Giveaway of iParent.TV Website Subscription

From Gena: The following post is about iParent.TV. It’s an incredible new resource website for parents to help us navigate the overwhelming landscape of technology with our kids. If nothing else, I’ll have somewhere to go to check to see if I can really feel comfortable allowing a particular app my kids ask for. There’s a giveaway below! Watch the video about it here: http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/iparent-tv

What is iParent.TV?

If your older kids are awake, they’re probably on a smartphone, in front of a smart tv, downloading apps, or posting to social networks. And most likely you have no idea what they’re doing. iParent.TV will be a yearly, subscription-based website for teaching and informing parents on all things tech, mobile, devices, websites, and apps for kids so that you WILL know.

The Problem.
Most parents don’t have an inside track to tech or social media dangers, let alone how to safeguard their kids against them.

58% of 10-12 year old kids believe they know how to hide their online activities from their parents.

46% of them said they would change their online behavior if they knew their parents were paying attention.

Introducing iParent.TV –
To keep parents ahead of the tech curve. We believe we have the opportunity to help parents understand, get involved and safeguard their children in the ever-evolving tech World. iParent.TV educates parents with all the latest trends via Websites – Social Media – Apps – Devices

The idea.
It started with a group of dads who felt like their 9-year-olds knew more about tech than they did. They were right. But their idea will help change that forever for all parents. Once launched, iParent.TV will have 100s of videos and product reviews that are very current, cutting edge and trending, keeping parents who subscribe ahead of the tech curve.

How it will work?
The iParent.TV website will be a subscription-based site costing $49 per year for parents to access all the videos, reviews, how-tos, and live chat support. It will be the largest site on the net helping parents understand what’s safe and what’s not in the world of tech. –

And we are offering it for only $29 on Indiegogo.

What you get?
Articles, videos, reviews, tips, tools and expert advice on EVERYTHING like…
- Popular Apps
- Social Network Sites
- Major Websites
- Top Devices

To get started visit http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/iparent-tv

Giveaway of a one-year subscription to iParent.TV:
Enter through the Rafflecopter app below. Winner will be chosen on March 6, 2014 and will have 24 hours to respond to my email.
Each household is only eligible to win One (1) Subscription to iparent.tv via blog reviews and giveaways. Only one entrant per mailing address per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you will not be eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

(Disclosure: I will receive a one-year subscription to iParent.tv in exchange for this post.)

How to Set Media Limits for Our Kids

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A few days ago a kind reader sent me the following email–just perfect for a blog post!
“How does your family organize computer time/accessibility? I am finding it increasingly difficult with many kids of different ages in the same household, and having the appropriate restrictions on the digital “stuff” around the house. We have a family home computer in the kitchen, my oldest has a laptop and a cell phone, one has a Kindle, and two boys have an iTouch. All of these devices can access the internet, and I have yet to find parental controls that can be tailored to different ages. We are struggling so much with this. It’s mainly me! I am struggling with what to allow them to use and how often. “
My answer:
I have  noticed that there are two things that are causing constant vigilance and reassessment in our rules about technology use in our home, and those are — the kids keep getting older and technology keeps changing!  It was so easy to set rules when they were young.  Here’s an example of something that just snuck up on me.  None of our kids have phones yet, so I hadn’t thought through rules on that yet.  But on the last iOS update to my son’s iPod touch, they made a way to “message” others, which is just like texting.  He told me he was texting his cousin through his iPod.  So, new rules were made!
1.  Talk about why media needs to be limited.
Pornography is insidious and destructive.  Our kids need straight talk about it (as soon as they’re mature enough), so that they can have more power to resist it.  They need accountability, just like adults do, so have regular talks about whether they have accidentally seen something on their device or whether others have shown them something on theirs.  Media can also be addicting–games, Facebook, even blogging.  All of us need to practice moderation and set appropriate limits for ourselves and our kids.  Decide what those are, write them down, and keep each other accountable.  For example, my oldest is not allowed to play games in bed at night.
2.  Have rules and enforce them.
Here are some of the rules we have in our home right now.  Only educational movies during the week; fun movies just on the weekend (and usually just Friday and Saturday nights).
No TV ever, except for occasional sports events–and then we mute the commercials.  (We have rabbit ears for that!).
No computer during the week, unless it’s for schoolwork.  I’m the only one with an iPad, and the kids don’t know my passcode; they can’t pick it up and play it when they want to.  When I do give them a turn, it’s only 20 minutes during the week or 30 on the weekends (and they are not to expect that they will receive a turn every day).  I always turn off everything I can when I hand it over to them (such as Safari internet browser and Installing Apps–keeps them out of the AppStore).  Adding friends and multiplayer games are always turned off.  There is a way to lock everything so that just one app is available–this is great for the littlest ones.*
My oldest got an iPod Touch for his 11th birthday.  He never has Safari internet browser turned on, and I’m the only one who has the code for it.  Also, I have to approve every app he puts on it by typing my own iTunes password, which he doesn’t know.  He’s only allowed 1 hour a day on it, and only after he’s completed all schoolwork, chores, and instrument practice.  He knows that it’s a privilege for him to have it and as parents, we have the right to take it away if there is any reason to do so.
 Always remember, you’re the parent!
3.  Have internet filters.
I agree that parental controls are very difficult to figure out.  We have internet filtering and parental controls to block out many websites on the computer, and I’m the only one who knows the password.  It’s a password that isn’t used for anything else.  Of course, there are always things that sneak through, so it’s best to only limit the kids to certain websites that you deem safe.  Here are a couple of newer things that suddenly caught me off guard with my kids using them–Spotify and Instagram.  You must always be vigilant!  I am around when we need to surf the web for research.  Talk to your kids openly about Internet safety–about not giving their name or address out.  Let them know that there are predators out there, just like the strangers who drive down the street and talk to kids.
4.  Reassess things often.
         Talk with your husband and with your kids.  Rules will need to be changed often as the kids grow older and as technology changes.  Encourage everyone to be open; we don’t want our kids to hide things from us.
5.  Pray.
        This should be first!  Remember James 1:5 which tells us that God will give us wisdom.  All we need to do is ask and believe!
A good book to read that addresses this subject is Six Ways to Keep Good in Your Boy by Dannah Gresh.  . (By the way, the review I wrote about this book has been “pinned” 31,000 times on Pinterest.  Lots of moms see this as an extremely important issue!)

