Last year we were introduced to KidsEmail.org and we wanted to keep you updated on how well it’s been working for us and why we’re continuing to use it to stay connected to friends and family near and far. Check out last year’s review.
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KidsEmail.org gifted us a year of their service so that we could continue to have our children connect with the ones they love overseas and not have to feel awkward asking to use our unfiltered Hotmail accounts. This works for our children as they feel autonomous and can send emails anytime they’d like without having to ask permission. And it means us parents don’t have to worry about the kids seeing any spam that might hit the account (or inadvertently see any emails regarding Christmas or birthday gifts that may have been ordered or discussed – we certainly don’t want to dash any magic in their young lives).
Earlier this year my parents came to visit from Canada and our children enjoyed spending time with them and were very sad to see them leave.
Sometimes there are things that the children just want to share with their grandparents; but this can be difficult given the distance and the fact they’re 6-7 time zones away, depending on the time of year.
Not to worry!
Now the kids can just hop up to the computer and open up their email accounts (they each have their own), and compose a message to send. Usually they’ll ask me to double-check for spelling and grammar (they’re becoming much better at this, and they’re learning that it’s much easier for others to read their letters if it’s written well). They also practice their developing keyboard skills and learn that it’s a ‘real world’ skill that’s important so that they don’t need to ‘hunt and peck’ like Phil.
I love you Dad.
How are you today.
I am tired.
I am not feeling well today.
I am sad because Nana, Papa left and I am also sad that uncle Les died and Blacky died.
I am upset.
Over the past year they have been learning more about formatting emails, and their messages are also becoming longer in length and more thoughtful so we can see their mental development in progress.
Emails are sent when teeth become loose or fall out (which is happening all too frequently this year), when awards are won, or just to say, “Hi!”
Hi’ How are you? I am fine. I love you mama. I have been having a good day how about you?
The coolest option (from the kids’ perspective) is the ability to draw pictures right in the program and attach them to the messages for sending out, as well as being able to send attachments. I’ll admit that I love this, too….here are pictures Tristan sent to me on my birthday: one he drew in KidsEmail.org, the other he created in another program and uploaded to the email.
There are different ‘levels’ that can be set up depending upon the age and maturity of your child;
- whether you would like them to receive links and attachments or not.
- whether you would like all of their incoming emails to be viewed and approved by you.
- whether you would like a longer or shorter address (@kmail.org).
- You can set time restrictions for their use.
- You can ‘ground’ an account for a set amount of time.
- You can block senders and manage contacts.
- Kids can change the backgrounds for their screen to make it even more fun.
- You can even have the program filter out ‘bad’ words before they hit your child’s inbox.
There is even an app you can download so your children can send and receive email through a mobile phone!
There is also an option to have personal folders with the ‘older’ option. Tristan likes this because he can sort and keep his incoming emails so he can easily go back and re-read them again later when he’s missing someone. This is good practice for later in life when you need to be organised for business (and maybe I can hire him to sort out my own email folders which are currently a bit of a disaster at the moment).
I am really loving that our children can have their own email accounts and I don’t have to worry about who is contacting them, and what they are receiving! With all of the disturbing encounters coming across my feeds recently, this makes one less worry for me!