Do your children watch the news? I've been questioning how we can present news to our children that is unbiased and age appropriate. How do we engage our children in political processes, discuss international news, share the details of major events? How do we raise our children so that they are critical thinkers with high levels of media literacy? As future leaders, our children need us to keep them informed and help them navigate their way through uncertain political landscapes and ever-increasing global awareness.
Otis (7 years) isn't interested in the news at all but Caspar (11 years) is interested and he often asks very specific questions. It's good to have a news source for him to use but also for me to reference when appropriate. The children's news services that we use include:
- The Week Junior - this is my personal favourite, it is in a fantastic format for children. The Week Junior is "a brilliant current affairs magazine for children aged between 8 and 14. It’s filled with fascinating stories and information, written to engage curious young minds and encourage them to explore and understand the world around them. By exploring real world matters, The Week Junior equips young people with the skills to think critically, learn about the world around them and ask questions."
- First News - "a weekly newspaper aimed at 7 to 14-year-olds that aims to get kids talking about the news in an easy to understand and non-threatening way. We cover issues which are relevant to children and which specifically affect them. Inside you’ll find a mix of world news and UK news, but also loads of fun stuff, such as entertainment, games, animals, sport and puzzles."
- News for Kids: Real News Told Simply - "News for Kids was created by a teacher to make the news accessible to kids. We carefully choose high interest stories appropriate to the audience, and present them in a way that is easy to understand". Caspar finds the content interesting, this is the site he uses the most.
- DOGOnews - "the leading online network empowering kids to engage with digital media in a fun, safe and social environment."
- Teaching Kids News: Readable, Teachable News - "Every story is in kid-friendly language and appropriate for kids in grades 2 to 8. Beyond just making the vocabulary accessible, we provide context for everything in each news story, so kids can understand what’s going on, and why."
- The Day: News to Open Minds - A daily news services for schools, colleges and homes. This is a subscription service (not a free website) mainly for schools. I like the format though and wish to was more accessible to parents.
- News-O-Matic - A daily newspaper for ages 6-14. Every story is written at multiple literacy levels for ages 6 to 14. A child psychologist reviews each article to ensure emotionally safe and age-appropriate content.
In Australia, we like BTN. If you are in the US you might find some of these sources useful Young and Informed: Credible News Sources for Kids.
Do your children subscribe to any magazines? Otis (7 years) loves National Geographic Kids and has a subscription to Eco Kids Planet. Caspar (11 years) also has a subscription to AQUILA magazine. These are more educational than news or current affairs but really help towards keeping them informed and engaged.