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Tech Tips FOR 3-6 PARENTS.


Explore important tech topics to keep your Grades 3-6 children safe when they are online at home
Safety @ Home

You’re not alone if you are concerned about what and when your children have access to the Internet! The American Academy of Pediatrics and the World Health Organization both recommend that children have minimal screen time. 

We recognize that this may not always be possible with our lived experiences because the Internet is everywhere! We do, however, have control over what and when our children have access to the Internet while they are home.

You can use your Wifi router to set parental controls to limit screen time, pause wifi, and more. These parental controls only work when the child is logged onto your home network. For information, see “Content Filtering & Monitoring for Devices”

This CNET article provides a great overview of how to set your Wifi Router. 

Here are links to set parental control how-tos from the most popular Internet Service Providers in San Diego: 





Content Filter & Monitoring for Devices

In addition to using your Wifi router to limit your children’s access to the Internet, there are apps and devices that may give you additional controls you can manage from your smartphone and which work when your child is away from home. 

Your child’s school-issued device already includes content filtering and blocks Youtube and other non-age appropriate content. However, when your child uses a non-school device, you may want to have your own parental monitoring and controls that extend beyond parental controls set on your Wifi router. 

For instance, you might want to limit the number of text messages they send or who they receive texts from. You might want to keep up with their online activities. The following are top-rated apps that send you alerts and allow you to manage your child’s Internet access: 

Links to resources: 

Bark monitoring 

Google Family (for Chromebooks)

Securly for home

Device Settings

If your child has access to a device, such as an iPad, iPhone, or Voice Activated Device, you might want to set parental controls to limit what they have access to and for how long they can use the device. This could be useful in addition to any home Wifi router settings you have established because the controls you set on the device itself follow the child’s device when he is not on your home Wifi. 

For this age group, you might want to limit the type of apps your child can use, block explicit content, disable the child’s ability to download and/or purchase apps, and limit screen time. Here are some helpful how-tos: 

Android Devices

Apple Devices

Recommended: Click Here to Watch Common Sense Media’s  5 Tips for Using Smart Devices Safely and Responsibly. 

See our recommendations for apps we believe are appropriate for this age in the Apps @ Home link.

Privacy & Data Security

In addition to restricting screen time, app purchases, content filtering, etc., we recommend you employ a few additional steps to manage privacy and data security. 

We also suggest you use the Touch ID or Passcodes to prevent your child from changing the device settings or downloading apps without your permission. 

For more information, see: Apple’s “Use Parental Controls” or Android’s “Privacy Settings.”

Digital Citizenship @ Home

You can help reinforce our Gillispie ICARE Values for Digital Citizenship when your child is at home!  The more consistent we can be between home and school values and practices, the more our children will be able to build their abilities to be smart, balanced tech users.

Below you will see recommendations for implementing our ICARE Digital Citizenship Values at home. Additionally, we offer some guidance on best practices for some of parents’ biggest concerns around technology and digital devices.

ICARE Digital Citizenship Values

I: Integrity

You can support your child at home by reinforcing our Gillispie values for Integrity by telling them to: 

  • Think carefully before posting or commenting
  • Use school devices for school work only
  • Check-in with you about accessing certain websites, apps, or games to confirm their appropriateness
  • Guard their personal information (name, address, passwords)
  • Take care of devices by storing them in your designated area

C: Compassion

At this age, your child may just be beginning to use a device to communicate (email, text, call, chat) or to access social media. 

You can support your child at home by reinforcing our Gillispie values for Compassion when you help them to recognize how to be mindful of others’ feelings by: 

  • Thinking before they  post or reply to someone
  • Carefully considering what they look at, watch, and read online 
  • Being open to others’ opinions even if they differ 
  • Being a positive influence whenever they communicate  on/off line

A: Attitude

At Gillispie, we believe in having a growth mindset. This means being willing to persevere through challenges and approaching them with a positive, can-do attitude. 

You can support your child at home by reinforcing a growth mindset and the Gillispie values for Attitude when you remind them to:

  • Be helpful and collaborate with you 
  • Being ready to learn or complete homework when you ask them to
  • Persevere through tech problems with a problem-solving attitude

R: Respect

At Gillispie, we encourage our students to be respectful to themselves and others. This is equally important when they are learning online and using devices. 

