bybmg: Managing Screen Time with Circle

Managing Screen Time with Circle

I received this item free for review. The opinions are all my own. This post contains affiliate links. See my disclosure statement.

Today I want to share a little device with you that has made a big difference in our home.It's called Circle

So, what exactly is the Circle? It's a way for your family to manage internet content and time on your devices. Do your kids watch too much YouTube or Netflix? Do you wish they'd actually play a game instead?

It's just a little box that you pair up to your wi-fi router! It works with both Apple and Android.

Then, you download the Circle app. You identify each device on your network, setting them as administrators or not. Russ and I both have the app on our phones. And see that pause button, we can pause the whole internet for all devices! Dinner time anyone?

Then, you can look at each device and set a filter. They have pre-suggested filters for different ages. Here's a  little look at the pre-K filter. You can toggle apps on or off.

And here's the kid filter. Again, you can adjust the apps as you'd like. 

You can also give each device a time limit. We set Henry's internet time to two hours a day. 

You can also specify time limits for certain apps. Here you can see that YouTube is limited to 30 minutes (We actually upped it to 1 hour after testing it out for a bit.).

You can also set an beginning and end times, so your child cannot get on the internet after a certain times even if they haven't used all of their time. 

Another great thing is that I can see insights on what the boys have been up to on their devices.  

Henry can go to a webpage (that we've linked on his home screen) to check on the amount of time he has used and how much time he has left.

I also get notifications when their time is up. Circle then turns off the app's internet access.

We also get notified when any new device joins our wi-fi network. Our network is password protected, but it's still nice to know when someone is on it.

So, why in the world do I need this device? Ok, NEED is a strong word, but I love it! Sometimes we can all get sucked into our screens. It's a good reminder to me about how long that's been going on. It's also nice to not have to keep track of how long people have been sucked into YouTube. Anyone else's kids watch those crazy toy reviews?! I was talking to a coworker about it, and she said sometimes it's hard to get her child to get off a screen before bed. Having a set bedtime can help with that, too.

Now, I will say, if your child is into a lot of games that don't require the internet, the Circle can't manage those. It can only manage apps that are Internet apps right now. But, for my boys, that's what we really need to manage YouTube. I love the educational games they have on their devices, but their watching time is what I really want to limit. The Circle also can filter out mature content. I don't want to me a mom who has her kids on a super short leash, but it's good to set boundaries. 

The cost for the Circle is $99. If you just use it for home internet access, there are not additional costs after that.

For parents of older ones, I know a whole 'nother round of boundaries have to be set once your child has an actual cell phone. Circle is there for that, too! They just came out with a service called Circle Go. It's $9.95 a month for up to 10 devices (iOS devices only right now), and it allows you to manage devices across all networks. 

So, what do you think? Do you need a Circle in your home?

No comments:

Impact-Site-Verification: 574454573. Powered by Blogger.