Friday, May 6, 2011

News for kids.

My kids love computer time. 

Maybe {a little} too much. 

And while I do limit their time; I also encourage it. Computers are our future. And in some sense, being computer literate is like being fluent in another language. A mandatory language in my estimation. 

So I encourage them to explore. I monitor their activities. And their MacBook keeps track of, and will shut down if they exceed, their allotted screen time. 

All that said, I am constantly looking for websites I want them to visit. Websites with relevant content. They think YouTube is the end-all, be-all. It is not unusual for me to find them watching a video demonstration of a magic trick or how a how-to make an origami dragon demonstration. And that's all well and good. But I feel the need to encourage them beyond YouTube and the inevitable visits to 

And today I discovered what will become a mandatory pit stop in their computer lives:  Here There Everywhere.  Claudia Heitler, before becoming a mom, spent her days working at NBC Network News’ Today show. When she became a mom she left her job but not her interest in the news. She explains the site best:
"Here There Everywhere is a news website/blog designed for elementary school-aged children. Its purpose is to show kids how they are connected to their world and introduce them to the people and events shaping it. It credits children with being interested in and being able to understand some of the more newsy topics (though there will be lots of the fun stuff, too!). HTE can be read with a caregiver or without. "
"Knowing what’s in the news is a way to be connected to our community, nation and world; it can give us important information about something we may need to know, or information to help us make the best possible choices. It can inspire us, and it’s a way to share ideas and help form opinions – especially when all sides of a story are heard. It helps us understand each other better (and that’s important these days). Knowing what’s going on in the world around us also teaches us the importance of staying curious and asking questions."
The stories are both interesting and relevant. And, surprisingly, are not written in a condescending let-me-say-this-so-you'll-understand way.

I've now emailed my kids and asked that they each bookmark this site and visit it every day they have computer time {which is not every day}. I cannot wait to begin discussing current events at the dinner table!! I'm nearly giddy dreaming of our intellectual dinner conversations.

Do not burst my bubble.

Do you let your kids roam about online and, if so, what sites do you love?

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