Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Enjoyed the Global Tour with "Give Your Child the World"

I came across a lovely blog in a homeschool group on Facebook, www.simplehomeschool.net, written by Jamie C. Martin - and was immediately intrigued by her promotion of her new book, "Give Your Child the World" and her summer global reading challenge. I bought the book on Amazon and off to the library we went!

Each week, we were challenged to read from and explore a different region of our globe, and we gladly accepted the challenge! We gobbled up the delicious tales from all different countries and cultures. I especially enjoyed the variety of stories and recommendations from Jamie's book, and appreciated the time and devotion she put into this invaluable resource. We will definitely return to the book for reading recommendations beyond this summer challenge.

The challenge began with Multicultural books, in which we chose to read, "My Librarian Is a Camel" by Margriet Ruiz. We were truly thankful to have such easy access to our local libraries, and this book highlighted that and made us appreciate the love of reading around the world.

Next up, we read a book from Africa, "Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters" by John Steptoe. This gorgeous Caldecott Honor award picture book is a lovely tale of two daughters, one sweet and the other, not so much. A delightfully illustrated story about kindness, selfishness and attitude choices.

Next, we travelled to Europe and chose "The Cats in Krasinski Square" by Karen Hesse. Having always been inspired by tales of kindness and bravery in WWII Europe, this story of two sisters helping those in need, despite the dangers of the Gestapo did not disappoint. 

The following week, we ventured to Asia, where we read "Tikki Tikki Tembo" by Arlene Mosel. This story of the boy with the very long name has been a favorite of mine for years, and I was overjoyed to share it with my kiddos.

Then, we packed up for a trip to the Middle East, specifically Egypt, which, to me, has always been THE place of mystery and dreams. Here, we chose "Mummies Made in Egypt" by Aliki. I have always loved the beauty and simplicity of Aliki's books, and the details and illustrations of this one are just perfect for kitties and older kids alike. 

Arriving in North America was a difficult decision on what to read, since we are so familiar with many of the choices. We ended up choosing "Follow the Drinking Gourd" by Jeanette Winter, for its historical value, as well as its beautiful and touching illustrations. It is a great introduction to the history of slavery in our country, without being graphic or frightening.

South of the border, in Latin America, we chose "The Great Kapok Tree: A Tale of the Amazon Rain Forest" by Lynne Cherry. My daughter is very aware of environmental issues, and this amazingly illustrated story touched us all. {Spoiler} We especially loved that hearts were changed at the end.

Our final stop was Australia, Oceania, and the Polar Regions, where my son chose "Balto and the Great Rave" by Elizabeth Cody Kimmel. He's been on a dog kick lately, and we've read short stories about Balto in the past. Who doesn't love a heroic dog story (especially a TRUE one)?

We really had a great time reading all of these wonderful tales and learning about the different regions, cultures, and children around the world. When we were finished, we added our link to Jamie's blog, and answered her wrap up questionnaire to be eligible to win some super cool prizes! We'll keep you posted on whether or not we win!

- Tell us about your family.
We are an off grid family of four. We live primarily in the White Mountains of Arizona, but spend as much time as possible in our home away from home in Baja California Sur, Mexico.

– Tell us about where you live and how long you’ve lived there.
We've lived in the White Mountains as a family for over 11 years. Prior to that, Mom lived in Phoenix, and in Florida. Dad lived in Greer, and in California and Mexico. 

– What do you think is unique and special about living where you do?
We live in Arizona, but it's not the desert like you might imagine. We're in the cool junipers of the mountains, and enjoy snowy winters and cool summers. In our Baja spot, it's right on the ocean, so it's cool, windy and wet!

– What languages are spoken there? If it’s different from English, can you help us learn a few common phrases?
In Arizona, we're right next to The Navajo Nation and many other Native American lands. We get to hear a lot of Native languages spoken. In Baja, Spanish is spoken most often, and we are all still learning the proper way to speak!

– What are some traditional foods there?
In AZ, we love traditional Navajo foods such as Indian Fry Bread....delicious sweet and savory! In Baja, we are spoiled by the riches from the sea, like abalone, lobster and languado (halibut), as well as local delicacies like lechon and burro!

– Tell us about the climate where you live.
In AZ, we enjoy mild summers and snowy winters. In Baja, we're right on the ocean, so it's always wet. Summer's can be super hot, but we dip in the sea to cool off.

– What does school look like for the majority of kids where you live?
In AZ, we homeschool, and have a large homeschooling community. In Our Baja town, there is one main school  for most of the children. Little kids go to school during the day, and high schoolers go to school at night. There is a separate school for kindergarten.

– What does school look like for your family?
We homeschool in both locations, so school travels with us wherever we go. 

– Are there any special festivals or traditions you’d like to tell us about related to where you live?
In AZ, we enjoy a Blugrass & Acoustic Music gathering every summer, as well as rodeos and Native American celebrations. In Baja, the town holds traditional fiestas and surf competitions in the summer time. 

– If you ever had to move away from where you live, what do you think you’d miss most?
In AZ, I'd miss the snow, and our off grid farm. In Baja, I'd miss the ocean and the sand!

– Do you have a favorite book that takes place in your region/country?
We love books about Mexico and it's rich culture. 
We also enjoy books about Arizona, the Grand Canyon and the Wild West.
There are really too many to count!