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.