Last year when we took a break to go remote our local school decided that they didn’t want to pressure the kids with learning anything new. The grade school, we were doing 5th grade, simply wanted to work on keeping up the students social emotional learning. My little one though really liked his schedule. He wanted to stick with doing all the same things he did at school each day and that started with homeroom! Homeroom at school included watching some sort of news program that the school must have subscribed to and I’m sure they had their school report telling birthdays, lunch and more.
To add that to our day as the school ‘break’ stretched we would watch the news here together, which we were sure to discuss. Once in a while I felt we would need to censor it a little, but it helped keep up with what was going on in the world and in our area. We’ve continued it on into this school year as we’ve homeschooled. Now we’ve added some extra things like the debates.
Finally I added in a news story each day from the site Newsela. It lets me print stories with questions included. We can discuss the articles and go over the questions. I created an account with my Google sign in and am able to choose what articles my son might be interested in. The articles include word counts and could be shared onto google classroom if I wanted to create sets that are related to topics we are researching.
There are also teacher sets that can be used, put together by teachers that curate articles related to a pertinent topic. I’m looking at one now on To Kill a Mockingbird – ‘Do We Still Need Atticus’ Lessons Today? The set includes 23 articles that include ‘Recalling An Era when the Color of Your Skin Meant Paying to Vote’ and ‘Redlining Prevents Minority Families from Becoming Homeowners’. There are also sets on topics such as Math in the Real World and Women History Month, even programming a school’s basketball team against the Pick and Roll Defense (I have no idea what that is!)….
We stick with one article per morning and add a discussion. There are additional sites that offer news. We haven’t tried them, but it’s good to find the one that works for you and stick with it. Some include videos like the National Geographic site for kids, and others are articles like you would find in the paper. Speaking of which we have also been pulling out the paper and my son currently grabs the comics. Originally he stuck with the comics, but has slowly added puzzles to his interest in the local paper. Over time we will add articles that are more interesting!
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