The goal in our family is to spend time doing things together! Instead of filling all of our free time with video games and movies, we enjoy spending time playing a board game or going on a family bike ride. Instead of persuing relationships through social networking, our family prefers to practice hospitality and have families in our home. There is no replacement for a home-cooked meal and engaging in good old-fashioned conversation.
Too much time spent watching TV and playing video games can stifle a child’s Creativity. We encourage our kids to go outside, ride a bike, build a fort, bake a cake or play a game of volleyball together. Instead of watching movies, our boys like to use the family video camera and make their own movies! When time is spent having fun together, these are the memories that will last for a lifetime.
There are, however, times when the technology of the day can be useful. We use the Internet mainly for email, online shopping, and as a tool for school research. Occasionally, the kids will be given a chunk of time to play on a safe kid’s site.
For Internet safety, we have chosen to use Mac computers, placed in the main living area of our house. They come with built-in parental controls, and this has worked better for our family than any web-filter we've found.
We have created a kids’ account that allows access to certain applications and also has time limits. You can customize it to allow login only on weekends, or after a specific time on weekdays.
Parental Controls is where you "allow" the websites that you want your kids to be able to access. We don't have an actually list of websites we approve, because they're always changing.
What you have to watch for here are google search boxes and youtube videos that are not imbedded. These two things are biggies. They will make a perfectly wholesome and safe website dangerous, and no different than having open access to youtube and all of the Internet. (If a youtube video is not embedded, a youtube search box will appear at the end of the video, and they will be able to search whatever). It is good to check your kids’ sites every so often to make sure they are still safe.
That being said, here is a list of some of the kid friendly sites we have found:
We also have a game page on our website at www.duggarfamily.com. One game in particular, Makaziville, is lots of fun. It is high quality, and similar to the popular game Farmville, except that ours is missions-focused. http://makaziville.com/
If a child needs to access the open Internet to do research, we have an “Internet” account that is specifically for this. Mom and the older girls have the password for this account. Just as an extra precaution, we usually try to have two people at the computer when browsing the Internet.