Back to School with U.S. Cellular

Every month I team up with U.S. Cellular and share a little about my Samsung Galaxy S6 Smart Phone.  This is one of those posts.  If you have a kid or grand kid with a smart phone you might want to check out this parent child agreement on cell phone use.  I think it would be very useful when opening a discussion on phone safety with your children. You can find that here.

It’s that time of year again…school is about to start.

It seems that being I don’t have children living with me at home, the school calendar shouldn’t be a big part of my life but it still is.  Our daughter Kayla is a teacher.  Our son Karl is going to be a teacher and is at college.  Our daughter Kelli and Kalissa are continuing their nursing education…all are on a school calendar year and me…I have childcare kiddos that keep me interested in the school calendar.

It seems that one of the big back to school purchases now days is a cell phone.  I’m a little naive and that wasn’t one of the first things that came to mind for me…I’m thinking shoes, back packs, school supplies and the like..but not cell phones.  But in a recent U.S. Cellular survey, respondents said the average age of children getting their own cellphone from a parent is 11, whereas five years ago this age was 14. That same survey showed that safety was the primary reason. The appropriate time varies from family to family, and parents can be challenged with how best to introduce their child to their first phone. Back in the “stone age” when our kids got phones we were a “when you have your license” you can get a phone family.

Here is something that would have been handy if it was around when our kids were younger, U.S. Cellular’s Vehicle Monitoring System.  It is a new device that can be installed in your teen’s car. Parents can use the app on their 4G LTE iPhone 6, Samsung Galaxy S7 or any tablet, to check a vehicle’s location on a map, as well as decipher engine codes to be aware of any mechanical issues. You’ll know where your teenager is at any time of day, and whether the car needs servicing like an oil change.

I know, as a teacher, that our daughter Kayla has struggled with cell phone use in the classroom. Phones and tablets are being used in the classroom in a variety of ways. At first she really fought with them but now she has started to embrace them.  When she was in a high school setting truly-every student had a phone.  She would often set up review quiz type activities where the kids buzzed in with answers using their phones.  It’s amazing to see all the things phones can be used for now days.  Who ever thought?

If you are a parent or grandparent and you have someone in your life getting a new phone at the start of the new school year I HIGHLY recommend and encourage that parents set up cellphone guidelines for their teen using U.S. Cellular’s Parent-Child Agreement. While accessories such as Bluetooth headsets are helpful, it’s important that drivers remain focused on the road and let calls go to voicemail and texts get answered once the car is parked. I think it’s sad the often the reason parents want their children to have a phone is to keep them safe then they forget to teach phone safety.

Happy wishes to all on a bright new school year….for me the school year starts on the 23rd…back to work starts the 22nd.  It’s going to be a big week for me.



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