And a great video to watch:  “Captivated“.   I heard Philip Telfer speak at a homeschool conference, and he has a lot of wisdom about technology.  They even have a study guide to help you guide your family in studying why media is so powerful and why we need to set limits.  Here’s a YouTube on it.

Do you have other suggestions for ways to set media limits for our kids?  Please share with a comment!
*Settings/General/Accessibility/Guided Access — to lock your iPad into a particular app
(This post contains affiliate links)
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Holy Spirit-Led Homeschoolinghttp://christianmommyblogger.com

New iPads are out!

Here’s your chance to get an iPad for $100 off!  The new iPads came out today (or at least you can pre-order them today), so Apple is selling the iPad2 for only $399!  I love my iPad2 so much that I’m not even considering getting one of the new ones!

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I use it every day for reading e-books, email, blogging, social media, and education.  On trips, it’s invaluable for maps, finding restaurants, checking the weather, and keeping the kids entertained with movies and games.  (My iPad has 3G.)  Check out my category Apps for Homeschool to see how we’ve used it for preparing for the Bible Bee and Geography Bee, as well as extra practice for math, history, spelling, phonics, etc.  I love it for exercising–I watch my T-Tapp videos on it and can exercise in any room in my house or when I’m on vacation!   It’s also great for homeschool planning–I put my curriculum from CurrClick on it.

CurrClick

I read magazines (like my favorites The Old Schoolhouse and Answers).  We watch educational YouTube videos and read classic books on my iPad.  I love reading the Bible using the reading plans through the YouVersion app.  And my boys have a wonderfully creative time making movies and stop-motion with their Legos!

Yes, it may be time for you to get an iPad!

 

(Contains affiliate links.)

Homeschooling Moms With Apps–Christianity

I was recently asked whether I had any great Christian apps.  Unfortunately, this is an area that is underdeveloped, in my opinion.  We need to get some great new apps created for Christians!  Here’s what I do have, though.

The Bible by You Version  This is a great free version of many translations of the Bible.  There is a search feature, highlighting, bookmarks, and different Bible reading plans!

ESV Bible  If you can’t get ESV downloaded for offline use with the previous Bible version, you can do it here.

ICB Illustrated Bible  The book of John is free, illustrated comic book style with the Scripture (not Bible stories)

Bible Bee Study Pro  We used this app to study our verses for the Bible Bee competition, but it’s great for Bible memory work throughout the year.  There are hundreds of verses and passages to choose from, different Bible versions, a quiz game, etc.

Moody Radio  app to hear the radio station or Praise and Worship music.

I think it would be neat to have a prayer journal app, but haven’t found one yet.  I use the included app called Notes and put prayer requests on a page there.

Please let me know if you’ve found some other great Christian apps!

Homeschooling Moms With Apps–Math

When I started this series on homeschooling moms with apps 3 weeks ago I had no idea an incredible new website would burst on the scene last week.  It’s called Apps for Homeschooling.  Jennifer shares reviews, codes for free apps, and insider information about sales.  It’s great!  I’ll keep writing these posts to share what we like to use, but for more comprehensive information on great apps for homeschooling, be sure to visit Apps for Homeschooling!

This week we’ll talk about math.  The iPad is a wonderful tool for practicing math facts, and there are some really neat math apps out there.  Here are the ones my kids enjoy:

Math Bingo

Rocket Math

Dot to Dot Numbers and Letters

Pizza Fractions

Factor Samurai

Pizza Sudoku

Snowman Math

And these are some math apps I’ve heard good things about but haven’t looked into personally yet:

Math Ninja

Match up Math

Pop Math lite

Math A+

iLive Math

Math Girl Number Garden (and House)

Digit z lite

Fractions app

Kids Time Fun

Trade First Subtraction

Math Magic

Park Math

 

Do you have some favorite math apps I missed?

Homeschooling Moms With Apps–Preschool

It’s time for our next installment of Homeschooling Moms With Apps! This time our focus is on Preschool. (Check out last week’s post on geography.)

As you can tell by the picture on my blog header, I have a number of preschoolers. And they all love to use the iPad! (I’m embarrassed to say that even my 14-month-old loves it!) But I want the limited time they use it to be educational, as well as fun for them. Here are some my favorites that they come back to time and again.

Teach Me Toddler

Teach Me Kindergarten

Teach Me 1st Grade

Bob Books

Lots of picture books (mostly the free versions, which are only parts of the book: Dr. Suess’s ABC, Just Me and My Mom, Green Eggs and Ham, Peter Rabbit, etc.)

Dot to Dot Numbers and Letters

Pocket Phonics Lite

Rocket Math

Math Bingo

Pizza Fractions

Montessori Approach to Geography lite

Drawing Pad

Hello Chalk

Hello Crayons

Hello Colored Pencils

Animal Fun

Learn Sharks

Sound drop lite

Aquarium lite

Creationary

Do you have some favorite Preschool Apps I missed?