Give Your Child the World – Week 2: Africa

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See my previous post for an explanation of this Summer Book Club. Follow this week’s post at Simple Homeschool.

This week is Africa! I have to admit, Africa is not an area that I feel very passionate about. I wouldn’t normally pick up a book about Africa to read to them. So, I was a little nervous about this week because I didn’t want to accidentally pass on to my kids that Africa doesn’t matter. But! I have really, really liked the 4 books we have read this week! I debated making some African food, but I decided to maybe approach food when they’re a little older and either less picky or more easily bribed. ;-)

(All italic descriptions from, and asterisks mark my own thoughts on the book.)

lalasalamaLala Salama: A Tanzanian Lullaby
by Patricia Maclachlan

“The rhythm of the day’s activities creates the melody of the evening’s lullaby in this sweet song of family life along the banks of Lake Tanganyika… Rich, beautifully detailed illustrations by Elizabeth Zunon offer a restful complement to the Swahili refrain ‘lala salama’–an invocation to ‘sleep well.'”

** I loved this sweet, gentle story of a lullaby the mother is singing to her baby. The illustrations were my favorite part, but the tone of the book is also calming. I thought it was also a great introduction for my kids about what daily life is like for a family on Lake Tanganyika. Honestly, this is one I might buy for our home library. **

annahibiscusAnna Hibiscus
by Atinuke

Anna Hibiscus lives in amazing Africa with her mother, her father, her baby twin brothers, and lots and lots of her family. Join her as she splashes in the sea, prepares for a party, sells oranges, and hopes to see sweet, sweet snow!

** This book is great! It reminds me of some of the simple chapter books we’ve read this past year for school, like Beezus and Ramona. My 6 year old and I are both really enjoying reading about the adventures of a little African girl. I hope our library has the other books in the series! **

Beatrice’s Goat
by Page McBrier

“This illustrated book offers the true story of how a poor African girl was able to attend school after receiving a goat as a gift through a special international project and then sell its milk to get the money needed to buy her books.”

** This was probably my least favorite of the 4 books we read this week, though I certainly didn’t dislike it. It is a great explanation of how projects like Heifer International can help families. I do highly recommend this book if you are desiring to involve your kids in a family donation to Heifer or another similar organization. **

bringingtherainBringing the Rain to Kapiti Plain
by Verna Aardema

“A cumulative rhyme relating how Ki-pat brought rain to the drought-stricken Kapiti Plain. Verna Aardema has brought the original story closer to the English nursery rhyme by putting in a cumulative refrain and giving the tale the rhythm of ‘The House That Jack Built.'”

** We enjoyed this fun rhythmic book, and it gave a great opening to talk about the climate in Africa and also about tall tales. **


Another fun thing I added this week was two Usborne sticker books. My girls love stickers and dolls, and Usborne books are such high quality. I got Around the World and Costumes Around the World. Each page has a person or persons from a different country/region, and a short little explanation about the clothes. The stickers are the outfits and you build the outfits with the stickers. The two books don’t have the same countries, but I was able to find one in each for Africa (Nigeria and South Africa), so we got to talk about the climate in Africa and how that affects the clothing. I think I might pick up a few more of these books for our next road trip.

stickercostumes stickers

Raising Globally Minded Kids

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giveyourchildtheworldOne thing I’ve pondered the past few years is how do I raise my children to be globally minded while living in the United States? Then the new book by Jamie C. Martin who blogs over at Simple Homeschool popped on my radar a few weeks ago. It’s called “Give Your Child the World: Raising Globally Minded Kids One Book at a Time.” It didn’t take long to decide to order it and once it arrived, I read the whole book in one sitting. It is EXCELLENT. It’s exactly what I’m wanting! And great timing, too, because now with 2 years of homeschooling under my belt, I feel more confident to add things to our schedule that are important to me. And raising globally minded kids is VERY important to me.

If you’re familiar with “Honey for a Child’s Heart,” then “Give Your Child the World” is very similar. There are a few chapters on ideas for incorporating these things in your household, and the rest of the book is just carefully curated booklists of high quality books, broken down by region and age level.

If you do nothing else, then at least listen to Read Aloud Revival’s podcast about this book, which highlights a few of the ideas and books. You can listen from your computer by clicking that link, if you don’t already subscribe to podcasts from your phone.

I find all this already very exciting, but there’s even more! Jamie is hosting a Summer Book Club with lots of awesome prizes. Click on that link for more information, but I promise it’s very easy and not stressful, even if you’re really busy!


This week was Multicultural Week! We selected 3 titles from the list and one the girls chose at the library. We enjoyed learning about different cultures!

(All descriptions from

applepieHow to Make an Apple Pie and See the World
by Marjorie Priceman

“An apple pie is easy to make…if the market is open. But if the market is closed, the world becomes your grocery store. This deliciously silly recipe for apple pie takes readers around the globe to gather ingredients. First hop a steamboat to Italy for the finest semolina wheat. Then hitch a ride to England and hijack a cow for the freshest possible milk. And, oh yes! Don’t forget to go apple picking in Vermont! A simple recipe for apple pie is included.”

pisforpassportP Is for Passport: A World Alphabet
by Devin Scillian

“Celebrating the diversity in our world while cherishing our similarities, P is for Passport takes readers on a whirlwind tour of all the delights of the globe. From the everyday concerns of people everywhere for such things as bread and currency, to the wonders of our world such as deserts and volcanoes, Passport offers a fascinating variety of topics and ideas to explore.”

schoollikemineA School Like Mine: A Unique Celebration of Schools Around the World
by DK

“A refreshed edition of a DK classic, Children Just Like Me: A School Like Mine looks at different countries and cultures around the globe and reveals the lives of children as they learn at school. Broaden children’s views of the world and learn about the daily lives of real students from places near and far, from Australia to South Korea. Where do children in Jordan learn? What subjects do they study in Egypt?”

librariancamelMy Librarian Is a Camel: How Books Are Brought to Children Around the World
by Margriet Ruurs

“Do you get books from a public library in your town or even in your school library? In many remote areas of the world, there are no library buildings. In many countries, books are delivered in unusual way: by bus, boat, elephant, donkey, train, even by wheelbarrow. Why would librarians go to the trouble of packing books on the backs of elephants or driving miles to deliver books by bus? Because, as one librarian in Azerbaijan says, ‘Books are as important to us as air or water!’ This is the intriguing photo essay, a celebration of books, readers, and libraries.”

