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June Kaminski, RN MSN
1999, 2000

Visions of Adonai Designs

All Rights Reserved 2000
Last Updated: January 14th, 2000

Families Online: Beginning Your Journey

Written: December 19, 1998

The Internet is a hot and fascinating topic. Five years ago, very few knew what cyberspace even was. Now, the Internet and the World Wide Web have become common terms. More and more, families are becoming acquainted with this relatively new sensation - the Internet - Gateway to the World!

Differing opinions have been voiced about the use of this fantastic medium, from opposite sides of the spectrum. The amazing resources available for education, to enrich young minds, and provide fun and entertainment in a wholesome climate are counteracted by warnings of the dangers - potential exposure to undesireable topics and adult materials. Sometimes, the simpliest search engine access can lead your child innocently enough to very inappropriate content.

So, how to introduce and surf the Net with your child in tow, and not be a basketcase? Easy enough, when you've got the parental know-how and can recognize the warning signs. Combined with a little help from some reasonably priced software, such as Cyber Patrol to help screen out unsavory materials - you and your family can be on your way to hours of wonderful adventure like the fun and discovery activities offered at Kid Surf!

The Ins and Outs of Family Surfing

When you prepare to take your family on vacation, you probably consult a travel guide, buy maps, and trace out your route. Travelling the Internet is quite similar to traveling across the country. You need to know where you are headed, and are wise to seek out some sort of guide. In recent years, various organizations and parent groups have rallied to produce dependable, clear guides for parents to ensure that their family's Internet experiences are fun, wholesome, and danger-free.

The National PTA and the National Urban League have created an Internet safety organization called the Children's Partnership and offers a free 36 page booklet entitled, The Parent's Guide to the Information Superhighway: Rules and Tools for Families Online. This downloadable (PDF file) booklet gives up to date tips and insights into how to keep your child's Internet experiences safe and positive.

The Parent's Guide to the Internet: What is the Information Superhighway? is a 24 page downloadable booklet created by the U.S. Department of Education   This document also gives tips on reaping the benefits of getting your family on the Internet, how to navigate your journey, tips for safe travel, the importance of supporting schools to use technology, and more!

A wonderful little web site created by second and third grade students offers a childs-eye view of safely surfing the Internet. The youngsters from Loogootee Elementary West school explain to other children what the Internet is and how to navigate it, the benefits of going online, and offer Internet safety rules for kids. A colorful and delightful site, at a perfect level for young children.

Safe Surf, the original Internet rating system is a great web site for getting the low down on making cyberspace safe for youngsters. The site features a Creating a Child-safe Internet chronology, current press releases, newsletters, position papers, links, and a child safe classification system for web site owners.

Kids Surf offers a safe search engine for kids and teens. It is a jam-packed web site for youngsters of all ages. The site features a variety of rooms for kids to explore, including fun, educational, entertaining, and devotional activities. It offers a special teen section, chat, and lots more!

Great Links

Child Net Safety
Computer Literacy
Creative Activities
Cyber Shopping
Health on the Net
Family Surfing
Fun on the Net
Mind Expanders
Safety Activism

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