Learning About Other Cultures in Your Homeschool

In our homeschool, we love learning about other cultures. We have done so by using Sonlight Curriculum, watching documentaries, and doing fun activities.

When our kids go to interview for a job one day, there’s a strong possibility that the person on the other side of the desk isn’t part of the same culture that they are. Learning about other cultures promotes respect for others, love, and a true Christian attitude.

One of my very favorite resources for teaching world cultures is Give Your Child the World: Raising Globally Minded Kids One Book at a Time.

Featuring a carefully curated reading treasury of the best children’s literature for each area of the globe, as well as practical parenting suggestions and inspiration, Give Your Child the World helps moms and dads raise insightful, compassionate kids who fall in love with the world and are prepared to change it for good.

Learning about Other Cultures

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Experiment With Cooking 

Perhaps one of the easiest ways to explore a new culture is with cuisine. You can think about trying out some different recipes in the kitchen, and letting the kids join in on the fun. The best part is a lot of these recipes aren’t difficult to learn or master and they are healthy, too!  For instance, try a recipe for Sambar that can be prepared in minutes and is sure to be a family favorite.

Try a New Experience/Trip

After reading good books and trying new foods from another culture, you might want to go on a trip somewhere. Obviously, there are some highly popular options for kids’ vacations. But to immerse them in a new culture, you may want to think outside the box here. There’s a ban right now on a lot of European countries due to the Coronavirus. However, this will likely settle down by the summer.

During this time, you should have a wide range of options for family travel. But even looking in your own backyard at cultural grocery stores, shops, and experiences will be enough to create a family memory.

Provide Them With The Right Resources

This could be as simple as choosing a different type of film for a movie night with the family- Disney+ and Amazon Prime are full of documentaries. Instead of the classic Disney film, why not explore some of the options from other cultures on your fav streaming service? You’ll find that there are some fantastic possibilities here. 

Sometimes we have friends or family that can help us submerge our kids in a new culture- spending a day with someone cooking foods, preparing for a celebration, or just chatting is a great way to learn about areas and peoples of our world.

Our favorite way to learn is through good books. There are so many wonderful children’s books that help kids understand how other cultures live.

So often we grow up only knowing and understanding the tiny bubble around us. Learning about others creates adults who don’t see color or differences as a prejudice, but as a celebration of who we are.

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Fun Evangelism Tools for Kids {a review}

Happy Fall to everyone! We have been using and enjoying the Gospel Tracts and Evangelism Tools Sampler Pack from Let the Little Children Come. If you are involved in work with young children, you are going to want to check out these great little evangelism tools for kids!

These have been so much fun for my children; they’re ages 7, 5, 3 and 1. Obviously the baby hasn’t been using them much, but the older three have.

The Gospel Tracts and Evangelism Tools Sampler Pack includes 10 tracts for children to learn about Jesus and His love for them:

  1. John 3:16 Animated Tract
  2. Gospel Buttons Flip About
  3. The Most Amazing House Pop-up Tract
  4. Wordless Bracelet Kit
  5. The True Story of Christmas Animated Tract
  6. The Lost Easter Egg Pop-up Tract
  7. John 3:16 Flip About
  8. Silicone Salvation Bracelet
  9. Where’s Everybody Going? Animated Tract
  10. Wordless Book

Each of these items have continued discussions about salvation with my own children; I can only imagine how far a full set of one or two items could reach in a Sunday school class, sports team, etc. These are also perfect as Halloween bag goodies!

The pack comes with colorful, detailed instructions for each of the items, as well as a summary of how to use them. (The website also helps with what to say, how to use/present each tract, etc.)

The animated tracts are by far one of the favorites in our home; by sliding the black plastic sheet over the images in the book, the images move “like a movie,” as my daughter said. My children have spent countless hours using these animated tracts.

The flip abouts are definitely made for busy little hands and inquisitive minds! These are perfect for those that enjoy puzzles. My 7 year old find them fun and really enjoyed showing me how it is “so easy” to use, after I told her it was frustrating for me. I think of the flip abouts like a Gospel-speaking fidget toy!

Each of the tracts and flip abouts are the perfect size for little hands, children’s pockets, to use as bookmarks, and easy to carry in their favorite bag. I would also say they are durable and well made. They have survived a few weeks of constant use by 3 children on a farm- that says something!

The pop-up tracts are again, well made. The pages are thick enough to be durable, but the entire book is small enough to go anywhere in a tiny human’s hand. My 3 year old is especially entranced by the pop up images, and let me tell you, they are actually really neat little books! The images are detailed, informative, and simple enough for children to grasp the meaning of the message. I was impressed with the quality of the pop-ups themselves.

The wordless bracelet kit was lots of fun and so simple to make; perfect as an end of semester gift for a craft class at co-op. We made the bracelet together, and discussed the meaning of all the colors. This might be my favorite item from the sample pack. It will fit most wrists from age 3+ because of the adjustable sliding knot assembly (which is very easy!).

