Whether you want to encourage reading or expand your kids’ global outlook, there are many reasons to encourage them to engage with current events
There is so much happening around the globe today and although at times I want to shelter my kids from sensitive topics and issues facing the world, there comes a time when they need to know what is happening outside our little Singapore bubble. I also think that my kids, at the ages of 9 and 11, are ready to start reading current events and having family discussions over the dinner table (here’s hoping).
TV News and newspapers, in my view, are too complex and difficult to comprehend at this age. Instead, I went looking for bite-sized pieces of noteworthy news explained well, in an easy-to-read-and-understand format. I also wanted to find a printed form, something we receive in the post each week and have lying around the house. I had this dream of us all in the living room on Sundays reading and debating (again, here’s hoping)!
I stumbled on The Week Junior only by chance after speaking to a few mums on this subject. I was on a mission to find the right source and had trawled through websites and also checked out some podcasts. Quite a number of mums already subscribe and highly recommended it.
The Week is a British magazine and came out with The Week Junior in 2015. Pitched at 8-14-year-olds, it covers what is happening in the world that week, from news to nature, science to geography and sports to books. The Week Junior explores topics from around the globe, and is written to engage a young person’s mind and explains news and events in a safe, accessible and inspiring way. It provides just about the right level of detail for them.
My son’s favourite recent piece was one about the world’s oldest spider who died at the age of 43 in Australia. My daughter (although I encouraged her to read) knows more about the Syrian War and what life is like for the kids living in Douma. Funnily enough I’ve been picking it up and getting my weekly news fix, too.
If you have slightly younger children than mine then I would recommend First News which is in a newspaper / tabloid form and is targeted at 7 to 14-year-olds. It again covers the world and national (although British) news in shorter articles, and there are plenty of puzzles, photos and animal stories to keep the little ones interested. They have a great ‘Fancy that’ section.
Both are excellent resources for getting your junior children or young teens aware of what’s going on in the world. What’s great is that you can subscribe to both publications from Singapore, and get them delivered to your doorstep every week. You can get 6 issues of The Week Junior for FREE and then it’s £32.25 for every 13 issues. A 6-week subscription to First News ranges from £30.99 (digital only) to £66.99 (both print and digital., with annual subscriptions available as well – please note that for First News you will need to email them for overseas dispatch at firstname.lastname@example.org
And if you don’t want a printed version, The Week Junior and First News have an App for Digital versions of the magazines. Ready to get your learn on, mamas?