Saturday, July 7, 2018

Teaching My Kids about World Cultures and Staving Off Boredom Since 2011

I may not be the crafty mom, the fun mom, or the mom who is willing to shell out the big bucks to throw her kindergartner a birthday party at The Little Gym, but I'm okay with that. Every mom has her strengths and those don't happen to be mine. One of the things I do happen to be good at, though, is making things educational. I get really excited thinking of ways to teach and expose my kids to new ideas.

To that end, I take my kids on a pretend trip around the world every summer, using nothing but materials from the library and ideas from the Internet to learn everything we can about the culture, geography, and history of a new country every week.

This week we hung up our gigantic wall map and all the homemade flags I've saved from our previous years of The Educational Summer Vacation, and I feel the excitement rising already.

For the 7th summer in a row my kids and I are taking a pretend trip around the world that we call The Educational Summer Vacation. Join us!  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}
Everyone asks me about the circles. They're a decorative plates thing I bought at TJ Maxx that is on the wall year-round and has nothing to do with this project.

In our 6 years of doing The Educational Summer Vacation (we took one year off after I had a baby,) we've painted tulips in the Netherlands:

For the 7th summer in a row my kids and I are taking a pretend trip around the world that we call The Educational Summer Vacation. Join us!  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}

Decorated Islamic prayer rugs in Oman:

For the 7th summer in a row my kids and I are taking a pretend trip around the world that we call The Educational Summer Vacation. Join us!  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}

And didn't die from pickling our own kimchi in North Korea:

For the 7th summer in a row my kids and I are taking a pretend trip around the world that we call The Educational Summer Vacation. Join us!  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}

We've made scrolls and done maple leaf rubbings.

We've failed at erupting a volcano, failed at growing crystals, and failed at constructing a Roman aqueduct.

We've had a lot of fun.

Of course we've watched our share of boring videos and forgotten some of the things we learned, but it's a great experience and a good use of our time. My oldest, who makes it to the schoolwide geography bee every year and studies other languages on Duolingo for fun, tells me her love of geography started with The Educational Summer Vacation.

If you homeschool, like to torture your children with extra-curricular learning, or are just interested in following along with our family's madcap adventures, then you're in luck, because every Saturday night I'm going to be posting a recap of our "travels."

I made a schedule of the 5 weeks we have free this summer and asked the kids to pick countries from the map. (They thought they were just hilarious for choosing "Turkey" and "Hungary" together.)

For the 7th summer in a row my kids and I are taking a pretend trip around the world that we call The Educational Summer Vacation. Join us!  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}

July 9 - 14: Sudan
July 16 - 21: Namibia
July 30 - August 4: Turkey
August 6 - 11: Hungary
August 13-16: Turkmenistan

If you've got any inside tips or recommendations for good recipes, books, or anything else having to do with one of these countries, please let me know! I may be good at planning this stuff, but that doesn't mean I enjoy reinventing the wheel when I don't have to.

See you next Saturday with the weekly recap!

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3 comments:

  1. Love this! Check out Give Your Child the World. It’s a book with tons of book recommendations by region and by age. Check the kidle version. It was recently on sale!

    And as for the plates. Tape numbers and hands to them and make them time zone clocks!

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    1. You're so smart. Those are both great suggestions, thanks!

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  2. I remember when you guys did this last summer! I'm so excited to see what kinds of thrilling things you'll be doing. As for ideas, I have to confess that the first thing I thought of was this Turkish miniseries called "kurt seyit ve sura." I've never seen it (apparently it's a soap opera? And I'm just not willing to give 40+ hours of my life to that kind of thing right now) but there are some people I know of who are obsessed with it :P On a more doable note, y'all should definitely consider making some Turkish Delight! My little brother once had a layover in Turkey and brought us Turkish Delight, and we felt very Narnian ;) Doner kebab is really good, too-when I spend a college semester in Europe, lots of cities had kebab shops, even though we weren't anywhere near Turkey.

    I have to confess, I've never heard of Turkmenistan before, so I'm really excited to learn more about it when y'all explore that country!

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