Current events

Current events

Hoo boy.

For the big, zesty, "we're living in historic times" stuff, there's no replacement for just talking things through with her directly, and tailoring things to Wanda's emotional and educational needs in the moment. The whiteboard often gets a workout, and sometimes I'll reach for a few carefully-selected YouTube news clips so Wanda can see and hear the people involved. Neighborhood walks are great for letting conversation flow, too.

If you're looking for ideas or resources specific to what happened yesterday at the Capitol, my favorite homeschooling group has a pinned announcement thread with tons of resources shared by members (caveat—I haven't looked closely at the thread because I didn't see it until after I'd already clued Wanda in, but it's probably got some good stuff):

For a regular diet of kid-friendly news, we have two sources.

The first is The Week Junior, a full-color print magazine delivered weekly. It has some kid-friendly world and national news articles, with some background to help kids understand the issues. There are plenty of feel-good news items, too, lots of cute animals, cool science, that sort of thing. Each week there's a spotlight on new books, movies, games (Wanda has been turned on to several books this way). There's a "big debate" feature, where kids are presented with two sides of an argument and are invited to weigh in with their opinion in an online poll. There are craft activities and recipes, some word games, contests, you get the idea. It's fun to mention something to Wanda and hear, "oh, yeah, I read an article about that!" It's done by the same folks who do The Week magazine for adults. They've been doing The Week Junior in the UK for a few years now; this US edition is less than a year old, I think. I've been really happy with it, and it feels oh-so-1990s to be supporting print journalism!

Our other source is a ten-minute daily news show for kids produced by CNN, called CNN 10, intended for use in school classrooms. We watch it together during breakfast. It purports to be "objective, down-the-middle" journalism, which is easier said than done and honestly I don't particularly trust any of the television news channels to have a handle on that job. Because of the short length and the target audience, things get simplified a bit too much sometimes. But it has been useful for keeping Wanda in touch with what's happening in the world. Just as useful, we sometimes pause the show and talk about the way choices are made in the presentation of the news that can impact our impressions of what's going on. We watch it on YouTube, but here's its own website.

(Both CNN 10 and The Week Junior are full of news items that clearly began as PR pitches, so we talk about that, too.)

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