Although we homeschool year-round, each summer I like to shift the focus of our homeschooling a bit. Some years, we have focused more on music and art, other years we have focused more on learning to swim, and other years we have focused more on nature study. This summer, I'm planning for us to take a trip around the world, but we'll do it without leaving home.
Taking a World Trip Without Leaving Home
To accomplish our world trip, I will be bringing together elements from different cultures around the world. I plan to incorporate books, art, music, and recipes for each destination on our world trip. This should be an engaging and entertaining way for us to learn about different cultures around the world.
Books That Highlight Different Cultures
The inspiration for our Homeschool World Trip came from three books that have recently come into our home:
Hungry Planet: What the World Eats by Peter Menzel and Faith D'Aluisio - This large book, filled with full-color photographs, shows what people around the world eat. While it focuses specifically on each family's weekly groceries, it also includes family recipes and a glimpse into the culture in each country.
Material World: A Global Family Portrait by Peter Menzel - Like Hungry Planet, this is a large book filled with full-color photographs. Instead of focusing on food, though, this book highlights the possessions and living conditions of people around the world.
Give Your Child the World: Raising Globally Minded Kids One Book at a Time by Jamie C. Martin - This book contains a wealth of information about books that give kids global perspective. It includes over 600 children's book recommendations, categorized by different continents or areas of the world.
With these three books in-hand, it seemed like the next logical step to go on a virtual world tour with my children. Each week, we will focus on a different country or region of the world. I will focus on places that are highlighted in Hungry Planet and Material World, and will choose children's books from Give Your Child the World to supplement each location that we are exploring.
UPDATE: Our world trip included:
Africa: Mali/West Africa, South Africa, East Africa
Europe: Germany, France, England/UK
South America: Brazil
North and Central America: Guatemala, Mexico, USA, Canada
Asia: Japan, Russia, China, India
Middle East: Iraq, Israel, Greece
For a printable chart showing the books, videos, music, and recipes we enjoyed during our world trip, go here:
Music and Art From Around the Globe
To broaden our perspective, I will be including art and music from around the globe during our world tour. I will feature international artwork in our ever-changing living room Art Appreciation display. We will also be digging further into art using Khan Academy's Art History resources, which include videos about art from many areas of the world. For music, we'll be relying on the World Music CD's available at our local library.
Recipes from Around the Globe
To get a taste of foods from around the world, we'll be trying out some of the recipes from Hungry Planet, checking out books from the library about world cuisine, and sampling some of the international foods that are available at local restaurants. This will be a fun way to try out new foods, and perhaps find some new family favorites.
Language, Geography, and Science
We will also be spending a little time learning about the language, geography, and flora/fauna of each region that we visit on our World Tour. My daughter's eyes lit up when I asked if she would want to learn some simple phrases in the different languages from each region, as she thinks it will be so fun to speak to each other in different languages. I'll be relying on the internet to give us simple phrases in the languages spoken in each area. For geography, flora, and fauna, I'll be relying on library books. I generally find that the books in the adult section of the library are the best for finding beautiful, large pictures.
Putting It All Together
Our World Trip will be a fun way to expand our horizons this summer. I'll likely need to spend an hour or so each week planning out our world explorations for the coming week, but it should be well worth the time. We're looking forward to the fresh, new experience of our summer World Tour.
UPDATE: For a printable chart showing the books, videos, music, and recipes we enjoyed during our world trip, go here