Now that my children are using iPads at school, I notice that they are having to do more school work online. They have to access their teacher’s Schoology page for assignments, use the Internet to access textbooks, and they conduct online research or other work within the Google Apps. How am I supposed to know when they are actually doing homework?
Here are a few suggestions.
Wifi Cutoff Time
I started with rules and expectations regarding homework and devices. My children know that wifi access to their devices are cutoff at a specific time (example, 9:00PM for my middle schooler). That way any online access required they are forced to ask to use my device or the family device. And I also know they did not get it done. Some parents set up their routers to automatically shutoff at a certain time each night, those less tech savvy parents may just unplug a router when they go to bed.
Device Charging Area
My family also has rules regarding charging of the device. When the iPad needs charging it comes to a central location (kitchen) to charge. This puts the device in a central location for night time.
Flip-it or Let Me See It
My favorite rule is this. If I tell my children to Flip-it or Let Me See It they have to immediately show me the screen, No Clicking Allowed. If I suspect they hit close an app I take the device and double tap the home button (round button on the bottom of the screen) and it shows me all the open apps in order of the most recent opened. If they don’t flip or are off task they have consequences.
It was important to have a conversation with my children in order to explain and discuss the rules and expectations. I found that having that conversations provided my children an opportunity to feel heard. We discussed wifi times and varied the weekend times from the weekday times. They knew that if they did not flip their device when I asked it was immediately taken away. Setting clear expectations and consequences made this process much more manageable.