Email is a part of our daily lives, and children often want to be like their parents. Unfortunately, virtual mail can be much more dangerous for kids, which is why we were happy to try out and review an Annual Subscription from KidsEmail.org.
My children have seen me writing emails to my family and friends for their whole lives. They really love it when someone sends me a photo or sends them a little message. And sometimes they want me to send a message to their grandparents; so then I end up being a bit of a go-between and I get nagged, “Is there an answer yet?”
Now my children are using their very own email addresses to send messages to my family when the mood strikes them. They no longer have to wait for me to be on the pc or for me to finish up a task first.
Setting up the kids email accounts was easy. I just went in and chose them a user name, as well as an address. There are different emails available: for younger kids you’ll get @kidsemail.org and for older kids you can choose @kmail.org which has a more adult feel to it.
There are different parental settings available:
- Send and/or receive mail only to/from people on the contact list – outgoing messages will be deleted, while incoming messages will hit the parent’s queue.
- Let your child edit the email list – this can be turned on or off
- Should you allow your child to edit this list or to receive mail from people not on their contact list there is also the option to block specific emails.
- All incoming and/or outgoing messages can be sent to the parent’s email – keep abreast of the conversations your children are participating in.
- Allow images, links, and attachments in incoming mail – each of these can be set on or off.
- Allow bad words in incoming mail – the most common words will be filtered out (the word ‘censored’ will show in place of the bad words. We discovered that when Phil sent kisses to one of the children as xxx – it was quite the discussion at the dinner table that day).
- Add a tagline to the email – let the recipient know that the email they are receiving has been sent by a child.
- There’s also an option to let the sender know their mail has gone into the parent’s queue for approval.
- You can set the times your child is and isn’t allowed to access their email, as well as grounding them for a specific day or time.
- There’s an activity log so you can see when your children have logged in and who they have sent emails to.
Adding contacts is quite easy; you can add them for each individual child, or into a global list that all of you children have access to. You can even add a photo for each contact profile.
You can choose three styles of layout for each child. Simplified for the youngest folk, which won’t have folders and formatting, and for the older kids, they can have these options.
Children are also able to choose backgrounds for them to have as they view their mail from a variety of designs.
How my children used KidsEmail.org
Once you’ve picked the settings that you’re comfortable with for each of your children it’s time to let the kids loose for some fun!
My children were excited to have their very own emails and couldn’t wait to get started. They love to send emails with attachments of pictures they draw right in the program. The first thing Tristan did, though, was to email my mom to set up a date for them to do a craft project together over Skype! What a great thing for grandparents and grandchildren to communicate.
Just last week the children have been connected with the children of another member of the Homeschool Review Crew. They’ve been wanting penpals, and this is a nice way to do it. For these emails I have a glance over them first before they’re sent so that we can adjust any spelling or grammatical errors. This is a more fun way to practice language arts than with a textbook.
My children also find it fun to email each other (it’s great when siblings are also best friends). And let’s not forget those emails to Daddy when he’s at work….some of those emails are hilarious!
Last year Phil ate the jelly beans the kids were meant to use for a graphing project…so when the kids couldn’t find the strawberry licorice laces they bought for their pirate snack and were looking for them to use in a bento box design, suspicions were raised due to his history.
Tristan to Dad:
Have you ate are strabery laces?
It’s our lunch
Hi budNo I haven’t! Learnt that lesson with the jelly beans
Good, but we can’t find it. Kalli & I were not very happy about it.
And a week later and the laces are still nowhere to be found! I wonder what’s happened to them?
One suggestion I would make for an improvement is that there could be a box for parents to see all of the conversations right in the program rather than only the emails if you don’t want your inbox cluttered up but do want to do occasional spot-checks.
I have also had a little trouble with Kallista’s incoming email going straight to her inbox and not hitting my queue. I have contacted the company twice about it. The first time they did a test which worked for them, but it still didn’t work for us. After a second email through to them they worked with me and the developer to resolve the issue and we haven’t had any problems since.
My children are loving the excitement and freedom of having their own email addresses that are easy to use. They enjoy having the ability to change the backgrounds when the mood hits, and to draw photos to send. They like asking Phil how his day is going, as well as reminding him to stop for some milk on the way home from work. And now they can chat to my parents anytime they’d like to.
I like that they have an email address which won’t be receiving some of the spam that hits my own email from time to time and is inappropriate for eyes of any age. And now that Kallista’s issue with her emails not hitting my queue is solved, I feel better about knowing that KidsEmail.org takes this seriously as well.
Living overseas from my family, this program gives my children an open line of communication with their grandparents, which they’re all enjoying. In fact, my children are liking this program so much, I may soon have to change the settings to ensure they don’t spend too much time sending emails and not enough time learning math!
To read more reviews about KidsEmail.org by the Schoolhouse Review Crew, click on the graphic below and follow the instructions. You will find 60 honest reviews by the Crew. If you’d like to know more or would like to follow KidsEmail.org, you can connect with them through their website, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, and Instagram.