One of my goals as a homeschool parent is to expose my children to the world around them in a way that encourages critical thought and learning, while developing an interest in exploring new and unfamiliar ideas.
For example, on a lazy Saturday morning I spent a couple hours watching some YouTube clips with my older children on high-altitude flying, space jumping, military aircraft, and a documentary on battleships in World War 2. Each clip led to a different idea and conversation, and we toured the vast library of information that is the internet in search of interesting ideas.
While YouTube clips are great, finding them unfortunately involves sifting through questionable content, so I began searching for content that is both appropriate and encourages learning. In my search I came across www.teachingkidsnews.com.
The site is operated by two school teachers in Canada, and they work with a variety of authors who post short news stories about different subjects. What I really like about the site is that each news story is written in age appropriate language for kids and is easy to understand. But, given the focus on learning, at the end of each story is a discussion and writing prompt, a reading prompt, and a short lesson on grammar using the content in the story.
For example, Scientists Discovers Corn Plants Make A Noise is an interesting science article. It teaches about a scientist who sought to find out if plants are affected by noise. In the search, Dr. Monica Gagliano found that the roots of corn seedlings make clicking sounds! Neat article followed by a writing/discussion prompt, a reading prompt with three different levels of readers and a grammar prompt discussing adjectives. What a quick and convenient way to teach current events and couple it with Language Arts with little or no preparation.