One of the hardest parts of being a military family is living across the country from our families. When we move to California in 2010, we left my husband's family in Indiana and my family in both New York and Texas. Without the opportunities to travel as much as we would like cross country, it's very hard for the children to feel like they are able to communicate with their grandparents. Now that both Ashleigh and Garrett are at a level in their education that they can compose emails, we were really excited when we were given the opportunity to review the annual subscription from KidsEmail.org and allow the kids the opportunity to start sending and receiving emails from family members.
Setting up the accounts for the children was super easy. Parents have their own login which allows them to access the dashboard where they can set up each child's individual account as well as select which restrictions to place on that account. Parents can opt to set up more restrictions on a younger child and less restrictions on an older child. There is also an option for a Teen account which offers a more "grown up" look and feel as well as a @kmail.org address versus the standard @kidsemail.org.
|Comparison of Child's Account Versus Teen Account|
The child's dashboard is very simple and easy for smaller children to maneuver. The dashboard consists of the inbox (which is shown as soon as the child logs in), the option to write an email, a folder option for organization of the inbox and sent emails, the contacts list, and a settings options that allows the child to change the background image if they so desire. The teen account is set up with similar options but with a feel more like that of a typical email client.
Email can be accessed through the website on any computer or tablet and also through using a free downloadable app available for both Apple and Android devices. A version of the app is also available on the Amazon store for access and monitoring of emails via a Kindle Fire tablet.
How We Used It
Ashleigh and Garrett both enjoyed being able to pick out their own email addresses and both came up with ones that were specific to them. During our trial period, they had a great time emailing some of the other crew children and learning about their home states and what they enjoy doing with their time as well as writing about their various interests.
They were also both able to email their grandparents, which they both enjoyed doing. Ashleigh discovered that she could attach photographs and drawings to her emails which opened a whole new world of sharing for her. They also had fun emailing Daddy when he was at work and were always tickled when they would receive a response from someone.
|Ashleigh typing an email to her Grandpa in Indiana|
Having their own email has been a good thing for them as it has allowed them to practice their language arts and reach out to others beyond our small household and also gives them some independence as they begin navigating the cyberworld. Ash has always been a chatterbox but being able to discuss Minecraft and videogames with other boys his age has really helped to get Garrett writing. As a parent, I enjoy the fact that I can monitor each email that they send or receive and not have to worry about unwanted Spam or potential viruses and unwelcomed emails that I wouldn't want the children to see, so it's a win both ways.
KidsEmail.org offers a 30 day free trial of their email service to allow parent to see ahead of time if they are comfortable with the service. Pricing is reasonably priced at $4.95/month for four email addresses or at a discounted rate of $38.95/year for up to 6 email addresses.
For more information about KidsEmail.org, be sure to visit them on any of the following social media platforms:
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