Sarah’s Biggest Homeschooling Mistake: Not Traveling More

Written by contributor Sarah Small of SmallWorld at Home

One of the things that really aggravated me when our son was in public school in first grade was being told that we shouldn’t go on trips that would make him miss school.

Really? So being in a classroom is more culturally valuable than going to a Greek festival? So he’ll learn music better if he’s jingling bells than if he is at a symphony? History is more likely to come alive for him within the four walls of school than at Gettysburg?

When we decided to homeschool, I knew that much of my children’s education would consist of hands-on learning that included going lots of places. I imagined us taking the Civil War trail along the East Coast, following Lewis and Clark’s adventures out west, digging up dinosaur bones in Utah, ogling masterpieces at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

I even had it calculated that my husband would be eligible for sabbatical when our oldest was in high school, so we would spend six months somewhere far away (and per my husband’s career, botanically interesting), like Australia or South Africa.

The best laid plans, eh?

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Travel the World from your Dining Table (Recipe: Liberian Jollof Rice)

Written by Jamie Martin, editor of Simple Homeschool and founder of Steady Mom

This month at Simple Homeschool one of our themes has been giving children a global mindset. Jena provided us with an excellent unit study last week, which culminated in a celebratory feast from the country of your choice. Summer is the perfect, relaxed time to try out a few experimental recipes.

Even if your culinary skills are somewhat lacking, global cuisine isn’t as challenging as it may sound.

Here are several links to easy recipes so you can experience the world without having to leave the dining table. [Read more…]

How to Study Your Favorite Country

As unschoolers, we like to let our kids follow their interests and develop their giftedness. We let them explore and discover, and we offer suggestions and guidance.

But once in awhile, some direct, concentrated school-like activity is fun. That’s what this post is all about.

Here is a one-week unit study on the country of your choice, unschooling style. It’s pretty flexible, but covers a lot of territory. [Read more…]

Around the World ~ One Picture Book at a Time

Reading books about other places and cultures opens up a previously unknown world for children and adults alike.

Picture books have an added dimension:  a visual feast within their illustrations.

Sunny, colorful worlds. Quiet, dramatic worlds. Peaceful worlds. Chaotic worlds.

As I mentioned in a previous post, Giving Our Children the World, I want my children to be world travelers, even when we don’t have the ability to go far from home.

Travel is available to anyone with a library card.

The following is a list of beautiful picture books to help you get started on your journey.
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Giving Our Children the World: Education Through Geography

As a child, I would sit in a chair and look at my grandfather’s world globe for what seemed like hours at a time. Feeling the bumps of mountains. Reading the names of each country. Plotting a course across the ocean.

What is it like to live there? How does it feel to swim in those waters? Would the sky look the same if I lay on my back and looked up from another continent? How long would it take to get from here to there?

As soon as I had children of my own, I knew that I wanted to impart to them this same curiosity about the wide world around us. Architecture, food, folktales and stories, history, art, music, languages, and scenery–it is all fascinating to me.

I want my children to be world travelers, even when we don’t have the ability to go far from home.

There are many simple ways to incorporate geography into daily life and education. [Read more…]