It can be terribly difficult to be a parent right now. With news sources covering ISIS, political upheaval, and every kind of celebrity mishap, it feels like there are no good options for kids to see the news without falling prey to the next-new-now fast-paced news. When news is thrown in your face at lightning speed, it’s impossible to think critically about what you are hearing. It is also hard to follow a single thought when the newscaster has jumped to the Next Big Thing. Kids are left with only vague impressions of the news, without retaining specific details.
Happily, Common Sense Media has a list of the Best News Sources for Kids. My favorites include:
- Tween Tribune: Designed with tweens in mind, this website is not your normal news site. Comments are moderated, and the website includes critical-thinking exercises. The topics cover a huge range of material, including educational content and entertainment fluff, all audited to be appropriate for tweens, directing them away from the tabloid model of celebrity news. Read the Common Sense Media review.
- The Learning Network: News stories are selected from the New York Times every day, then targeted to teens. This site is a great way to engage teens and keep them up to date on world news. The Learning Network doesn’t filter all world events out, however, so sometimes sensitive topics come up. I suggest 13+. Read the Common Sense Media Review.
- News-O-Matic: This subscription-based app brings news out for kids as young as 7! Put it on a mobile device, and let your kids check out the news. It’s a great way to encourage reading, and raise your child’s awareness of the greater world. The app also has puzzles, and a great feature that allows kids to measure the distance from themselves to the news story, which helps kids feel more connected to the news they read. Read the Common Sense Media review.
A bonus tip: Common Sense Media recently published an article titled “Explaining the News to Our Kids.” It is a great tool for helping parents find the best approach for teaching kids about the world and the details of news stories.