Harlow has always been interested in nonfiction, both history, and current events. It’s why her favorite books are biographies. She has an uncanny ability for memorizing names and dates, and she likes to watch the news. She likes to deliver the news, too— remember Harlow’s News? That was back when the topics of the day were Olympic figure skating and the release of Descendants 2. In more recent years, the stories on the news have become way more dire, but when we go to turn it off, Harlow always says, “Keep it on! I’m interested.” We’ve learned a lot as a family because Harlow is very curious and never shies away from asking tough questions.
About a year ago, an issue of The Week Junior showed up on our doorstep, which is a weekly magazine on current events geared towards 8-14yos. It’s packed with news, science, animals, nature, sports, entertainment, and puzzles alongside reader-submitted stories and causes kids care about.
Harlow was immediately intrigued. We sat and read through it together, leafing through national news, international news, human interest stories, all told in an age-appropriate way, providing facts, without any bias. (Imagine that!) I even remember which article captured Harlow’s attention the most. It was about an auction that sold items recovered from the Titanic. A cracker was sold for $23K. Harlow was both fascinated and appalled. “$23,000?? For a cracker??? I bet it was stale!” She retold that story to different people, numerous times over the next few days, as if she had been brushing up on her cocktail conversation. Everyone was so impressed! And that’s how her love of The Week Junior started.
We’ve been receiving The Week Junior every week for about a year, and Harlow looks forward to each issue arriving. She checks out the cover story and then turns straight to the “Photos of the Week” section which features striking full color photos from around the world – like an aerial view of a Chinese tea garden, monks praying during a Buddhist ceremony in Thailand, a flooded forest in Vietnam, a close up of a turtle hatchling in Australia. “Photos of the Week” is always the centerfold, and usually includes a reader photo among the professional shots. I think the photos have really opened her mind to how amazing nature is, how different other cultures are and what is out there to explore across the globe.
Harlow and I set aside time to go through the rest of the issue together, with Harlow pointing out the articles which interest her the most. Together, we’ve learned about climate change’s effect on the coral reef, congress debating voting rights, the NCAA making changes to the women’s basketball tournament so that it’s more equal to the men’s, and the launch of the James Webb telescope.
Harlow was particularly excited about the telescope because she also learned about it in science class at school. I find that the current events which resonate the most are often things that she learns about in school and then are reinforced with an article in The Week Junior, or vice versa. That’s when she’ll ask me to delve deeper so she can find out more information and bring it up for future discussion. For instance, she made our whole family watch the launch of the James Webb telescope on Christmas morning.
Harlow will usually ask so many questions, which lead from the topic at hand to other issues, that we only cover one article at a time and come back to the issue over and over throughout the week. It’s become a great bonding activity for us, and I love seeing her use her newfound knowledge to impress adults we know. We’ve even had her teachers tell us that she shared a surprising fact with them or that she was already educated on a topic that she learned again in class. Nothing makes a parent prouder than finding out your kid raised her hand and identified Judge Ketanji Jackson Brown before being told.
I also love the section called “The Big Debate,” with topics like “Should schools eliminate gifted programs?” and “Should kids have to make their bed everyday?” which gives arguments to both sides of an issue and lets kids make up their own minds. It’s become a really great tool for conversation starters at family dinner.
At the end of each issue are always a few sections that are more interactive. There are puzzles, craft ideas, a recipe, and a quiz to test you on everything you just learned. In the back is also where you will find the “Charity of the Week”, the “Teacher of the Week” and reader submitted news items with inspirational endeavors like an 11yo who recycles her The Week Junior issues and turns them into paper cranes and an 8yo who sells her artwork to raise money to rescue tigers. It’s great to learn about real kids who are making a difference and opening up Harlow’s mind to all the good one person can accomplish. I can see her wheels turning every time.
Today, I’m giving away subscriptions to The Week Junior (which includes 25 issues) to five winners! Just tell me the news story that interested your child the most this year in the comments below!
