"How is this different from any other homeschool?" you might ask. Well, I'm a parent who is trying very hard to raise global citizens who understand our interconnectedness with others and are able to communicate with anyone. To do so, I go to great lengths to ensure that our homeschool lessons are preparing my kids through exposure to multicultural resources.
The most important thing I do is make "World Cultures" an actual subject that we study weekly, sometimes daily, in our homeschool lessons. It goes hand in hand with our geography studies. By making it an actual subject, I'm reminded to actively search out resources to help my children travel the world from our home classroom.
Below are my favorite tools, materials, and other resources for creating our own multicultural classroom at home.
Study World Cultures
First and foremost, in order to understand other cultures, it's important to study them. It appalls me that traditional schools across the country are banning heritage study courses because doing so causes three things to happen:
- It perpetuates stereotypes rather than destroying them. This leads to ignorance, fear, and racism.
- It surpresses minority students from different backgrounds, denying them the opportunity to learn about their own heritage and the important contributions that their culture has had on U.S. history.
- It leads to ethnocentrism, or the belief that one's own culture is superior to others; and along the same lines, that other cultures are inferior or less than our own.
- It dooms us to repeat the mistakes of the past.
Luckily, it is easy to explore culture as part of your homeschool/afterschool curriculum. I wrote a post a few years ago with the steps you should take to do so. Here are some of the online resources I highly recommend you use. (You can also download my printable for free from Multicultural Kid Blogs, which has all the resources listed and hyperlinked.)
2. National Geographic Kids: Explore the World!
3. Time for Kids: Around the World
4. Kid World Citizen
ReadReading aloud diverse books is one of the top ways to explore world cultures. I'm talking authentic literature written by multicultural authors, NOT books written about other cultures (sorry!!). It's just that one simply cannot replace authentic experiences or replicate another person's perspective with complete accuracy. If I want to learn about Peru, then who better to explain the country than a native author or one of Peruvian descent? Here are some examples of remarkable books for exploring world cultures.
5. Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin (China)
6. Under the Royal Palms by Alma Flor Ada (Cuba)
7. My Place by Nadia Wheatley, Donna Rawlins (Australia)
8. El Zipitio by Jorge Argueta (El Salvador)
WatchSometimes we take a couch vacation and travel the world virtually through excellent programming. I love documentaries that are well done, introducing viewers to some of the most remarkable sites, people, and traditions. These are some of our favorite resources:
10. Kidflix Global
11. Families of the World
12. David Yetman
13. Globe Trekker
TravelOf course, nothing beats traveling the world. We love to study maps, and geography is an important part of our lesson plans. And maps are even more fun when studied while we are actually en route to our destination!
And don't forget to collect souvenirs on your trip to bring back and decorate your home/classroom. Those mementos help to bring back great memories and make excellent conversation starters or writing prompts.
14. The Lonely Planet Kids Travel Book: Mind-Blowing Stuff on Every Country in the World
15. Catherine Aragon's Scavenger Hunt Adventures
16. FlyingKids' Travel Guides
17. Barefoot Books World Atlas
SpeakIt's almost impossible to become truly fluent in another language without learning about the culture it comes from. Learning a foreign language leads to many opportunities that most monolingual families can't begin to imagine.
18. Rosetta Stone
21. Cooking with Languages
Children seem to retain information best when they are actively learning and creating. I love tying in crafts to help my kids study new cultures and to reinforce ideas/concepts we learn in class.
22. Multicultural Kid Blogs has the most diverse and best quality collection of tutorials for creating arts and crafts from around the world.
23. Global Art: Activities, Projects, and Inventions from Around the World by MaryAnn F. Kohl and Jean Potter
Get those kids moving! There are SO many wonderful albums on world music available it would be impossible for me to list them all here, but here are a few favorites:
24. Daria World Music for Children: website
25. Daria World Music for Children: app
27. Music on Kid World Citizen
Myths & Legends
One excellent way to explore a culture is to read about its myths and folklore; they help us to understand the perspective of the people who create them.
29. Usborne's Stories from Around the World
30. African Tales
Yum! I can't think of a better way to explore a culture than with my stomach! Actually, this is a really fun, hands-on activity for students. It not only explores a culture, but it reinforces skills in math and science, too.
37. MKB's cooking section
38. Kids Around the World Cook!: The Best Foods and Recipes from Many Lands
To celebrate her 40th birthday, Leanna from All Done Monkey has organized a virtual party, where each blogger shares her list of 40 favorite things, plus we are giving away a big cash prize to a lucky winner! Don't miss these creative Top 40 lists, and be sure to enter the giveaway, which is open internationally. (Thanks to the Piri-Piri Lexicon for designing this beautiful series button!)
All Done Monkey: 40 Ways to Celebrate Turning 40
The Piri-Piri Lexicon: 40 Tips for Parents of Bilingual Children
Discovering the World Through My Son's Eyes: 40 Things to Do with Kids in Puerto Rico
Play Dough & Popsicles: 40 Paper Plate Crafts for Kids
Pura Vida Moms: 40 Best Cupcake Recipes
Globe Trottin' Kids: 40 Ways to Go Global in the Elementary Classroom
Spanglish Monkey: 40 Dishes from Around the World You Should Try
Peakle Pie: 40 Free Family Fun Things to Make and Do
Witty Hoots: 40 Fabulous Books for Kids of All Ages
MommyMaestra: 40 Ways to Create a Multicultural Homeschool
Multilingual Parenting: 40 Ways to Motivate Bilingual Children to Speak the Minority Language
Creative World of Varya: 40 Things I Wish I Knew Before Moving to China
Pack-n-Go Girls: 40 Fabulous Travel Tips
Enter below for your chance to win!PayPal cash giveaway is open internationally! Giveaway closes at midnight Pacific Time on September 19, 2016.
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