To learn more about our environment, start local! Can you identify any trees in your neighborhood? Can your children? In this exercise, kids will do a little research about local trees, and make an identification guide of the trees they find. You might be surprised how quickly kids can learn to identify trees by their leaves, seeds, bark, and overall shape!
Emma Thomas from The Expat Hub shares with us some education options for expat children in families moving abroad.
When you are planning a move overseas the list of things to organise can seem frighteningly long, and when you’re moving abroad as a family there’s even more to consider. One of the first things families intending to emigrate have to consider is what education option would best suit their children, but making the right choice can be tough.
To help make the decision that little bit easier we’ve taken a look at the pros of the three most common overseas-education options: local schools, international schools and homeschooling. Continue reading
We’ve been invited to participate in the “100 Acts of Kindness” project, where participants are challenged to accomplish 100 Acts of Kindness over the next four weeks and participate in each weekly challenge (there will be four simple ones). We decided to challenge ourselves to do as many Random Acts of Kindness that we could think of in a day. I told the kids to think of ways we could be nice to others, and show them kindness and gratitude without expecting anything in return. The kids had great ideas!! Continue reading
Have you ever wondered how to host an exchange student? Here are some wonderful programs available that allow families to host a student from another country for 2 weeks to an academic year! By opening your homes, not only do you share your knowledge about your own country, traditions, food, celebrations- you also get to learn about another culture and language firsthand. Continue reading
This weekend we visited MECA in Houston (Multicultural Education and Counseling through the Arts) for their annual Día de los Muertos exhibit and celebration. Here is a slideshow of what we saw. Look for:
- Ofrendas (the altars families made for their loved ones)
- Food & water left for the visiting spirits (calabaza en tacha, pan de muerto, mole) because they are hungry and thirsy from their journey
- “Favorite items” from hobbies, vices, activities
- Photos, poems, prayers and memories
- Lots of skeletons and skulls
- Cempasuchitl (“flor de muerto“= marigold flowers)
- Candles and incense to light the way Continue reading
This weekend we got to watch a local Dragon Boat race! Have you ever seen this?
Dragon Boat racing is a very fast-growing watersport around the globe, and combined Asian fellowship and traditions. But you don’t have to be Asian to appreciate this competitive team sport and it’s fascinating history! Continue reading
Do your kids come to you, holding little surprises in their clenched fists? Or shriek that they caught something and want to show you? Though I am not too squeamish, I catch my breath for a second as they uncurl their muddy little fingers, in case their surprise decides to jump or fly away as I lean in. My kids really like to play outside, whether it be in our backyard, nearby parks, or visits to nature preserves. Inevitably, their play will somehow be interrupted by the discovery of “the coolest bug ever,” a frog, a gecko, a baby snake, ants eating a worm, or any other critter. We generally employ a “catch and release” policy, observing the creatures for a bit and then letting them go back into our garden (my daughter says “so they can lay more eggs and we can have even more!”). Here are 4 ways we encourage our budding naturalists to learn about the animals and insects in our environment.
It’s time for the September Culture Swap!!! I am sorry I was so late in posting the link-up!:) I am starting up the International Club at my children’s elementary school and we have been gearing up for a busy year.
Globally-minded parents and educators:
What have you been doing this month to teach your kids about the world? Have you tried any food or done any cool art projects from other countries? Learned another language? Read books from another culture? Share your ideas here so we can all learn from you!:) Continue reading
It seems that in our busy life of fast food and convenience, many people have become so disconnected from their food, they don’t know where their food actually comes from (or what it is made of!). This is the first article in a series to help kids understand more about our food system.
Today we’re mapping our fruits and vegetables: with a little research in the supermarket, the kids are discovering where our food was grown and how long it traveled to get here!
My kids and I dream of traveling the world, and love to read about kids who are doing so. Miro is a 13 year old nomad who has spent 3 full years on the road, experiencing life in the fullest. He enjoys Manga, video games and Cryptozoology. He says he’s not very good at photography, but he does try. His greatest fear is “the norm.” My two 7 year old interviewed Miro about his travels, from a kid’s perspective. If you’d like to learn more, his mom Lainie has an excellent travel blog called Raising Miro on the Road of Life, where she chronicles their nomadic adventures, with photos, videos, and podcasts. Enjoy!
Lots of readers wrote in via email, or on our facebook page, to share stories of family road trips! Parents and kids around the world enjoy driving vacations as a way to explore as a family, spend quality time together bonding, and to see more of the country they’re in. Here are some of the stories we heard: Continue reading
Today’s post comes from Rachael, a British mom to 2 young boys, married to a Swedish man. She and her family spend their time in France, England, and in Sweden. She started the Worldwide Culture Swap- an awesome package exchange between families or schools around the world. She also has a great educational blog.
Hi there! I’d like to take you on a little walk around the island where I live in the Swedish Archipelago. It’s the middle of summer now and despite having record rain levels across the whole of northern Europe, we manage to get and and about often for a walk around the island.
Traditional Swedish houses in the countryside are wooden and normally painted with a special red colour with white edges around the windows and door. There is a lot of water in Sweden so many houses are next to rivers, lakes, or by the sea like ours.
Grand Teton National Park (Wyoming): breathtaking blue glaciers, a 13,770-foot mountain, blue glaciers, moose, and 300+ bird species.
When friends from other countries ask me for recommendations on what to visit while in the US, I always recommend a trip to a National Park. For families who live in the US, National Parks are an obvious choice for extraordinary scenery, unique landscapes, and natural adventures. In 2010, 281,303,769 recreational visitors from around the world spent time in National Parks! Here are some tips for those visiting a National Park with children: how you can enjoy everything the National Park Service has to offer, and make the trip memorable, educational, and fun for everyone. Continue reading
We want our kids to be curious about new destinations, to get excited about family road trips, and to look forward to traveling- and as parents, we want to enjoy traveling as a family as well! Keep kids happy in the car with these fun games and activities. If I’ve missed any, leave us a comment and let us know your favorite way to pass the time in the car with kids.
If you ever want to see sympathetic parents shudder- while whispering “crazy!” as you leave- tell them you are planning a 20 hour long road little kids. Although kids are notoriously challenging travelers, with preparation and good practices, the whole family can enjoy long car rides. Parents, teachers, and caregivers know that kids are at their worst when they are 1) tired, 2) hungry, or 3) bored. Here are 4 ways you can prevent these car-induced tantrums, driver despair, and whiny backseat riders. Continue reading