Yes, you do need a web filter.

Keyboard

It amazes me how many homeschool moms (actually parents period) don’t realize that they need a web filter on their computers.

However much that we want to believe the best about our kids, and we should, we also need to realize that it’s too easy to stumble upon the wrong thing unintentionally.

Example: one child I know was trying to look up some information about our government for a school project. Like many of us, he thought he could just type in whatever.com and like magic the info he needed would pop up. So, he typed in whitehouse.com (instead of the true address– .gov) and unfortunately the domain had been purchased by an unscrupulous character. My young friend was educated indeed, but not in the right subject. (Note: to my knowledge, this has now been righted)

It’s also important to take into account that the friends your child invites can also easily introduce things into your home that you would never allow. I’ve heard of this happening more times than I’d like to count now–and from homeschooling parents. The reason I point that out is that so many people mistakenly think that homeschooling will successfully shield your kids from everything. Not so. Please wake up and realize that your computers need filters.

My husband happens to be a computer geek for a living, which means we have to field a lot of questions about the best software for this or that. (How did I get involved with this?) By far, the software we recommend the most for filtering is K9 web protection. One reason is that it’s FREE. Another is that it’s come a long way since it was first developed, and it has features we like even more than some of the paid parental control software.

Now, it’s important to know that a filter is NOT full proof. There ARE sometimes ways around them for kids that are advanced in computers. However, this will definitely put a roadblock in the way of most of our kids since I’m assuming a majority of our 8-year-olds are not evil geniuses. It will also help to keep your kids from accidentally stumbling upon things- especially if you set it to block unrated sites.

You can find the K9 filter here.

Remember, if your kids have ipods or other devices, those can many times be restricted as well.

Image

Recommended Resource: Kids-In-Mind Movie Reviews

Movie Reviews: Kids-In-Mind“If you wanna be my _____…..”

“WHAT!?!?! Where did you hear that song?” I hissed at my then 4 year old son. Did any of the other “park mom’s” hear him? I looked around cautiously. What would they think of me?! My sweet boy looked at me with innocent blue eyes, “It was in Chicken Little, mom.”

My husband had taken him to see it the weekend before. How could a movie with a G rating contain such content? How could I miss this? What could I do?!?

If I had been fortunate enough to know about Kids-In-Mind then, I would’ve already found out that Chicken Little would expand a child’s musical interests to include the Spice Girls. This website is one of my very favorite resources. Sure there are other movie review sites, and sometimes I consult them, but I make sure I visit K-I-M before every film that we plan to watch.

This site has very detailed info, and that’s important to me. For instance, I feel like not all violence is equal. Slap stick type cartoons don’t bother me much, but I was told in a review for one popular animated film that a character had a knife to another’s throat. That bothers me. The violence found in The Patriot is not equal to the needless violence in some movies for teens which make killing people look as fun as a trip to Six Flags.

Kids-In-Mind helps to sort through this, and also informs me about nudity, profanity, and substance use. If you’d like to avoid an embarrassing experience at the park, check out their free website here. They also have an app you can purchase found here.