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Tech Tips FOR K-2 PARENTS.


Explore important tech topics to keep your K-2 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 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 telling them to: 

  • Use the device only as you allow them to
  • Take care of devices by storing them away when not in use
  • Ask permission to sign up for an app or game
  • Guard their personal information (name, address, passwords)

C: Compassion

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. Though this age group is too young to use devices for communication purposes, it is still important to model mindful communication practices when using devices or engaging in social media. Children are always listening to our words, even if they come in the form of texts!

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: 

  • Listen when others are talking
  • Be patient when they encounter tech problems
  • Try to fix their tech problems before asking for help

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: 

  • 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

In keeping with Growth Mindset practices, we encourage children to do their best, including when they are engaged in learning online. 

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

  • Be ready to learn when online school starts
  • Complete the activities teachers give them
  • Focus on their learning and not get distracted by going to other sites, apps, etc.
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! 

To help your child accept and understand your screen time limits, we recommend that you tell them before they have access to a device the time limit they have. You might also consider giving them a warning when it’s time to wrap up their screen time. You can use a timer to signal the end of screentime. 

RECOMMENDED WATCH: Click here for 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. 

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

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 5-7 years
Apps for Coding 5-7 years
Apps for Active Learning 5-7 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

Read More from the Blog

Need Additional Assistance?

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

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