Congratulations to Erika S, Laura, Angela C, Rachel C, and Natalie C. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to claim your prize!
If you think your family would benefit from receiving The Week Junior, you can try six issues RISK-FREE by subscribing today! If your child enjoys The Week Junior, you’ll get 19 more issues (25 in all) for $49.95—that’s a savings of 66% off the cover price, less than $2 per issue. Plus, your child will receive the Out of This World Puzzles magazine for free.
This post is sponsored by The Week Junior, but all thoughts and opinions are my own.
My oldest is 10 and has been super interested in the pandemic and vaccines while my 8 year old loved all the facts and information about the Winter Olympics!
My daughter was/is obsessed with Amy Schneider, the jeopardy winner. She loved seeing her for weeks as the champion. We are counting down days to see her on the tournament of champions. She was keeping us up to date with her breaking records every day!
My son is always interested in science-related news stories, especially regarding the pandemic and vaccines. He also loves stories about advancements in technology and computers. Thanks for sharing the information about this awesome magazine!
My kids (ages 8, 10, and 14) are curious about updates on COVID and the Ukrainian situation. Their friends like to share what I o they think they know but my kids don’t always trust what they are saying. My husband and I work hard to give them the atucaply truth regarding these topics. A magazine like this would be perfect for them to read more on their own and help them understand what is going on in their world.
I am an elementary school teacher and would love to add this to my classroom library and share this with my class, especially for the more advanced readers.
My kids have been interested in President Biden’s policies. My daughter has been following the Supreme Court confirmation. It’s hard to find news age appropriate and not overwhelming! Thank you!
We watch the news nightly with the kids; 2 in middle school and 2 in elementary school. They have been following the news of the rising Islamophobia in India by the right wing BJP party, as their dad is from India and their grandparents still live there.
My daughter would definitely want to learn more about Ukraine
my son would LOOOOVE this!!! although i may get a headache from his questions….. he is currently 7 and is fascinated by all news weather-related at this time.
My kids have been very interested in stories from Ukraine, but have also started learning about global warming. They would LOVE reading “the news” each week!
War in the Ukraine for sure. We’ve had a lot of really interesting convos because she has a Russian classmate who has a lot of pride over Putin and Russia, so unpacking what she hears at school at home and making sure she’s respectful of views has been so interesting. Second was Supreme Court hearings and why Justice Jackson was qualified, she was so mad it took so long to get her approved. The Week Jr seems like a really useful resource for our almost 8 year old Elsa.
Unfortunately, every morning my 6 and 9 year olds ask “any news on Ukraine?” This has led to some very interesting topics on wars, good choices, and taking care of each other ❤️
My 9 year old is very interested in talking about the Ukrainian invasion- I’m amazed at how much he is picking up from the discussions at school.
My oldest is 9. He and his little sister love learning about animals, weather, and space. They also got very interest in Covid and checking out the numbers daily. They don’t know much about politics, but this would be a great way to introduce them.
My boys have been really interested in the Ukraine invasion. They also enjoy reading up on historical events such as the Titanic, 9/11, D-Day, etc.
I was surprised, but my 9 year old really got into the Olympics, but a lot of the logistics! Who hosts and why? What do they do drug tests? Why is it so important? I LOVED having something to watch and discuss with him nightly and was sad when they ended! Really excited to look into this magazine for our household (or win it 😉). Thanks!!
My kids are interested and have lots of questions about what is going on in Ukraine. I think they’d also love the animal stories and the picture section.
I’m a middle school teacher and my students are always interested in any stories about animals, social media or anime! It would be a great addition to my classroom library.
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This is awesome one for me because I straight don’t not keep with current events if it not on my feed.. I don’t watch the news or anything… so my 10&8yr old and I will now all know the same things lol 😂
My 9yo is passionate about the climate and animals. I think this subscription would be great for her.
My 8 year is really interested in the weather lately.
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