As our summer is nearing its end and we prepare to head back to school and (hopefully) a more scheduled routine, one of our family goals this school year is to spend less time on screen. Raising children in our current technology driven time is like completely charting new territory on unvisited land. While every one of us in our family loves having access to endless options at our fingertips we also have to be careful and aware of how we are spending our time onscreen.
You’ve all heard the old saying “practice what you preach”, well lately my teenagers are really making me stick to it! We’ve always tried really hard in our family to set good boundaries in all aspects of our lives, including how much time we choose to be on our mobile devices, iPads, laptops, computers…etc. And being in this social media/blogging world it can sure be hard to for me to set boundaries with my own screen time. So while I’m over here monitoring my children’s screen time, I also need to monitor my own. Thankfully about 4 months ago I found an amazing product that helps me with just that, and I firmly believe it needs to be in every family home.
I’d like to introduce you to Circle. A smart little tool that pairs wirelessly with the wifi in your home to help you manage every single device on your network. Setting it up is simple and then using the Circle app you create a customized internet usage profile for each individual in the family. Circle allows you to set time limits for specific apps and web sites. But it doesn’t end there. You can also set up age appropriate filters for each device as well as overall time limits, a bedtime and an awesome feature called “pause” that we will be using a ton as we head back to school. Pause lets you actually pause all access to the internet. So during scheduled study or homework time I won’t have to worry about them “pausing” to pick up their phones to check their twitter, Instagram or snapchat feeds. Can I get a big ole hands up YES!! I really feel like applying the pause button will help all of us focus on the task at hand and therefore we will be able to concentrate on just getting it done and accomplished without our usual main distraction, our iPhones. Another great feature that Circle offers are Insights. You can view where each member of your family is spending their online time. It can be narrowed down by platform, category or website. Let’s just not look at my Instagram app usage…
I’m also really excited as we just signed up for another Circle feature called “Circle Go”. Circle Go allows you to implement Circles features while your children are away from home. So whether they’re at school, sports practice, or a friends house you can still manage your children’s devices wherever they go!
Circle has been such a beneficial asset in our home this past bit and has already given us back so much more family time this summer I can’t wait to see how it continues to help us transition back into the school year. And I meant it when I said it earlier, I really do believe that every family home can benefit from having a Circle. If you’re interested in purchasing one for your family now is the time because until August 31, 2016 you can purchase a Circle at a discounted price of $89 at Target, Amazon, Best Buy, and meetcircle.com
This post was sponsored by Circle with Disney, all opinions are my own.