Need help teaching current events in your homeschool? Today I’m sharing a new resource with you and the best part is that it’s a quick, easy, and effective way to promote media literacy and critical thinking while covering the news with your kids.
*This is a sponsored post and I received complimentary access to this resource for review purposes. As always, I was not required to write a positive review and all opinions are my own. You can see my full disclosure for any additional information.*
I was a seventh grader in a public school when current events landed on my radar. Each Friday, my social studies teacher required us to bring in an article clipped from the previous day’s newspaper along with a written summary of the article and then share them with the class. After each student shared the article and summary aloud, we allowed time for discussion about it before moving on to another article.
Looking back, that was something my public school got right. Those current events discussions played a role in making me aware of what was happening in my city and around the world, but that wasn’t all. They also helped me see the world through different eyes than my own and look beyond the headlines to see the people who are affected by them.
I want the same kind of awareness and perspective for my own kids and I suspect you want the same for yours. That’s why I’m excited to tell you about The Juice Learning Company and how they’ve made it so easy to teach current events. But before we jump into the details about their current events tool, let’s look at why we should be teaching current events in the first place.
Why You Should Be Teaching Current Events in Your Homeschool
1. Media Literacy
Media literacy helps students avoid misinformation, discern which sources to trust and why, and recognize bias and blind spots in media intake. This all may sound like a lot to ask of our students and teens, but the way we consume news has changed dramatically in the last 20 years.
Instead of reading newspapers that feature professional journalists and seeking think pieces written by experts, many people now get their news through links, memes, and posts that show up in their social media newsfeeds. While some of these may be legitimate, all of them aren’t and it can be difficult to sift through the noise and find the facts. Even worse, consuming news content through social media makes it tempting to engage only to confirm bias rather than engage to listen and learn.
Thankfully, media literacy provides some much-needed hope in this area. Through regular coverage of current events, students get a change to develop discernment, determine intention, and identify credible sources. All of these are important components of media literacy.
For more on this, see this article from Common Sense Media. It’s a super helpful overview of media literacy and kids.
2. Big Picture Thinking
When there’s an influx of chatter all around, it’s hard to look beyond the opinions and commentary to find the facts in the events being discussed.
What’s more, it can be difficult to drown out chatter. When everyone we know personally is only concerned with a handful of talking points, it takes intentionality to turn our attention to the other events affecting our cities, the nation, and the rest of the world.
That’s where teaching current events helps us lead our children well. By continually engaging with a variety of news topics, we help our kids see the big picture and remember that being informed plays a part in our citizenship on local, national, and global levels.
3. Looking Through Different Eyes
I alluded to this by sharing my seventh grade experience, but teaching current events is a great way to ensure that your kids are exposed to multiple perspectives and have the opportunity to see events in the news through different eyes. That doesn’t mean you or your kids will personally agree with every perspective presented through the news stories you read, but seeing things through different eyes is an underrated life skill.
When we take time to see where others are coming from, we learn how to communicate better, make decisions with more than our own interests in mind, and work together for the common good.
This helps prepare our kids for day-to-day life as college students, employees, and neighbors. All of that starts by know what’s going on in the world around us, which is easy when current events are a regular part of our homeschool days.
Teaching Current Events with The Juice
Now that we’ve talked about the why behind teaching current events, don’t think for a minute that you have to sift through tons of news sources to include it in your homeschool plans. Instead, you can let The Juice handle it for you.
The Juice is a current events subscription especially for students. It promotes critical thinking by presenting age-appropriate coverage of national and world news written by education and journalism professionals. These pieces are usually under 200 words per article, which means your daily current events time can easily be tackled in 15-20 minutes. 🙂
Better yet, these stories all feature eye-catching graphics, the option to listen along while reading, and easy access to definitions and additional information. The Juice also includes a daily vocabulary word, deep dives (Extra Juice) on relevant topics, and short videos that share life hacks, book reviews, career information, and other topics.
More About The Juice
Here are a few logistical things to know about The Juice:
- There are 4 reading levels available that span 5th grade through college level. This makes it easy to find an appropriate level for older elementary, middle school, and high school students.
- Each issue of The Juice includes a corresponding quiz. These quizzes are optional, but can be helpful for checking comprehension and documenting your current events study.
- The Juice arrives in your email each weekday by 6 a.m. Eastern Standard Time.
Most importantly, instead of relying on algorithms that cater to our previous engagement, The Juice features unbiased articles that focus on facts and explore multiple viewpoints, but always in an age-appropriate way. Sounds great, right?
Start Your Homeschool Days with The Juice
Learn more about The Juice and sign up for your FREE trial by visiting The Juice’s website. While you’re there, be sure to check out The Juice blog for articles on talking to your kids about sensitive subjects and tips for avoiding echo chambers.
Save 25% on The Juice!
Use the coupon code JuiceTBLB to save 25% off your subscription to The Juice. That makes it a super affordable way to add current events to your homechool routine!
In closing, I happily recommend The Juice for parents who are looking for help covering current events at home. This media tool has made it quick and easy to explore important news topics together and I’m grateful I found it.