During the childhoods of most of today’s parents, it was common for moms and dads to be situated behind a newspaper in the morning and in front of the evening national TV news at night (Cronkite was the favorite, of course). Many of us even watched the televised broadcasts while munching on Shake ‘n’ Bake chicken or Salisbury steak. In today’s homes, the news is less a part of our lives at mealtime as we opt for online news-reading and — because we’ve learned about the family-dynamic benefits of undivided attention — keep the TV off during dinner. We’re also more sensitive about letting our kids see and hear the often unsettling reports on TV or on the radio.
As a result, our children are likely less informed about the events of the day. With a little effort, parents can change this by taking advantage of the Web’s treasure trove of news sources for kids. Most of the sites say they are for teachers, but parents can use them just the same and can have older children use them safely on their own. Here, we suggest three online news publications for young students:
Scholastic News which features national news and a Kid Press Corps section with student-written articles. Time for Kids has long been a staple in classroom, but offers lots to learn and explore at home. CNN Student News has interactive goodies such as a weekly news quiz and podcasts. For a more global perspective, try CBBC , the children’s BBC site from England, which earns props for its lively layout and interactivity.
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Gregory Keer is a high-school history teacher as well as an award-winning writer, teacher, and father of three boys. He can be reached at www.familymanonline.com.