Cultural studies are vital to a well-rounded education but very few of us have the opportunity to spend our lives traveling the world. To help bring these experiences to our children we have one multicultural night a month in our family, and to add even more fun our support group is starting a monthly park day dedicated to sharing different cultures!
A big part of the cultural experience is to partake in the local food and customs pertaining to eating and celebrating, and this is why a good multicultural cookbook is such an invaluable tool.
Holidays of the World Cookbook is our go-to source.
There are three reasons I prefer this book over similar books:
–Holidays of the World is written for students in middle and high school. There is a glut of similar books for elementary students on the market, but very few for older students.
–Holidays of the World doesn’t stop at recipes! There is a map showing the location of each country on their continent, a description of the culture of the people who live there, information about the major holidays (religious & secular), information about traditional mealtime practices, and multiple recipes for each country. At over 300 pages, this cookbook is packed with information!
-Most of the recipes in Holidays of the World use ingredients that are easy to find. A small percentage of the recipes do require a trip to an ethnic grocer but if you don’t have one around you can usually find what you need on Amazon.
As if that wasn’t enough fun, here are some ideas to turn your meal into a full lesson:
-have your child make the country’s flag (check out this link for flag info)
-Research the country (Country names and boundaries change frequently, check out this link for an alphabetic listing of all current-day countries)
-Search YouTube for current and folk music & dances from the country of your choice
Meg Grooms is a long-time homeschooling mother of 6 children, ranging in age from preschool to married with kids of their own. Always a vagabond at heart, Meg and her family have embraced a slow travel lifestyle and currently call Southern California home. Your guess is as good as hers as to where they’ll end up next.
Meg blogs about secular homeschooling and gameschooling at Homeschool Gameschool.