5 Reasons to Read the Newspaper With Your Kids Today (and Every Day)

Summer is around the corner, and parents everywhere want meaningful, relevant, tangible ways to get their kids reading and learning every day.

We have your answer.  It's black and white and read all over the world -- and no, it's not going out of style in our books.

It's the newspaper.

Start today -- subscribe to a local or national newspaper, and read it with your children.  Though it may seem like an added expense, many publications offer discounted rates or free trial periods.  It may be worth exploring, especially for the long summer months.

Here are 5 reasons to read the newspaper with your family today:
  1. Kids need real-time, relevant reading.  You may be surprised at how interested your children become in the news once you start reading it regularly.   Granted, parents need to make sure that everything shared is age-appropriate. But, with support, the newspaper can provide serious real-time, relevant reading material.  Texts should always be high-interest and chosen by the reader, and with the variety of articles in a single newspaper, you can bet that children will find something that speaks to them.
  2. Kids need the nonfiction experience.  Children need to become familiar with a variety of genres, so newspaper reading will add to their reading repertoire and mix things up a bit.   Along with the children's books and stories that many families read with regularity, newspapers will give children a chance to expand their reading skills with this slightly different genre.
  3. Kids can stay in touch with the community and world. Whether it's a local or national publication, newspaper reading will help children stay in touch with the world around them.  National events and local events, sports stories, and current news will keep kids enthralled.  Many papers have a kids' section with even more timely and kid-friendly pieces. Papers today even have interactive components with slideshows and links to online resources that continue the learning.
  4. Kids become better readers and listeners.  Whether parents read the news stories to children or whether children are reading on their own, with support, the newspaper can help children become both better readers and listeners.  Newspaper reading is a whole different style for kids.  This style is worth chatting about as you read; usually the important information in news articles is shared in the beginning of the article, and the details and specifics can be skimmed through at the end of the article.
  5. Kids love the photos.  Some of the best -- and even award-winning -- photos are published in the daily newspaper.  These photos are worth a million words, and many of them tell multiple stories, are open for interpretation, and are true works of art.  Allowing your children to have access to these photos will open up a whole new world to them.
Newspaper reading has huge payoffs, and even if you try out a short-term subscription, I'm betting your children will be better for it. You may be surprised at how interested they become in the world around them, and they will be thrilled at the adventures that it holds.
Is your family a newspaper-reading family? How do you use the newspaper for reading and learning?  Share your thoughts on the Scholastic Parents Facebook page, or find Amy on twitter, @teachmama, and let's continue the conversation!


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