Getting in better shape, improving finances, de-cluttering, moving up careerwise- we all have resolutions that we repeat every year. Determined to be successful, we put pressure on ourselves to achieve more, do better, and work harder.
This year, my resolutions are re-focused. Yes, I’m going to try a few more triathlons, and de-cluttering is never leaving my list! But in addition to these personal goals, I aspire to spend more quality time with my kids, in activities that we love: cooking, exploring nature, field trips, art projects, playing games. Of course I have always done these activities with them, but with more writing and teaching commitments, an upcoming book to be published, and too many volunteering responsibilities to name, my primary New Year’s resolution is to say “yes” to my kids and “no thank you” to added jobs and responsibilities more often.
A secondary resolution is to continue exploring cultures and geography with my kids. I truly believe that in order for our children’s generation to be successful in the 21st century, they must be able to understand different perspectives, communicate effectively across cultures, and collaborate with others. Investigating beyond our local community challenges critical thinking and opens our kids’ eyes to how interconnected our world is. These are the simple goals I will use with my kids to continue our learning journey:
- Participate monthly in the “Around the World in 12 Dishes” project, making a dish together and learning a bit about each country chosen
- Globalize our movie night once a month with foreign films the whole family can enjoy
- Participate in some type of global collaboration project: possibly the Worldwide Culture Swap, or maybe one of the amazing global science projects I’ve come across recently (post coming soon!)
- Start an 8 week Geography Stars program at our school, run by International Club parents. (post coming soon!)
- Attend more cultural celebrations in our community; learn about the holidays beforehand through books, and seeking out the festivals through friends and on-line.
- Include more biographies in our reading lists. The lives of Jane Goodall, Matsuo Basho, Wangari Maathai, the Dalai Lama, and Nelson Mandela have astounded us and we can’t wait to investigate more global leaders.
Have you decided on any New Year’s resolutions for 2013? Do you have any educational goals or special experiences you’d like to accomplish this year? How will you be exploring cultures in the new year? Please share them in the comments- I love getting new ideas from other parents and teachers!