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Avoiding the Pitfalls of Educating Online

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by , 10-26-2011 at 05:06 AM (2248 Views)
Avoiding the Pitfalls of Homeschooling Online
by Jamie

Knowledge. Communication. Learning. Connections. Fun. Games. Recipes. News.
The benefits of using the internet to educate our children are innumerable. There are hosts of wonderful resources out there that make our homeschooling endeavor so much easier. Not to mention, it sure does make learning fun! Yet, there is a dark side to this treasure trove of information. The dark side of the internet can affect you and your family before you even realize it. In fact, research shows that 1 in 4 families have had to deal with a destructive internet issue within their family unit.
In the last 10 years,the growth rate of distasteful sites online has increased exponentially. So much so that these sites are now intrusive. In other words, you can no longer be safe on the internet by “minding your own business.” Children and adults alike are just no longer safe to search the internet without some sort of protection.
At our house we are online daily for our online learning. This means constant use of the internet. With this constant use, we are exposed with a constant threat. From child predators, to identity theft, to pornography our children are not safe without some form of protection. Though it takes a bit of time to set up, there are great free online filters available. If you don’t have a filter installed on each computer in your home, take time today to set one up. Some are free, they’ll help you keep your child’s innocence, and give you some peace of mind.
Here are a few suggestions:
1) Download a free account from K-9 Web Filter or Safe Families. There are other great filtering software out there that give you more options. Most of these cost between $40-$80.
2) Set up a new free private email (you can have this email delivered to your regular email account) just for this purpose. Tell no one the password to this email. The Web filter will send notifications and password resets to this email.
3) Set up your account. The safest way to set up most filter accounts is to select “custom.” In this way, you can choose exactly which categories you want to keep blocked.
4) You can block specific sites that you may be concerned about. Simply find their internet address and enter it into the program.
5) You can also add specific web sites that you always want to allow. On our filter program, I had to specifically enter all of the Time4Learning websites that are used in order for us to do our daily school work. Here is a list of some of them. The first three are needed for your child to access their daily T4L lessons.
www.time4learning.com
www.newhomeschooling.net
www.thelearningodyssey.com
www.spellingcity.com

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