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News and current event articles curated and edited especially for children (ages 8 to 16) by the trusted editors of World Book Encyclopedia.
From Ancient People to Race Relations, this ChildSafe archive of stories lets children search by keyword or browse by topic.
A huge variety of topics means children can always find a fascinating article on whatever they’re interested in, such as:
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- And much more...
Castle of Magical Dreams Opens in Hong Kong
The new Castle of Magical Dreams at Hong Kong Disneyland Resort.
Credit: © Hong Kong Disneyland Resort
What if you could combine all your favorite characters and cultures featured in Disney films into one amazing attraction? Hong Kong Disneyland has done just that.
This year, the new-and-improved Castle of Magical Dreams was revealed at Hong Kong Disneyland. Built atop the park’s existing Sleeping Beauty Castle, the Castle of Magical Dreams incorporates a variety of female characters and their storylines into one diversity-celebrating architectural feat.
The Castle of Magical Dreams has more than a dozen towers, each representing a female character from a Disney film. Each character has her own tower, complete with elements from her story. Tiana from The Princess and the Frog (2009), for example, is represented by a tower with a water-lily motif. The tower representing Mulan (1998) features a cherry blossom pattern. At the top of each tower also sits a finial (ornament) chosen to represent each character. For example, Belle’s tower, from Beauty and the Beast (1991), is adorned with an enchanted rose. Together, the unique towers celebrate the diversity of Disney’s female characters.
The designers did not forget about the characters’ beloved sidekicks. Inside the castle, visitors will find 13 columns topped with such friends as Pua and HeiHei, from Moana (2016), and Merida’s triplet brothers from Brave (2012).
Many of the female characters in Disney films must overcome obstacles. Disneyland’s engineers had to tackle obstacles of their own. The Castle of Magical Dreams is made up of 15 massive parts. Each portion was built and painted off-site. The parts were then shipped to Hong Kong Disneyland and put together using a crane.
Because of the ongoing pandemic (global outbreak) of the coronavirus disease COVID-19, many people cannot travel. So, while you wait to visit Hong Kong Disneyland’s Castle of Magical Dreams, try drawing a castle of your own! You can take your favorite parts from movies—Disney or otherwise—to create a unique structure. Who knows, one day you may design a creation for a Disney park.
Tags: castle of magical dreams, disneyland, hong kong, walt disney
Spotlight on Australia: The Thorny Devil
Credit: © Uwe Bergwitz, Shutterstock
Australia is famous for its unique culture, metropolitan cities, and unusual wildlife, among other things. Each week, this seasonal feature will spotlight one of Australia’s many wonders.
If you could eat 1,000 somethings in one day, what would you choose? Slices of pizza? Chunks of chocolate? Florets of broccoli?
The small Australian lizard called the thorny devil would choose 1,000 somethings that are a little… different.
The thorny devil, also called the thorny dragon or mountain devil, eats 1,000 ants in a day. And, it does this day after day, because the thorny devil feeds exclusively on ants.
Thorny devils live in dry, sandy areas, including deserts and sandy grasslands and scrublands. They are found from Australia’s interior to the coast of Western Australia.
Thorny devils reach up to 8 inches (20 centimeters) in length. They are covered in spines of keratin, a tough material also found in human hair and nails. Their skin has a banded appearance. The skin color changes with temperature. Thorny devils may appear olive to brown in the cool of the desert morning and evening. They may appear pale yellow and red in the midday heat.
Thorny devils are solitary animals. The thorny devil is active in the daytime. It feeds by positioning itself near an ant trail, using its sticky tongue to slurp up ants. The devil’s teeth are specialized for shearing tough ant exoskeletons (outer coverings).
The thorny devil has a unique way of getting water in dry environments. Its spines are surrounded by a network of microscopic grooves. The grooves draw in dew and other moisture from the lizard’s surroundings through an effect called capillary action. The grooves channel this water to the lizard’s mouth.
