Does your child love books? Do you find that reading stories to your child is an effective and powerful way to introduce new topics, inspire meaningful conversation and deepen connection? Are you keen to help your child fall in love with the world? Then, I have the most invaluable resource to recommend to you, Give Your Child the World by Jamie C. Martin.
The new school year is fast approaching. Although we home educate all year round, I often find that my attention turns to a bit of forward planning at this time of year. I like to plan ahead to order library books, at the very least. I know that I've mentioned this book a few times in passing, but I've never given it the justice of a full review. I really can't recommend it more highly.
Here's a peek at the contents.
Geography has always been a topic of great interest to me, particularly world geography. I travelled a lot during my childhood and early adulthood, before becoming a parent, and I'm keen to share my passion for learning about different countries and cultures with my daughter. With international travel off the cards for us right now, reading together is proving to be a gateway to another world, and it couldn't be more magical.
Part one of the book covers the why of learning about the world, and the benefits of learning through story. I found the chapter on practical ways to invite the world into your home especially inspiring. With ideas such as a monthly country study, introducing international foods, using maps and globes, celebrating heritage days, even adding touches of global décor to your home.
Part two of the book is, in short, a LONG recommended reading list. This section is divided up into eight chapters, based on different regions of the world (and another on multicultural books in general). Each chapter is then further subdivided by age, with a section for 4-6 years, 6-8 years, 8-10 years and 10-12 years. Under each subtitle is a list of roughly 8-15 recommended books, with a short review of each.
I discovered this book when Bean was 7 years old, and immediately ordered as many books as I could source from our local library or second hand book sellers from the Multicultural Books for 6-8 years category. I was keen to see if the recommended books aligned with my high standards. I am not exaggerating when I say that Bean loved them all! I honestly can't stress enough how amazing it is to discover a good recommended book list. They're like gold dust!
Of course, once we'd finished reading our stack of multicultural books together, Bean was keen for more. So, I invited her to pick a continent, and our Africa project was born. The recommended reading list for Africa provided us with such a rich source of stories and information, deepening our understanding and bringing the project alive. You can follow our Africa project in more detail by clicking on the 'Africa Project' highlight on Instagram.
We're both so excited to get stuck into our next continent project, North America, which we hope to start in September. I've got all the books ready to go, as we'd planned to do it earlier in the year to coincide with our family visiting from the States (and bringing a few extra resources with them). Their trip has been postponed, but the joy of these projects is that all you really need is the books. The books are enough.
At the end of the book there is an alphabetical country/region index, making it easy to source books if you are studying one particular place. We used this section to help us source books for our monthly Letters From Afar project.
You don't need to be a home educator to reap the rewards of this book. Imagine reading stories from this collection at bedtime, or over breakfast, or on lazy Sunday afternoons. Give your child the world and raise a globally minded kid, one book at a time.
I'll leave you with a snippet of the poem in the back...
'You're ready now, to understand the planet's heartache.
Books give us a front-row seat to wars, loss, overcoming.
Bold and courageous, inspired to action,
selfless dreams and ideas root inside and grow.
My prayer for you, now and forever:
that the world will never lose its wonder,
that you may always have an open book in hand,
and an open heart within, to learn and apply its lessons.