Whether you are an interest-led unschooler or a classical homeschooler, The New York Times can be an excellent resource for your homeschool. Using The Learning Network is a little different from handing your teen a newspaper and telling them to read. The stories presented in this dedicated space are hand-picked for students. The goal is to offer them interesting, relevant and challenging content daily, written by some of the best journalists in the world.
Your students can explore custom curated content without a subscription. All additional materials, including pdf’s and lesson plans published by The Learning Network are provided for free.
Here are some of the resources available:
- Teenagers in the Times: This section collects all recent stories about newsworthy teens.
- Daily mini-lessons: Highlights important topics in the news that day. Video format enables students to quickly explore topics.
- Student Contests: Various opportunities are offered throughout the year. The summer reading contest has begun, but there is still time to jump in and participate.
- Word of the Day: Students build their vocabulary by learning relevant words daily.
- On this Day in History: A quick look at important historical events.
- Weekly News Quiz: Students can check up on their progress and knowledge of current events.
- Film Club: High interest, engaging short films and discussions.
- Opinion Section: Students are encouraged to share their opinions. The comments are moderated, making it a safe place for students to express their thoughts with their peers.
There are so many reasons to use this resource with your high school homeschooled students – from understanding current events and discussing politics, to learning to think critically about issues that face our communities at home and internationally. If teaching effective communication is one of your goals, having them consistently read high quality writing will aid them in the process. Students (in my experience) sometimes fail to see the creativity in non-fiction, and exposing them to nonfiction and news written well, with style and flair, will help them see the possibilities.
Take a closer look at the Learning Network, bookmark it for your student, and have them visit daily, or at least several times a week. Even if they are simply reading through and not completing any of the additional lesson plans and activities, they will still gain plenty – including a greater understanding of the issues of the day and a deeper appreciation of non-fiction writing.