1.2: Create Google Accounts
To discover Google age requirements for your country....
How to create Google Accounts
This first step is foundational to organize your techie homeschool. Each computer user in your family needs an online identity, and I’ve found the easiest way to create one with a Google account. It’s free, it’s universal and it’s consistent.
I know some people have loyalties (or aversions) to certain services. Google products have always worked great for me, and since I’m dedicated to only teaching what I experience, that’s what we’re using. If you prefer other services, you are welcome to try to adapt organization concepts and methods you’ll learn in this course and use the online tools you want. I won’t be able to give you techie support, though.
Why is it foundational to have a Google account for each user? Because of one of my favorite techie things….. Synchronization. That means, when you set things up on one computer, it will be the same on others. And on mobile devices. Your end goal is that any child can pick up an Chromebook, computer or tablet in your home and be able to access their digital learning content.
Another reason is that many online learning tools require that the user creates an account, and they need an email to do this. You want your children to each have their own so that their work is stored and documented. For example, my daughter had been using my Canva account to create graphic designs. Now they are all inter-mixed with my work. With her own email address, she is able to have her own collection. It will be easier for her to see her progress.
This won’t be the case with everything. Some sites allow you to create a “teacher” account and then set up your kids as students. And when you’ve paid for a subscription to a service, you’ll want a login that everyone uses. But, it will be nice to have the option for you kids having their own accounts.
Google has a minimum age requirements for setting up an account. CLICK HEREto see the restriction for your country. The age restrictions are put in place to protect your children and it’s important to adhere to them. So, you may wonder why I’m recommending separate user accounts for each of your children if they aren’t old enough to have their own account.
Well, I’m not suggesting that that your kids create their own account. I am recommending that you, the parent, create multiple accounts and allow your children to use those accounts under your guidance. You will have access to all the accounts to monitor them as much as you want.
There’s an itty bitty potential problem with doing this...When you create your Google accounts, you will need to verify them with a mobile phone number. And Google limits the number of accounts assigned to each phone number. There’s no documentation of what that limit is, so I can’t tell you the limit. The workaround is to have multiple phone numbers you can use for verification. Consider getting your spouse or older children on board to use his/her number if you need to.
If you have a child older than Google’s minimum age requirement, let them create their own account, but require they share their password with you.
You may have have heard about Supervised User Google accounts and are wondering why you don’t just create those. Reason is ... Google has discontinued that service.
Before you start creating Google accounts for yourself and your children, consider what user names you’ll use. I suggest something consistent. We use child’s first name +middle initial+last name. Fortunately, those name’s weren’t taken, but there’s a chance of that happening. You may want to consider a consistent number or string of text to use at the end of your child’s name.
I recommend you don’t use something too crazy or cutesy because this may be the email address that follows your child through life.
Also, decide on a password that you and your child can easily remember. It needs to be secure, but easily memorable. Also, if you have multiple children, the passwords should have consistent elements with some variation. For example, maybe they all start with the same characters, but have a few added at the end that are unique to each child.
Here’s a tip for creating passwords. Make them memorable words, but change some letters to similar numbers or symbols. For example, every “A” would be replaced with “@”. And/or “E” would be replaced with “3”.
Here’s how this works….. Suppose your favorite place to hang out as a family is Maple Street Park and you have a dog named Spot. You may choose a family password of “MapleSpot”, but if you use the trick of replacing letters with numbers & symbols, your password would be “[email protected]$pot”. Then, you might add your child’s first name and middle name initials for their unique password.
I know this seems a little complicated, but later on I’ll be sharing why this and one other password are the only ones your child will need to memorize.
Time to get to work (which will be more for some of you than others depending on how many kids you have)...
ACTION STEP: Create Google accounts for each child who uses computers for homeschooling.
Creating a Google account is pretty simple, and there’s really no need for me to create a tutorial for you. GFC Learn Free is a great source for learning everything techie, and their article about creating a Google Account is extremely helpful. Click the link above and start creating. You will also want to advance through the whole GFC lesson to learn about privacy and ad settings.