Incorporating international christian learning into your kids’ virtual school teachings

Written by Molly Stillman
Published on September 25, 2020

There’s no disagreeing that 2020 is a weird year … in many ways. Our lives have been completely turned upside down. All these changes are hard enough on us as adults, and they are even harder on our children.

 

My kids are 7 and 4. My daughter is in first grade and my son is in his last year of pre-K. For many parents, this back-to-school season has been especially stressful. Will schools open? Will they not? Do you send your kids in person? Do you keep them home? Do you home-school? Do you do “virtual school”? Do you participate in a learning pod?

 

There are so many choices. But at the end of the day, each family has to make the best decision for itself. As a parent or guardian, you know what’s best for you and your kids. However, that doesn’t mean it isn’t still difficult!

 

For now, my kids are participating in virtual school. It’s been a challenge for our family, but we’re making the most of our time together! As parents, we have a unique opportunity to incorporate topics into our home-schooling or virtual schooling that we might not otherwise be able to offer our children.

 

Instead of simply teaching subjects in the traditional way, we can teach in a way that helps our children better understand the subject and their unique reason for learning it.

 

Here are some of the ways we’ve been incorporating unique lessons that teach our kids about God’s world and His creation:

 

International Eating and Cooking

My children absolutely love when I involve them in the kitchen. Whether they’re just watching me work or helping me cook, they have the perfect amount of enthusiasm and awe to keep them engaged.

 

While I am teaching my kids how to crack eggs or mix batter or flip meat, I’m also using this as an opportunity to show them what other kids around the world might do in their kitchens.

 

We talk about how kids in Kenya might tend to their rabbits, chickens and cows, and how they cook over a small fire pit. We talk about traditional Kenyan foods like chapati and ugali. I show them pictures of the clay stoves in Bolivia that are used to cook potatoes and eggs. I show pictures of a woman and her child in Bangladesh cooking over an open fire since she lacks electricity.

 

International Geography

My kids are absolutely fascinated by geography. They love learning about where other countries are, how far away those countries are from us, and what the climate is like there. We found a fun resource on nonprofit Compassion International’s blog, and have been able to learn amazing facts about countries like the Dominican Republic, Bolivia and Kenya.

 

Being able to incorporate these resources seamlessly into our daily school routine has made my children fall in love with learning about other cultures and traditions.

 

International Holidays and Celebrations

When Thanksgiving and Christmas swing around this year, we’ll be able to have rich conversations about how kids just like them around the world celebrate holidays. There’s even opportunity to discuss holidays we don’t necessarily celebrate here in the United States, like Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead), Diwali (a Hindu festival that celebrates the special bond of family relationships) or Ramadan.

 

We will be able to talk about the beautiful traditions other cultures have that we don’t, how different traditions came to be, and why these celebrations exist.

 

International Exploration

My kids absolutely love to read through the Compassion Explorer magazine we receive in the mail every few months. It features fun and engaging activities for the kids, recipes from around the world to try, devotions to work on as a family, and stories to read — all while learning about the lives of kids all over the world.

 

These international resources are a unique way of fostering a globally minded perspective in our kids. We can use these resources as an opportunity to celebrate our similarities and appreciate our differences!

 

So yes, while virtual school, home-schooling, or hybrid schooling during COVID-19 definitely has its challenges, it also certainly can have its benefits.

 

Make the most of this unique time because before you know it, this season will be behind you. Watch your child experience and witness this time in history and ask yourself, What do I want to remember about this time? How do I want my children to remember this time? Am I doing all that I can to seize this unique moment in time?

 

Virtual learning, home-schooling and distance learning will all be hard. It will have its tough moments. But we know that God is good. His plans and His ways are perfect — for all of His children!

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Molly Stillman

Molly Stillman is the founder and creator of Still Being Molly, a life-and-style blog started in 2007. She is also the host of The Business with Purpose podcast. Her true passion lies in helping inspire women to know that they were created on purpose, with a purpose, and for a purpose. She is a wife to John, mama to Lilly and Amos, dog mom to Tater and Audrey, a loud laugher, lover of Jesus, Diet Coke, and all of the Chipotle burritos.

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