Resource Review: News-O-Matic Is a Kid-Friendly Introduction to Current Events
Several years ago I was searching for a way to share current events with my son, and I stumbled upon News-O-Matic in the app store. I am so glad I found it because my son loves it and learns so much from this award-winning newspaper for kids. Most importantly, I know he’ll learn about the big stories in kid-appropriate ways.
Every weekday, there are five, new stories written by real journalists, and it covers U.S., international news, sports, arts, science and more. Kids can interact with the app by writing to the editor, drawing pictures and even voting on their favorite stories. My son doesn’t do any of that, but he always loves it when I include News-O-Matic in his daily lessons.
He will curl up into a corner and pick the stories he wants to hear. He can read the stories himself, or he can play the audio and listen to someone read the story to him. There are often photos, maps and videos clips accompanying the stories. The app also provides Spanish translations, and there is definition and pronunciation support for hard words. There are some games on the app too, but my son rarely plays those.
My husband and I often whisper to each other, “News-O-Matic is so great!” because a week doesn’t go by when our son doesn’t tell us something he’s learned or seen on the app. Sometimes it’s a news story we’ve already read about on our regular media sites, or sometimes it’s something we know nothing about. My son is particularly interested in the stories about science or new inventions, so he keeps us up to date on that. I am also pleased with the history and geography lessons he has gotten just by reading stories on News-O-Matic. He was even able to follow the Presidential election through this app, and he received history lessons on past presidents during that time.
This app requires a subscription fee ($4.99/month or $49.99/year), but it’s been the best subscription I’ve ever committed to. You can try it for free for a month.
There is also a school version for $19.99 per year. Homeschoolers may be able to purchase this, but I don’t have experience with it.