The colors on the bracelet’s beads can also be found on the silicone bracelet, and in the wordless book- again, another favorite by the 3 year old. Each of the colors in the wordless book pages represents the following:

  • Gold/yellow reminds us of heaven.
    God wants us all to be with him in heaven.
  • The dark color/page reminds us of sin.
    Because we have all sinned, we cannot get to heaven on our own.
  • Red reminds us of the blood of Jesus.
    Jesus came to earth to take the punishment for our sins by dying on the cross.
  • The clean/white page reminds us that we can be made clean from sin by believing in Jesus.
  • When we believe in Jesus, we can have a relationship with God and will one day be with him in heaven.
  • Green reminds us of things that grow.
    It is important that we grow in our relationship with Jesus.

Gospel Tract Colors

This is a very simple explanation of the Gospel to plant the seed of knowing Jesus in the hear of children. My son was really interested in the bracelet and the colors of each of the beads.

The sampler pack has items that are just right for a large age range- from preschoolers to tweens. Another thought goes beyond children, to perhaps nursing and retirement homes, community centers, etc. I feel like everyone enjoys getting a little special from children, and these are a great way for children to give the Gospel to others, in a way that they can understand the work they are doing for the Lord.

The uses for any of the tools is really endless- I am thinking stocking stuffers, Christmas goodie-bag exchange, thank you’s for children working hard in a play/presentation at church, graduation goodies from a program, VBS awards, co-op classes, etc.

The Gospel Tracts and Evangelism Tools Sampler Pack has truly been a delight in our home. (And now, per the request of my 7 and 5 year olds, we have to spend a day researching & learning how exactly the animated tracts work …)

You can check out my review of Let the Little Children Come’s Is there Anything Better Than Candy?  box tract here.

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Disclaimer: Some links on this blog are affiliate links; when you use those links you help support my family, at no additional cost to you.  Thank you!

Halloween Ideas: Pumpkin Box Halloween Tract {a review}

Fall time celebrations are quickly approaching! If you are anything like our family, you may keep an eye out for alternative or out-of-the-box ideas for holiday giving. In lieu of door to door trick or treating at halloween, many families enjoy harvest festivals, or small pumpkin/bon fire parties with their friends or homeschool co-ops.

This year we had the chance to try out some really fun candy alternatives for giving at halloween- Is There Anything Better Than Candy? Box-Tract by Let the Little Children Come. These little pumpkin Halloween tracts are perfect for a fun little something to drop into trick or treater bags, share with those in the community, or create in a children’s church classroom.

The small paper pumpkins are made of a nice quality card stock and sit nicely in the palm of my hand (for size reference). The inside of each section contains a simple, yet colorful message on how to know Jesus, and be saved. These are a great evangelism tool for young children to gain confidence in sharing the gospel of Jesus with friends, relatives, and those in the community.

My 7yo daughter immediately thought of  people we could share them with:

  • nursing home residents
  • trick or treaters
  • harvest festival hand outs
  • hand out at your family’s farmer’s market or craft show stand (if you have one)
  • leave out and about in the community (park picnic tables, benches down town, self check out at grocery store, etc)
  • co-op fall party
  • classroom/sunday school/co-op parties
  • drop in neighbor’s mailboxes

These were very simple to use, even for my 7 and 5 year olds; we carefully popped them out of the perforated paper, laid them pumpkin side down, and gently folded up the sides starting with the stems. Each “petal” has a small slit cut into it, and we simply slid the slit over the top of the stem pieces. Then, we continued until all the petals/sections were up, making sure that #6 was the last one. They were both able to completely assemble their pumpkins independently.

**The key (for us) to not tearing the tract while assembling was to gently squash the pumpkin down as we added sections to the stems, instead of trying to pull up and over the stems.

 

Things that could fit inside:

  • homemade mini-muffin-tin crayons
  • foam stickers
  • hand written notes on fun card stock
  • a handmade friendship bracelet
  • fabric book mark (maybe from a handicraft like crochet or knitting, done in homeschool?)
  • those little sticky jewels for crafts
  • small plush keychain
  • handmade leather beaded necklaces
  • small hand painted rocks
  • small foam stamps
  • stickers
  • a few tootsie rolls, peppermints, gum, or other small candies

(You know those plastic containers small vending machine toys come in? Pretty much anything that would fit in there, would fit inside these, with a little room to spare.)

We really enjoyed putting a few of these together! When we get a little closer to halloween, we will probably fill them with hand painted rocks and drop throughout the community as a little “happy” for someone’s day.

This is a fun and safe way for children to share the gospel this fall season!

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It is Home

I haven’t just written a random post in a while. I used to sit up at night and write. But then reading blogs about preparing traditional food, infant reflux, and pinterest got in the way. 🙂


That Pinterest ….

But tonight (June 27) I can’t sleep, and I feel like writing.

When Jtom and I made this decision to move our family to Nebraska, we knew it would take time to meet new people. Over time, I didn’t know where the best place was to move the family, but once we settled here, I found that it was the best choice to make. Additionally, a friend of ours have moved to the Charlotte area of South Carolina. Before she left, she would always look into finding charlotte home builders and I never knew why until she finally revealed her plans. Change for us both has come at the right time I think. It would take time to find the right groups of friends, the right church home, and the right children for Lexie and Max to befriend for themselves. Plus since its so cold in Nebraska it would be a good idea to have someone similar to air conditioner repair passaic nj so we can keep our home a lovely temperature.

