As a teen in Massachusetts in the nineties, my high school was one of the first to roll out Channel One News, a current events outlet for kids. In exchange for satellite dishes and classroom televisions, the school was required to show a 12-minute news segment to students daily. The news segment included 2-minutes of commercials and was likely where my generation’s love of all things Anderson Cooper, came about. Introducing and keeping kids up-to-date on current events today is vastly different than it was in years past.
A Safe Online Environment Where Kids Can Research News Independently
We get our news today, in real-time, on social media. Our children generally hear snippets of press conferences or conversations going on around them. That’s why I wanted to make a concerted effort to compile a list of kid-friendly news outlets online designed to allow kids to discover and engage organically around their own interests. Rather than spoon-feeding information from my own perspective, I want my youngest to seek out information on his own and make his own inferences and come to his own conclusions.
Websites That Cover Current Events for Kids
A great way to incorporate some news websites would be to include them in your everyday routine. Each morning or afternoon you can give your child a certain amount of time to visit news websites to get the latest news. If you don’t want to make it a daily routine, you can have them compile a weekly roundup of what has transpired throughout the week. These current events websites for kids can help introduce what is happening around the world and in their everyday lives.
CNN 10 is a YouTube channel that many classrooms use to help teach children about current events. The channel offers short videos that contain the most important news stories of the day. In addition to their YouTube speedy news segments, they also offer a few extra educational videos for more learning opportunities.
Scholastic News is a great resource for learning about different current events. They currently offer online magazines for grades 1-6. Each grade has its own website and magazine so that you can choose the specific grade levels you need.
Brought to you by the Smithsonian, the Tween Tribune is a great news resource for kids in every grade. After the news lesson has been completed, kids can even take a quiz on what they have just learned.
Not only does DOGO News provide current events, it also gives kids the opportunity to reach out and learn what is happening in other subjects. The site has sections for Current Events, Science, Social Studies, World, Sports, the Environment, and even some other fun news and videos.
Perfect for kids, PBS now has a news and current events section that they can use to learn more about what is happening around the world. PBS Newshour Extra also includes lesson plans if you want to create a more formal current events curriculum for your child.
Current Events Apps for Kids
Using apps is similar to using websites, it’s just provided in an app that can be accessed through your mobile devices. Some of the best apps include:
- Time for Kids
- Ground News
Go Old-Old School Once in a While
In recent weeks, I’ve become more and more interested in tangible newspaper delivery. Blame it on 2020, but I think I’ve just got sensory overload when it comes to digital news sources. My humble journalism career began in a dark, dusty newsroom as an editorial assistant over 25 years ago, so I’m partial to the newspaper. At ten years old, I’d go through our local newspaper and circle typos and grammar mistakes….for fun; if you’re wondering what I’m like at parties, there you go.
Every so often, grab an actual newspaper next time you’re out, or have one delivered. Let your child see, touch, and feel news in its most pure form. When you remove the inflection and tone of an anchor encouraging viewers to feel a certain way, it allows for actual thinking of one’s own thoughts. Imagine that! Better yet, introduce your child to Reuters and the Associated Press. Those are the news service companies that the newspapers and media outlets receive their news from (before they put their political/sponsored spin on it).
Explore a variety of news outlets yourself and familiarize yourself with the business; that’s the best thing we can do for our children – provide them a variety of reputable resources and let them draw their own conclusions. You can also incorporate current events into your daily homeschool routine through podcasts. Maybe even seek out fun kids’ current events. Expand upon their interests by introducing articles related to what they’re excited about. Yes, even Minecraft. Incorporating their interests into current events will make learning about current events engaging for your child.