Five ways you can experience benefits of world-schooling without flying across the ocean!
Traveling is extremely enriching. Cultures, languages, tastes, experiences… But what if you can not travel across the world at the moment? Can you still somehow experience and benefit from world-schooling? YES!
Here are 5 ways you can experience benefits of world-schooling in a comfort of your own country.
1. Find an ethnic group in your area and visit there. There are more possibilities like that in some places then in others. For example, in Los Angeles there are entire areas that look and feel like foreign countries. Little India, Little Thailand, Little Tokyo, China Town. In Chicago there is Ukrainian Village. And some areas of San Francisco you can mistaken for Canton – it smells and feels like China for sure!
We enjoyed visiting these places. Even street signs were in local language. We were able to check out grocery stores with unusual fragrant spices from India. Try out a sari. Had a lunch at local Indian restaurant ( with very spicy food!) and chatted with Indian kids. We visited Ukrainian Orthodox mass and art museum in Chicago’s famous Ukrainian village. And heard only Ukrainian spoken on the streets! When in China town kids were able to practice their Mandarin, listen to native Chinese instrument and take pictures with lanterns and dragons.
It is safe, easy and fun activity on a budget!
2. Check for cultural activities often provided by the Embassies. Embassies usually have someone responsible for promoting their country’s culture abroad. They usually do not publicize it too well from our experience, so calling cultural attache or cultural division of the Embassy might be a great idea. On different occasions we attended beautiful music concert, art exhibition, and arts and crafts activity for the kids hosted by Embassies. They usually really well organized, not crowded and fun.
3. Keep an eye on local newspaper’s events column. There are traveling artists and theaters that often tour abroad ( and many a time they are one of the best ones). A friend of mine in Peru told me recently she took the kids to Russian Obraztcov Puppet Theater. It is world renown theater, which is literally impossible to get the tickets for when in Russia. Excellent cultural experience and fun. Ballet companies, singers, artists travel the world like that.
4. Create language environment to familiarize your child with the new language ( if that is one of your goals apart from learning about new culture). We designate times of the day when we watch, listen or read in that language. For example, my kids have their favorite animal documentary that is only available in Russian. It is series, and they are eager to watch it. Or we would listen to Chinese songs and stories when we drive the car. For French and Chinese we also use very simple language curriculum from Little Reader. We like it because it gives structure to our language progress, we listen to native pronunciation and children enjoy interaction it provides.
5. Plan a “country day”. Chose the country you want to learn about and watch a video about it, prepare a simple snack (or elaborate meal if you want) native to that country. You even can order it out! Find some fun facts about that country to share with your child. Calculate the time difference. Check out how hot or cold it is there right now, using weather channel. There are so many fun things that can be done during such a day!
So as you can see you can learn about different countries and cultures even before you decided you want to take a giant leap of faith and travel across the world to experience them! Have fun!