I am determined not to raise my kids in a bubble. It’s not bad to focus on our families and the people in our own sphere, but in doing so, we might unintentionally foster a self-centered approach to life, one which may encourage our kids to think “our way” of living is superior to others.
I want my kids to be surrounded with diversity, interested in loving, helping, and knowing people who aren’t like them. One way we can do this is by introducing them to other cultures. I believe this will help them to be more like Christ as they learn to love others and realize that all of us have more in common than it seems on the surface. I believe it will also help them appreciate their own roots while they see themselves in the context of a big world.
This is a big, overwhelming goal. Every time I think about this concept, I get a little stressed out because I feel very unprepared. I’m horrible at geography; when I hear a country mentioned, I usually have to Google it to figure out which continent it is on. I have only been out of the country a few times. I can’t speak another language. I don’t have time to travel, and how could I with three kids under the age of five?
That’s where this book comes in! I recently came across Jamie Martin’s Give Your Child the World: Raising Globally Minded Kids One Book at a Time. Jamie’s advice makes this daunting task fun and adventurous. She starts out giving us some simple tips on how to bring the world into our homes. Her tips include cheap (and some free) ideas—food, maps, subscriptions, Google Earth, etc.
The majority of her book is made up of lists of children’s books that bring the world and its’ different cultures into our homes. Each chapter is devoted to a continent or area of the world. It is then subdivided into recommendations for different ages: 4-6, 6-8, 8-10, 10-12. She gives a short description of each book. With each description, she also makes note of details that we as parents need to know: if the book contains violence, talk about religions, wars, etc. She explains how she spent years putting these lists together. Many are books that she has read with her own children.
Each chapter also includes several “Global Perspective” boxes which contain tips from different parents about how they bring the world into their homes.
I am thrilled to have this guide. I am thrilled that she is willing to share her ideas, expertise, and recommendations with the rest of us. I can’t wait to read some of her recommendations.
To read more about her books and her life, you can visit Jamie’s blogs at www.steadymom.com and www.simplehomeschool.net.
Also shared on Literacy Musing Mondays