You can support your child at home to reinforce the Gillispie values of Respect when you encourage them to: 

  • Practice netiquette 
  • Follow your family rules about using devices 
  • Listen to you the first time and follow family device rules
  • Ask permission before they access an app, website, or game

E: Effort

For our older Gillispie students, we continue to reinforce Growth Mindset practices by encouraging students to do their best, including when they are engaged in learning online. 

You can support your child at home to reinforce Gillispie value of Effort when you encourage them to: 

  • Always do their best work
  • Use their time wisely
  • Stay focused and motivated and not get distracted by going to other sites, apps, etc. 
  • Balance their screen time
Parent’s FAQs: Best Practices at home


The American Academy of Pediatrics and the World Health Organization both recommend that children have minimal screen time. We suggest that when you do allow your children screen time you select programming that is age-appropriate and educational and that can be enjoyed by the entire family. Common Sense Media is an excellent resource to look for age-appropriate TV, Movie, Games, Apps! 

RECOMMENDED WATCH: Click here to watch the 5 tips for avoiding meltdowns from Common Sense Media

Using Tech for Consequences

Using technology as a consequence (reward or punishment) can be tricky. If you restrict their use of the iPad, they might turn to the TV or computer. Conversely, if you use technology to reward behavior, that may send a signal that technology is to be revered, which is, counterintuitive to “balancing” our use of technology. While there is no one “right” way, the best recommendation we have is that whatever practices you put into place, make sure you’re consistent. Give yourself and your child time to develop the good habits and practices you wish to see and for the boundaries you set to settle in. 

Create a Family Tech Use Agreement – Together!

One of the best ways you can get your children to buy-in to a tech-use agreement is to make them part of the process! Use Common Sense Media’s Family Media Agreement as a template to work through your family expectations, practices and agreements with your children. It’s worth reviewing the agreement periodically to make sure it still works for all of your family. You might also want to refer to a host of excellent tips for guiding your children and their tech use by reviewing CSM’s Family Engagement Toolkit. 

Model Balance

Even though it may not seem like it, your child does watch how you behave. You’ve heard this a million times before, but it’s true — if we want our children to find balance with their devices, then we have to be role models. This funny clip from Common Sense Media pokes fun at how distracted parents can be on devices and what our children see: Distracted Parents

Practice Digital Citizenship – Together

Digital citizenship is one of the most important skillsets you can equip your child with today and in their future. Kids need our support to make wise decisions when they are online so that when you are not able to be there, they will have the tools they need to safely navigate their digital worlds. 

To support you and your child’s efforts to be wise digital citizens, we highly recommend “Encourage Digital Citizenship with Your Child: A Practical Guide for Parents,” by Lightspeed Systems. You might also want to refer to our own ICARE Gillispie Digital Values to help your child navigate their digital worlds.

Choosing Apps and Shows that are Age-Appropriate & COPPA Compliant

It’s impossible to expect that you can preview every show or play every digital game before you allow your child to have access to them. We recommend that you use Common Sense Media’s Parent Tips  where they rate shows, games, apps, and much more and give you quick previews and insights into what you can expect. 

COPPA Compliant

The FTC has created certain protections for children and their parents to protect their privacy, called the Child Online Protection and Privacy Act (COPPA). COPPA directs operators of websites and online services on how to protect children’s privacy and safety online. You can learn more about COPPA on the FTC website. You should also check the site’s Privacy or Terms of Service, paying particular attention to the following: 

  • What type of personal information is collected? 
  • How is personal data used (sold to 3rd party vendors you trust)?
  • What are the age restrictions? 
  • Can children access other websites or apps from the one they initially accessed? 
  • Is there a statement that the parent can review or delete the child’s personal information and refuse further collection or use?
Apps @ Home

Below you will find some of our recommendations for apps that are age-appropriate, COPPA Compliant, and meet our standards for creativity. We have carefully curated these apps based on our own experiences with them and the value for learning we believe they afford. We also recommend that before you choose an app, game, or show for your child, you visit Common Sense Media’s Parent Tips pages, where they rate shows, games, apps, and much more and give you quick previews and insights into what you can expect. 

Apps for Creativity 8-11 years
Apps for Coding 8-11 years
Apps for Active Learning 8-11 years

Recommended Videos

5 Tips for Using Smart Devices Safely and Responsibly

Click Here to Watch Now!

5 Tips for Avoiding Meltdowns from Common Sense Media

Click Here to Watch Now!

Tech Tips Blog Posts

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Need Additional Assistance?

Contact Lisa Waters
Director of Technology
(858) 459-3773 ext. 155
[email protected]

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