I am part of a world-side, diverse group of bloggers called Multicultural Kid Bloggers who write about their experiences in multicultural parenting. Every month we host a different blogging carnival, which focuses on a relevant topic, and includes perspectives from (literally) around the world. For example, we discussed teaching heritage to your children, and talked about winter traditions around the world, and the importance of family traditions. Join us on facebook, Twitter or pinterest to meet other multicultural, globally-minded parents.
This month’s carnival is all about our Spring traditions. Continue reading
Posted in Africa, Around the World, Asia, Australia, Australia and Oceania, Canada, Celebrations, China, Europe, Malawi, Mexico, Poland, The Americas, The Netherlands, United States
Tagged spring, traditions
Finding similarities and differences when reading fairy tales from around the world hones kids’ critical thinking skills, and helps them to focus on the details. Even the Common Core Standards includes this in one of their “Reading Literature” standards:
Compare and contrast two or more versions of the same story (e.g., Cinderella stories) by different authors or from different cultures (RL.2.9.).
There are many reasons to read fairy tales to children- especially because they’re whimsical, creative, and fun! Today we’re looking at Gingerbread stories. Continue reading
Posted in Around the World, Asia, Australia, Australia and Oceania, China, Europe, Food, France, Ireland, Literature, Mexico, Norway, Russia, The Americas, UK, United States
Tagged fairy tales, fiction children's books, folktales, Gingerbread Man stories
Booking Across the USA is a collaborative blogging project created by Jodie from Growing Book By Book. Each of the participating bloggers are showcasing a book and activity related to their state: all 50 states are represented!!! Children’s literature is a fun way to bring history, culture, and geography alive and to learn about the US through “armchair travel.” The book I’ve chosen to represent Texas is Tomie dePaola’s “The Legend of the Bluebonnet.” Continue reading
Fast, easy, delicious. When I was asked to share a simple family dinner recipe, I immediately thought of Chicken Tinga. Tinga de pollo is a Mexican dish that came about after the Spanish conquest. The kitchens of the many religious convents in Puebla, Mexico (near Mexico City) began to mix new ingredients (chicken, onion, olive oil) with the traditional and indigenous foods (like corn, beans, tomato, and chiles) to create a new fusion of what now constitutes Mexican food. Because of this, Puebla was considered the “Centro Culinario del País” (Culinary Capital of Mexico). Continue reading
People celebrate carnival around the world the week before Lent, a Christian period of fasting and reflection. Traditionally held in areas with large Catholic populations, carnival often includes a parade with costumes and music- yet each country has their own unique traditions. Let’s look at some unique ways people celebrate carnival around the world.
Carnival in Europe
Creative Commons Photo by: David Edgar (2006)
Posted in Around the World, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Celebrations, Dominican Republic, Europe, France, Germany, Guatemala, Italy, Peru, Russia, The Americas
Imagine walking across the vast tundra, and coming across a human-sized stone structure. Inukshuk (plural: inuksuit) means “likeness of a person” in Inuktitut (the Inuit language), and is a pile of (unworked) stones arranged by the Inuit into the shape of a human being. They are sometimes seen as representing the strength and determination of the Inuit people, who live in one of the Earth’s harshest climates and terrains. Continue reading
I was recently interviewed at Teacher Certification Degrees! Here’s an excerpt:
“We recently had the opportunity to interview Becky Morales, a Texas ESL Teacher Trainer who founded the nonprofit organization, Kid World Citizen. Becky attended the University of Illinois, where she earned a BA degree in Spanish Education, as well as a MA degree in Teaching ESL, with a concentration in Cross-Cultural Communication. Becky also earned a MA in School Counseling at Roosevelt University. She is an eight-year veteran of the classroom. Becky previously taught at the high school and college levels. In between volunteering at local schools, conducting diversity trainings, and leading her local elementary school’s International Club, Becky is writing a book that will serve as a toolkit for elementary schools seeking to globalize their lessons.
You established a nonprofit, Kid World Citizen, which aims to provide educators and parents with activities that will help children’s minds “go global.” Can you tell us more about why you started this organization, and also your philosophy for getting young learners interested in the world around them?
My family is very multicultural, with my husband from Mexico City, two biological daughters, a son from China and a son from Ethiopia. I am very interested in geography and learning about other cultures myself, and my husband and I are trying to raise our children to be responsible, compassionate world citizens. I began sharing the activities I have used with my kids and in the classroom, to expand global awareness. I believe that if we raise kids to understand other perspectives, they will grow up to be empathetic adults who can respond to global issues successfully.”
Read more here.
