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Customize Qustodio to create the perfect homeschooling environment for your kids

By on 04-08-2020

Read our handy hints and tech tips to see how Qustodio can be your ally over the lockdown period 

If the concept of homeschooling is as new to you as it was to us, then you’ll have found yourself thrown in at the deep end trying to stay afloat these last few weeks! But help is at hand. At Qustodio, we’ve been doing our homework to prepare some top tips and tricks we hope you can use as a lifeline during the quarantine period and help your kids stay top of the class. Everything will be alright!

The fact that technology allows kids to keep learning while the schools are closed is really amazing. However, we aren’t all lucky enough to own different electronic devices for every child in the family. You might therefore find your child needs to use your personal computer to keep up with their schoolwork. If this is your case, while you may want to protect and monitor your child’s online activity, it’s understandable that you may not want to restrict your own activity! An easy way around this is to create a new ‘homeschooling’ user account on your device solely for your child’s home learning and then set up Qustodio to take care of their online activity. This option allows you to be as restrictive as you feel necessary. Maybe you only want to block inappropriate websites or perhaps you want to enforce stricter limits to help your child stay focused on the task at hand and prevent distractions. Let’s face it, it’s already confusing enough for them to be doing classwork at home. 

Homeschooling on your personal device

The best thing about creating a new user account dedicated to homeschooling means your current settings are unaffected. You can both continue to use the device as needed, knowing your own account will not be monitored or restricted and your child’s regular profile will continue to comply with the limits you previously set for games, internet and general usage. 

Creating the new account is fairly simple and the steps depend on the type of device you have. Our article How to protect individual users on Windows and Mac will walk you through the process and help get you up and running in no time. If you are still unsure how to create new users on your computer, you can follow these steps from Apple and Windows support pages. For Windows devices, see Create a local user or administrator account in Windows 10 and for Mac devices, see Set up users, guests and groups on Mac.

Handy hint: Once the account is ready for use, why not chat to your child about any apps they might need to access in order to complete their tasks, as well as agreeing on some that you might want to block or at least limit during ‘school’ hours. Faced with such confusing times as these, it’s more important than ever to maintain as much of a routine as we possibly can to encourage stability and keep anxiety at bay. Read our article How do I block Games and Apps with Qustodio for the steps to block games and apps and promote attention.

Double trouble

What if you have more than one child at home? One of the great things about Qustodio is that you can create a separate profile for each child. After all, every child is different and has their own needs. Whether they are older or younger, tech-savvy or need a bit more parental guidance, Qustodio makes it easy for you to customize the rules and permissions for each profile to ensure everyone is fully protected. If you haven’t set up a Qustodio profile for each of your children, our article How do I add another child to my Qustodio account will clear up any doubts and guide you through the process.

Promote life beyond screens

Between online lessons and Skype with grandma and other family members we’re unable to pop round and visit for the time being, many parents find their children are online more than ever. When you factor in the time they would normally be spending playing games or chatting to friends, their daily screen time total skyrockets. Without the option of enjoying some fresh air and outdoor exercise, it can be hard to find activities to substitute device use. That said, it is really important to insist on limits to protect their eyes, improve their sleep patterns and reduce their dependency. The sooner you manage to restore a healthy balance, the easier it will be for everyone to get back into the routine once the lockdown ends, which it will eventually! 

Qustodio can help you set daily limits, establish restricted time periods and even define amounts of time per app—and stick to it! Swot up with our article How do I configure time limits with Qustodio to get started on the road to happy screen time. And if you’re finding it tough to implement at home, our Stay At Home Superheroes will help remind you and why we should stay screen savvy

Handy hint: We have tons of ideas to pass the time while leaving screens and devices to one side. We hope you enjoy them and they inspire you to create your own!

The website I want to access is blocked

Despite a plethora of activities to do away from the screen, devices will inevitably remain a staple in our daily routine. As your child uses the internet for both school and leisure time, they may eventually come across some website that, for some reason or another, appears as blocked. Most likely the website was identified as belonging to a category you defined as inappropriate or dangerous when you set up the web filtering rules for your child’s profile. Occasionally, it may be a harmless website that Qustodio has mistakenly classified and blocked. In either case, if you decide the website is suitable and you want to allow your child to access it, you can simply create an exception for this website. Read our article Qustodio is not correctly classifying a website for help on creating exceptions.

Unless you are new to Qustodio, or regularly update the rules for your child’s Qustodio profile, it’s highly likely that any rules or web filtering settings were defined before lockdown and homeschooling became the new (temporary) normal. This means that some settings may be preventing your child from accessing some Google Services they need, for example, to follow their homeschooling sessions or for sharing documents. If Qustodio is blocking any of the Google Services your child needs, you may want to review your web filtering exceptions in the Rules section of the app. Google centralizes all of its services under the domain ‘google.com’, and so unfortunately it's not possible to block just one of its services and allow the rest. You must either block all Google Services (Google Search, Gmail, Maps, Hangouts, etc.) or allow all of them by blocking or allowing 'google.com'. Keep this in mind before deciding whether to fully grant or block all services. A good compromise might be allowing your child to use these services only when you are also in the room with them.

Handy hint: If you think your web filtering settings are correct, remember to check that ‘google.com’ is not blocked in the Web Filtering > Exceptions section.

Temporarily disabling Qustodio protection

Due to increased device use and unforeseeable circumstances, you may decide you need to temporarily disable Qustodio at some point. For example, maybe you are facing an issue on your device that is preventing your child from doing their homework and you don’t have time to redefine rules and settings at that moment. 

Luckily parents can easily disable and reactivate Qustodio protection on all devices at any time and it takes no time at all!

If you want to temporarily disable Qustodio protection on a computer, follow these simple steps:

1. Log in to your Family Portal at the following address: https://family.qustodio.com/

2. Click the devices icon on the menu on the left-hand side.

3. Locate and click on the device you want to configure.

4. Locate and click on the device account you want to stop protecting.

5. Select Don’t Protect.

If instead, you want to temporarily disable Qustodio protection on a mobile device, just open the Qustodio app on your child’s phone, enter your credentials and click Remove Protection

Handy hint: Remember to log out after you have made any changes and to log back in and reactivate Qustodio protection later to keep online activity safe

Need some extra help setting up your devices for home schooling? Search our Help Center or, if you have a Premium account, contact our Customer Support

Class dismissed!

Qustodio’s Smart Parenting Tips newsletter is designed to help you stay informed as a parent and raise your children in the digital age with a bit more confidence. No scaremongering. Nothing trendy. Just the best advice from real experts.

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