Next week is Africa, and I have a stack of books waiting to go. :-)

I finished!

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I finished both Madame Bovary and the first Harry Potter book this week!

When I was checking out Harry Potter, the librarian said something along the lines of needing all three weeks to read the book. At the time I thought, you underestimate my speed of reading. Ha! It took me 3 days, working it around my other obligations – I have been reading instead of my normal tv watching and Facebook browsing time. Which, if you recall, was the whole point. :-)

So back to the books. Madame Bovary was a very interesting story – I didn’t know much about it when I picked it up except that it was a classic. I really enjoyed the style of writing. The story was sad and tragic, and definitely a reminder of the pitfalls of not being content with your life, and how discontent can not only ruin your life but those around you.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone is a young adult fiction, and I found it a quick read. I really loved it. I tried to put out any preconceived thoughts and just enjoy the story, which I did, very much. I can’t wait to read the next book. :-)

I started The Crimson Cord next, a novel based on the story of Rahab. I am almost a quarter of the way into it, and enjoying it. Another quick and somewhat light read, so far.

I really enjoy reading, and I think it’s good for me. It has been easier to get back into the habit than I expected. I suspect this burst of “Read all the things!” will end though and hopefully I am able to not let that be the end.

I feel like this isn’t all that interesting to everyone else, so I appreciate everyone who has made it this far. :-) I was hoping to include book reviews also but to be honest I’m not good at that. (And really, who needs another review of Harry Potter?) So I’ll keep prattling on because I’d rather have prattle than no blog post at all.

But now I can’t think of anything of substance to write, probably because it’s almost 3 in the morning. I really need to go to bed. :-) #nightowl

Book update

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It’s the middle of winter here and I’m anxious and restless as I wait for spring. The girls and I went down to Florida last week to take advantage of the warmth, which was lovely. I always love being with my family, and I’m glad I can roll it in with some much-needed self care. :-) Hopefully it will last me until spring hits Atlanta!

Savannah, Caroline, and I in Florida… I love this picture!

Not to leave out Elizabeth :-) She’s getting so grown-up!

I finished two of the three books I mentioned in my previous post, and here is my current stack.


Madame Bovary
This is my attempt to read something deeper than my previous selections. ;-) I have started it and am enjoying it so far, but I accidentally left it here in Atlanta when I was in Florida last week so I haven’t gotten very far.

When Helping Hurts: How to Alleviate Poverty Without Hurting the Poor… and Yourself
This book has been on my “to read” list for a while, so when I was in Florida without anything to read and I spotted it on my mom’s bookshelf, I picked it up. I’m a few chapters in and it’s been really thought-provoking so far. I am convicted already in my own responses to poverty, and looking forward to reading more.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
I know this is going to the shock a lot of people… but I have never read Harry Potter, or seen any of the movies. I think they were a little after my time, and then there was controversy about how appropriate the series was for Christians, and I just never read them. I decided it was time, though, especially since before I know it Savannah will be old enough to read Harry Potter. I’m excited to start this but am forcing myself to finish my other books first.

The Crimson Cord: Rahab’s Story
This was on the library’s “new books” shelf and looked interesting. I love books like this, and we have been reading through the Old Testament in school and recently read the story of Rahab and Jericho.

Somewhere Safe with Somebody Good
I read all the Mitford books years and years ago, and really loved them. For whatever reason, I don’t think I realized she had written more than I hadn’t read yet (I thought she ended the series? I don’t know why I thought that). I probably won’t get to this one, with the rest of the books in my stack ;-) but I like having options in case one of the other books doesn’t work out.

I’ve not been good about reading…

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One of the things I wanted to do this year was read more, and I’m not talking about reading outloud for homeschooling. Read more for pleasure and for my own edification. I set my goals very low, 12 books for 2016, in the hopes that I’d actually double that. Well, here we are at the end of January and I haven’t read a single book. *sigh*

I started a book but was having trouble getting into it and decided I didn’t like the author’s style. So, I gave myself permission to return it to the library unfinished.

I picked up three more books at the library today.

I’m letting myself enjoy light reading right now, because I am sorely out of practice. I want to challenge myself to read more meaty books in the future, but in the meantime I’m enjoying these. I started the middle book, “If You Were Here” this afternoon and I can tell it’s going to be a quick and enjoyable read. Hopefully I’ll be able to meet my monthly goal in the next 5 days before February starts. ;-)

“Dewey” is next, and “The Cat, the Vagabond and the Victim” is a cozy mystery if I end up not being able to finish the other two. :-) (I really enjoy Cozy Mysteries when I need something light, though I find that they start to annoy me if I read too many of them. I enjoy how many of them feature cats, though!)

Speaking of books, Savannah and I are reading “The House at Pooh Corner” in school right now. We just read the chapter where Tigger is introduced and it reminded me SO much of the 11th Doctor!

I have often equated 11 with Tigger, but I didn’t realize that part of the story was almost lifted straight from A.A. Milne, ha! That was fun, and it was fun to be able to talk about the similarities with Savannah. :-) #raisingthemright