style and font color and font size. That is lots of fun!
I have enjoyed getting my birthday and Easter e-cards from my grandparents in my own email instead of having mom call me over after checking her email. My aunt has sent me a link to an article about an elephant at their zoo, talking about the elephant and where he was before. There was a video of the elephant and at the bottom it had a timeline of his life. It was neat getting that article sent directly to me.
I started emailing with a pen-pal. We have decided to read the same book and then we are going to talk about it over email when we both finish.
Miss L’s thoughts:
I know that a lot of kids have emails but I have never had one. This was my first one. I thought that it was a really fantastic program. I like the way that it gave kids freedom but that parents get to monitor each exchange that goes on. I think is something that makes the parents and the children happy. I like that you could do more than just sending text, such as adding pictures take on a phone, draw your own pictures, and send articles through links back and forth. I really like that because I think it will encourage the younger kids because most of the time kids under 10 are going to be looking for ways to exploit their creativeness. This is a program that fits for all ages. I really liked being able to set up pen-pals. I thought it was a really good way to be able to explore the program while letting kids send emails to people beyond their parents and siblings. It let me be able to communicate with more people and still make it interesting.
One of the pen-pals that I have been communicating with is really creative. We both like to read and write. We have been sending ideas back and forth for a book that she is writing. It is really fun to get to be a part of that and get to help her with it. Another of the pen-pals that I have been sending emails back and forth with really likes to draw and make art. I do, too, so we have sent pictures of our artwork to each other. It is really fun to get to share with people who don’t really know me. It is fun to get to know them, too, especially when we are around the same age and enjoy some of the same things.
Miss J’s thoughts:
I like that I can communicate to my mom and my dad and all my family members. I like to draw and the drawing tool helps me to recreate stuff and change it. I like sending my drawings to people. I like that I can change my background.I like that they have a lot of different choice for the backgrounds. I like that it tells me how many emails I have. I enjoyed getting to make new online friends. I like being able to communicate with faraway relatives. I like being able to get and give pictures that I draw and ones that I don’t draw (taken with a phone camera).
I have enjoyed seeing the thrill that the girls get when a new email is received through Kids Email Safe Email for Kids. They will spend quite a bit of time typing up an email to send to someone (yay for writing and keyboarding skills!). Each day, they enjoy spending a few minutes at least checking. And when someone sends them something special – an idea or a picture or a gift card (yep – one girl was able to receive an e-gift card for her birthday) – it is just pure joy on their faces. They don’t know that it is a step towards independence but their dad and I do. And we are so happy to see how they are handling it. We are pleased with Kids Email .