This year we have decided to let our younger two blog at Homeschoolblogger. Why?
* Gives them a purpose for writing (they need to write properly with interesting content. No posts like – "today I’m bored!" end of post.)
* Gives them a gentle introduction to internet technology (Jess has developed an interest in html, and computer graphics thanks to blogging)
* Gives them a controlled internet environment (to learn etiquette and dangers)
All children should have boundaries when on the internet. What are our boundaries?
* No internet if Mum/Dad not at home
* No browsing unless Mum knows about it
* Only go to HSB blogs unless Mum knows about it
* Only comment on blogs that have good writing / content. (though this is more about time management than internet)
* The younger two aren’t to click unless they’ve asked
* Content is checked before uploaded, this is for quality as well as for safety
You can have all the rules you like but unless you can monitor them they are just rules. So how do we monitor?
* Computers in family areas
* Older children have the freedom to be "Internet Police" and to share their concerns with me
* Permission needs to be given first (even for the older ones)
* Limited time on computers (though we do make a distinction between blogging time, study time and game time)
Of course, even with the best of intentions things slip through, sin nature takes over and we have disobedience. Really this is a honesty issue, a trust issue. So we have to have consequences that show how important it is to be trustworthy when it comes to using the internet. Consequences we have used:
* no internet or
* no computer or
* internet only for school work – supervised only
I find that consequences have to match the crime so to speak. My goal in these consequences isn’t to punish them and make them feel bad but to help them see that the internet is a privilege and one that comes with great responsibility. I want to see a heart change in my children that they are responsible – and not only in this area but in all areas of their life. Those who are responsible in a little will be given much.