A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this website.
Current events, news coverage, a variety of places and people. From articles on local U.S. laws to items about endangered species and medical advancements, kids will be exposed to a wide array of history, civics, geographical, other topics; may also encounter new vocabulary words. They'll get ample reading experience, and some stories tie issues into bigger context. With kid-centric tone, can be an excellent way to introduce kids to new concepts, potentially inspire them to seek out more information.
Kids are encouraged to understand both sides of issues and be inquisitive about the world around them.
Violence & Scariness
Some articles touch on famous murders and other crimes, such as the Lizzie Borden case, but they don't include graphic pictures or many gory details.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Although a few items mention events that involved rape, the topic is handled respectfully; nothing salacious is published on the site.
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Products & Purchases
Requires a paid subscription, but kids won't see any ads.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Items that mention prescription drug abuse or other substance-related topics are handled in an investigatory, not exploitive manner.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Read to Know Family is an online current events site focused on providing content that's appropriate for kids. There's a cost to access the articles posted on the site -- a year's subscription is $35. While some topics might mention unsavory topics like murder, rape, or substance-related topics, these are handled in a respectful, authoritative manner. Kids won't see anything inappropriate, and images are clearly acceptable for all ages. Users also can't comment on news items, which helps ensure the language used on the site is fine and that they won't come in contact with strangers.
Is It Any Good?
This news-based site offers a weekly dose of trending topics that should appeal to everyone, from celebrities who recently passed away to Supreme Court changes. The articles on Read to Know Family, while brief, do a good job of explaining each subject; in addition to more hard-hitting current events items, kids will also see a few just-for-fun pieces mixed in, which helps keep the site from feeling too serious.
Reading about recent events can provide a number of benefits. Kids get a better understanding of the world around them, as well as how power structures and countries are connected; they may also discover some new terms in articles. The site developers have made an effort to include quizzes and thought-provoking questions, which can help kids feel involved in the learning process, and a few printable activities and other resources are also available to enhance comprehension. Unfortunately, the site design isn't quite as strong as it could be; the layout would benefit from more images and a more updated style. Also, because news sites are, by nature, somewhat word-intensive, the mix of different fonts and font sizes can look a little messy, which can make knowing what to look at first on some pages unclear. That said, the content is well-written and informative, which really is more important. Even without any design changes, kids should have a positive experience using Read to Know Family.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.See how we rate