Thorny devils are preyed upon by larger lizards and birds. The devil’s spines may help to discourage predators. The animal can also puff itself up with air when threatened. The thorny devil walks with a slow, jerky movement that is thought to confuse predators. A large knob on the lizard’s neck may also confuse predators, appearing as a false head.
Thorny devils are active in the spring and fall. They take refuge in underground burrows during the hottest months of summer and the coldest months of winter. Thorny devils mate in the late winter and early spring. The female lays 3 to 10 eggs in a burrow 12 inches (30 centimeters) deep. The eggs hatch in three to four months. Thorny devils can live to about 20 years in the wild.
Tags: australia, lizard, thorny devil
100 Years Ago: Tulsa Race Riot
A thriving Black neighborhood known as “Black Wall Street” lies in ruin following the Tulsa race riot of 1921.
Credit: Library of Congress
May 31, 2021, marked 100 years since the start of the Tulsa race riot of 1921. It was one of the deadliest acts of racial violence in United States history.
From May 31 to June 1, 1921, groups of armed white men attacked Black residents in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The riot began after white vigilantes gathered to lynch (put to death without a lawful trial) a Black man who had been accused of attacking a white woman. The riot probably caused about 300 deaths and destroyed Tulsa’s Black business district.
On May 30, 1921, Dick Rowland, a 19-year-old Black shoe shiner, entered an elevator in the Drexel Building in downtown Tulsa. He encountered Sarah Page, a 17-year-old white elevator operator. What occurred next is unclear. Many historians believe that Rowland may have either stepped on Page’s foot or tripped and grabbed Page’s arm to steady himself. Page screamed. A clerk from a nearby store, assuming that the girl had been the victim of an assault, called police. Rowland fled the scene and was arrested the next day.
Newspaper accounts and rumors about the incident led to widespread talk of lynching. On the evening of May 31, hundreds of white people, including many armed men, gathered near the courthouse where Rowland was held. Groups of armed Black men—many of them veterans of World War I—then arrived at the scene. They offered their services to the sheriff to help protect Rowland, but their offers were refused.
At around 10 p.m., shots were fired during a commotion near the courthouse. The Blacks who had gathered there were outnumbered, and they retreated. They went to Greenwood Avenue—the heart of the Black business district known as “Black Wall Street.” A white mob followed.
Scattered shootings then occurred near Greenwood Avenue in the early hours of June 1. Groups of armed Blacks assembled to hold off the white mob. Many Black residents fought to protect their businesses or families, while others fled to the countryside. Law enforcement officials deputized (appointed as agents of the law) hundreds of members of the mob. Members of the Oklahoma National Guard—all of whom were white—gathered near boundaries of Black and white neighborhoods. Among some whites, rumors attributed the violence to a “Negro uprising.” The mob grew to more than 5,000 white men.
Around 5 a.m., a whistle sounded, and thousands of armed white men marched into the Black business district. They burned and looted homes and businesses. National Guardsmen led thousands of Blacks at gunpoint to makeshift detention centers. Many who resisted were shot. Police did little to stop the arson and violence, and they spent most of their resources protecting white neighborhoods. In many instances, local members of the state National Guard joined in the attacks. Black eyewitnesses recalled white pilots firing on Black neighborhoods from airplanes above.
Thousands of armed white men burned and looted Black homes and businesses during the riot.
Credit: Library of Congress
Around 9 a.m., members of a National Guard regiment from Oklahoma City arrived in Tulsa. Locals called them the “state troops.” Order was restored around 11:30 a.m., when Governor James B. A. Robertson declared martial law (emergency military rule) in Tulsa County. By the time the riot ended, more than 1,200 structures—nearly the entire “Negro Quarter”—had been destroyed by fires.
There is documented evidence of at least 40 deaths in the Tulsa riot. Of this number, about two-thirds were Black. However, many historians estimate that around 300 people were killed. Some unidentified Black victims may have been interred in mass graves.
