Monday, May 4, 2009

How do we help our kids read about the news?

I've been wrestling for a while about how I help my children read about the news. Clearly, my 7 year old isn't going to just pick up the Sunday New York Times - although she did like figuring out from the interview with President Obama in this Sunday's magazine that they got a dog recently. So my question is how do we help our children start reading the news and being interested in current events throughout the world?

We subscribe to Time for Kids for 4th graders, and we keep it in one of our bathrooms. The kids (ages 10 and 7) do seem to like browsing through it and reading some of the articles. The most recent issue has a cover article, "The Afghanistan Plan: Can the U.S. make the country safe?" It is a basic introduction to the war in Afghanistan and why the U.S. is fighting there, includes a map of where Afghanistan is, and then a side article about a program that a nonprofit organization has started to provide skateboards to kids in Afghanistan. Other articles include: Finding Cleopatra, Ladybugs Lost, and Growing Hope: Jane Goodal's Roots and Shoots program.
Time for Kids
published weekly during the school year
to subscribe as a family (instead of a teacher)
you need to call: (800) 777-8600
My only hesitation about recommending this magazine is that it is pretty slim. My 4th grader's comment is that she wanted more articles. I would add that it could use more depth. It has a fairly neutral, a bit conservative bias. But I think it's a good start to exposing children to a range of issues in the current events, from the environment to the economy to foreign affairs.
World News for Children
BBC Podcast
subscribe on iTunes
or using your RSS feeder
A friend also suggested that we check out BBC podcasts: World News for Children. You can subscribe on iTunes, or download the podcasts to your MP3 player. The daily podcasts are four minutes long, and cover about 3 or 4 main events in the day's news. They're aimed at children ages 7 to 14 years old. Last week, they covered the Swine Flu, the war in Iraq, and more of the Swine Flu (not surprising). I haven't listened to this with my children yet, but my main observation is that they go very fast. I'm not sure how kids will take it in. But I could see listening to this for a short burst in the car as we were driving to school, and then talking more about whatever caught their interest.

My real question is for all of you: what news magazines do you have for your kids to read? What captures their interests, and is at their level? I'd love your suggestions - so please email me or leave a comment!

For other interesting recommendations for nonfiction books for children, check out today's Nonfiction Monday at Chicken Spaghetti.

No comments:

Post a Comment