A Must-Use Resource for Parents and Teachers

Do you know and love Common Sense Media? If you are a parent or a teacher, or are somehow responsible for helping make decisions about which books children read or movies kids see, you need to know about this wonderful resource!

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Common Sense Media “rates movies, TV shows, books, and more so parents can feel good about the entertainment choices they make for their kids. We offer the largest, most trusted library of independent age-based ratings and reviews. Our timely parenting advice supports families as they navigate the challenges and possibilities of raising kids in the digital age” (from the “About Us” page of their website). Looking at age-appropriateness and learning potential, Common Sense Media rates content on a scale of 0-5 in educational value, positive messages, positive role models and representations, language, and more. You can click on any of these to see exactly why the book, movie, game, etc. got the rating that it did for that category. My favorite part is the quick write-up called “What Parents Need to Know.” Here, you read through a brief paragraph or two summing up the media, calling out what makes it wonderful, and recognizing what might be a hang-up for some families. They’ve also included “What’s the Story?”, “Is It Any Good?”, and “Talk To Your Kids About…” if you need even more information!

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I’ve been using Common Sense Media since my teaching days, when I would look up middle grade books my students were reading if I wondered about the content. I frequently referred parents to Common Sense Media, too, so that they could be educated about book and movie choices for their families.

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Now, as parents ourselves, we use Common Sense Media all the time! We look up just about every movie that we watch for “Family Movie Night,” using Common Sense Media’s content to help us make informed choices. I also look up most novels that we might read out loud to the girls, as chapter books, especially ones aimed at older elementary schoolers, sometimes have content that might make me want to wait a few years to read. It’s been especially useful this holiday season, as I’ve used it to check age-appropriateness and content on holiday movies we want to watch, as well as in chapter books we’re gifting to cousins.

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But the best part of Common Sense Media? You can access much of their content completely for free! There is a membership, but I haven’t bit the bullet and gotten a membership yet, so I can’t speak to the benefits of that.

Do any of you all have Common Sense Media memberships? Tell me about it below!


All images were captured from Common Sense Media’s website. This post is not sponsored by Common Sense Media. I simply love their services and feel all parents and teachers need to be familiar with what they offer!

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