Authorities never brought criminal charges against Rowland. Authorities also brought no charges against white rioters. Neither the City of Tulsa nor insurance companies compensated Black property owners for losses. The Greenwood business district was eventually rebuilt, but many of its residents remained homeless for months.
Rebuilding begins in the Black neighborhood destroyed by the riot.
Credit: Library of Congress
Newspapers reported on the riot in the days and weeks after the event. Over time, however, the incident received little coverage. The riot was omitted from most Oklahoma history books and classroom lessons.
Blacks displaced by the neighborhood’s destruction line up outside a refugee camp at the Tulsa fairgrounds.
Credit: Library of Congress
In 1997, state officials formed the Oklahoma Commission to Study the Tulsa Race Riot of 1921. The commission released an extensive report about the event in 2001. Tulsa’s John Hope Franklin Reconciliation Park commemorates the victims of the riot. The park, named for a leading Black scholar whose own father survived the riot, officially opened in 2010.
Tags: african americans, oklahoma, racism, tulsa, tulsa race riot of 1921
Ha’ahoni on aaz (Perseverance on Mars)
This rock, called “Máaz” (the Navajo word for “Mars”), is the first feature of scientific interest to be studied by NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover.
When you’re exploring a planet, you have to name things. It’s a great way to memorialize your discoveries, but it also prevents confusion: are you going to study This Rock, That Rock, or The Other Rock?
The United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) mission Mars 2020 is hard at work exploring Mars. The mission’s rover, Perseverance, landed on Feb. 18, 2021, in Jezero Crater. The mission planners have been naming important surface features in the Navajo language. This decision wasn’t planned before the rover landed, but came about by happy circumstance.
Landing on another solar system body is tough. Mission planners can guide a lander to a general destination, but they cannot pinpoint an exact landing site. Mars 2020 mission planners could guide Perseverance to Jezero Crater, but they could not know where in the 28-mile (45-kilometer) wide crater the rover was going to land. Therefore, mission planners studied the entire crater to prepare for landing. They divided the crater into several sections, naming each after a place on Earth—including U.S. national monuments—that the section resembled in some way.
Perseverance landed within the section that planners had named after Canyon de Chelly National Monument. This national monument, known for its huge, colorful, steep-walled canyons, lies entirely within the Navajo reservation. The Navajo are one of the largest Native American groups in the United States. The Navajo reservation, which covers 16 million acres (6.5 million hectares), is the nation’s biggest reservation. It includes parts of Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah.
Canyon de Chelly National Monument (“Tséyi’” in Navajo) in Arizona is located on Navajo Nation land. Members of NASA’s Perseverance rover team, in collaboration with the Navajo Nation, has been naming features of scientific interest with words in the Navajo language.
NASA’s Mars mission scientists informally name important features to make them easier to identify. Mars 2020 mission scientists were inspired by the name of their landing site to nickname features in the Navajo language. They teamed up with NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) scientist Aaron Yazzie, who is Navajo, to seek permission from the Navajo Nation. The nation’s government approved the idea and developed a list of potential names. The first name to be used was Máaz, the Navajo word for Mars, for a rock near the landing site. Navajo officials also included the translation for Perseverance: Ha’ahóni.
Perseverance has to be “taught” the language, since the computer languages the rover uses cannot process the special characters and diacritical marks used in the written Navajo language. Mars 2020 team members are working to develop better transliterations using the English alphabet.
This is not the first time the Navajo language has played an outsized role in United States history. During the United States’ involvement in World War II (1939-1945), Navajo radio operators sent secret messages using a code based on the Navajo language. At the time, Navajo was an unwritten language known to few people outside of the Navajo Nation. Its complex structure, difficult pronunciation, and singsong qualities made it nearly impossible to decipher. Although Imperial Japanese forces could overhear the messages, they never managed to decode them. The Navajo radio operators, called code talkers, have been honored for their service in the war.