Migration of Monarch Butterflies, image credit: Harald Süpfle, creative commons use
It’s the migration season for 100 million monarch butterflies, as they fly from Canada and the northern US, south to Mexico for the winter. In February, they’ll star their journey back up north. Kids: can you follow their migration path on a map? Why would butterflies (and some birds!) go south for the winter? In Texas this October, we’ve seen the travelers pass through our garden to sip on some of our butterfly weed and lantana. Here are some great resources for teachers and parents to use to teach their kids about the amazing monarch butterflies. Continue reading
Family traditions are all of the special things that families do together on a regular basis- whether it’s daily (always eating dinner together), weekly (Friday night movies and popcorn), monthly (taking our kids on “date nights,” or “super-noches” as we call them), or yearly (driving around to look at Christmas lights). In our hectic lives, routine customs create special memories of your family having a great time together, that your kids will remember and probably pass on to their family.
When we took the many hours of parenting classes required to adopt our two sons, they emphasized the importance of family traditions as a way to strengthen family bonds, teach our new children our family values, and give our kids a sense of identity and security within our family: “The Smith Family always makes pancakes on Sunday mornings” or “The Lin Family plays football together every Thanksgiving” or “The Morales Family always makes a birthday sign for the birthday child.” Repeating and emphasizing that your family does it together, helps families to bond with their child, as they are included in the “we.” In reality, not only adoptive families will benefit from creating special family traditions- all families will enjoy family rituals and become stronger as they incorporate them into their lives. Continue reading
Mia is back with her second in a series on celebrating Chanukkah with kids. Mom to son Judah, age 5 ½, and wife of Dan, she also works as a teacher coach. Though raising her son in a Jewish home, diverse and multicultural values weigh heavily in making daily parenting choices. In her spare time, she enjoys acupuncture, meditation, walking the dog (Mooshu), cooking delicious plant-based superfoods, reading and writing, and volunteering as an advocate for cancer awareness and healthful living. You can find her at her blog, Remission Statement. Last time she shared the meaning behind Chanukkah and a recipe for potato latkes, and this time she’s sharing a simple- but elegant- craft.
There are lots of ways to get creative around the winter holidays. Take one
search on Pinterest and you will be overwhelmed! One idea is to brighten up
your windows with some Chanukkah shapes, giving them a stained glass effect.
Depending on the age of your child, you may want to prepare some of the materials in advance, making it easier for them to participate. However, if you have older children who would rather have more control over the final product, you can simply supervise!
I scrounged around for some pink and green tissue paper – blues and golds would be more authentic.
I am so excited to announce that today’s guest post is written by Mia, mom to son Judah, age 5 ½, and wife of Dan. She works as a teacher coach for Children’s Literacy Initiative, a non-profit based in Philadelphia, helping to improve the quality of instruction in inner city schools. Though raising her son in a Jewish home, diverse and multicultural values weigh heavily in making daily parenting choices. In her spare time, she enjoys acupuncture, meditation, walking the dog (Mooshu), cooking delicious plant-based superfoods, reading and writing, and volunteering as an advocate for cancer awareness and healthful living. You can find her at her blog, Remission Statement. Not only do we get to learn about the meaning behind Chanukkah (sometimes seen spelled “Hanukkah”), she’s also shared a recipe for potato latkes!
In a few weeks, the Jewish holiday of Chanukkah (pronounced with a *ch* at the
beginning as if you are trying to clear your throat) will begin. In the Jewish religion, holidays begin and end at sundown, adhering to the lunar and Jewish calendars; as Chanukkah is celebrated for eight nights, Sunday, December 8 is the first night of Chanukkah this year, and Sunday, December 16 is the last night.
Gandhi is attributed as saying “You must be the change you want to see in the world.” If one of our goals as parents is to raise compassionate and responsible children, our children need to witness empathy, kindness, and respect towards others… and put these character traits into action. Families that do community service not only offer their children a view of different perspectives, but give them the opportunity to take action, and in a sense change the world. Continue reading
I am so happy to announce that I have joined the fabulous team of bloggers who bring you “Around the World in 12 Dishes,” a culinary journey that chooses a different country each month. I have been following this series, linking up my own recipes- and now I get to feature the project here!!!! Some very kid-friendly Brazilian recipes are pão de queijo (cheesey bread), brigadeiros (amazing chocolate candy) or the dish we made a couple of night ago, feijoada (meaty black bean stew).
It’s Monarch migration season- when 100 million monarch butterflies fly from Canada and the northern US south to Mexico for the winter. Learn more about monarch butterflies with these great resources. Kids: can you follow their migration path on a map? Why would butterflies (and some birds!) go south for the winter? When do you think they will migrate back north? In Texas this October, we’ve been seeing the voyagers pass through our garden to sip on some of our butterfly weed and lantana. Here is a cute and easy craft that even the little ones will enjoy as you learn about these fascinating creatures. 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