10 reasons why kids should stay up to date
Kids tend to absorb everything around them. From conversations, radio news on the way to school and even memes they share with each other, these tend to reflect or touch upon current events in the world. While their consumption of the news is at a more surface level compared to adults, it’s no doubt that these still have the power to develop their mindset and influence their opinion.
Keeping up with current affairs at a young age helps learning. Here are 10 reasons why they should be staying up to date.
1. They are informed and aware of global issues
Current news and problems should not be ignored. The information a child can gain from it helps them make the best decisions they can. For instance, they will learn to save resources or avoid buying products with single-use plastic if they are on top of the environmental issues we have. Staying informed is empowering as they have increased awareness compared to their peers.
2. Current affairs are engaging
As children can link what is currently happening in the world to their own environment, this helps keep them interested in learning about them. They will gain an appreciation for knowledge. This could help inspire their future career path as well, like how a child may want to become a doctor after reading news about their contribution in fighting the Covid-19 pandemic.
3. It helps them understand what shapes the world around them
Children are naturally curious. We know that from all the “Why?” questions they ask whenever they see or hear about something new. Giving them access to current information can help further their understanding about the world around them and sparks an interest to seek our more information.
4. They learn to consume information with a critical eye
Having awareness of real news helps them keep an eye out for fake news and propaganda. Armed with facts, children are able to question rumours or information that is fed to them. They learn to pick out exaggerated or sensationalist news stories from real ones, and shy away from chain messages or factoids from social media. They can be taught how to conduct their own research, and how to detect reputable sources.
5. Current events connects various subjects
Learning about current events helps children link various aspects of their curriculum. For instance, news about countries intending to make the Covid-19 vaccine free for their citizens touches different angles, from science to economics, and even helps students predict potential implications. They connect the knowledge they gained from all their classes to support their opinion on the issue at hand.
6. The knowledge provides a good opportunity for families to connect
Conversations at the dinner table can go beyond “How was school?”. Children and parents can both share their thoughts on what is going on in the world. This helps parents gain insight on topics their children are interested in, and provide the right resources for them to learn more. Additionally, current events also give a chance for parents to educate children on family values.
7. Kids develop a better way to communicate
News fuels discussions in classrooms and friend groups as well. Here, children gain the opportunity to hear about different perspectives from their peers, and learn how to present their argument in a gracious manner should they disagree. They will also learn to be more empathetic as they learn about the challenges other people face in the world, and be inspired to make a difference.
8. They get a reference of clear, informative writing
It is common for students to be unfamiliar with writing in the tone of a news report due to lack of exposure. By reading the news and different publications, children gain access to how information is presented to the reader. They get to learn how sentence structure or features such headlines and subheadings can promote understanding when it comes to non-fiction writing.
9. News provide rich and specialized vocabulary
As kids learn about specific subject areas in current events, they also pick up a lot of new words that they might not hear in a classroom. These words used in a non-fiction setting serve to explain and inform, compared to words they pick up when reading fiction, which are often used to describe and entertain. Having a balance of both types of reading improves their ability to get their ideas across.
10. Reading and discussing news develops vital skills
We often hear about how important it is for people to be critical of what they consume. By looking into current events and discussing them, children get to build up additional skills that are not often taught in school. Skills such as critical reading, critical thinking and speaking are often just touched upon as teachers need to rush to complete the syllabus at hand.
Additionally, the overwhelming schedule that some students have can affect their absorption of information and development of skills in a classroom setting. They do not have time to sit and think about the news they are reading as there may be other tasks to complete.
Although some schools do teach Global Perspectives, a subject that introduces current events to students, a large classroom setting would mean that in-depth, critical discussions are harder to conduct. Children need a smaller setting where they can ask questions, take time to form their opinions and discuss them with a trusted adult, and StarWorks has just that.
Utilizing the award-winning British National Young Readers’ Newspaper, First News, students develop their love of reading and keeping up with current topics through a newspaper specially written for kids. They get to build four vital skills during the program (Critical Thinking, Speaking, Critical Reading and Writing) to help them thrive at school and ignite their thirst for knowledge. Read more about our enrichment program and join us today!