Mars 2020 has shed its proverbial training wheels and is breaking new ground in the exploration of the Red Planet. The helicopter Ingenuity, another part of the mission, conducted its first flight on April 19. Engineers are now pushing Ingenuity further, conducting longer, more challenging flights. The craft’s performance will gather valuable information for future Mars flyers. Perseverance’s robotic arm began conducting science on May 11. As the mission continues to explore, planners will continue to nickname features in the Navajo language—a tribute to the Navajo people, their culture, and the land they call home.
Tags: canyon de chelly, code talkers, mars, mars 2020, navajo, navajo language, navajo nation, perseverance rover
Asian and Pacific Heritage Month: Tammy Duckworth
United States Senator Tammy Duckworth
Credit: U.S. Congress
May is Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month. All month long, Behind the Headlines will feature AAPI pioneers in a variety of areas.
Tammy Duckworth, a Democrat from Illinois, was elected to the United States Senate in 2016. As a senator, she has been a champion for civil rights, environmental justice, and veterans’ affairs.
Ladda Tammy Duckworth was born in Bangkok, Thailand, on March 12, 1968, to a Thai mother and an American father. Her father had been serving in Southeast Asia in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War (1957-1975). When Tammy Duckworth was a child, the family moved around the region while her father worked with the United Nations and private corporations. She became fluent in Thai, Indonesian, and English. The family later moved to Hawaii, where Duckworth finished high school. She earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Hawaii (also spelled University of Hawai‘i) in 1989.
Duckworth joined the Army Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) in 1990 while working on a master’s degree in international affairs at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. She completed her degree in 1992. That year, she also got her commission as a reserve officer and trained as an army helicopter pilot. In 1996, while studying for a doctorate in political science at Northern Illinois University, she transferred to the Illinois National Guard. She later completed a doctorate in human services at Capella University, an online-based school.
In 2004, while Duckworth was still a student at Northern Illinois, her National Guard regiment was sent to Iraq. On November 12, her helicopter was shot down by a rocket-propelled grenade. She lost both legs and some of the use of her right arm. In December, she was awarded a Purple Heart for her injuries. The Purple Heart is a medal given to soldiers of the U.S. armed forces who are wounded or killed in combat. Following a lengthy recovery, Duckworth began working for better medical care for veterans. In 2006, she ran unsuccessfully for an Illinois seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich then named her director of the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs. In 2009, President Barack Obama appointed her assistant secretary of Veterans Affairs.
In 2012, Duckworth was elected to the U.S. House, representing a district in the Chicago suburbs. She was reelected in 2014. Also in 2014, she retired from the Army Reserves, having achieved the rank of lieutenant colonel. In 2016, Duckworth defeated incumbent Republican Senator Mark Kirk to win a seat in the U.S. Senate.
Duckworth married Bryan Bowlsbey, an officer in the Army National Guard, in 1993. In 2018, she became the first sitting U.S. senator to give birth when she delivered a daughter, Maile Pearl. The couple’s first child, Abigail, was born in 2014, while Duckworth was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives. Duckworth’s memoir, Every Day is a Gift, was published in 2021.
United States Senator Tammy Duckworth
Credit: U.S. Congress
Tags: asian american and pacific islander heritage month, democratic party, tammy duckworth, united states senate, veterans affairs
Mummies on the Move
A procession of 22 ancient Egyptian royal mummies (18 kings and 4 queens) leave the Egyptian Museum on Tahrir Square and are driven to the new National Museum of Egyptian Civilisation, in Cairo, Egypt, on April 3, 2021.
Credit: © Abaca Press/Alamy Images
Last month, Egyptian royals paraded through downtown Cairo. Called the Pharaoh’s Golden Parade, the procession included 18 kings and 4 queens. The royals traveled from the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir Square to the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization. As they made the 3-mile (5-kilometer) journey, they were met with cheers from adoring fans. Although the fans were lively, the royals were quite reserved. In fact, the royals had been dead for hundreds of years.
The Pharaoh’s Golden Parade marked the relocation of 22 ancient Egyptian mummies. Mummy is a body that has been preserved through natural or artificial means.