We also knew that we wanted to start buying food in bulk to save money, since we would now have the room to store it. We wanted him to get to hunt more, so we would have wild game for eating. We wanted to raise chickens again, so we can have fresh eggs, which we all miss terribly! Oh my goodness, there is nothing like gathering eggs in the afternoon for breakfast the next day. (Or even better, dinner that night).

Well, maybe milking my own cow would be a very close second …

Ah dreams. They’re really not too far away, with as quickly as time goes by, maybe 5-10 more years?

But when we came to York we put a few things on the back burner for the first month or so. We needed to get settled in our new home. A large part of this involved finding a more affordable energy policy. Our electricity bills have always been high but they did seem to jump when our baby was born. Fortunately we managed to find a more affordable policy by browsing electricity comparison websites like Home Energy Club. Using their website made it easy to compare different energy providers such as TriEagle Energy to find the best power solution for us. Things all worked out in the end though and we are much better off now. In addition, JTom needed to continue learning his new job. Lexie needed to understand this was our new home (which she did with great ease), and learn about our community. Settling in to a new home can be very difficult, especially for children. With this in mind, if you and your family are considering relocating to somewhere like trappers crossing, you should consider how hard this may initially be for your kids.

We began by going to story time at the library. There I met a wonderful lady who has two daughters of her own. She told me about their church, and was completely open and honest with me about anything I had questions about- the church, the town, etc. She gave me names and phone numbers to other women in the community. She connected me with a salon to get mine and Lexies hair cut- which turned into me meeting two wonderful ladies that were so gracious- she gave me an entire list of reliable babysitters in case I needed someone.


A short month or two after we moved (and I after I met that mama at story time), we began visiting churches. And through doing this we have met very nice families with small children. We still haven’t found our church home. I suggested a few weeks ago, that maybe we need to travel outside of York to look. We would much rather find one here, in our own community, but we need to be open to everything. At one of the churches we visited in town, there were many familiar faces from the library.

Then, one night I exclaimed to J.tom, “I’m going to make Max’s baby formula!” His reply was something like, “oh. my. gosh. *insert eye roll* that’s great. how much is it going to cost me?”. Haha- the funny part here, is that he was kidding. The commercial formula max was on was already costing about $150 a month.

Upon hearing the ingredients, JTom was on board, and was quick to assure me that it was a great idea and much better than the commercial stuff that is full of toxins, corn syrup solids (whaaat?!) and GMO foods. Okay, okay, that’s another post…

In my efforts to heal Max’s reflux and the damaged it has caused to his gut and esophagus, we visited the chiropractor (see this post). Not only was he a very kind, understanding doctor with amazing “bedside manner” with my children, he asked what else he could help us with- Did we need any resources or contacts for anything?

He genuinely wanted to help our family.

I told him about wanting to make Max’s baby formula, using the Weston A. Price recipe, and explained I had no experience in any of it, despite all my research, and told him what ingredients I would need and which ones I couldn’t find.

Not only did he fully support our wanting to make homemade baby formula, but he gave me the name and number to another (amazingly kind and generous) lady who was very well educated in Weston A Price. The chiropractor mentioned her husband is a veterinarian here in town; it just so happened we needed to board Scarlet while we traveled to visit family. (And his clinic was one a co-worker had mentioned to JTom.). Small world. Err…. Town.

A few days later I contacted Dr C’s source. A few days after that she came to my home, shared her resources, knowledge, and homemade whey, and other ingredients I needed for our baby formula.

She was so kind.


A week later, we have placed orders with Azure Standard for our organic, whole bulk foods, received the organic grassfed beef through the Nebraska Food Cooperative, and found our raw milk at a local family farm!

Talk about blessed.

I know this is long and drawn out. But there is a reason.

When J.Tom and I talked about how everything would take time- making our house a home, finding a church, meeting friends and other families we want our children to be around, etc. we also acknowledged that everything would happen in God’s time.

We knew it may be weeks, or it could be months before things all fell into place.

After almost 3 months of a cold, hard winter, in a new town, with no familiar faces to interact with, God sent us at least 6 people I can think of off the top of my head, that if Jtom were gone and I needed something, I would feel 100% comfortable calling them. Complete strangers gave me their phone numbers after meeting us one time.

Blessed.

We had faith, that if we put forth the effort and prayed about it, God would place in our lives the people that needed to be there.

I really, entruly believe that is what has happened.

In our journey to simplify, become healthier, get closer to Him, and heal our son, we have already found this amazing support system of like minded, Christian families.

I know small towns get a bad rep. We were told, “people move away from Nebraska, not to it.”

But in this move, which many people thought was a wrong decision, we have found so many blessings.

For that, I am truly thankful.

It is amazing how here is now home. During our travels to visit family, we were both longing to be back home, in York, after only a few days away.

Its small. And it is windy. In the winter it is cold. And in the spring the wind will blow you over. But York has an amazing community.

It is where our family is.

It is home.

Almost back home!

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