A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this website.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this site is the kids' portion of the official site for the executive branch of the U.S. government. The history lessons stay neutral and the games are educational. Portions of the site comes across as PR material -- like the bios for the president, first lady, VP, and his wife -- but, overall, kids see Barney (Bush's dog) promoted here far more than administration officials. There is a link to the "adult" White House site.
What's it about?
There's much more to WHITEHOUSE.GOV/KIDS than watching Barney the dog run around the White House Christmas tree every December. This site has many fun, useful sections on American history, executive branch information, and other educational games and activities for kids who are old enough to read.
Is it any good?
Some of the site may seem a bit too canned for adults, especially related to troop activity and education reform, as well as personal bios of the current administration leaders. But there's enough kid bite-size history and U.S. government and education lessons on this site to make it worth a look or two. It would be interesting to revisit the site after the upcoming presidential election to see how it changes with a different administration. Even if you're not interested in the overall site, the downloadable, printable "My American Journal" is an excellent resource for pre-voters to begin thinking about community and political involvement and the importance of knowing how our government works and who represents its citizens.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the government. What's the role of the executive branch? The downloadable, printable My American Journal offers countless opportunities for parents and kids to discuss what it means to be an American. The open-ended questions like, "I am proud to be an American because..." and "My friends and family can support out troops by..." may have very different answers in different families.
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