The royal mummies were very fragile. Vehicles designed for the event cradled the mummies on their trip. The roads were even repaved to ensure that the kings and queens had a smooth ride. For protection, the bodies were placed in nitrogen-filled boxes. (Pure nitrogen gas is used as a “blanket” to keep away oxygen, which can further degrade the already-ancient corpses.)
Egyptians mummified their dead because they believed the body had to be preserved for use in the afterlife. The earliest Egyptian mummies were naturally preserved by being buried in the hot and dry desert sand. By about 3500 B.C., the Egyptians had developed an elaborate process of preparing mummies. Ancient texts indicate that the process took 70 days to complete. In this process, the stomach, liver, lungs, and intestines were removed from the body through an incision on the left side of the abdomen. The heart, which the Egyptians considered the center of reasoning, was usually left in place. In some cases, embalmers removed the brain with a hook through a hole pierced through the nose.
After the body was dried, it was treated with perfumes and resins that helped seal out moisture. The body could be stuffed with straw, linen, moss, or other material to give it a more lifelike appearance. The body was then wrapped in a great number of linen bandages. Mummies were usually placed in a coffin or a series of coffins, one inside the other.
Wealthy people could afford more elaborately prepared mummies than could the poor. The ancient Egyptians also mummified animals, including baboons, cats, jackals, and rams, which were associated with various Egyptian gods and cults. Pet cats and dogs were sometimes mummified as well. The ancient Egyptians practiced mummification until about A.D. 300, when it was replaced by simple burials following the introduction of Christianity.
Mummies were also made in other parts of the world. In China, some bodies were preserved using mercury salts. Among the Inca of South America, mummies were preserved through the use of smoke and resins. The dry climate of the Andes Mountains aided the preservation of the bodies. The people of the Aleutian Islands and the Ancestral Pueblo people (once called the Anasazi) of the American Southwest also mummified their dead. Mummification is still practiced today in the form of embalming. Among the most famous modern mummies are those of the Communist leaders V. I. Lenin of Russia and Mao Zedong of China.
Tags: ancient egypt, egypt, mummy, museum, pharoah
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Julie from Julie Naturally | Homeschooling Mom of Reluctant Readers
My favorite thing about LightSail for Homeschoolers is that it helps kids improve their reading skills without them even knowing it! Through the assessment tool and asking your child about their preferred book genres, the program finds books for your child. These books are not only at their reading level, but also from their chosen genres. That way, it’s a win-win.
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[LightSail] cleverly designed the questions to test not only reading ability, but comprehension and vocabulary at the same time. Their assessment tool prevents kids from just guessing or copying what the passage said. I really liked this because my kids have been known to figure out how to “beat the test.”
LightSail offers books from all your favorite publishers, so there’s no hokey “formula” readers. Personally, I hate that! LightSail contains an extensive collection of tens of thousands of engaging books and multimedia content from respected publishers such as World Book and Lerner Publishing, as well as trusted homeschool and faith-based publishers. Parents customize this collection to the individual needs of their children and their family values through LightSail’s ChildSafe Content Control Service and reading- and grade-level appropriateness controls. These are books that their friends are reading, that they’re talking about, that they’ve heard of on social media or elsewhere.
Shawna from Different by Design | Homeschooler of an Older Struggling Reader
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LightSail fluency tools allow your child to record themselves reading a portion of a book aloud and then send it to you. The learner can play their own recording back, and re-record it until they are happy with it. This interactive and multisensory approach to reading practice is revolutionary. It’s also so much more fun!
Virginia from That Bald Chick | Homeschooler of a Child with Dyslexia and Vision Issues
LightSail also has tools for struggling learners. The line isolator tool is a game changer and I literally had tears when I found it. In addition to dyslexia, my daughter has a history of saccadic eye movement which makes reading even more difficult. She did vision therapy for years and does eye exercises to control the rapid shifts of gaze, but when she’s tired, isolating lines is very helpful for her. She can change the number of lines that are isolated and she can change the color of the isolated lines and background. She can also have the lines read to hear. Game. Changer.
