Mommatown Accounts Overview
This page serves to help provide information about user-account structure. You can also log in to Mommatown under a "fake" test account to see what a family using the Mommatown services looks like. Simply go to our signin page and log in with username and password.
To register on Mommatown, you simply sign up, providing a "handle", a username, password, and a valid email address. Nothing else is required. Our community moderation, and your own family moderation, takes care of child safety.
18 and over - full account (parents)
Adult account - Accounts created for individuals 18 and over are considered parental accounts, unless another adult specifies the 18 and over account is a child within the family.
Adding a Family Member - Adult (parental) accounts have the power to add other adult accounts (such as spouses) and adding their own children accounts to their "family account". When you add a child account, you do not have to use the child's name at all. If you do add a child's name, you, and Mommatown developers who provide the service, are the only account holder who sees the person's name. Other users on Mommatown will only see an account's "handle" - an obscure reference you want to be known by.
Moderation within a family - An adult (parental) account which has created another family account (whether adult or child) can see and read all content received by or created by the other individual.
Granting Access Rights - Connected adult (parental) accounts within a family have the authority to set their own connected family member accounts as "limited" or grant "full access" at any time. This means that if you created an account for your 15 year old and originally granted them "full access" you can change your mind and set it to "limited access" or vice versa any time you wish.
Also, there will be further controls. Not only will the parent account specify that a child account does not see "ads" but you will also be able to specify if you want or do not want certain content seen by the account holder. For example, if you do not want the child to see math games and activities, but do want them to see drawing contests, for whatever reason. Perhaps you want the child to focus on one subject on our site at a time, and control when other contests or subjects are available to them, to fit within your homeschool schedule, or to focus their attention accordingly.
Under 18 - limited access (typically children)
Limited access accounts will not see any ads on the site, nor any links that take the user to any other non-Mommatown site. Other more specific controls exist within the account manager. A parent may wish to deny this user access to any comments that might have been made toward this user. For example, the child is selling "crochet animals" and a potential buyer submits a question about the product, which is seen by the parent only. Another example: a child submits a piece of writing for a writing contest. Another user comments saying "Good story!" but the child will not see this comment until the parent views and approves it. You can have a lot of control, or less control, over the content your child sees, using the family account manager.
Under 18 - but with full access (typically older children)
An adult might decide that their 15 year old is old enough to have full access to Mommatown content. This means that advertising and links that might take the user off of the Mommatown community (such as a link to a Homeschool store, or some other web site Mommatown did not create) will be shown to the Under 18 account holder. Even though the Under 18 account may be granted "full access" the account is still considered a "child" of the "parental" account holders. Therefore, the user will not have the same access rights as a parent. They will not be able to monitor other child accounts, nor create new accounts, within the family account structure.
18th birthday - automated full access
Other account scenarios
If the regular account structure above does not work for your family, please contact us and we will be happy to help set up accounts in any way that works for you. We realize the guidelines above do not work for every family situation. Exceptions are allowed. There may be a developmentally challenged 19 year old that you need to monitor, not allowing them the option to break out of the family account as described above. There may be a legal guardian situation very different from the classic family, or a young parent situation. We respect all family needs, just contact us and we can accomodate most special options. This is because a corporation does not own and operate Mommatown, the actual developers do, and therefore we can customize this platform however we wish in order to better meet the needs of the homeschooling community.
Community Moderation of all account levels
A few notes from Sally, Sr Developer at Mommatown
Mommatown has been created by myself, a homeschool mom who cared about child safety and therefore severely restricted internet access to my own child, yet provided on-line educational material as a supplement to home education. The internet can provide opportunities to learn about a wide variety of school topics and skills, and also offer alternative helps so that if a child is stuck on a certain concept (a math concept or some other concept), they can see the concept a new way and overcome learning challenges using a game or activity on-line. "Home activities" and "on-line resources" together can make a home education a lot more dynamic, much better than merely trudging through a textbook. And on-line visual aids, a game, an animated story, or some other help on Mommatown or another web site can really help a kid get a boost on a new subject, or help them out if they are stuck. It can really be a God-send to help a frustrated child feel victorious, or segue to a new level of learning.
Even though the benefits to supplementing your home education by using on-line material offered by Mommatown or other web sites is clearly evident, child safety on the internet is an area that should not be taken lightly. From bullying, to predation, to just accidentally clicking a link to very bad content, the internet is more of a risk factor in the life of a child than ever, if they are allowed to peruse it on their own.
How can a parent take advantage of the benefits of educational content on the internet but protect the child from the other risk factors? By moderating all communication on our server, and allowing parents to also moderate their own child's content, whenever they wish, we hope to take the fear out of the opportunity, and allow your family to enjoy some fun learning, entrepreneurial exercises, problem solving activities, interactive stories and science snapshots, without having to worry that a few link clicks might take the child to no-mans land on the internet. This is a real concern. Take for example a major web site kids routinely go to for fun...with two link clicks on Disney.com, I found myself on Amazon. Another try and I was on Youtube. I wouldn't want my child perusing those sites at a young age, and neither should you.
We advise all parents to severely restrict all phone-app and internet usage by their children. No chat apps nor chat computer programs should ever be allowed for a child under 18 without direct supervision. That's my opinion and I don't apologize at all for the strictness of it. That means, by all means Skype with grandma, but don't allow the child access to Skype on their own, ever, and so on. If that opinion is too strict for your family, GOOD, right? - It means my web site will be even more careful and strict in protecting the safety of your child - "overkill" if you have that opinion - and that at least should bring you some peace of mind! We have created Mommatown with one main goal: provide a safe place for kids to learn and play.
We have strict guidelines and watchdog every action within our community, so that you can be the "good cop". You get to say, "Go play on Mommatown for a half hour while I get our science lab ready - why don't you try that new space activity we saw yesterday?" And with that confidence that comes with the ability to do something on one's own, they log in and find the activity and learn about astronauts. They build computer skills by learning how to log in, navigating to their favorite games, and learning to use the mouse and keyboard. And they learn from the content itself, even into older age group interests such as spreadsheets, budgeting, graphic arts, coding, and other skills across multiple age levels, and you have the confidence to let them learn on their own, because you know they are in a community of sites that are all interconnected, child safe, & fully moderated, created by Mommatown.
If you have time, peruse the content yourself. I bet you can learn something new too. Quite frankly, that was a surprising bonus to me, a homeschool mom - I got to learn a lot of new things I didn't at public school. Home based education really can benefit the whole family! If you are new to Mommatown, I welcome you and hope you are ready to get started.
For some basic tips on setting up browser usage for kids and making Mommatown bookmarks, click here. To register for free, click here