Circle: Content Control for the Family

In this digital age, managing your family’s screen time is important. Parents and guardians often struggle to filter content, limit children’s use of electronic devices and enforce healthy sleep habits. Fortunately, new technology can help you maintain order and reason in your home.

Circle is a tool which allows parents to manage content and time across all devices on the household wireless network. The physical component is a small “box,” set up and connected to the wi-fi through managing software (available for iOS and Android).

Once paired with the network, Circle lets you set up profiles for each family member and device. Preset levels for Pre-K, Kid, Teen and Adult makes it easy to choose the right filter for your children. You may also enable ad blocking and Safe Search settings on any of your family’s devices.

Through the Circle app, you can set time limits customized for each family member. You may opt to set a total online time limit, or you may set individual time limits on any app, platform or category.

A notable feature of Circle is the ability to set “bedtimes” for each device. At the chosen “bedtime,” the device disconnects from the wi-fi until a set “wake” time. This cutoff encourages kids to put down their devices and sleep at the appropriate time every night.

For dinnertime, family time and other events, parents can use “Pause” to disable wi-fi for the whole household. “Pause” may also be applied to devices and individuals separately.

The MyCircle app (not required for device management) features personal dashboards for family members to view time limits, bedtime countdown and details about their use of online time. Children can be encouraged to keep an eye on their usage of online time to promote healthy digital habits. “Insights” in the parent account shows a breakdown of each family member’s activity.

We strongly recommend that all Homestay families invest in Circle or a similar product. A frequent concern for international students is adjusting to our time zone and maintaining a proper sleep schedule. Circle allows guardians to enforce bedtimes for their students’ devices easily, authoritatively and without disruption.

Visit meetcircle.com for more information about Circle and MyCircle, as well as the new Circle Go app for managing your family’s iOS devices on mobile networks.