Every 15 days, LightSail automatically updates your child’s Lexile score, allowing every feature to be tailored precisely to their reading level. There are built-in comprehension assessments that help you determine whether your child is absorbing what they’re reading. With over 150 new Library Collections, curated by homeschoolers, there’s sure to be something to snag your child’s interest!
I am really excited about are the LightSail fluency tools. These tools allow your child to record themselves reading a portion of a book aloud and send it to you for assessment. Students can play their own recording back and re-record it until they are happy with it. It then allows you to listen to the recording with text on screen, so you can assess what they’ve omitted, inserted, mispronounced, substituted, repeated, or self corrected. This is huge for us, since our 12yo has dyslexia and fluency is a struggle. It’s difficult to assess at times, though, because I either have to be reading over her shoulder (which she hates) or I have to have a second copy of the text (which can run expensive). This will enable us to work on fluency in a non-intimidating way.
Leah from As We Walk Along the Road | Veteran Homeschooling Mama
"You can access great books for your kids… without taking library trips or incurring library fines. Ya’ll, I’m the queen of library fines. Sometimes I think that my family single-handedly supports the budget of our local library. Combine that tendency to never return books on time with the struggle of trying to find specific books I want the kids to read, and you’ll understand why the ease of finding books in the LightSail platform is such a benefit."
There is a HUGE variety of content available with your LightSail for Homeschoolers membership. But that doesn’t mean that you have to let your kids access it all. When you see the platform, you might find titles you don’t want your kids to read. Maybe they are too young for some books. Or, perhaps there are some books you object to because of content. And you can always choose to restrict access to some books. You can also assign specific books to your children. In other words, even though there is a huge library, you still have control over what they’re reading.
[O]ne benefit of reading aloud that I love is the great discussions that it can facilitate. But when kids are reading a book independently, those discussions can be more difficult to carry on. Yes, you can talk about the book after they finish it or as they finish chapters. But often those important ideas and conversations come in the midst of reading. LightSail for Homeschoolers has a chat option that is perfect for this. As your child reads and something comes up- a question, a comment, an opinion- they can just click the chat button. When you check the chat later, you can keep the conversation going. Awesome!
Natasha from Houseful of Nicholes | Working Mom & Homeschooler of Four
LightSail for Homeschoolers is interactive, so there is no reason for your students NOT to be actively involved in their lessons. From clicking on words to strengthen their vocabulary to learning how to pronounce the words properly, it’s all there. It seems the program designers have thought of every scenario and helped us land in a positive way each and every time.
"I’ve found that with work picking up for me these days with my nonprofit, I’m not always able to focus for hours on end and have to trust that my children can be self-led to complete there work. However, I have the world’s smartest kids and sometimes I’ve found that they have perfect the illusion of completing schoolwork without actually doing it. This often leads to my husband or I having to sit with them as they complete their schoolwork and listen while they read out loud or share what they have learned. Instead, I’m directing them to discuss the information with each other – and help process what they’ve read in a peer-to-peer way. This curriculum supports that and more."
"Writing activities complement reading assignments, and LightSail’s chat feature allows parents and children to interact and engage through the platform. Furthermore, LightSail parents have real-time access to meaningful data about their children’s reading and writing trends, comprehension, and growth that allows them to guide, create, and enhance the learning experience. This is where we actually struggle the most. In a digital world, it’s proven difficult in our homeschool to get the kids to write in a way that is conclusive. In order to foster this, we’ve had them all write letters regularly to people in our family. Paired with the writing assignments in LightSail for Homeschoolers, they have more to talk about and they can put those skills to the test both on screen and on paper."
I have a bit of nostalgia when seeing that so many of the books are published by World Book. If you don’t recognize that publisher, just know that for so many afternoons I poured over the set of encyclopedias that we had in our home thanks to my dad being employed there. Those were the days.
Tiffany from Homeschool Hideout | Self-Proclaimed Lazy Homeschooler
LightSail offers a family-friendly learning experience for all ages! It’s the best thing to hit the homeschool world since denim jumpers! 😉
LightSail offers tens of thousands of child-friendly books from some of the world’s leading publishers for all ages! These are an amazing way to get your hands on some of the best books in the world, without hundreds of trips to the library! (Not to mention, we save money each month by avoiding those pesky library fines that we seem to accrue each month.)
If you’re wondering how to improve reading and writing skills, this is it! It’s exactly what you need if your child loves to be challenged and earn rewards. You simply can’t miss this personalized educational journey!
Sara from Classically Homeschooling | Homeschooling Mom of Six
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"I only have so much room in my house to store books and I don’t have an unlimited budget to purchase all the books I want. That’s why I was thrilled to run across LightSail for Homeschoolers."
And what I love the most, is there’s a classics tab right in the library that takes you straight to beloved children’s classics... And to make your life easier, each book or poem includes a reading Lexile score. You’ll know instantly if the books are a good reading level for your kids… not too hard and not too easy!
Marla from Jump into Genius | Homeschooling Mom to an Advanced Reader
I think it is an excellent tool, not only for homeschoolers, but also for any parents looking to help improve their child’s reading abilities in the evenings, weekends, or during the summer.
"I tested my advanced reader, who just completed his sophomore year of high school. He tested out of all power texts, with a lexile score of 1759, the program does not have texts to help him improve from there. The highest lexile score is 2000, and I find very few books with a rating that high. But the truth is, with a score like that, he doesn’t need to work on improving reading comprehension. However, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the program could still be useful for such a student. The library full of classics ensures he will have plenty to read, and the search abilities make it easy to match his literature to other subjects. "
Overall, I would say the biggest strength of this program is that it is very easy for both parents and kids to use. I also love that it includes a lot of classics. The library is huge and your child can find books on topics they find interesting. I am excited to continue using this with my kids.
Brandi from Mama Teaches | Classroom Teacher Turned Homeschooling Mom
The LightSail for Homeschoolers language arts platform provides parents with a comprehensive and engaging online reading and writing program for children in grades pre-K through 12. That means you can use it with all of your children at the same time! As a homeschool mom with three children all at different reading levels – this is a huge plus. I could have my dyslexic son reading a book at his level while my advanced reader reads a book at his – all while using the same program and not having to buy yet another program.
A foundation in the science of reading and writing combined with the experience of a team of home educators creates a family-friendly learning experience advancing skills in reading, writing, vocabulary, and fluency. The LightSail literacy platform that has enhanced learning for over 5 million school students is now tailored especially to the educational goals of homeschoolers. As a former teacher, this was really important to me, because there are so many programs out there that are not backed by science and research and it shows. So, to have a reading library that is, just makes it even more wonderful.
Parents customize this collection to the individual needs of their children and their family values through LightSail’s ChildSafe Content Control Service and reading- and grade-level appropriateness controls. That means that if you only want your child to read faith-based publications you can set that up. Conversely, if you want to keep religion out of their readings, you can customize it so those don’t appear in their searches.
Charlotte from My Little Homeschool | Mom of Twin Boys
LightSail offers a comprehensive and complete homeschool reading curriculum that is full to the brim with super cool features.
I have always been a big fan of online homeschooling and electronic resources. I adore books but they can be expensive, especially if you have kids who are avid readers like mine. And as their tastes and abilities change, it can be hard to keep up! The sheer size of the LightSail libraries offers kids everything they could possibly want to read.
The Flip-Flop Mode requires kids to read a Power Text, and then allows them to read in Free Mode. This works really well for us because my kids are ADHD and can easily flit from book to book. With this tool I know that they’re reading a text that will help them to improve their skills. And then they can go wild after that.
The fluency part of [LightSail] is also super cool! I remember how daunting reading aloud in class was for me. LightSail overcomes this by allowing kids to record and re-record themselves reading aloud, and then submitting their reading for grading or feedback. I think it’s a fantastic way to build confidence in a safe environment.
Charlotte from My Little Homeschool | Mom of Twin Boys
I particularly like that when your child clicks on a book, LightSail loads available related content. It gives them links to videos, audiobooks, World Book articles, and more to dive deeper if the subject grabs their interest. With tens of thousands of books to choose from, there is the perfect title waiting to be found. Not to mention, no library late fees!
"LightSail truly is an all-in-one online reading program tailored to homeschoolers, and that will help your child increase their fluency and comprehension. The many features also allow you to use it as you would like in your homeschool. It can be simply an online library for your children to access, or you can tailor it to include unit studies, assessments, and writing practice.
It might take you a bit of time, but your homeschool will benefit from the power of LightSail."
Controls on content within LIghtSail are beneficial and precise. They have taken the time and effort to identify topics and content families may have an issue with and give you the tools to filter what you want your child to access.
One feature I particularly enjoy is the Collections. Think of them as unit studies, and it all makes sense. There are many premade collections for you to choose from and more to be added, but the best is that you can create your own right within LightSail.
Christine from The Homeschool House | Second-Generation Homeschooler
"First of all, I loved the level of parental settings available. I didn’t have to worry about my children accessing any books with content I wasn’t comfortable with.
In fact, you can set it so that they have to request approval for a book and you can review it and decide whether it’s okay for them to read or not."
"[T]here are several tools to make reading easier for the child who might struggle with distractions or overwhelm.
I found this particularly helpful for my 6-year old son who is still a budding reader.
You’re able to have them focus on just one word at a time and really reduce outside distractions."
"I think this program is perfect for travelling families, international families, or those who just don’t have room for a lot of physical curriculum.
This program is easily accessible from many devices and would work really well if you are on the go a lot or can’t afford shipping costs for traditional paper curriculum."
I also love the idea that my child can learn to read while also gaining basic computer-use skills. It’s a win-win in that sense.
Ashley from Forgetful Momma | Secular Homeschooler of Three
This program is going to be a great addition to our homeschool year, and give everyone something to do while I work one on one with each of my kids.
There are some great books available in both fiction and non-fiction. And you know what features they both have are? Questions about the book for your child to answer. This really gets them thinking about what they have read which I, personally, love.
This online platform and eLibrary adapts to and challenges growing readers and writers while personalizing their educational journey.
Adelien from Blessed Learners | Homeschooling with English as a Second Language
Setting goals in terms of habits and achievements is a great way to improve reading skills. LightSail for Homeschoolers helps learners to set their goals and to help them track.
Besides reading various genres in several media, learners will need to use their reading skills in all academic subjects, such as social studies and science. LightSail for Homeschoolers has a rich library with non-fiction resources that includes geography, history, science, religion, and classics.
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Find answers to frequently asked questions or contact us for more support.
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How many parent accounts are included with a childs license?
I am part of a homeschool group and we share teaching responsibilities. How can I access those accounts?
Is your platform only Faith-Based?
If I want to purchase a book with your E-Commerce store, do I have to buy a copy for each license I purchased?
How does LightSail’s childsafe protection work?
At LightSail, a parent’s ability to oversee their child’s online experience and align it with their faith and values is of the utmost importance. To this end, LightSail contains an entire suite of parental control features and never-before-seen ChildSafe Content Controls giving parents ultimate peace of mind.
These content controls contain dozens of nuanced subcategories for potentially objectionable material based on both maturity and religious factors. Then, it shows parents if a book contains a reference to any of those subcategories and allows them to block or allow single titles or entire subcategories for each child individually. Our ChildSafe Content Controls offer unprecedented insight into and control over the content your children consume without the need to read every book in advance.
- Block or allow individual pieces of content.
- Block or allow entire subcategories of content.
- Require a child to request parental approval before opening entire subcategories of content.
- Block, allow, or require requesting parental approval for all Classics library content.
- Block or require requesting parental approval for all unrated content.
Click here to learn more about all of our parental controls.